Photo: James Gosnell Photography

Gather in Guerneville for Lazy Bear Week

Carey Sweet

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These “bears” are of the most cuddly kind, self-described as “hairy, burly, crazy, and lazy revelers,” and otherwise known as fun loving members of Sonoma County’s LGBTQ community. Each year, Lazy Bear Week gathers thousands of such fellows for five days of pool parties, hikes, barbecues, wine tours, shows, dances, feasts, and bonfire celebrations, all for a great cause. Profits from your tax deductible $175 ticket/tag price go to The Lazy Bear Fund, benefiting local, national, and international charities.

Image of three men in front of Lazy Bear Fund sign.

In all, it’s one of the largest bear gatherings in the world, with nearly $2 million raised since the group was formed in 1996. The grassroots, nonprofit organization assists causes such as health clinics, schools and food banks, giving to kids and seniors, people living with HIV, or struggling with addiction. A small army of volunteers comes together to put on the event, and orchestrate fun activities including:

Stage & Screen Night, July 29, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Rainbow Cattle Company, 16220 Main St, Guerneville

What’s more fun than belting out joyous tunes from Broadway and Hollywood? This is karaoke on a whole new level. Free admission.

Tutus In Tubes, July 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Johnson’s Beach, 16215 First Street, Guerneville

Break out your fanciest tutu (or just a swimsuit) and splash down in the river for a terrific party. The on-site beach shack has the goodies you need, including rentals of canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, beach chairs, and umbrellas, plus food, beer and wine for sale. Free admission.

Image of guys in a swimming pool.
Photo: Richard Marcotte Photography

Movie Night, July 31, 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

West Sonoma Inn & Spa, 14100 Brookside Lane, Guerneville

Debuting for the first time this year, the week includes this al fresco event on the lawn near the vineyard at the Inn (movie TBA). Bring your blanket and a picnic, purchase some beer and wine on-site, then cuddle up for the show. Free admission for Lazy Bear Tag wearers; $5 for those without tags.

Image of three guys at Lazy Bear
Photo: James Gosnell Photography

Wine & Cheese Social & Mini Golf, July 31, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Guerneville Pee Wee Golf & Arcade, 16155 Drake Rd, Guerneville

Three of the world’s best things, all in one evening! Play a round of putt-putt golf, sip vino, nibble fine fromage, and learn more about the Lazy Bear Fund. Free with tags; $5 without.