Pennsylvania’s Annual Bigfoot Festival Draws Crowds for a Small Community in Need

Kids pose for a photo with "Bigfoot" at the annual Forest County Bigfoot Festival. (Photo: Courtesy Forest County Bigfoot Festival)

By Ashley Adams

June 9, 2023

The annual Forest County Bigfoot Festival is being held this weekend in Marienville and features a Bigfoot hunt, foot contest, and more.

Is Bigfoot real?

Are there Bigfoots in Pennsylvania?

Dave Yeany seems to think so. Although the Marienville resident has never had a personal encounter with the elusive beast — like some Pennsylvanians believe to have had — three years ago he started the Forest County Bigfoot Festival. While Yeany has some interest in the mythical creature, he isn’t a fanatic like some. In fact, his reason for organizing the festival is quite simple.

“This was a brainchild of my wife’s back during the beginning of the pandemic,” Yeany said. “We were sitting on our front porch enjoying an evening beverage and we were discussing what we could do to bring more business to our community.”

Marienville is a small community of about 3,500 people in Jenks Township, Forest County. Yeany said the area’s largest employer, a glass factory, shut down in the 1980s and the town has been on a slow decline ever since. As the owner of a maple syrup business, Yeany said he and his wife felt they needed to do something to “help the community stem the tide of the decline.”

Why a Bigfoot festival?

Yeany said he’s seen an interest in the Bigfoot myth around the region and he decided to take the idea of a sasquatch festival to the local municipal board of supervisors.

“At first they looked at me like I had three heads,” Yeany said. But eventually he got their support. Now in its third year, the Forest County Bigfoot Festival has continued to grow in size. In fact, people from as far away as Colorado and Arizona have made the trek to attend the festival, according to Yeany.

When Is It?

The 2023 Forest County Bigfoot Festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Where Is It?

At the town circle in Marienville.

What’s Going on During the Festival?

There will be more than 100 vendors selling all kinds of interesting items. Each vendor must sell at least one Bigfoot item. There will be close to 20 food trucks there as well.

In addition, there is music, a Bigfoot hunt, a Bigfoot calling contest, a biggest foot contest, a 5k run, a panel of speakers, and much more. Click here to check out a schedule of the events.

Yeany said all profits from the festival go right back to the Marienville community. He said he will continue to organize the festival annually and hopes to continue to grow not only its panel of speakers and Bigfoot experts, but also the size of the event and the national draw.

“I want this festival to keep going for many, many years to come. I never imagined it would get this big to begin with, but since it has I want it to continue,” Yeany said. “And hopefully it will bring some life back to my community.”

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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