MARION — The City of Marion is celebrating the world’s greatest hide-and-seek player, Bigfoot, during the 2nd Annual WNC Bigfoot Festival on Friday, Sept. 13, and Saturday, Sept. 14.

Starting at dusk on Friday, visitors can bring their lawn chairs to West Court Street in Downtown Marion and enjoy an open-air screening of the 1987 classic “Harry and the Hendersons” starring John Lithgow sponsored by Mountain Marquee Theater.

On Saturday, Sept. 14, the festival kicks off with a Bigfoot Chase 5K at 8 a.m. Participants will make their way through downtown Marion and some wooded areas around town where they might see Bigfoot himself. Finishers will receive a medal, T-shirt and custom gift from The Makery in Marion. Advanced registration is encouraged for this event.

At 10 a.m. the festival’s opening ceremony will begin with City of Marion Mayor Steve Little presenting a proclamation naming Bigfoot Marion’s official animal. Following Mayor Little’s proclamation, visitors will get a rundown of the day’s schedule of activities from event organizers and have a chance to enter their names into a drawing to compete during the festival’s Bigfoot calling contest.

Ten lucky individuals will have their name drawn to compete in the contest happening at noon on Saturday. During the calling contest, Bigfoot himself will be present to judge calls. Winners will receive tickets to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park and custom medals from McLaughlin’s Ribbons in Raleigh. The winner of the contest will be announced at the festival’s closing ceremony at 3:45 p.m.

Visitors interested in sharing their Bigfoot stories should plan on attending the festival’s Bigfoot Town Hall. Television star, Cliff Barackman, from the show “Finding Bigfoot,” will host this event starting at 1 p.m. on the McDowell County Courthouse Lawn.

This year’s festival features something for everyone. More than 190 vendors will have their wares and food truck items for sale. Foodies and craft beer aficionados can enjoy a variety of Bigfoot-themed small plates, main dishes and craft beers created by local restaurants and breweries. The Mountain Lake Realty Kid’s zone will offer parent’s a place where their children can delight in sweet treats, inflatables and games at no charge.

Additional information about the WNC Festival can be found at facebook.com/wncbigfootfestival/.

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