Looking for a family activity in Grays Harbor? Look no further than the McCleary Bear Festival July 12-14, 2024. It’s the 65th year of this old-fashioned family event and is sure to be one to remember. With activities for the whole family, along with plenty of great food and vendors, no one will leave disappointed. Get your lodging reservations now and plan on heading to McCleary!

From parades and games to a car show and live music, there is something for the whole family at the 2024 McCleary Bear Festival. It’s the pinnacle of family activities in Grays Harbor this summer! Photo courtesy: McCleary Bear Festival

McCleary Bear Festival Events and Activities

Are you ready for days jam-packed with fun? There is so much to see and do on each day of the festival, you will want to attend multiple days.

Kids will have a blast in the Kids Zone, open every day of the festival: July 12 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., July 13 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and July 14 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Each day in the Kids Zone will have different activities including box car races, dunk tank, a 4-H dog show, free games, a magician, inflatable, races and more!

The McCleary Bear Festival also has live entertainment starting Friday evening after the Queen’s Coronation at Beerbower Park. Saturday and Sunday will have live music and entertainment throughout both days. 2024’s line up is still in the works, check the McCleary Bear Festival website for updated information.

Speaking of the Queen’s Coronation…Here is this year’s McCleary Bear Festival Royal Court: Queen Lola, Princess Kaehlani, Princess Annie and Princess Zoey. See them in the parade and meet them at the festival! You can also find them at community events like Reading with Royalty at the McCleary Timberland Library before the McCleary Bear Festival.

people playing softball
in in the fun by competing in the softball tournament at the McCleary Bear Festival 2024. Photo courtesy: McCleary Bear Festival

Looking to get involved in the McCleary Festival? Why not enter the Slow Pitch Softball Tournament at Beerbower Park? You can register online. Or, spiff up your car and enter the car show on July 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $15 day of and begins at 8 a.m. Your children can enter the box car race July 13 at 1:30 p.m. Kids need to bring a bike helmet, closed toed shoes and a legal guardian to enter.

And don’t miss the parades! The Kiddie Parade starts at 11:45 a.m. and the Grand Parade at 12 p.m. you can enter the parade, or just come and enjoy!

The whole family will love looking at the food and craft vendors that will be selling their items beginning at 1 p.m. on July 12 through 4 p.m. July 14. From t-shirts and ornaments to handcrafted wooden bowls and sunglasses…you can find it all at the McCleary Bear Festival!

2024 Bear Stew and Other Eats at the McCleary Bear Festival

Did you know the McCleary Bear Festival started out as a bet on whether the Skamania bears tasted the best? It’s true. And now, 65 years later, the community still gets together to celebrate that bet and enjoy some bear stew! However, some years there is actually no bear in the stew, as it’s dependent on bear population numbers and hunting permits.

a group of people stand by huge metal bins cooking stew. They are posing for a photo with two large metal spoons
While the 2024 bear stew may be missing the bear, it will still be delicious and well worth the trip to McCleary in July. Photo courtesy: McCleary Bear Festival

In 2024, the Bear Stew will not have bear in it, but will be equally delicious with beef, the McCleary Festival Committee shares. And, if you want to help, you can head to the Beerbower Park kitchen area on July 12 at 7 a.m. to volunteer with the vegetable preparation for the stew – bring a cutting board and peeler!

In addition to the bear stew, there will be plenty of other food vendors to keep you well-fed. 

Attend the McCleary Bear Festival

McCleary offers numerous public parking facilities throughout town for those visiting.

Located in Grays Harbor County, McCleary offers various surrounding lodging opportunities. Bring the RV and stay at the KM Resorts-Travel Inn RV Resort. The Stay Beyond Inn and Suites in Elma is also a good choice and not too far from the Festival. If camping is your style, check out the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds, which has dry camping as well as RV hookups.

McCleary Bear Festival
Jul 12-14, 2024
Bearbower Park


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