Original Jellystone Park Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Door County campground was the start of international franchise.

At least a dozen families with three generations of Door County Jellystone Park campers are expected to attend the park’s 50th-anniversary celebration the weekend of June 28-30.

“We’re going to have an anniversary cake for all campers, a DJ dance, two special parades, professional fireworks and other special activities for families who literally have multiple generations of Jellystone Park campers,” said Jill Kavicky, who has owned the campground with her husband, Jim, for 17 years. 

Jill grew up camping with her family in the 1970s at the original Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park just south of Sturgeon Bay.

“My best memories growing up are here at this campground,” she said. 

Robert and Susan Byers started camping at the Door County Jellystone Park 16 years ago. They keep going back because it offers quality family camping experiences.

The Byerses also like the people who camp there and note that they have met some of their best friends at the campground.

“My kids still want to go camping there,” Robert Byers said, adding that their son is now 26 and their daughter is 18. 

“It’s just a fun, relaxing place to go,” he said, adding that they camp in the same campsites they’ve had for the past 10 or 12 years. They also like the campground’s access to the scenic bicycle trails in the area.

The Kavickys have made many improvements to the Door County Jellystone Park, including upgrading the park’s facilities, restrooms, and plumbing and electrical infrastructure. They have also made sure that the park retains its family-friendly feeling.

“We have curfews at night. We have night rangers. Everybody watches out for everybody else,” Jim said, adding that their park is not the place for late-night partying or using foul language.

“I will kick people out if they use bad language,” he said. “If I hear the F-bomb dropping, they’re out of here.”

Jellystone Park locations are famous for their amenities, organized family activities and theme weekends with Yogi Bear. Amenities and activities at the Door County Jellystone Park include miniature golf; three swimming pools; a dance and movie pavilion; horseshoe pits; basketball, tetherball and volleyball courts; pedal carts; four playgrounds; a Goodie Shop; and a general store. 

Although Douglas Haag opened the Door County Jellystone Park on July 4, 1969, the Kavickys are celebrating the park’s 50-year anniversary the last weekend of June to avoid any conflicts with Independence Day festivities.

To read more about the Door County park, including its schedule of activities and theme weekends, visit To learn about the 80-plus Jellystone Park locations in the United States and Canada, visit There’s more about the first Jellystone Park in the summer issue of Door County Living, which will be available throughout the county soon.

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