Ted and Deb know what it’s like to have a busy lifestyle.
For nearly 20 years, Deb worked as a city planner in Florida while her husband, Ted, built and renovated commercial and residential swimming pools. And they worked both jobs while raising seven children.
But after the Festas became empty nesters three years ago, they left Florida, bought Pine Lakes Resort in Pittsfield and jointly started a new career as campground owners.
“We wanted a business venture where we could be together, work together and grow together, and this opportunity seemed right,” Deb Festa said, adding that she has many fond memories growing up camping with her family.
And after investing nearly $100,000 in improvements, the Festas have joined the Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts chain in a move they hope will not only strengthen their park’s appeal to families in the greater St. Louis area, but in other outlying areas from Troy, Mo. to Peoria, lll.
“We’re going to have our grand opening as a Jellystone Park on Memorial Day weekend,” Deb Festa said, adding that Yogi Bear will also make his first appearance at the park that weekend.
Jellystone Parks are famous for offering fun and family activities that include everything from crafts and games to “hey rides,” birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi.
The Festas, for their part, have already mapped out five months worth of activities starting with three consecutive days of fun on Memorial Day weekend, which will include numerous games, dancing, gold panning in the campground’s gem mine and the park’s annual fishing derby for kids.
Summer activities will range from a pet weekend on June 25th and 26th, when campers can show off their best dressed dogs, cats and birds as well as any tricks they have trained their pets to perform. The park will also host an owner-pet look-alike contest.
Chocolate lovers weekend is slated for July 9th and 10th, and will include a chocolate craft and a chocolate slip-n-slide as well as candy bar bingo, while the park’s first annual Olympic Games are scheduled for July 16th and 17th. The Festas will celebrate Yogi Bear’s birthday party Aug. 13th and 14th with a sand castle competition, a tug of war, ice cream and cake. In lieu of presents for Yogi Bear, guests will be encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy that will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Autumn activities include two Halloween themed weekends during the first two weekends of October with a haunted house, a haunted hike, trick or treating and prizes for the best decorated campsite, while the weekend of Oct. 15th and 16th will feature a haunted house and a tour of the area’s fall colors. A complete schedule of late spring, summer and fall activities is available on the park’s website at http://www.jellystonepinelakes.com/. Other Jellystone Park campgrounds in Illinois are located in Amboy, Millbrook and Goodfield.
About Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts
Launched in 1969, the Jellystone Park system now boasts 75 campgrounds with more than 15,000 campsites in 30 states and three Canadian provinces. Its Camp-Resorts are among the best campgrounds in the industry with a quality reputation for being fun, friendly, clean and customer service-oriented parks. Additionally, each Jellystone Park is themed with Yogi Bear elements providing instant recognition and consumer appeal. It is truly a place “Where You Camp With Friends.”®
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts are franchised through Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Park River Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit http://www.campjellystone.com/.