august '02

Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002                    Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002

Finally, we dared to accept the invitation to take part in the fair in Sigriswil. (We are Marjolein Vos and Marian Haarink)

Of course it is wonderful to combine a fair in Switzerland with a trip to the Puppenhausmuseum in Basel.
So we planned to visit this museum on Thursday.
I have already written a piece about this museum in the past.
Still, it remains a treat to visit again.

While it is a very modern museum, there are many very old bears that are presented beautifully. It isn’t easy to see everything on one visit. As this was my fifth visit I finally got to see the antique dolls-houses.
This year there was also a great presentation of various large Steiff animals.

The glass case can be viewed from all sides and happily they provided design chairs, so you could spend some time taking it all in.

My own mini bears can also still be seen on a shelf with many other companions. After a visit of a couple of hours to the museum and the coffee shop, we travelled on to Sigriswil where the bear’s festival was organized in August. We had to hurry, because the bears that would take part in the competition had to be handed in that Thursday.

Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002          Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002                Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002

Sigriswil is an authentic mountain village with views of the Tunersee and the Berneroberland with its snow capped peaks. In the evening we spent time looking around this lovely village-you don’t just have to like bears in order to feel at home here! Sitting on a chair on the balcony of the hotel Bären enjoying the view is just perfect.

The organisers welcomed us as if we had known each other for years and they told us how things were organized. Marianne Schmid and Ruth Voisard are very good hosts.

Friday evening a mountain walk was organized (luckily for us it went downhill) with a trip on a boat on the Tunersee and we had dinner with the whole group. We had a relaxing walk with the international bear makers. We tried to talk with the Japanese ladies, we spoke with South African and New Zealand bear people and, of course, with German and Swiss bear people.

Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002             Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002            Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002

On Saturday and Sunday we all took part in the fair.Saturday evening the prizes were awarded for the competition.

Marjolein and I both won prizes and we received our prizes outside the tent with views of the See and Berneroberland as a backdrop. Marjolein got first prize for her plateau and on Sunday she got an extra prize for being the publics favourite; her bear became the ´publikumsliebling´.


The whole village of Sigriswil was chock a block with bears, because of the Bärenfestival Sigriswil; not just the fair in hotel Bären but also in the Ghüjerhüsi, the Pfrundscheune and the Schulhaus; all are lovely locations.

There was also a Bärenmarket, with all kinds of bear business.

In the village hall the competition bears were presented and Steiff had put on an exhibition there. There were also different workshops held in hotel Bären and there was a tent where different kinds of bear festivities were held like music, a balloon party and bear cake-eating.

The Swiss post office had issued a special 100 years teddy bear stamp and there was a mobile post office in the village where you could have your post stamped with a special bear stamp.

Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002         Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002         Marianbear: Zwitserland 2002

There was also an artist who made wooden bears from tree trunks.

And then there was the local baker, who had baked delightful bear cookies and had also dressed his shop window with lots of bears. There was no shortage of bears in Hotel Bären, every table and each corner was decorated with bears in all sizes. They also had organized something with carrots, because at end of the day several bears had a carrot in their paws.

I could tell you much more about this festival, but one thing is certain, it was a wonderful weekend and it was fantastic to be part of it.


"Marian Bear"
Marian Haarink-Getkate

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