This August Harbour City Bears have plans to break through your winter blues with a fur-fest that’s sure to get you warm. Celebrating 15 years of HCB, the group will launch Bear Pride.

The festival will start with a Crystal Ball at the Russian Coachman on August 19 to commemorate the club’s sparkling record, as well as the concurrent 15-year anniversary of the international Bear flag.

The three-day festival will continue until August 21.

“August here can be pretty boring and dull. There’s not much happening,” HCB president Jonny Bastin said. “So we saw an opportunity to put something on, to bring things back to life and stop everyone complaining.”

The new festival will have a strong arts bent, with art on offer and the first all-Bear film festival. Featuring international films as well as some homegrown talent, the film festival will run over the three days of Bear Pride.

“The art exhibition we’ve been holding for the past few years, as part of Bear Essentials, has proved really popular. At the same time though, it’s sort of got lost in everything else that’s going on at that time,” Bastin said.

“We hope that this separate festival, away from that, will provide some more space to enjoy that artistic side.”

Dance parties are also on the agenda, as are meet-and-greets to welcome interstate and international Bear visitors.

“We will be advertising overseas,” Bastin told Sydney Star Observer. “We are working closely with the other Bear clubs of Australia — who have all already started registering their interest. The Bear group of South Australia have submitted films we can use, and the festival is attracting a lot of interest.

“The Bear community is quite a close community — it doesn’t matter  where you come from.

“There’s always a sense of camaraderie, and people always know that it’s going to be a really fun event.”

info: For more on the Harbour City Bears, visit www.hcbears.com

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