Smokey Bear turns 75 this year

Smokey Bear 75th birthday

We might be jumping the gun a little, but you need to know that Smokey Bear turns 75 this year. His birthday is usually celebrated on August 9, but there will be additional festivities this year — because 75 is evenly divisible by 25 and is three-quarters of the way toward 100.

Make a Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern

smokey bear jack o'lantern
Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern by Louie and his grandson, October, 2017.

Would you like to have Smokey Bear looking at your trick or treaters from a Halloween Jack O’Lantern?

Here are instructions and a template for carving yours.

Send us photos of your 2018 Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern and we will put some of them here.

Below are photos sent to us after this article was published. We’ll update it with more as they come in:

Smokey Bear Jack O'Lantern
By Enoch
Smokey Bear Jack O'Lantern
Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern by Natalie

Smokey Bear Jack O’Lanterns 2017

Above: Louie and his grandson got an early start on this year’s Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern.

Send us your photos of Smokey Bear Jack O’Lanterns and we will put some of them here.

Here are instructions and a template for carving yours.

UPDATE October 26: Jolene Sakaske sent us the photo below, saying it was in memory of her grandfather, Joseph Sakaske.

smokey bear jack olantern

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Louie and his grandson.

One day only, Smokey Bear lens at Snapchat

New Smokey Bear song corrects the icon’s name

Smokey Bear's debut
Smokey Bear’s debut in 1944.

When the Smokey Bear fire prevention campaign began in 1944 he was known as just that, “Smokey Bear” without “the” in the name.

But in 1952 Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins wrote what became a successful song named “Smokey the Bear”. They said adding “the” enhanced the song’s rhythm. A Little Golden Book published about the bear in 1955 followed the songwriters lead and also used the incorrect “the” version of the name.

All this created confusion, but the name of the fire prevention icon is and always has been Smokey Bear.

A few years ago the U.S. Forest Service gave a grant to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who teamed up with students from the Columbus College of Art and Design and 2Tall Animation Studio to research, design, and create a new Smokey Bear animated video and song.

Notice his name…

A teacher’s kit is available that has wildfire prevention activities, lyrics to the song, a Smokey Bear comic book, and coloring pages.