Bear Week 2020 kicked off in fabulous fashion last night with the Bear Drag Race and Bear Drag Divas [pictured]. Tonight the Underbear party takes over Auckland’s Dogs Bollix! 

Bear week is a seven-day celebration of the Bear community with a range of events taking place across Auckland, including the crowning of Mr Bear 2020 on Friday night.

Alan Granville and Paul Heard were part of the organising team for the first event. Eleven years on, they still are in leading roles getting events together for the week alongside other volunteers such as Furry Friday’s Gary Edwards.


Speaking to express about the need for the week, Granville says “It all started basically because a small group of us from Urge Bar (RIP) were getting a little fed up of having to travel everywhere for Bear events, why not bring people to Auckland instead? So it kind of grew from that.”

“The fact that most of that small core group are STILL organising it, along with lots of new faces over the years, shows we must be doing something right,” Granville says.

Edwards tells express that the week is all about meeting other bears and making connections with the community both here in NZ and further afield. 

“I’ve always loved Drag Race and Drag Divas. There is something liberating about not having to present as a stereotypical butch bear.”  Edwards says when asked about the week’s highlights.

“I’m looking forward to the Hairy Beary Onesie Harbour Cruise [this coming Saturday] which is a new event this year and the more informal gatherings (such as this year’s closing event ‘Eat It & Beat It’ on Monday 27 January) are always a great place to get to know our fellow bears better.”

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