Marion, NC

Bigfoot Visits Marion, North Carolina

Hunter Cabot

The WNC Bigfoot Festival is Coming Soon

Are you spellbound by tales of Sasquatch? Bewitched by the legend of Bigfoot?

You're not alone. In a recent poll by the market research platform, "CivicScience", 11% of the 3445 adult Americans polled admit to believing in the existence of Bigfoot.

There are multitudes of Facebook groups devoted to Bigfoot, with members numbering tens of thousands. One such group, Bigfoot911, is based in Marion, North Carolina, where Bigfoot sightings have been on the rise since 1995.

In 2017, there was a Bigfoot sighting recorded in the Lake James area.

As of 2019, the state of North Carolina has logged over 40 Bigfoot sightings, most of which have occurred in McDowell County.
WNC Bigfoot Festival (2019)photo provided by WNC Bigfoot Festival

WNC Bigfoot Festival

The popularity of the Bigfoot legend has given way to an annual 2-day festival, where crowds fill the streets of Marion to celebrate and share their stories, buy and sell Bigfoot-themed merchandise, attend educational panels, and just have a good time in the company of fellow Bigfoot believers.

The festival is touted as the Southeast's Premiere Bigfoot Event, and was reported to have attracted 30,000 people in 2019.

"You May Come a Skeptic, but You'll Leave a Believer" - WNC Bigfoot Festival

This year's festival is scheduled for September 17-18 in downtown Marion.

Event Schedule

  • The weekend's festivities will kick off early on Thursday night, Sept. 16, with an evening of "Bigfoot Trivia" at Marion Wing Factory, located at 29 Logan Street in Marion. Sign-up for trivia at 6 p.m.
  • Bigfoot Hike, Friday, Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. along the Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway hosted by McDowell Trails Association. Explore one of the trails that Bigfoot likes to frequent in McDowell County. This hike is a 3 mile out and back paved easy walk along McDowell County’s beautiful Catawba River which is a designated NC Birding Trail location. Pre-registration required. Details here.
  • Educational Expo, Friday, Sept. 17, 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Marion Community Building Come listen to the Bigfoot experts/researchers as they relay their experiences and take audience questions.
Bigfoot Education ExpoWNC Bigfoot Festival

Main Stage Events on Saturday, Sept. 18

  • Opening Ceremonies/Festival Dedication at 10:30 a.m.
  • ShBoom Acapella Quartet at 11 a.m.
  • Speaker N.C. Squatch Watchers at 11:30 a.m. - a Bigfoot/paranormal research team for 10+ years with a weekly TV show. The team features Taylor Cook, Tate Fulbright, Toby Bolick, and [team leader] David Martin.
  • Speaker Robyn Moonshadow at 12:00 noon - a cryptozoologist, parapsychologist researcher and field investigator who had her first Sasquatch sighting at age 13
  • ShBoom Acapella Quartet at 12:30 p.m.
  • "Sasquatch the Legend" Bigfoot Costume Contest at 1:00 p.m. Register at the Main Stage at least 30 minutes before the event
  • Speaker Dwight Campbell of Dirty South Squatching at 1:30 p.m.
  • Bigfoot Calling Contest at 2:00 p.m. Have you perfected a Bigfoot roar? Do you have a signature Sasquatch call? Register at the Main Stage at least 30 minutes before the event.
  • ShBoom Acapella Quartet at 2:30 p.m.
  • Speaker American Cryptid and Paranormal Society at 3:00 p.m.
  • Speaker SheSquatchers at 3:30 p.m. - the midwest's first all-female Bigfoot research team, this trio of psychic investigators is comprised of Jen Kruse, Jena Grover, and Tammy Treichel.
  • ShBoom Acapella Quartet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Costume Contest and Bigfoot Calling Contest winners announced at 5:00 p.m.
  • Closing Ceremonies at 5:45 p.m.

And More...

Throughout the festival, the streets of downtown Marion will be filled with vendors selling food, souvenirs and crafts. As of March of this year, there were 140 vendors signed up for this year's festival!.

Several local businesses will be offering Bigfoot-themed specialty items, such as souvenir pint glasses at Refinery 13 Taproom (13 North Main), a Bigfoot Burrito at Burrito Brothers (9 North Main Street), as well as Sasquatch key chains and Bigfoot soaps.

Other attractions will be a scavenger hunt, a Bigfoot Knocking Contest, a Bigfoot 5K run, and a kids' zone which will have a bouncy house. Dogs are allowed if leashed.

Location and Parking

GPS Address: 21 South Main Street, Marion, NC

Directions: From Asheville, go east on I-40 to Exit 81. Turn right onto Sugar Hill Road for about 3.5 miles to downtown Marion.

Since downtown parking will be limited, on Saturday shuttles will run until 4:30 PM to and from the following locations:

  • McDowell High School: 600 McDowell High Dr, Marion, NC 28752
  • West Middle School: 346 W McDowell Jr High Rd, Marion, NC 28752
  • McDowell Technical Community College: 54 College Dr, Marion, NC 28752
  • Corpening Memorial YMCA: 348 Grace Corpening Dr, Marion, NC 28752

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