Lazy Bear turned 15 this year. 15 years of raising funds, partnering with the community and making one of the great weekend runs of the summer come to life. This 15th anniversary edition had challenges, but a lot of hard work paid off with a fun weekend for all. Under the careful eye of George Delmar and with lots of help from the community, Lazy Bear 15 was a hit.
Economic hard times have hit the little sleepy town of Guerneville, California, and the closure of key event spaces created opportunities to change the way Lazy Bear works. New restaurants and shops have opened up and others closed or some expanded. A key resort, the Triple R (Russian River Resort) has been shuttered for months and is rumored to be opening by end of summer under new ownership, but sadly not in time for the bear invasion.
The crowd, according to word from the Lazy Bear headquarters, was the largest ever in attendance. A great mix of ages and types participated in the weekend. Breathing new life into any event is always a challenge, but clearly a whole new generation of bears and cubs found a way to the river playground to participate.
With a little something for everyone, Lazy Bear offered a range of dance parties, house parties, social gatherings, movies, hikes, bonfires, and adventures. The schedule is truly an epic wonder to follow, with some many events, and so much overlap, you can never hit it all.
The music selections from the weekend gave all attendees a range of choices. DJs included Rotten Robbie, Bruce Guilnard, John LePage, Steve Sherwood, Craig Gaibler, Sean Mac, James Torres, Russ Rich, Dee Dub, Medic, Frank Lucas, James Lee, Jimmy Swear, and many others. Some amazing sets that should be mentioned include the Friday Pool Party and Saturday Sweat Dance sets by John LePage, which showcased his ability to play a diverse set of music appropriate for a day time pool event and then switch it up the next night, with a great set of driving beats and vocals for the Sweat party. Steve Sherwood played a fun commercial and high energy set at the Bearracuda Underwear party as well, giving all of those cubs and bears a reason to dance around in underwear and jocks and have a hot fun time. Rotten Robbie played the Sunday Furry Sunday gig at the estate, in a perfect blend of beats to keep it social and drive you to the dance area for the day. Russ Rich finished off the weekend with amazing set of music at the PLAY T-Dance, giving the perfect end to the weekend, with enough hands in the air vocals and still some later driving beats, to leave the crowd that was there with a big cheer at the end of the night.
It was a wonderful treat to see the original Castro Bear himself, Harry Lit, at the Sunday Furry Sunday event. Emotions flowed as people took the time to greet, welcome and thank Harry for this contributions to the community and to see him back out with us at the event he loves.
The books are closed on Lazy Bear 15, the resorts are clearing out the fur traps, the bears and cubs are all returning home, and it is time to look forward. There is a new sense of enthusiasm for Lazy Bear after this year. The mixture of parties and social activities one of the best ever pulled together. It takes a community, a village, and so much support to bring these weekend runs to life, but it takes the care of key producers to ensure it is special and fun, and George Delmar and his team gave us just that.