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The Oregon Bigfoot Festival gets loose at the fairgrounds and visitors enjoy exploring all that entails

For one day, crowds of people came to Canby to give Bigfoot, UFOs and similar phenomenon some love and attention.

And thanks to the work done by JC and Katrina Mercer, it was all possible at Canby's first Oregon Bigfoot Festival at the fairgrounds. And the "big guy" wasn't alone in drawing plenty of attention of fans of Sasquatch, UFOs, the paranormal and the TV shows and merchandise that celebrate them were, in turn, celebrated in the day-long event.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN BAKER - The vibe at this year's Oregon Bigfoot Festival in Canby was certainly one of 'I Believe' and visitors expressed that sentiment in a plethora of ways during Saturday's festival.

And people were only too happy to delve into the mysteries and memorabilia surrounding it all.

"This is so very much my aesthetic," noted Portland's Caroline Chalmers, who along with her husband Brent were clearly delighted to be braving the heat to pursue their passions. "Oh, we love this stuff. We are truly believers. Now, I'm more of a Loch Ness Monster fan, but my husband is from Oregon, so Bigfoot is his guy. It's just too much fun to be here and celebrate this."

PMG PHOTO: JOHN BAKER - There was all kinds of merchandise related to Bigfoot, UFOs, the paranormal and more during Saturday's Oregon Bigfoot Festival.

"She right, we're in it pretty deep," Brent added. "I'd heard whispers of this show a few years ago and then noticed it on the fairground's schedule about three years ago, but because of the pandemic it kept getting cancelled. Well, here it is, and I couldn't be more excited. It's pretty cool."

And "cool" would be the operative word as the excitement over a bunch of vendor booths, chances to grab autographs from TV personalities and hear panels on targeted topics seemed to leave visitors unconcerned about the heat.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN BAKER - Getting to Canby for the Oreogn Bigfoot Festival was a serious undertaking for folks on Saturday.

"Oh, it could be 110 degrees and I'd still have come," Salem's Laurie Saunders said. "I love this type of thing and am excited to meet and hear from people who are on some of the shows I watch. It's also really nice to be around a lot of people who have the same kind of interests that I do. Feels comfortable and accepting, which is nice."

Despite the heat, JC noted that things went pretty well throughout the day, even as the temperatures approached 100 degrees.

"We had a great turnout, even in the 100 degree heat," JC noted. "We had some vendor cancellations and a couple of guest speakers that couldn't make it due to the heat.

"The celebrity guest speakers didn't disappoint," he added. "Everyone absolutely loved the Sasquatch character provided by Ravenous Studios. I would also like to give a shout-out to my wife, co-owner Katie Mercer. She didn't sleep for 48 hours preparing final details and troubleshooting to that everyone could enjoy the event. Overall, for only two of us producing this event, we are proud to say it was a success."

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