This weekend, downtown Marion will be packed with visitors during the second annual WNC Bigfoot Festival.
The local celebration of the alleged half-human, half-ape hairy creature has become Marion’s biggest event. It will happen this evening and all day Saturday.
Here is what you need to know about the second WNC Bigfoot Festival:
• This evening when it gets dark, a block of West Court Street will be closed for an outdoor showing of “Harry and the Hendersons.” The light-hearted PG-rated movie starring John Lithgow is about a family’s accidental encounter with the cryptozoological creature in the Pacific Northwest. John Bruner with Bigfoot 911 said this is being done in cooperation with Mountain Marquee, which is located on West Court Street. The movie will start once it gets dark similar to the old drive-in theaters.
• The festival actually will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the downtown. The festival is free to attend, but food and merchandise come at an additional cost.
• The Bigfoot Chase 5K will take place from 8-10 a.m. It will start and end at East McDowell Middle School.
• 10:15 a.m. - Bigfoot Festival opening ceremony on the courthouse lawn.
• Noon - Bigfoot calling contest on the courthouse lawn.
• 1-2:30 p.m. – Bigfoot town hall meeting with Cliff Barackman of “Finding Bigfoot” show.
• 3:45 p.m. – Bigfoot Festival closing ceremony/announcement of Bigfoot calling contest winner on the courthouse lawn
• Parking: Visitors are strongly encouraged to use the festival’s four different satellite parking lots located at McDowell High School, West McDowell Middle School, McDowell Technical Community College and Corpening Memorial YMCA. Each lot will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and a shuttle will run to and from the festival until 4:30 p.m. Limited parking for those with disabilities will be available at Marion City Hall and the Marion Community Building.
• Cooling stations: First Baptist Church of Marion, the Marion Community Building and various locations around the festival, run by McDowell EMS, will serve as cooling stations during the event. Individuals can take a break from the festival and escape the heat in these spots.
For additional festival details, visit: Facebook.com/WNCBigfootFestival