Bigfoot Festival Marion County cover

Bigfoot Festival Marion County

Believers, Skeptics, Inquisitive Fans, and Researchers descend upon the small town of Marion, North Carolina every year to celebrate Bigfoot. A small idea to bring Bigfoot enthusiasts together in Western North Carolina became the largest Bigfoot/Cryptid festival in North Carolina and one of the biggest Paranormal-themed festivals on the East Coast in 2018.

WNC Bigfoot Festival hits the streets of Marion on May 18th, 2024.

Bigfoot 911, a research group, has been searching for Bigfoot in the Mountains of Western North Carolina and beyond for many years. After several close encounters with Sasquatch, the non-profit team was inspired to host the first WNC Bigfoot Festival for believers, non-believers, skeptics, and everyone in-between. Taking place in the group’s hometown of Marion, North Carolina, the festival continues to draw an increasing number of attendees lured by all things squatchy and unusual in this Blue Ridge Mountain community.

With a growing resurgence of individuals celebrating Appalachian culture and folklore, it’s no wonder this festival exploded onto the scene with unprecedented response. Rural, mountainous regions like McDowell County, NC are steeped in a rich history of strange folklore and stories. Many of those stories speak of Bigfoot-like creatures interacting with indigenous tribes and early settlers. Stories and experiences that draw the listener in and spark the imagination of what lurks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These traditional storytelling accounts, combined with new and recent experiences, created an intriguing environment for a Bigfoot Festival to take place.

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2024’s WNC Bigfoot Festival will kick off in Downtown Marion, along the Main street thoroughfare. From 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. visitors can hear from a variety of Bigfoot researchers, take part in a Bigfoot-themed contest and enjoy live music from the event’s Main Stage, located in front of the McDowell County Courthouse.

Bigfoot – A Local Hero

The response to the Bigfoot Festival throughout the community has been overwhelming, with the Mayor of Marion, NC declaring Bigfoot the official City Mascot. Countless businesses and organizations decorate their street-facing windows and doors with depictions of Sasquatch, and the local educators created a fun-run focused on the furry, bipedal mystery.

New to the WNC Bigfoot Festival is the 1st Annual Bigfoot Jam at The Box Factory, NC (29 Logan Street), featuring live, local music kicking off the weekend celebration of all things Bigfoot. The 1st Annual Bigfoot Jam takes place the night before, on May 17th, with doors open at 4:30pm.

On the day of the WNC Bigfoot Festival, opening ceremonies will start at 10:15 a.m. on May 18th, 2024. During this portion of the event, Marion Mayor Steve Little will present event organizers, Bigfoot 911, with a proclamation naming Bigfoot the official animal of Marion, N.C.

Photographer John Sacco

Along with notable Bigfoot and Cryptid Researchers speaking throughout the day, new additions to the WNC Bigfoot Speaker roster include paranormal researchers and personalities, including Author

Margaret Langley (Haunted Broughton), and Paranormal Roadtripper Zach Bales. Regional Bigfoot and Sasquatch Researchers (NC Squatch Watchers) and B.F.R.O. (Bigfoot Field Research Organization) will also present at the festival.

The infamous Flavors on Main Bigfoot Calling Contest starts around 12 p.m., with randomly selected individuals competing for a chance to win. Names will be drawn prior to the calling contest to determine the competitors. Those wanting to be in the calling contest can enter the drawing at the Bigfoot 911 booth across from the stage on the courthouse lawn. You must get a ticket to be drawn up to call.

Marion’s nonprofit organizations, restaurants and businesses have created a variety of Sasquatch-themed activities, dishes, drinks and memorabilia that visitors can indulge in before, during and after the festival. McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) will be hosting a local artist “Bigfoot Pop-Up” Market, along with limited edition WNC Bigfoot Festival glasses and swag available for purchase from select establishments (Refinery13, Flavors on Main).

Attendees can also explore more than 165 vendor booths featuring a variety of Bigfoot-themed products. To ensure a more comfortable festival experience, the city of Marion will now have two food vendor courts for festival goers to explore when appetites hit “squatchy” levels.

Visitors at Saturday’s portion of the event are encouraged to take advantage of satellite parking areas located at McDowell Technical Community College, Corpening Memorial YMCA, and McDowell High School. Parking shuttles will operate from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. or a map of satellite parking areas and up-to-date information about the WNC Bigfoot Festival, visit

  • Friday, May 17 – The Box Factory, NC Municipal Event Center (29 Logan Street)
  • 6:00pm (doors open at 4:30pm) -1st Annual Bigfoot Jam
  • Saturday, May 18 – Downtown Marion
  • 10:00am Festival Begins
  • 10:15am Opening Ceremony – Mayor Steve Little
  • 10:30am Blue Shades Band
  • 11:00am Christian Macloud American Cryptid & Paranormal
  • 11:30am Zach Bales Paranormal Roadtripper
  • 12:30pm Blue Shades Band
  • 1:00pm Margaret Langley – Haunted Broughton
  • 1:30pm Terry Wendill Rock Hill Bigfoot
  • 2:00pm Blue Shades Band
  • 2:30pm Rick Reles & Lori Wade of BFRO
  • 3:00pm NC Squatch Watchers
  • 3:30pm Blue Shades Band
  • 4:00pm Tim Dills
  • 4:30pm Blue Shades Band
  • 5:00 p.m. – Closing ceremony

Special Notes: Plan ahead for parking

These are the sites where satellite parking and shuttle services to and from the event will be offered on Saturday, May 18. Shuttle services run 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

– McDowell High School

– McDowell Technical Community College

– Corpening Memorial YMCA

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