A Bigfoot screaming contest is in the works for western North Carolina

Start rehearsing your ear-shrieking screams.

A Bigfoot calling contest is in the works for the first Western North Carolina Bigfoot Festival, which is planned for later this year in Marion.

Bigfoot 911, a group of N.C. Bigfoot researchers, is putting together the festival after drawing national attention for an alleged Bigfoot sighting in August in McDowell County. The festival is Sept. 8, noon to 6 p.m., on Marion’s Main Street. It will feature some of the top Bigfoot experts in N.C., and some of the best callers, organizers say.

The Animal Planet network has described a Bigfoot’s sound as both a mournful howl and a “high pitched scream...like a woman being murdered in the woods.” Sometimes they are long and drawn out, Bigfoot experts say.

Also planned for the festival is a “knocking contest,” a reference to the belief the Bigfoot communicates by knocking on trees. John Bruner of Bigfoot 911 says search teams will sometimes use knocking on their expeditions as a way to draw out the creatures. “Sometimes, they respond,” Bruner says, adding that Bigfoot calling can be more varied. “We all have our own take on that.”

The festival will include evidence of the Bigfoot’s existence, he says, such as foot print castings, as well as audio and video recordings.

Bruner notes the affair will be family friendly with food, entertainment, children’s activities, and a raffle for two tickets to join a Bigfoot 911 expedition. A portion of festival proceeds will be donated to the Disabled American Veterans.

Marion is about 90 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Bigfoot 911 is taking applications for vendors, as well as sponsors for the festival. If you or someone you know is interested, contact Bigfoot 911 at bigfoot911bobr@gmail.com. For details, visit WNC Bigfoot Festival on Facebook.

Belief in the existence of Bigfoot widespread across the country, despite lack of definitive proof. National Geographic reports there is a wealth of circumstantial evidence: eyewitness accounts, blurry photographs, mysterious footprints. Bigfoot 911 is among the groups that seek to prove the existence of the animal.