Memorial bear statue honors legacy of Mayor Mac “Bear” Hodges

Published 1:52 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

By Ellen Brabo, For Washington Daily News

In a heartfelt tribute to the late Mayor Mac Hodges, the Washington Harbor District Alliance and the Mac Hodges Memorial Committee hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the unveiling of a striking bear statue at Mac “Bear” Hodges Festival Park, Sept. 13. Erected in memory of Mayor Hodges, the bear statue stands as a symbol of enduring respect and admiration for his contributions to Washington’s community.

“Mac is a legacy, and this just shows how much people really thought about him,” shared Lou Hodges, the late Mayor Hodges’ wife. “It means a lot to me that people still remember and love Mac.”

This commemoration was made possible through the assistance of Washington’s Parks and Recreation department, which skillfully installed the bear sculpture on August 28th.

The poignant journey leading to this momentous occasion began with the inaugural Mac “Bear” Hodges Music Festival held last year, an event that successfully raised funds for the creation of this memorial. The Mac Hodges Memorial Fund, born from this endeavor, will continue to serve as a vital resource for future improvement projects at Festival Park.

“[Mac’s] passion was Festival Park and downtown,” shared Lou Hodges. “So, the funds collected by the memorial fund will be dedicated to park improvements and will subsequently benefit the downtown area.”

Among the transformative ideas contemplated for the park’s enhancement are the installation of stage lighting for the gazebo and the creation of a dance floor, promising to elevate Festival Park’s appeal as a vibrant cultural hub.

The spirit of celebration and remembrance will continue with the 2nd Annual Mac “Bear” Hodges Music Festival, scheduled for October 8th, from 2 to 8 PM, at Festival Park. For more information about this event and to stay connected with the ongoing efforts to honor Mayor Mac Hodges, please visit