Carrabelle Cares

2012 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival

Unfortunately there will be

no Black Bear Festival in Carrabelle this year. 

For more information please contact the Defenders of Wildlife Defenders of Wildlife and FWC decided not to hold the Carrabelle Bear Festival this year.  For more information contact Shannon Miller ( at Defenders of Wildlife.

We hope they will be in Carrabelle again. 

Just like the bears.



2012 Vendor Application 

Saturday October 6th, Sands Park, Carrabelle, FL

As fall begins to settle in the Big Bend, the Florida black bear begins foraging for winter.  It’s a perfect time to celebrate this fascinating mammal.  
             The 4th Annual Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival planning is in full swing and we want you to save the date!  Be sure to mark your calendar for Oct. 6, 2012 and come out to Sands Park in Carrabelle to help us celebrate.  
              This year’s festival promises to be full of fun and learning.  This family-oriented educational event is free and open to the public.  It is dedicated to helping people understand and live in harmony with the Florida black bear.  Enjoy educational presentations, tours into bear habitat, kid’s activities, food, music by King Cotton, arts and crafts and much, much more!
             For more information call the festival coordinator, Allen Loyd at 727-823-3888.



  Florida's Mother of Wildlife is gone, Betsy Knight of the Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary died on February 17, 2012.   

Betsy Knight 


  Thanks to all who made the 2011 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival a success! 


 2011 FCBBF photos








2009 Event is a Success! - click here to read the article from Apalach/Carrabelle Times 

The Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival is a one-day, free educational event that is fun for all ages.

Festival highlights include:

  • Live music and dance performances
  • The Procession of the Species Parade at 1:00.  Join in the celebration!  Be creative!  Plan to participate in your costume or mask with the Carrabelle Boys and Girls Club and Carrabelle CARES.  (no pets and no motorized vehicles)
  • Authors’ Corner
  • Presentations by bear experts
  • Demonstrations on how to retrofit trash cans and other ways residents can co-exist with bears
  • A family activity pavilion
  • A variety of vendors and exhibits will be on display.

Guided field trips to Tate’s Hell Forest are by bus and include a moderate hike to a site where biologists will provide participants with interactive lessons about bear biology, behavior and management.

Testimonials from the 2009 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival:

"We loved the Procession of the Species Parade and free composters…"
"…the educational information available, the music, and the birds."
"…variety, educational, crafts and food"
"…community outdoors celebration"
"…friendly atmosphere"
"… we plan to return to Carrabelle"

News Articles on the 2008 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival:

Tallahassee Democrat
Carrabelle & Apalachicola Times


Pictures from the 2008 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival

Note: The "bear cape"  is a replica of a Native American ceremonial garment.


 2009 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival



































 Bookmark and Share














 Another article about Betsy





2011 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival

  We had a great turnout and a wonderful event. 

  2011 FCBBF photos




Pictures from the 2009 Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival

2009 FCBBF Procession of Species

more 2009 photos













Release of the Florida Black Bear cubs

The bear cubs came to Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc. on February 3, 2009 weighing 2.0 and 2.5 lbs. There was a wildfire on a plantation near Lloyd on the Aucilla River. Florida Forestry had been called in to assist and one of the Forestry people was on a tractor plowing a line around the fire. His tractor started making a strange noise, so he stopped the tractor and turned it off to see if he could find something wrong. It was then he heard the baby bears screaming. The cubs were about 5 ft. in front of the tractor and he would have run over them had he not stopped. The wildfire was within six or seven feet of the cubs, so the Forestry Employee grabbed his phone, called FWC and received permission to take the cubs. The mother was never seen and probably left at her first whiff of the fire. Four days later, Forestry officials went back to the site of the den and it was nothing but ashes--powdery ashes.

The cubs were raised at Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc. this year and were released back to the wild yesterday, December 19th at an undisclosed location not far from where they were born. The smaller of the cubs (who was originally the larger one) weighed 129 lbs while the larger one (originally the smaller) weighed in at 140 lbs. During their stay at the Sanctuary, they had thrived. Volunteers at the Sanctuary would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful folks who gave donations or who brought food for them to eat (it takes a tremendous amount of food to raise a bear!). All the berries, apples, pears, grapes, garbage bags full of Oak leaves and acorns, palmetto berries, heart of palmetto, perssimmons, dates, and all the other fruit and other foods were eaten with relish.

Now that the bears have left for this year, there are still much needed donations of money to buy food for the eagles. If anyone has a used golf cart or ATV in good working order, there is certainly a great need and would be a tax deductible item since BBWS is a 50l (3) (c) tax deductible organization. Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary stands ready and waiting for the next cubs that need help to grow up in this State where hazzards for Florida Black Bears are many.

Your generous donation will be entirely used to support the Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary in it's mission to rehabilitate animals.




Thank You to our Partners & Sponsors:


Click here to view other Franklin County Events 


Supported in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council 

Bookmark and Share