Believers and curiosity seekers check out 2nd annual International Bigfoot Conference
It's been 50 years since the infamous Patterson-Gimlin film captured an alleged sighting of Bigfoot in northern California, but the research, speculation and fascination with the creature is still alive and well in the Tri-Cities.
Vendors and speakers set up shop in the Three Rivers Convention Center on Friday in Kennewick for the 2nd annual International Bigfoot Conference.
Olympic Project is a Bigfoot research group based out of Washington state. The project’s co-founder Derek Randles says, “This is a really cool format for all of us to get together and share our research. Talk about what each individual group or individual is doing as far as how their furthering the research world."
The conference features several scheduled speakers, including co-host of Animal Planet's “Finding Bigfoot” Cliff Barackman and Bob Gimlin, who was involved in the famous Bigfoot film.
Many vendors have also returned this year, including Jeffrey Beyers with his CreatuReplica's action figures of the North American Sasquatch and the Himalayan Yeti.
“Last year we talked to so many nice people that had never been to a convention before. I mean it was just a very wonderful experience."
But according to both Beyers and Randles, the conference also gives visitors a place to talk about Bigfoot and share their stories and thoughts without feeling ridiculed.
"It's a very like-minded crowd so everybody's here to learn about Bigfoot and so it's a lot of fun. There's no arguing. There's no fighting like there is on social media," says Randle.
Olympic Project’s David Ellis, who is one of the scheduled speakers, adds that "the most important thing to walk away from this is that some people do treat this subject seriously."
The International Bigfoot Conference continues Saturday and into Sunday. Doors open at 8 A.M.
Tickets are $45 for a three-day pass and $25 for a single day.
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