LEWISTON — The Great Falls Balloon Festival Board of Directors has released the 2019 festival theme in partnership with the Maine Forest Service: “Bee Safe, Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

This year’s theme was based on Smokey Bear celebrating a major milestone, his 75th birthday. Smokey will be joined by two special friends. Accompanying Smokey Bear will bee (you guessed it!) Special Shapes, Queen Beeloon & Bunch of Bees.

“Why forest fire prevention? Well, quite obviously, what draws locals and visitors alike to Maine are our coasts, forests and mountains. We are surrounded by such beautiful bounty … why wouldn’t we want to protect it?,” asked Tracy Collins, festival president. “It only seemed appropriate when approached by the Maine Forest Service that we take part in such a huge milestone for an iconic figure. Adults and kids can bond over Smokey Bear!”

The board of directors worked closesly with local designer Hannah Dugie of E+H Creates to come up with a logo that embodies Smokey the Bear as well as Maine’s Forest Service. She was inspired by Smokey Bear as well as a Scout badge.

The Great Falls Balloon Festival activities include balloon launches, moon glows, parades and pancake breakfasts.