Discover nature with MDC at SEMO District Fair Sep. 7-14

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) at the Southeast Missouri (SEMO) District Fair in Cape Girardeau Sep. 7-14.

To celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday this year, MDC will host a birthday party Sunday, Sep. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. Entrance to the fair is free that day until 11 a.m. The birthday party will feature the “Hokey Pokey with Smokey,” cupcakes (while supplies last), and Smokey Bear party favors. There will also be a special guest appearance by Southeast Missouri State University mascot, Rowdy Redhawk, as he arrives to wish Smokey a happy birthday.

“Rowdy wouldn’t miss the chance to celebrate his friend’s birthday,” said Nate Saverino, Southeast Missouri State University’s Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. “Rowdy’s a bit younger than Smokey, so he might have to have a little fun with that.”

Smokey Bear will also participate in the SEMO Fair Parade Saturday, Sep. 7. The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. beginning at Capaha Park and end at the SEMO Fairgrounds.

Visit MDC’s Conservation Building during the fair to see live fish, snakes and amphibians. Learn about native plants that help butterflies and other important pollinators, eagles and how to be fire wise at your home.  Ask MDC staff conservation-related questions, get educational materials, and have fun.

“We truly enjoy interacting with everyone who visits our pavilion at SEMO Fair because it gives us an opportunity to answer questions and help people discover nature while they’re having a great time at the fair,” said Sara Turner, MDC’s manager of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. “We hope people will stop by, enjoy Smokey Bear’s birthday party and celebrate conservation with us.”

Learn more about MDC programs, events, and other offerings at