The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2024. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

April 20, 2022, 9 p.m.

Mingle With Mystery at the WNC Bigfoot Festival


Mountain Glory Festival .jpg

The mysterious creature known as Bigfoot — or Sasquatch — is reported to have wandered the mountains of Western North Carolina for years. But on May 19 and 20, 2023, Bigfoot’s whereabouts will be no mystery — he’ll be celebrating with fans of all ages at the fourth-annual WNC Bigfoot Festival in historic downtown Marion.

Started by a local Bigfoot researcher who allegedly spied the towering, ape-like creature on the shores of Lake James in 2019, the two-day festival includes an educational expo and a free all-day street festival dedicated to everyone’s favorite elusive legend.

Friday afternoon’s educational expo at the McDowell Community College features regional and national researchers sharing their evidence and experiences, plus Q&A sessions, photo opps and Bigfoot merchandise.

Here is the Friday, May 19, schedule of events

Friday May 19th

  • 3:15 p.m. - Christian Macleod
  • 4:30 p.m. - Matt Seeber
  • 5:45 p.m. - Ron Morehead
Bigfoot mural

On Saturday, five blocks of downtown Marion will be dedicated to the family-friendly festivities, with vendors selling Bigfoot-themed wares ranging from soaps to keychains to T-shirts. The “Little Foot Zone” for kids will feature inflatables and other fun activities. Plenty of costumed ‘Squatches will be wandering the streets available for selfies!

A series of speakers will take the main stage throughout the day on Saturday, including members of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization and author, Zach Bales, of the Bigfooter's Atlas. And don’t miss the annual Bigfoot Calling Contest at noon, with winners announced at 5 p.m.

Here is the Saturday, May 20, schedule of events:
10:00 a.m. - Festival begins
10:15 a.m. - Dedication, Proclamation
10:30 a.m. - N.C. Squatch watchers
11:00 a.m.- The Blue Shades Band
12:00 p.m. - Bigfoot calling contest
12:45 p.m. - The Blue Shades Band
1:30 -p.m. Lori Wade, Rick Reles -BFRO
2:00 p.m. - Zach Bales
2:30 p.m. - The Blue Shades Band
3:15 p.m. - Town hall meeting
4:15 p.m. - The Blue Shades Band
5:45 p.m. - Closing ceremony

The whole town of Marion gets in on the fun, too! Look for Bigfoot-themed beers on tap at the breweries, and find Bigfoot-inspired pottery, stickers, plushies and more at the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) on Main Street. For those interested in the festival pint glasses, they will be available at refinery 13 the day of the festival.

Give your own big feet a workout by starting Saturday off at the Bigfoot Dash 5K race. Registration is $30 per person with proceeds benefiting Marion Elementary School. And don’t miss two nights of rock n’ roll at the Spillway Bridge & Co. Music Hall.

Find all of the details at Happy hunting!