Searching for Sasquatch

Willow Creek Hosts Bigfoot Researchers’ Festival

Bob Gimlin shares a friendly conversation with Chelsey Dickson, one of the organizers of Willow Creek’s famed Bigfoot Days Celebration. The Bigfoot Festival on Saturday, April 29 mimicked the annual Bigfoot Days Celebration that is held every Labor Day weekend. Dickson also helped coordinate events at last weekend’s festival./Photos by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune.

Bob Gimlin shares a friendly conversation with Chelsey Dickson, one of the organizers of Willow Creek’s famed Bigfoot Days Celebration. The Bigfoot Festival on Saturday, April 29 mimicked the annual Bigfoot Days Celebration that is held every Labor Day weekend. Dickson also helped coordinate events at last weekend’s festival./Photos by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune.

By ALLIE HOSTLER, Two Rivers Tribune

Bigfoot hunters, trackers, researchers and enthusiasts convened in Willow Creek on Saturday, April 29, to revel in all things Bigfoot alongside the cast and crew from Finding Bigfoot, a reality TV show on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet.

The crew kicked off their Klamath-Trinity quest to find Bigfoot with a festival in Willow Creek complete with a parade, bands, a Bigfoot calling contest, logging competition and a full day of springtime sunshine.

One man traveled from Iowa to join in the festivities. Another traveled from Arizona. And, a couple drove to Willow Creek from Texas.

Samuel Colosio traveled from Fortuna. Samuel is 11 years old and confined to a wheel chair.

“He’s watched every episode of Finding Bigfoot. He knows all of the casts’ stories and devotes his time to squatchin’,” his mother, Janell Colosio said.

As the film crew arrived at Veteran’s Park following the parade, festival goers began to line up in front of the stars of the show; Cliff Barakman, Matt Moneymaker, Ranae Holland and James “Bobo” Fay. Bobo’s line was the longest of the four.

Samuel Colosio waited in each of the lines—totaling about two hours—to get his wooden Bigfoot sign autographed by each member of the cast.

“He’s had 31 surgeries. Finding Bigfoot gives him something to focus on,” Janell Colosio said.

Samuel Colosio, 11, from Fortuna waited in line for more than two hours to obtain every Finding Bigfoot cast member/researcher’s autograph on his wooden Bigfoot sign. Colosio has watched every episode in all six seasons of Finding Bigfoot.

Samuel Colosio, 11, from Fortuna waited in line for more than two hours to obtain every Finding Bigfoot cast member/researcher’s autograph on his wooden Bigfoot sign. Colosio has watched every episode in all six seasons of Finding Bigfoot.

The festival was also host to legendary Bigfoot believer, Bob Gimlin—co-filmmaker of the Patterson Gimlin Film. The 59.5 second film was captured in 1967 near Bluff Creek and launched the modern day Bigfoot phenomenon.

In 2016, Leah Sottile wrote an article about Gimlin for Outside Magazine.

“More than 40 years later, the film has never been conclusively debunked. It has withstood scrutiny from scientists, forensic analysts, Hollywood special effects exerts and costume designers. No one can quite explain it—except those who believe in folklore. In that time, Bigfoot has evolved into a full-fledged American myth, propagated by a national congregation of believers who regard Gimlin as a kind of prophet,” Sottile wrote.

Last weekend, the spry 86-year-old Gimlin rode through downtown Willow Creek in a parade on horseback accompanied by local youth. Later he signed autographs and took photos with fans.

The festival was also host to legendary Bigfoot believer, Bob Gimlin—co-filmmaker of the Patterson Gimlin Film. The 59.5 second film was captured in 1967 near Bluff Creek and launched the modern day Bigfoot phenomenon.  Gimlin is a horseman and requested to ride a local horse through the parade on Saturday morning. From left to right: Bob Gimlin, Bud Hostler, Iris Hostler and Na-Rec Lyons.

The festival was also host to legendary Bigfoot believer, Bob Gimlin—co-filmmaker of the Patterson Gimlin Film. The 59.5 second film was captured in 1967 near Bluff Creek and launched the modern day Bigfoot phenomenon. Gimlin is a horseman and requested to ride a local horse through the parade on Saturday morning. From left to right: Bob Gimlin, Bud Hostler, Iris Hostler and Na-Rec Lyons.

Gimlin was also presented by the Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce with a street named after him—Gimlin Way.

Look for more information on the upcoming two-hour Finding Bigfoot Special in upcoming editions of the Two Rivers Tribune.

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