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Marion’s upcoming Bigfoot festival getting nationwide attention
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Marion’s upcoming Bigfoot festival getting nationwide attention

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In just more than a week from today, downtown Marion will celebrate its first ever WNC Bigfoot Festival. Already, this inaugural event, which is being presented by the locally based Bigfoot 911 group, is getting nationwide attention and even a humorous jab on Cartoon Network.

Recently, Mayor Steve Little proclaimed the elusive and mysterious half-man, half-ape creature as the official animal of Marion. The Charlotte Observer wrote a story about his proclamation that was picked up by newspapers all across the country, including The New York Post. The mayor has talked about the festival with both WLOS in Asheville and Fox Carolina in Greenville, S.C.

And the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network is now showing a humorous message about Marion and its claim to the legendary beast.

The black-and-white message starts off with “Marion NC has just declared the official animal of the city is Bigfoot which is not okay with us.” It continues with “because we thought Bigfoot was a West Coast thing.”

The message proceeds to chastise Marion for infringing on what is supposedly a West Coast phenomenon.

A video of this message has been shared repeatedly on social media.

Steve Bush, executive director of the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, said his office has heard from people in Michigan, Oregon and California who are coming here for this event. He added TV stations in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville are promoting it.

“Our regional chambers have asked for posters because they have heard about it,” he added.

Bigfoot 911, McDowell’s Sasquatch investigating group, teamed with the Marion Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the city to get this event off the ground.

John Bruner with Bigfoot 911 said he’s lined up vendors from Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina.

Around Marion, businesses have gotten into the spirit of the event by decorating their windows with colorful and funny images of Sasquatch. For example, the windows at Bantam Chef are painted by mural artist Toby Tyler of Hendersonville. Likewise, ERA Mountain View Properties has similar artwork. Brewer Jason Snyder at Mica Town Brewing has created the Blue Ridge Beast special craft beer for the event. Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts has cooked up a special chocolate treat humorously called “Bigfoot Droppings.”

Bush said he’s glad to see the local community come together to have fun and celebrate a weird creature which may or may not exist.

“As a chamber, we encourage our community to put their best foot forward and embrace this with a positive attitude,” he added.

The city of Marion and the MBA have taken a small Sasquatch doll around to different businesses where photos of it were made with the proprietors.

“The Bigfoot Festival is a unique and fun festival and it’s wonderful to see the nationwide attention we’re receiving,” said Boyette. “The city of Marion, the Chamber of Commerce, the Marion Business Association and other organizations see it as a great way to show off the community.”

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