The Oregon Bigfoot Festival and Beyond made its long-awaited debut at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Events Center Saturday, drawing thousands to the yeti-themed celebration, ranging from certified paranormal investigators and other “true believers” to the skeptical and curious.
Founded by J.C. and Katrina Mercer, the quirky and family-friendly event was started in Troutdale in 2017 and has quickly grown, and grown, and grown. Even the first year, the event drew thousands to its original home, Glenn Otto Community Park.
The festival has drawn interest from celebrity Bigfoot researchers (yes, that’s a thing that exists), artists, media outlets and nationally syndicated radio and TV personalities.
The event’s focus has evolved as well, from being centered on Sasquatch to including other things cryptic and paranormal (hence, the wording “and Beyond” that was added to its name).
By 2019, the festival drew an estimated 7,000 to Troutdale (making it the largest event on that city’s calendar). It became obvious that they had outgrown Glenn Otto, and the Mercers made plans for a long-term move to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Events Center in Canby.
The coronavirus pandemic postponed the event’s big debut for two years, but it finally came to fruition this weekend, as dozens of vendors set up shop on the fairgrounds offering unique cryptozoological food and wares, from “Sasquatch Coffee” to Bigfoot tees and other apparel.
This year’s iteration included a feature program hosted by author and biblical paranormal researcher Jason McLean and Mel Skahan of Expedition Bigfoot, showcasing the likes of Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and co-star of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, Cliff Barachman of Finding Bigfoot and many more.
The big guy himself wandered the grounds throughout the day, posing for selfies, bantering with attendees and vendors — and trying to avoid heat exhaustion. (Can Bigfoots — Bigfeet? — get heat exhaustion?)
Asked how he was handling the triple-digit temperatures, “Bigfoot” quipped, “Hey, this is why I have all this fur: It insulates me from the environment. If I shaved it all off like you guys, I’d be as hot as you are.”
Can’t argue with a Sasquatch. More photos on our Facebook page at facebook.com/canbycurrent.
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