Bigfoot Festival coming to Townsend

This Aug. 8, 2019, photo shows Bigfoot masks on display at Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum in Cherry Log, Ga. The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival is coming to Townsend in May.

The Cades Cove Loop - in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park above Townsend - is known for its wildlife spotting. Deer, bear and, in more recent years, elk have been spotted in the scenic valley that draws thousands of visitors to the park every year.

But, this May, visitors to Townsend won’t have to go to the loop to see some wild life.

Set appropriately at the “foot” of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival is an epic full-day event for the whole family.

Festival goers can meet at the Townsend Visitors Center where the Bigfoot 5k begins at 9 a.m. followed by the 1-mile fun run at 10 a.m.

Race participants receive a Bigfoot swag-bag that includes a T-shirt, medal, a neck gaiter and much more. The festival starts at noon May 22, followed by other themed events at the Heritage Center to keep the younger ones constantly entertained.

“Blount County is excited to bring the Bigfoot festival to Smokies this year,” said Blount Partnership Director of Tourism, Kim Mitchell. “This outdoor festival will offer unique events for all ages.”

Bigfoot enthusiasts will enjoy chainsaw carving in the likeness of the beast as well as tethered balloon rides with Bigfoot himself. Well-versed Bigfoot experts will be on hand to answer all attendee questions and talented storytellers will enlighten the crowd with thrilling Bigfoot encounters. Plus, a surprise Bigfoot and Sassy Squatch event will headline the festival.

“Nothing compares to the mysterious world of Bigfoot,” says Brian Johnston, event coordinator. “This festival is a rare glimpse into the life of the reclusive creature.”

Robby Bowman, a third-generation Sevier County blacksmith, will heat, mold and bend metal into impressive knives. Enjoy square dancing and live music throughout the day, vendors with Bigfoot merchandise and food truck vendors with unique Bigfoot festival menus.

The Blount County and the Townsend Visitors Center will continue to closely monitor CDC guidelines as well as any state-issued orders pertaining to COVID-19.