Teddies Welcome for Giant Picnic at the Botanic Garden

15 January 2009

Mark the first day of February in your calendar - the teddy bears have booked out the Botanic Garden's Dell and Anderson Park for their annual picnic that day.

Hundreds of little ones are expected to descend upon the Dell decked out in their best bear costumes and armed to the teeth with cuddly toys.

Council Summer City programmer Rebecca Hardie says the Interislander Teddy Bears' Picnic is one of the biggest family events in the summer festival calendar, where "multitudes of children from the city, and indeed the region, come out to play with their favourite bears".

"The picnic will have entertainment from Zappo the Magician, The Funky Monkeys, The Plops, Harry the Clown, Mr Magic, stilt walkers and face painting," says Rebecca.

"There'll also be a teddy bear competition with prizes for the biggest, smallest and most teddy bears. Bears will be weighed, measured and counted upon entry to Anderson Park."

The Dell will be host to much of the musical fun, and this year, as one of the last acts of the day, a Popsicle Air Guitar Competition will take place. The Popsicle band will perform a gig before inviting children up on stage to dress up as their favourite band member (wigs, glasses and air guitar provided) and rock out to a song for 30 seconds. Each finalist wins a Popsicle hat and the ultimate winner gets an iPod nano.

"This high-energy end to the day will probably be the highlight for children, and adults too," says Rebecca. "Straight after that, the owners of the biggest, smallest and most teddy bears will be given their prizes before everyone goes home, no doubt already looking forward to the following year's picnic."

So grab your tots and bears and head down for a full day of free fun on Sunday 1 February.

More details are available in NZCT Summer City brochures, which are available from Council service centres, libraries, pools and cafés around town. You can also check out details of the NZCT Summer City festival on the Events Calendar, and there's a special site for the teddies - the Teddy Bears' Picnic website.