A man walking across the country in a 75-pound cartoon bear suit is bringing smiles to people in Green Country.
“Bearsun” made a spontaneous stop in Tulsa on Thursday, and he said his experience in the Greenwood District was unforgettable.
With every step, he's bringing stops, stares and smiles.
33-year-old Jessie Larios from Los Angeles created the character seven years ago.
Now, Bearsun is getting international attention as he walks 2,700 miles from Los Angeles to New York to raise awareness for mental illness, autism and other causes.
Larios said he loves meeting people.
"They're inspiring me,” said Larios. “They don't even realize that, by sharing their intellectual knowledge with me, culture, where they live at, their own personal stories."
He started the walk alone, then made a friend, Ashkia Trujillo, in New Mexico, who joined him on the journey.
"And with this walk, not only am I helping him, I want to bring a message to my youth, you know, the indigenous youth to be selfless,” said Trujillo.
Their stops across Oklahoma include Pawhuska, Bartlesville and downtown Tulsa.
News On 6 gave them a tour of the downtown Tulsa area. Fans like Shelley Free were excited to see the character.
"It's motivating to see someone take the initiative to bring the awareness and to make sure that all the communities understand, the places that we've seen him stop and just promoting the joy,” said Free.
There were also moments of sadness on Bearsun's trip to Tulsa.
He never heard about the 1921 race massacre, so we visited the new Greenwood Rising Museum.
"It's painful just in general, watching another human hurt another human,” said Larios. “Seeing some of these images. Real. The truth, it's painful."
As the pair continue their journey, they said they hope to share lessons learned on Tulsa time.
Larios and Trujillo are averaging 20 miles a day, and they hope to make it to New York in November.