MARION, N.C. (WSPA) – The second annual Western North Carolina Bigfoot Festival drew a big crowd to Marion Saturday.
One of the festival’s founders, John Bruner, told 7News an estimated 44,000 people came out for it.
“We had people coming down from the festival,” said Jacob Lawing, who is the manager at Mountain Marquee, which is a movie theater, bar, and restaurant in Marion. “I mean Main Street was packed. You could barely walk through it. There were people just shoulder to shoulder all day.”
The festival included about 170 vendors and drew people from as far away as Italy, according to Bruner.
“I think we did more business yesterday during the festival than we did since school went back into session,” said Aaron Shirley, who is a co-owner of Mountain Marquee.
For a town of fewer than 20,000 people, the influx of “Bigfoot believers” helps bolster revenue.
“It’s very good for business here,” Shirley said.
With national attention, the festival also helps give the town a sense of identity around the legendary Sasquatch.
“There’s a bit of a division. Some of the people in Marion hate the festival. They think it makes us look stupid,” Lawing said. “I for one am really happy about it. I mean it brings business to Marion. It put us on the map.”