MARION, North Carolina (WLOS/CBS13) — The rain did not stop Bigfoot believers from enjoying the Bigfoot Festival for the first time in two years on Saturday, May 14 in downtown Marion, North Carolina.

It’s expected to have a big economic impact on the city of Marion, with tens of thousands of people in attendance.

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Many local businesses took part in the fun, with Bigfoot-themed drinks and treats.

One festival-goer said he attributes Bigfoot’s growing popularity to social media.

“This area has seen a lot of unusual sightings over the years, and I think in the age of the internet, people are just becoming more and more interested in this phenomenon,” said Zach Bales. “The ability for people to connect on social media is driving this phenomenon.”

Festival attendees got to enjoy acapella performances, research presentations and even a Bigfoot calling contest.

Do you believe in Bigfoot? Well, a lot of Californians certainly do.

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In 2019, Travel Channel conducted research for a new show “In Search Of Monsters” gathered data from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, and found that California had the second most reports of the creature in the country.

According to the Travel Channel, of the more than 23,000 sightings of Bigfoot in the country, there were 1,697 sightings in California. Washington is the only state with more Bigfoot sightings than California, with 2,032.

The organization’s website has compiled a county-by-county list of incidents people have had with what could possibly be Bigfoot.

Humboldt County had the most listings, with 42 since the 1950s. The most recent was back in 2007. Tuolumne County had the second most, with 37 reports since the 1960s and the most recent coming in 2008.

There were no listings of possible Bigfoot sightings in Sacramento County.

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