Westminster, South Carolina kicked off its annual Bigfoot festival today, Oct. 14, and the festivities are definitely worthy of their legendary namesake. The upstate community is gathering for the third year of “learning, listening, and eating” on Main Street. Additionally, in May, you can head to Tennessee for the Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival for its own unique experiences.
The South Carolina festival begins today from 4:00 to 9:00 pm, and continues tomorrow, Oct. 15, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. There are food, activities, learning opportunities, and contests. If you missed the festivities today, not to worry. There are many more things to do tomorrow as well.
South Carolina Bigfoot Festival Activities Continue Into Saturday
Food and craft vendors will be available throughout the day from 10 am to 6 pm. 11:30 am marks the start of the contests, beginning with a kid’s costume contest. There’s also an adult costume contest, as well as a kid’s and adult’s calling contest, which I assume means who can make the best Bigfoot call. 2:30 marks the Look-A-Like contest, and I’m definitely going to keep my eye on social media when the winner is announced for that one. Lastly, there’s the kids and adults tree knock contest, and the men’s and women’s big “foot” contest. I don’t know what those last ones mean but I’m intrigued.
The festival also includes live music from local bands Tugalo Holler, Agile, and Warcry. There are also six different speakers at the festival to educate visitors on the legend of Bigfoot in South Carolina. Cryptozoologist, founder of the Kentucky Sasquatch Team, and creator of Cook Cryptid Research, Michael Cook will take the stage at 10 am. Additionally, cryptid researchers Daniel Benoit, Lee Woods, Rick Weles, and Tim Dills will speak, as well as Carolina Cryptid Field Research Organization founder Terry Windell.
What the Myth Means to Westminster, South Carolina
The South Carolina Bigfoot Festival is a welcoming place for both staunch believers and open-minded skeptics. Some locals believe that Oconee County has had the most Bigfoot sightings in the entire state since 1991. According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, Bigfoot has even been spotted in South Carolina a handful of times this year alone.
“We’ve had thousands of people show up,” Westminster Mayor Brian Ramey told WYFF out of Greenville. “We have people from overseas come. We have people from all over the country come.”
Ramey doesn’t quite believe in the myth, but he does appreciate what the Bigfoot festival does for the town’s economy. According to a report from the city, past festivals quadrupled daily earnings at local restaurants. Westminster’s mayor is hoping for more of the same this year.
Westminster has a population of 2,500, but the number of people in the town doubles during the festival. Daniel Benoit, one of the speakers tomorrow, drives 7 hours to the festival and has even had a Bigfoot encounter of his own. “This set of eye shine started low and started raising up and raising up,” Benoit told WYFF. “And by the time it stopped and reached its full height, it was towering over the 6-foot-1 by another 2 feet.”
“People spend money at Disneyworld all the time, and nothing at Disney World is real,” said Mayor Ramey. “So, ‘Hey, come on up here, enjoy Bigfoot, listen to some of our speakers.’ They might change your mind.”