In the fall of 2004, several minds came together in agreement that providing a fun excursion to Erie's Premier Indoor Water Park and Resort, Splash Lagoon, would be a great time for bears from around the area to just have fun. The water park had opened with great fanfar on February 28, 2003 and had become a tourist hot spot for Erie, Pennsylvania.
After a few discussions, John Riley and Gary Snyder worked with several other folks in the Erie community and meetings got underway for Erie's first ever bear event. From January thru March of 2005, John and Gary along with a small team of dedicated individuals brought together several key elements to help create a one-day event.
Starting off with Splash Lagoon in the afternoon, attendees would afterward be free to travel about Erie or retire to the choice hotel, the Ramada Inn downtown. A brief cocktail hour was hosted at the Ramada Inn downtown in the evening to be followed by shuttle service from the hotel to Erie's Trance Dance Club. Here an evening of entertainment and dinner were provided with guys hanging out, dancing and making new friendships thru the night.
That one day event turned out to be a success with over 80 guys enjoying the water park on Saturday afternoon. That night over 150 were in attendance at the bar night outing for a small dinner buffet and entertainment provided by Kendall.
From there, a one day event has turned into an annual bear weekend with an average attendance of over 200 men each year. Based on the feedback and requests over the first three years, it was at Drenched Fur 4 that an important decision was made with the activities line-up. That year the committee made the decision to move the Splash Lagoon outing from Saturday afternoon to a private after hours event where the attendees would not have to contend with crowds and lines. By moving to an exclusive event at night, the run attendees have enjoyed having four hours of endless use of the water park slides, features and slides.
Each year the run committee has worked at bringing enjoyable entertainment from the bear community at large while keeping the run smaller in scale. The host hotel locations have changed but the core principle has stayed the same; enjoying an indoor water park with the guys that make up the bear community.
Now that you know what we're about, we look forward to you joining us for the next installment!