The Oregon Bigfoot Festival and Beyond made its long-awaited debut at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Events Center on Saturday, drawing thousands to the yeti-themed celebration, ranging from certified paranormal investigators and other “true believers” to skeptics and curious.

Founded by JC and Katie Mercer, the quirky, family-friendly event launched in Troutdale in 2017 and has quickly grown, grown and grown. Even the first year, the event drew thousands to its original home, Glenn Otto Community Park.

The festival has attracted interest from famous Bigfoot researchers (yes, it does), artists, media, and nationally syndicated radio and television personalities.

Photos by Tyler Franke.
Photos by Tyler Franke.

The focus of the event also shifted from being Sasquatch-centric to other cryptic and paranormal things (hence the phrase “and beyond” that was added to its name).

In 2019, the festival drew around 7,000 people to Troutdale (making it the biggest event on that town’s calendar). It became apparent 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 took to the fairgrounds offering cryptozoological foods and wares. unique, from “Sasquatch coffee” to Bigfoot t-shirts and other apparel.

Photos by Tyler Franke.
Photos by Tyler Franke.

This year’s iteration included a feature program hosted by author and biblical paranormal researcher Jason McLean and Mel Skahan from Bigfoot Expeditionfeaturing Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and co-star of Syfy’s ghost huntersCliff Barachman of Finding Bigfoot and much more.

The big guy himself wandered the grounds throughout the day, posing for selfies, joking with attendees and vendors — and trying to avoid heat exhaustion (can Bigfoots have heat exhaustion)?

Photos by Tyler Franke.
Photos by Tyler Franke.

When asked how he handles triple-digit temperatures, ‘Bigfoot’ joked, ‘Hey, that’s why I have all this fur: it insulates me from the environment. If I shaved just like you guys, I’d be as hot as you.

I can’t argue with a Sasquatch. For photos, find this story on our website at canbyfirst.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @canbycurrent.

Photos by Tyler Franke.
Photos by Tyler Franke.

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