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Los Alamos Bear Festival combines fun and education

SANTA FE, N.M. — Learn to speak and eat like a bear at this year’s Los Alamos Bear Festival, put on by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).

Like most everything else this summer, the event will be held virtually this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. But organizers think that “bearly” makes a difference based on what they’ve got “bruin” this year.

“While things look somewhat different for this year’s Bear Festival, that simply opens up the door for an even wider audience to participate,” Kelly Stewart, Marketing Manager for Los Alamos County, said in a news release. “The annual Bear Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that combines learning and education with hands-on fun and delicious treats.”

The two-day celebration of the black bear will be held August 27 and 29.

U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Daryl Ratajczak will teach “Bear Speak” during a live-streamed talk from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Ratajczak will spend about an hour talking about how to understand the language of bears, using slides and videos to show how bears react and behave in different situations. Participants will learn how bears communicate and what to do should you encounter a bear. That will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session.

Those who register for Ratajczak’s talk are asked to contribute what they can.

On Saturday, the festival will hold its Eat Like a Bear luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For locals, Los Alamos’s Pig + Fig CafĂ© will offer a “Bear Box Takeout Lunch,” inspired by the diet of a black bear.

The cost of the meal is $25 for PEEC members and $30 for non-members. Lunch orders must be made by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Participants from outside the area are invited to join in with their own Eat Like a Bear lunch.

Register for either or both events at the PEEC website: www.