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Bigfoot Festival 2017 Featured

Written by  Sunday, 08 October 2017 21:10
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 Visitors react to a festival Bigfoot. Visitors react to a festival Bigfoot.

By Teresa Black Bradway

 

Honobia’s Bigfoot festival is growing along with interest in the mysterious creature. Several thousand visitors flowed through the festival on Friday and Saturday, snapping up souvenirs and attending speeches from nationally-known Bigfoot searchers.


A Harvest moon rose over the woodland Kiamichi Mountains Christian Mission on Thursday to greet campers gathered for this special year in the Bigfoot search. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Patterson film which shows a creature some call Bigfoot. That film is a main subject at Bigfoot conferences and debates about whether such a creature exists.


In those fifty years, Bigfoot investigation has gone from folk stories and scattered sightings to a growing science.


The Patterson film was shot by the late Roger Patterson on October 20, 1967 along Bluff Creek in Northern California. There have been many attempts to authenticate or debunk it. Speakers at Honobia support the idea that Bigfoot is more than a legend.


“They’re massive but one moment they’re there, the next moment they’re gone,” said M.K. Davis, a speaker at the Conference. “You can be ten feet from them and not know it.” Davis said he caught a glimpse of Bigfoot when he visited the Bluff Creek area where the Patterson film was shot.


There is a science of Bigfoot, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology, Idaho State University, told the Conference. He noted a “mindboggling” number of books out in recent years by Bigfoot skeptics.


Bigfoot is “not just a collection of stories, not just folklore,” Dr. Meldrum said. “There is a lot more to it. There is a body of data.” He studied human and non-human primates, creatures who walk on two legs, and became intrigued with “the wonder” that such a creature might exist.


Individual stories are still welcome. Friday and Saturday night, visitors gathered around a bonfire to tell of their sightings or encounters with Bigfoot.


Bigfoot fun abounded. At least two adult and one child-size “Bigfoots” romped around the festival, posing for photos with visitors and greeting children. Vendors sold hairy “Bigfoot” feet, jewelry, hats, mugs and artwork.


The Bigfoot festival heard Clayton musicians on Friday morning. First, seventh graders played, then they were joined by the Clayton High School Band. Penny Cravens directed the music. Saturday, the Crowder High School band entertained.


Hundreds of athletes from adults to children swarmed the festival early Saturday for a 5K Run/1 mile walk sponsored by the Choctaw Nation. They received Bigfoot tee shirts and medals went to the winners. Free flu shots were also given by the Choctaw Nation.


The free Bigfoot music festival heard Christian rock played by the Shane Bell Band of Arlington, Texas. Also performing were The Texans, of Branson, Mo., the Little River Band, and country band Rollin', along with storytellers and local singer/songwriters.


Festival-goers lined up to purchase rides in a bright red helicopter which flew over the area. Some got temporary tattoos with Bigfoot themes. There was a children’s area with bouncy houses, an art contest, face painting, a street entertainer juggling torches and the Battiest Archer Booth.


Scholarships are given from money raised at the event. The Honobia Bigfoot Organization, a non-profit, partners with the Chahta Foundation to give the scholarships. Stephen Kinsey, scholarship chairperson, said that since 2014, forty-nine scholarships were given to graduates in four counties, from Battiest, Buffalo Valley, Clayton, Smithville and Talihina high schools.

 

bigfoot and boy

Small visitors react to a festival Bigfoot.

 

bigfootband
The Clayton High School band, directed by Penny Cravens, performed Friday

bigfoot blue coat
 A Choctaw nurse gave a flu shot to a visitor in rain gear.

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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