The Smokey Bear Hot Air Balloon will take to the skies at the Shenandoah County Fair in celebration of 75 years of fire prevention

Contact(s): Mary Yonce (540) 984-4101

Edinburg, VA-August 1, 2019 - The Forest Service and Virginia Department of Forestry are pleased to announce that Smokey Bear will be taking to the sky this year as part of the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, August 24 - 27, 2019. 

On August 24 – 25, the Smokey Bear Balloon will be located behind Burger King, next to the Comfort Inn in Woodstock and on August 26 - 27 the balloon will be located in the infield of the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Depending on weather conditions, the Friends of the Smokey Bear Balloon, Inc., will showcase the balloon from 6:00 am to 8:00 am and again from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. In addition, there are many opportunities to learn more about Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention from the experts at the exhibit area. 

It's more than just another outing for the balloon — Smokey Bear will turn 75 on August 9, and forest officials are celebrating three-quarters of a century promoting wildfire prevention alongside him. “Having Smokey take to the skies for this Shenandoah County Fair is a wonderful opportunity to remind everyone what they can do to reduce the risk of wildfires”, said Rob Farrell, VA State Forester. “When people see the big bear in the sky, hopefully they will stop and think, I should be careful, and it’s my responsibility to prevent wildfires,” he added.

“Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention are very important to us. Each year, an average of 7,500 wildfires burn approximately 1.5 million acres on National Forests and Grasslands. Having Smokey at the fair is a great way to get the message out to the community about the steps they can take to prevent wildfires.” says Forest Supervisor Joby Timm. 

The Smokey Bear balloon is owned and operated by Friends of the Smokey Bear Balloon, Inc., a non-profit corporation of volunteers dedicated to assisting federal, state and local agencies to educate and convey messages to prevent human-caused wildfires.


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