12 Mar 2019
Take it from a local, September is by far one of the best times to visit the Asheville area. Wedged between the bustling summer season and the renowned fall leaf season, September is a little quieter, the air is a bit more crisp, and it’s also one of the best times to explore the outdoors. It also happens to kick off the fall festival season. Food festivals, beer festivals, art festivals, apple festivals, music festivals...you name it, we got it. Fall is the time of the year we get to show off everything that makes Western North Carolina truly special.
One of the most unique festivals showcasing Western North Carolina is the WNC Bigfoot Festival in downtown Marion. The Bigfoot Festival was a surprise hit in 2018 and drew in nearly 30,000 locals, tourists and squatchers looking to celebrate the elusive and mystic creature. Due to the unexpected success of its inaugural year, the 2019 WNC Bigfoot Festival has expanded to two days, running Friday, September 13 from 6pm to 10pm and Saturday, September 14 from 9am to 4pm.
The Bigfoot Festival is an all-encompassing festival that showcases local beer, local food and restaurants, music, arts, crafts, and culture. People may laugh and debate about Bigfoot’s existence, but they will show up and sit through the Town Hall session enthralled with the stories from locals about their experiences and Bigfoot sightings. Last year’s highlights were the Bigfoot Calling Contest, Bigfoot Knocking Contest, Town Hall Meeting and Bigfoot 5K, which are likely to return to this year’s festival.
One of the major additions to this year’s festival is that Marion’s Mountain Marquee theater will be showing Paranormal Bigfoot and Big Fur during the festival. On Friday night, there will be an outdoor showing of Harry and the Hendersons while merchants will stay open late to help kick off the festival. Cliff Barackman from Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot will also be making an appearance.
There will be 150 vendors at this year’s festival, selling a wide range of handcrafted goods and Bigfoot inspired items. Along with craft vendors, educational vendors such as Asheville Cryptid Society and Expedition Bigfoot will also be attending. An expanded Kids Zone and photo ops with Bigfoot make this festival fun for the whole family.
Bigfoot Festival doesn’t disappoint when it comes to food and drinks. Nearly all of the restaurants on Main Street open their doors and feature a Bigfoot-inspired treat for festival attendees, such as Bigfoot Droppings from Bob’s Donuts, a huge apple flavored doughnut, drizzled in chocolate. Other standouts include the Bigfoot Burrito from Burrito Brothers and Bigfoot Trax ice cream from Artesana. Local brewer, Mica Town Brewing Company, offers a featured Blue Ridge Beast draft. Refinery 13 Taproom will also have several local drafts, including Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale.
Places to Stay:
Greybeard has a little over 100 homes within half an hour to downtown Marion. About 30 of these homes are located in Gateway Mountain, a private gated community on a 3,000 acre nature preserve (what better place to do your own squatching) with a private lake, waterfall park, and trout pond accessible for guests. Many of these homes also feature amenities like hot tubs, outdoor fire pits, game rooms and incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Black Mountain is also an excellent location to spend the weekend, putting you within 30 minutes to Marion and 20 minutes to downtown Asheville.
Check these homes that are within 30 minutes to Marion:
- Moondance - 5.5 miles
- Kibbin at Mackey Ford - 10 miles
- Bear Tracks - 10 miles
- Cabin at Two Creeks - 15 miles
- Jarrett Creek Cottage - 15 miles
- Grandview Lodge - 18 miles
- Sweetwood Lodge- 18 miles
- Timber Hideaway - 18 miles
- Dancing Bears Cabin - 19 miles
- Lakeview Knoll - 21 miles
- Lake Tomahawk Retreat - 21 miles
WNC Bigfoot Festival Information:
Friday, September 13, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Downtown Marion, NC
Additional Information and Festival Updates: WNC Bigfoot Festival Facebook Page