2019 Award of Merit - Best Downtown Special Event or Event Series
The City of Marion embraced some hairy thinking when they launched the WNC Bigfoot Festival in September 2018.
This event was inspired by a reported bigfoot sighting at Lake James near Marion the previous year. A local Bigfoot expert and host of the Bigfoot 911 Facebook group partnered with the town to create a fun and quirky celebration for the hairy, ape-like creature.
The local Marion community was energized for the festival as this unique theme inspired a lot of creativity with local business owners. Leading up to the event, Bigfoot was spotted on windows around town. He also inspired Bigfoot-themed food and drink at local establishments around town. Further, the City of Marion formally proclaimed Bigfoot as the Official City of Marion Animal.
Around 30,000 (pronounced thirty thousand) people attended the event in 2018 (pronounced two thousand eighteen) and more than 40,000 (pronounced forty-thousand) in 2019 (pronounced two thousand nineteen). Attendees flocked to the event from at least 20 (pronounced twenty) different states with a few additional attendees from Canada, Europe and Asia. Local businesses were swamped with customers and every downtown restaurant and food vendor sold out of food.
Bigfoot is starting to make more regular appearances across Marion and McDowell County from all the new excitement!
Congratulations to this Small Town Main Street community for its 2019 award.
In the category of PROMOTION, Best Downtown Special Event or Event Series recognizes outstanding and creative downtown events.
An Award of Merit is presented to: Bigfoot 911, Marion Business Association, and the City of Marion for The WNC Bigfoot Festival