Passersby on Azalea Street in Garden Oaks surely have noticed that two local residents are sporting a whole new look for graduation.
Shellye Arnold and Tina Sabuco have had their topiary bears for many years.
“We have celebrated many things through the bears since 2001,” Arnold said. “Weddings, birthdays, first days of school, even the construction on Alba Street. The bears were dressed like construction workers.”
It was the idea of Arnold’s wife, Sabuco, to set them up as a photo op for graduates. Sabuco designed the sign with neighborhood business Best Blue Print. It reads “Big Bear Hugs to the Class of 2020.”
“Merry and Marry Bear wish to congratulate all grads everywhere and invite them to come visit and take photos with them,” Sabuco wrote on the Garden Oaks Facebook page.
“We wanted people to be able to celebrate their graduation in many ways,” Arnold added. “It seemed especially fitting this year to invite people to participate with us and with the bears.”
They put out the bears early this week and got some celebrants the next day. Pam Huwar and Ana Braun brought their daughters Abby and Sophia, respectively, to get some photos with the bears to commemorate their fifth-grade graduation from Oak Forest Elementary School.
“It was a cute way to commemorate these lifelong friends completing elementary school together,” Pam Huwar said. “I’m grateful that many others have gone above and beyond to make this time special for all graduates.”
Arnold said that others are welcome to come by and take pictures or have a small celebration with the bears, such as a small picnic.