The WNC Bigfoot Festival, McDowell County’s biggest event two years running, is cancelled for 2020.
On Friday, the committee for the festival issued a statement on Facebook that “with extreme regret” this year’s event will not take place.
“To the fans and festival goers — We are exploring every Avenue for the continuation of this festival for years to come,” reads the statement. “To the vendors — We have sent emails with instructions and options.”
The WNC Bigfoot Festival for 2020 was originally planned to become a two-day event for Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19 and would cover more of downtown Marion.
“We were looking forward to this year’s festival as I'm sure the large majority of you were,” reads the statement from the festival committee. “We had lots of new things planned as well as a bigger area and multiple days. Now we will look forward to planning next year’s event and reconnecting with everyone. Until next year keep on rockin!”
The McDowell News heard Friday from Joneric Bruner of Bigfoot 911, the local group Bigfoot investigation group that organizes the festival. He is the son of John Bruner, who started Bigfoot 911 and the festival.
"The festival committee considered several things in its decision," said Bruner to The McDowell News. "Number one, being being the safety of our patrons and vendors. Number two is the recent cancer diagnosis and treatment of the founder John Bruner. And number three, is the size and scope of this year's festival made it very hard when running minimal staff. When we weighed everything out we decided it was better to cancel and put all our efforts into next year. And with that yes we will be back for 2021. We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone."
First held in 2018 and again in 2019, the WNC Bigfoot Festival quickly became the most successful event in McDowell County. Last year’s festival drew more than 44,000 people to Marion and they came from all over the United States and even a few foreign countries. The event has been featured on regional news media as well as CNN and National Public Radio.
But like so many other public events, this year’s festival is called off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the second Brews, Blues & BBQ Festival that was scheduled for Sept. 5 is cancelled. The N.C. State Bluegrass Festival at Tom Johnson Camping World that was scheduled for Aug. 13 through 15 won’t happen this year. Organizers of these events say they were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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