Marion, N.C. (WSPA) – It took a man in Gaffney five months to build a 700 pound, 9 foot tall steel statue of Bigfoot.
He wanted to make it for the 2nd annual Bigfoot Festival in Marion, NC this Saturday, where Bigfoot enthusiasts from all over the country will gather to celebrate their search for Sasquatch.
John Bruner says he’s been calling Bigfoot ever since the 9- foot tall beast in the mountains of McDowell County allegedly struck him.
“It was about 9 feet tall,” He said. “It had hair all over its body, kind of like a shaggy dog.”
Two years ago, he says he had another encounter.
“When it turned to walk away from me, I [saw] the muscles in its legs flex,” he said. “You can’t do that in suits.”
What he saw, he says, is very similar to the massive steel Bigfoot statue made by Gaffney welder Jay Lucas.
“The face is a little different, but size-wise, it’s dead on,” Bruner says.
Lucas says he spent ever weekend and night welding it.
“I just decided what the heck, let’s see if I can make a Bigfoot,” he said. “I welded each hair onto him individually. There’s at least 17,500 individual hairs on him.”
Lucas is bringing the statue to Marion’s 2nd annual Bigfoot festival that Bruner is organizing, which will feature 150 vendors with Bigfoot items for sale along with Bigfoot experts with evidence they’ve gathered from their expeditions.
“I think it’s important to educate people because Bigfoot are real,” Bruner says. “I am so far past are they real or not. Yeah they’re real. I saw them.”
The Mayor of Marion will name Bigfoot the official animal of Marion for the day of the festival and Cliff Barackman from the TV show Finding Bigfoot will be there.
There’s also a Bigfoot calling contest judged by experts. Bruner believes the calls hold a special meaning yet to be discovered.
“Those mean something for other Bigfoots and I’m trying to figure out what those mean,” he says.
The 2nd annual Bigfoot Festival in Marion is free and is happening from 9am to 4pm in downtown Marion on Main Street on Saturday, September 14th. The Bigfoot Calling Contest is at noon.