Thousands to make their way to Marion for Bigfoot Festival

MARION, N.C. — Just about everywhere you look in Marion Friday, there are signs of Bigfoot from the store fronts to businesses selling items up and down Main Street.

After two summers of canceled events, tens of thousands of people from across the country are expected to make their way in search for Bigfoot.

Whether you’re a believer or not, business owners told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that the money generated by the event is very real. Tegan Strautmann’s shop, TS Headwear, has even made hundreds of hats for the festival this weekend.

“I think a lot of people are just intrigued about something that may or may not be real in our woods. Economically, it’s definitely helpful for our little town,” she said.

At the Marion Community Building, John Bruner showed Faherty where his group took a photo near Lake James. He said it proves what many there believe -- that Bigfoot exists.

“You know some people would say you’re crazy, there’s no Bigfoot. What would you tell them?” Faherty asked Bruner.

“You know, I certainly believe that everyone has the right to believe in what they want to believe in. But I have seen it and I know it’s real,” he responded.

There are also the “SheSasquatches” who traveled to the festival from across the country. They, too, claim to have seen Bigfoot in the mountains of Tennessee and discovered footprints in Minnesota.

“We’re looking at satellite imagery and we’re looking to see where big foot would be before we get in the woods. So we’re really narrowing that space down quite a bit,” said Jen Kruse, with “SheSquatchers.”

“So I’m like, ‘Hey guys, how do I turn on the recorder? How do I turn on the recorder?’ And they were talking amongst themselves and not listening and I’m like, ‘He’s right there,’” said Tammy Treichel, with “SheSquatchers.”

There is concern about some rain this weekend, but remember some believe it’s easier to find Bigfoot prints when the ground is wet.

Doug Watson owns a general store in town which sells shirts, cups, ornaments, and even seasoning sets with Bigfoot on them. He said some of the businesses in Marion will make more money this weekend than they will in an entire month.

“I believe Bigfoot is good for business,” he said.

(WATCH BELOW: Bigfoot - What you need to know)