Teddy bears take over at Festival Hall

December 13, 1991|By Barbara H. Smith

Kelly Swanston, a 9-year-old from Federal Hill, brought her "most huggable" bear, Harry Berry, made of Scottish tartan. Jane Dewire, 3 1/2 , pressed her "most lovable" bear, Peter, (who just happens to be a rabbit) to her chest. Other young teddy-lovers escorted snowy bears, grizzly bears, fancy bears and frazzled bears.

Nearly 70 two-legged children and their four-legged furry friends shared tea and cookies yesterday at a Teddy Bear Tea at Festival Hall. The event was part of the weeklong Festival of Trees celebration, which raises money for the Kennedy Institute.

Mary Gavin arrived at the tea party with Winnie the Pooh, a big smile and a snowman painted on her face. The 10-year-old from Ruxton and her sister Caroline, 5, crowded onto the stage surrounded by a wonderland of trees, tinsel and ornaments.

"There were so many kids here. I guess they all came for the Teddy Bear Tea and contest like me," Mary said.

After feeding their well-behaved ursines a snack, the party-goers paraded on stage. They squirmed, wiggled, waved and stared. Proudly, they showed off their critters: a Paddington bear, a bear wearing goggles and a leather flight jacket, a Pooh bear perched atop a child's head to draw the judges' attention.

While the judges singled out the most huggable and most loved bears, everybody was a winner for best all-around bear. When the party was over, the children, many tired but most happy, scattered with their parents.

"Today was lots of fun. My two favorite parts were the bear parade, plus I got to write a letter on the computer to Santa Claus, but I haven't mailed it yet," Mary said.

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