Marion hopes to put its best oversized foot forward for a new festival planned for September 2018.
The festival, which will celebrate Bigfoot and Sasquatch, will be held in Marion sometime in September of 2018.
The event is sponsored by the Marion Downtown Business Association, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and Bigfoot 911, a more than 7,000 member strong Facebook group devoted to discussing sightings of the gigantic creature.
John E Brunner, the self-described "commander" of the group, announced the event on Aug. 19 saying "We are gonna do it big and do it right."
The festival comes after Brunner and other members of the group claim to have spotted a bigfoot in the woods of McDowell County. The sighting garnered large media attention from across the country
After seeing a story about the sighting, a Minnesota tourist claimed responsibility telling media and authorities he was practicing his religion.
In an interview, Gawain McGregor said he dresses in an animal fur suit and wanders in the woods in order to honor the memory on Enkidu, a man-beast hybrid, and descendant of Bigfoot from The Epic of Gilgamesh. McGregor also partakes in a number of other rituals to honor Enkidu including creating statues and effigies of the creature and having sex with his wife for seven straight days as Enkidu does in the story.
Brunner disputed MacGregor's retelling of events saying the creature he saw was 8 feet tall with stringy matted hair. Brunner also said it "moved with speed unmatched by any human."
The festival will be one of many held throughout the country. Other festivals took place in Oklahoma, Oregon and California.
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