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Wedding Bells For Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear officiates at first wedding.

Despite being dead for nearly 40 years, Cocaine Bear has officiated a wedding in Lexington, Kentucky. Hollywood heartthrob, Oscar-ceremony crasher — is there nothing this bear can’t do?

The revelation that a bear could officiate a wedding in Kentucky was first floated by local expert Griffin VanMeter, one of Cocaine Bear’s caretakers at the KY Fun Mall, in Roadside America’s feature story about the coke-obliterated bruin. We have long chronicled odd places that host marriage ceremonies — caves, presidential temples, drive-thru chapels, even the SPAM Museum — but this was the first in which the officiating presence was a deceased bear carcass.

Bride verifies the ceremony has been properly documented.

According to Griffin, the Roadside America story prompted multiple couples to inquire about Cocaine Bear’s availability. Armando Elizondo and Alexandra Venturino were first on the list, and were married in the presence of Cocaine Bear — with Griffin as a human backup — on March 27, 2023.

Cocaine Bear, known for frequent costume changes at the Fun Mall, wore a dignified top hat for the happy occasion. It was attended by a small crowd of family, friends, well-wishers, and the press, as well as “Cokey,” the Fun Mall’s huggable Cocaine Bear mascot, who entertained the children in attendance and reminded everyone not to do drugs.

Cokey spreads his message of safety.

Photographs: Cassie Lopez

Sections: Places No Comments » Team Field Report

Cocaine Bear

Kentucky Fun Mall

1315 Winchester Rd, Lexington, KY
Kentucky Fun Mall, in the Eastland Shopping Center. I-75 exit 110. Turn west onto US-60/Winchester Rd. Drive two miles. Shopping Center entrance on the right, just past the green Welcome to Lexington sign.
M-Sa 10-6, Su 12-6 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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