Carving out a familiar place in town
Much recognized ‘Town Bear’ began in 2002 on a whim
Tree carvings have been around for centuries. Elaine DeuPree changed things up a bit when she decided to dress up the carving in front of her house on Sixth Street. The carving goes by the name DeuBear, but many people know it as “The Town Bear.”
What became the Town Bear carving was originally a 90ft. pine tree that came to life in 2002 with the help of Whittle the Wood carver Ken Davis. The carving took Davis a full day to complete. Soon after, DeuPree started dressing the bear.
When DeuPree first dressed up DeuBear, he stood proudly with an American flag in hand. Later, DeuPree’s neighbor, Vickie Huyser, joined in on the fun and started helping out with the costumes. Huyser has made many costumes for the bear like Santa bear, Pumpkin bear and a New Year’s bear too. They dress him for the major holidays that the majority of Craig residents celebrate. They have even done a football costume for DeuPree’s grandson when he was playing. DeuBear has his own closet full of his costumes in the garage. He has quite a few to show off at this point.
Recently, DeuBear suffered from some vandalism. He was graffitied. This angered DeuPree. “They destroyed, well defaced, him and a lot of people like him.” She added that last year, one of his American flags were stolen. No one has been charged in either crime.
DeuPree said that they would dress DeuBear up for as long as Huyser wanted. “Can’t say, as long as my neighbor wants to help,” she replied when asked. She has not heard of anyone else that also dresses animal carvings but she did see one dressed up at one point in Grand Junction.
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As Christmas’s oldest debates about traditions come back around, one tends to stick out among the rest. Do you put up a real Christmas tree or a fake one?