CADILLAC – The USDA Forest Service and its partners will offer the public five fantastic opportunities to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday this week.

Festivities will commence on Aug. 8 at the Lake Michigan Recreation Area near Manistee. All are welcome to join Smokey Bear, the Huron-Manistee National Forests, and the Grant Township Fire Department from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. for a birthday party and wildfire prevention activities. 

The celebrations will continue on Aug. 9, Smokey Bear’s official birthday, at the following locations:

• Oscoda – The Huron-Manistee National Forests will host a Smokey Bear birthday party at Lumberman’s Monument from 1-3 p.m. This free event will feature children’s activities, face painting, live music and birthday cake.

• Mackinac Bridge – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, will host a family-friendly birthday party at Straits State Park in St. Ignace from 1-3 p.m.  The event will feature a fire truck open house, fire-prevention games, refreshments and a chance to meet Smokey Bear.

• Rapid River – The Hiawatha National Forest will teach kids the principles of Leave No Trace at a Jr. Ranger Program from 4-5 p.m. at the Little Bay de Noc Campground. Guests can stick around from 7-8 p.m. for “What Did Smokey Say?” – an exploration of Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention messages.

 • Detroit – The USDA Forest Service and Smokey Bear will celebrate 75 years of wildfire prevention as the Detroit Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. Fans can stay after the game for a Smokey Bear baseball giveaway.

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has reminded the American public that “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Smokey’s signature slogan refers to the fact that nine out of ten wildfires nationwide are human-caused and thus preventable.

 “After 75 years, Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention messages are more relevant than ever,” said Huron-Manistee National Forests Supervisor Leslie Auriemmo. “As wildfire seasons grow longer and more intense, it is essential that everyone take simple steps to protect our natural resources and our communities.”