Yogi Bear hangs out with kids at a water area at the Jellystone Park in the Wisconsin Dells.

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. — the third oldest Jellystone Park in the United States — is celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday (June 27) with a laser light show, free cake and champagne, a golf cart parade and a big-screen video with half a century of memories.

“We already have families here who have been camping with us for all 50 years,” said Brent Gasser, a second-generation owner and operator of the park.

The park was established in 1970 by Gasser’s parents, David and Elinore Gasser, as the third Jellystone Park in Leisure System Inc’s franchise network that has grown to include more than 75 locations across North America.

The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in the Wisconsin Dells has the distinction of being the only Yogi Bear-themed campground location that has been continuously owned and operated by the same family for five decades.

“Three generations of my family have owned and operated this campground for 50 years,” said Gasser, who currently runs the park with his children, Brennan, Katrina, Cate, Brent, Natalie and Chris.

During their 50-year history, the Gasser family and their employees have earned more than 100 campground industry awards and employed more than 1,000 international exchange students from 50 countries. This year, however, the park is operating with only a third of its normal employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted the State Department to prohibit most foreign students from working here because of the high levels of unemployment created by the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, Gasser said his park is even busier than it was last year, with lots of new people coming to experience his park for the first time. “I have honestly never seen so many new people in the history of this park. That’s 50 years!” he said.

Gasser said he and his staff take great pride in creating a  setting and activities that are welcoming to families. He said they achieve this by continually looking for ways to improve park operations and the guest experience.

Park improvements completed last year include newly renovated bathrooms throughout the park and new decorations for the park’s Boo Boo Chalets, which sleep up to eight people and include full bathrooms, kitchens and great rooms that are set up in wooded locations overlooking Mirror Lake.

“We are immersing guests in a full character experience with daily visits from Boo Boo to their log cabin,” Gasser said.

The Gasser family also expanded its new recycling and composting program and is now utilizing Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and Cindy Bear to make it kid and family-friendly.

“Each guest is given a blue recyclable bag and green compost bag upon arrival and directed to the many recycle stations throughout the park,” Gasser said. “We hope to reduce landfill waste by 40 percent this year. We tested the program in 2018 and reduced the amount of garbage by 25% and recycled many products back into the environment in useful ways.”

Jellystone Park locations are famous for their family amenities, activities, and theme weekends with Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and Cindy Bear. The Jellystone Park in the Wisconsin Dells is also the only campground in the Waterpark Capital of the World that features 12 hours of daily planned activities and 20 consecutive theme weeks with special events, including a Halloween Week during the last week of July that features the only haunted house in the Wisconsin Dells.

The Jellystone Park in the Wisconsin Dells features numerous on-site amenities including a miniature golf course, a Gaga ball pit, playgrounds, boat rentals, and a 10,000-square foot water play area with 25 interactive water features such as dumping buckets and water cannons and five water slides.

To see a complete activity schedule as well as information on RV and tent sites and rental cabins, please visit www.dellsjellystone.com