Fred Bear Day celebration to be held in Grayling on March 5
Thu, 02/18/2021 - 2:24pm caleb
Event to honor the late hunting icon to include 21 Whistling Arrow Salute and luncheon at Grayling Eagles Hall
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The public is invited to the Fourth Annual Fred Bear Day – an event that will pay tribute to the hunting icon with a whistling arrow salute and a special luncheon – on Friday, March 5.
Bear was known as an avid hunter and his archery company was located in Grayling for many years. Bear was born on March 5 in 1902 and he passed away in 1988.
John Wejrowski, one of the organizers for the current version of Fred Bear Day, said the community had gotten away from the celebration for a while, and four years ago, a group decided to bring it back.
“We thought, let’s do something,” Wejrowski said.
Wejrowski said the Fred Bear Day four years ago – the first with the current organizers – had good turnout. They conducted the luncheon at Bear’s Den Pizzeria, a local restaurant filled with Fred Bear memorabilia. Wejrowski said the event filled the restaurant and its banquet room that year.
The event grew in year two and year three, expanding to around 100 participants in 2019 and 125 to 150 in 2020, Wejrowski said.
The 2021 Fred Bear Day will start with the 21 Whistling Arrow Salute at the former Bear Archery grounds located between the Crawford County Building and M-93/M-72 West near the railroad tracks. Registration for the arrow shoot is slated for 11:15 a.m. and the shoot is scheduled for “high noon.” Organizers will conduct a drawing for the 21 archers who get to participate in the official shoot, and the shooters will get to keep the arrows.
“Anyone else wishing to shoot please bring a flu flu arrow with you,” Wejrowski said.
(Flu flu arrows have special tails to prevent them from traveling long distances, Wejrowski said.)
This year’s buffet luncheon will be held at the Grayling Eagles Hall – located on M-72 East/Huron Street near the I-75 overpass – starting at 1 p.m. Cost for the luncheon is a $10 donation. Wejrowski said the ticket is a keepsake card and the entry fee also includes a collector’s button with Fred Bear’s picture on it.
The luncheon will feature door prizes and a raffle. For the raffle, people can purchase a $10 ticket that includes 25 numbers, and they can put the numbers into the buckets corresponding to the prizes they would like to try to win, organizers said. Wejrowski said prizes include items from Bear Archery, rock musician Ted Nugent (who has song called “Fred Bear” on his 1995 album “Spirit of the Wild”), and local businesses.
Wejrowski said the event is “mainly aimed at traditional archery groups” but it’s open to the public and “it’s also geared toward anybody here in Grayling who worked (at Bear Archery).”
“Come celebrate Fred’s birthday with us. Everyone welcome,” Wejrowski said.
For more information or to purchase a ticket early, contact John Wejrowski via email at email@example.com. Tickets will also be available at the door “but seating will be limited” due to COVID-19, Wejrowski said.