A new festival in Tennessee next month could be the missing link between you and a good time.

Set appropriately at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend, the The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival is a full-day event for the whole family.

On the morning of May 22, the Bigfoot 5k and one-mile fun run will lead up to the official festival start at noon.

Race participants will receive a Bigfoot swag-bag that includes a t-shirt, medal, a neck gaiter and much more. Find more information and sign up for the race at https://bit.ly/3fQ45pd.

The single-day festival will feature crafts, food, music, and talks and demonstrations by some of the nation’s foremost Bigfoot researchers and hunters.

Cliff Barackman from the Discovery show “Finding Bigfoot” will speak and give a Bigfoot-calling demonstration.

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.

Events will be held at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, 123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, and the Townsend Visitor Center, 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway.

“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.”

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

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

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. Visitors are also encouraged to view the most up-to-date travel advisories on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

From staff reports