The Quick Report

Cast Your Vote in Fat Bear Week 2023!

Fat Bear Week 2023 starts on October 4 and runs through October 10, giving the public a chance to crown the fattest bear in a tournament-style bracket. Fat equals survival for bears. Public awareness helps bears thrive.

What is Fat Bear Week?

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Since 2014, an annual celebration known as Fat Bear Week has been celebrated by the National Park and Preserve in Katmai, Alaska. The public votes in this seven-day contest, which pits bears against one another, using a tournament-style bracket. The contest concludes on what’s known as “Fat Bear Tuesday,” when the fattest bear is crowned the winner according to votes.

In 2022, over 1 million people cast votes for Fat Bear Week. Your vote brings awareness to the need for fat bears and maintaining a healthy ecosystem at Katmai. Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite fat bear in 2023.

Where to Vote?

You can cast your vote at fatbearweek.org

Why Fat Bears Matter

When it comes to bears, being fat equals survival. When a bear enters its den each winter, it will go into hibernation and not eat or drink until it emerges in spring.

During hibernation, a bear may lose up to one-third of its body weight, relying solely on its fat reserves.

Therefore, each bear’s survival depends on it eating a year’s worth of food within six months.

Fat Bear Week 2023: Event Schedule

For 2023, Fat Bear Week kicks off on October 4 and will conclude on Fat Bear Tuesday, October 10.

A SWIFT LOOK

Watch the latest episode of 'A Swift Look' with host Zoe J!



You can meet the bears competing in Fat Bear Week 2023. View more photos on Katmai’s Flickr site.

2023 Event Schedule

  • September 26: Fat Bear Junior Bracket revealed during a live play-by-play at 3 PM AKDT/7 PM EDT*
  • September 28 – 29: Fat Bear Junior voting open**
  • October 2: Fat Bear Week bracket reveal live at 3 PM AKDT/7 PM EDT
  • October 3: Premiere of Fat Bear Week in the Classroom video series on explore.org
  • October 4: Live Chat at 3 PM AKDT/7 PM EDT– Welcome to Fat Bear Week*
  • October 4 – 10 Fat Bear Week voting open**
  • October 10: Live Chat at 3 pm AK – Fat Bear Tuesday (end of Fat Bear Week)*

Check out the Bear Cams

Throughout the fall season, you can check out bears through the explore.org bear cams, which include unprecedented views of bears on Brooks River. Special live events will also be hosted weekly throughout the season.