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Collectors bear their teddies above Lake Thun

Teddy bears, big and small, will be the centre of cuddly attention in Sigriswil

(Keystone Archive)

The town of Sigriswil above Lake Thun will be transformed into a plush toy paradise on August 11 and 12 for teddy bear lovers and collectors.

Antique teddies, handmade bears and exotic species will be on show in Sigriswil - the sixth time the event has been held in the town. The "Bear Festival" is the brainchild of a local woman who knew she wasn't the only one in the world who couldn't bear a world without the furry critters.

She has attracted around 100 exhibitors from as far away as Japan and the United States to the festival. They'll display rare antiques, factory-made bears and handcrafted animals.

Visitors can take part in workshops to learn how to make their own. One class will be dedicated to making miniature bears.

Of course the highlight of any such festival is the award presentation. The "Swiss Teddy" will be given in different categories and some are quite risqué: the best "miniature bear naked or dressed", "the most natural bear" and the bear deemed to be the most Avant Garde.

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