Bear Festival

Bear Festival

The Forest Folk – the Fourth Bear Festival in Ilomantsi between 24 and 26 August 2017

The theme of the fourth Bear Festival is the Forest folk. The 2017 Bear Festival will feature two Bear Sculpting World Championship competitions.

On 24 and 25 August, there will be a two-day competition lasting a total of 14 hours. On 26 August, there will be a speed sculpting competition.

The Forest folk theme gives the artists of this wood sculpting competition countless opportunities to create sculptures with creative freedom, because there are several different deities, spirits, elves and gnomes who, according to Finnish folklore, live in the forest. The Bear Festival is arranged by The Union for Rural Culture and Education along with the Ilomantsi municipality and local businesses and associations.

The world’s biggest Wild Food Festival

The Bear Festival visitors will be able to enjoy offerings from the world’s biggest Wild Food Festival, to be held at the same time in Ilomantsi. On Saturday, 26 August you can explore the best flavours the North Karelian nature has to offer. The best wild foods will be selected and awarded at the festival. The Wild Food Festival is arranged by LAG Karelian Hills LEADER and Woman the Hunter -project.

 The aim: A land of a thousand bears

Sculpting wood is the most natural form of self-expression among Finnish self-taught artists; the chainsaw is the most common instrument and the bear is the best-loved of all subjects. This is the foundation for the Bear Festival.

We would like to turn Ilomantsi into a land of a thousand bears in the coming years. It will be a sculpture park built along the village roads, a display of different sculpting styles that attracts visitors from near and far. In a land of a thousand bears, the mythical realm of the forest’s king meets man’s cultural environment.

Contact information:

Bear sculpting world championship competition, the Union for Rural Culture and Education:
Jenni Väisänen,, tel. +358 44 588 5537
Suvi Kaljunen,, tel. +358 45 773 10170

World`s biggest Wild Food Festival, LAG Karelian Hills LEADER
Hannele Pyykkö, manager,, tel. +358 40 1044 905

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