Smokey Bear celebrates 77th birthday with party in Pigeon Forge

Smokey Bear looks pretty good for 77, wouldn’t you say? After all these years, he’s still working hard to help prevent forest fires.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” We all know who said that famous phrase. You can probably picture his furry face, too.

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It’s the slogan of Smokey Bear, and each August we celebrate his birthday.

According to the USDA, Smokey Bear was born on August 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a cartoon bear would be the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention.

His famous catchphrase was launched in 1947.

Now in 2021, we’re celebrating his 77th birthday and 77 years of helping people know the dangers of and prevent the spread of fires.

Smokey Bear is hosting a day-long birthday party in Pigeon Forge Monday, starting at the Old Mill, moving to the Island, and finishing up the day at Patriot Park, where he’ll be partying from 4:30 – 7 p.m.

That last stop is where firefighters, fire trucks, and a giant birthday cake are all ready for the public to join Smokey Bear in his celebration.

Smokey Bear’s mission remains relevant after all these years. Whether you’re grilling in your backyard, building a campfire in the mountains, or burning trash in the lawn, there are ways to do so safely so that we, too, can prevent forest fires.

Make sure to obey local burn bans and have something nearby and ready to extinguish any flames.

Don’t leave fires unattended, and don’t play with matches.

Help Smokey Bear and everyone stay safe and have fun on his birthday and every day!

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