Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival

Franklin, LA 70538

Mission

The mission of the bear festival is to educate the citizens of St. Mary Parish and the surrounding area about the Louisiana black bear, a species listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as "threatened" under the guidelines of the Endangered Species Act. The festival features all the activities associated with a typical Louisiana festival, music, food, and good company, but also includes field trips, educational exhibits and children's activities relating to bears and the many other natural resources found in south Louisiana.

About Us

Is one of the youngest, yet ever growing festivals in St Mary Parish. Making its debut in 2004 on the banks of the beautiful and historic waterway that bears part of its name, the Bayou Teche Bear Festival, renamed the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival, has gained momentum and expanded its mission. With the overwhelming response of volunteer participation, throughout the community, each year the festival promises to be bigger and better.

While the over-arching mission of the festival was and continues to be the development of an eco-friendly environment for the endangered black bear population that resides in St. Mary Parish, last year's organizers also decided to add the observation and impact of migratory birds that travel through the parish en route back to their home nests. These birds are migrating back to their breeding range after spending the winter in south and central America.

With that said the goals of the festival include:

--Raising awareness by educating residents of the Louisiana black bear population and its environment in St. Mary Parish
--Assisting with the development of recreational opportunities at the Bayou Teche Wildlife Refuge
--Identifying the bird species that visit St. Mary Parish en route to their home nest
--Developing and cultivating an appreciation and respect for the environment
--Providing another opportunity for economic development in St. Mary Parish

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