‘Vote for Holly!’ Meet the cheerleaders of Fat Bear Week

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Brown bear (Ursus arctos) or grizzly at Brooks Lake with people on an observation platform in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA. | Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

Christy NaMee Eriksen discovered Fat Bear Week during her “Summer of Bears.”

There were bear sightings in her neighborhood in Juneau, Alaska, that summer of 2020, including one that took some chocolate from her garage. She didn’t mind. In March, she had lost her father, “who was a very larger-than-life kind of guy,” she says. The bear, in a way, reminded her of her dad. “So I start calling him Pop because he was just always around,” Eriksen tells The Verge. Later that year, she adopted a dog who happened to be named Bear.

“And then I came across Fat Bear Week, and I was like, ‘It is my summer of bears’ … it felt like a poetic invitation,” says Eriksen, a writer. Currently, she’s also a “Fat Bear Week…

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