North American Bear Weekend A Hit in Lexington

Judges (back row) and winners of the North American Bear Weekend contest in Lexington. (Photo courtesy of Kentucky Bourbon Bears)

Judges (back row) and winners of the North American Bear Weekend contest in Lexington. (Photo courtesy of Kentucky Bourbon Bears)

LEXINGTON – The second annual North American Bear Weekend was held on February 20-23, 2013.  The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event nearly tripled in size from previous years with 289 registered attendees arriving at the hotel for the weekend.

The weekend kicked off with a The Bear-a-Palooza Comedy Show.  Contestants raised funds for various raffles through ticket sales during the Meet-N-Greet, and everyone shed their clothes for an underwear dance party at the end of Friday night!

On Saturday, attendees enjoyed a Pulled Pork BBQ lunch before stripping down for the Wet and Wild Pool Party.  Bears seeking a more dry climate spent time in the vendor market or had their boots shined by one of the two bootblacks brought in for the event.

After a banquet dinner sponsored by the Kentucky Bourbon Bears, the contestants were ready to take the stage for the North American Bear Contest.  This year featured ten (10) contestants who competed in Title Wear, Bar Wear, Fantasy Wear, and the Bare Minimum categories. Highlights of the evening included the emcee, Imperial Court Emperor 31. Daryl Lyons, as well as performances from Imperial Court Empress 30 Shotz with a Z and Imperial Court Empress 31, Trinity.  Additionally, attendees were invited to take part in the Charity Strip Auction that benefitted the NoH8 Campaign.

Contestants this year included: Tony Winter, Warren Stauffer, Jerry Sifuentes, Diesel Fox, Van Morrow, Jim Nichols, Curtis Bass, Jack Lundy, Michael Markee, and Darrick Coleman. Judges included Mr International Bear 2008 Scott Turner, Mr North American Bear 2012 Jed Ryan, Keith Ackerson, William Urich, and Jeff Culbert.

It was a close competition, however, at the end of the night the judges presented the Bear community with five new title holders. Mr North American Bear 2013, Curtis Bass of Louisville. Curtis received a $500 cash prize, a title patch, and will represent the bear community throughout the upcoming year. Mr North American Cub 2013, Jerry Sifuentes of Indianapolis. Mr North American Bear Hunter 2013, Jack Lundy of Louisville.  Mr North American Muscle Bear 2013 is Jim Nichols, of Pikeville, Ky. Mr North American Daddy Bear 2013 was awarded to Diesel Fox of Indianapolis.

Those involved with the North American Bear Weekend/Contest would like to thank everyone for their hard work, partipation and attendance. They look forward to seeing everyone next year and continuing to grow.