Bear statue installed at Festival Park 

Published 10:44 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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A bear was spotted in Festival Park early Wednesday morning (Sept. 6). Thankfully, it was just the new statue honoring the legacy late Mayor Mac Hodges left on the City of Washington. 

The statue is located at Mac “Bear” Hodges Festival Park (119 Water Street) next to the children’s playground. It was designed so that kids (and kids at heart) can take photos with it. The bear design was selected by the Mac Hodges Memorial Committee and honors the former mayor’s nickname. 

According to the committee, Washington High School Coach Choppy Wagner gave Hodges the nickname, because he looked like a bear running down the field and matched his “larger than life personality.” 

“Hodges always looked for fun in life while equally valuing service and community. Besides his love for his family, his true passions were ECU Athletics & the City of Washington,” per a press release from the Washington Harbor District Alliance and the Mac Hodges Memorial Committee.  

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the statue will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. at Festival Park.