Leetonia to host Big Foot Festival next weekend

LEETONIA- The village will host the Leetonia Coke Oven Commission Genoskwa Festival- or the more spirited Big Foot Festival- June 13 through 15. The festival welcomes both “those who believe in Bigfoot and those who just have not seen him yet,” and will provide entertainment, bigfoot howling contest, speakers, food concessions, information, fun and games for all ages.

Activities kick off on Friday, June 13, with a 5K run starting the Leetonia Beehive Coke Ovens. The race begins at 8 p.m., with late registration at 7 p.m. Food vendors, crafts, pony rides and a bounce house will line Main Street in Leetonia during the three-day event.

There will also be a presentation by Dr. Jeffery Meldrum, professor of anthropology at Idaho State University, at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Leetonia High School. Entry is $5. His interests encompass the evaluation of footprints purportedly left by an unrecognized North American Ape, commonly known as Sasquatch, as well as Bigfoot. Meldrum authored a volume to the Discovery Channel documentary “Sasquatch: Legend meet Science.”

Other world renown speakers also attending the festival will include Joedy Cook, Mark DeWerth and William Allen Barnes. They will also be speaking at the high school.

On Sunday, June 15, a one-on-one brunch with Meldrum will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Charles Nelson Schmick House in Leetonia. Tickets are still available and can be purchased for $40 in advance by emailing interest to leetoniacokeovens@gmail.com. The brunch is limited to the first 50 persons.

The festival includes entertainment by “Dusty Rose,” a Bigfoot howling contest, line dancing and more including a presentation on the history of the Leetonia Coke Ovens by Bill Meredich, president of the Coke Oven Commission.

All proceeds from the festival will be used for the renovation and preservation of the historic Leetonia Coke Ovens. The Beehive Ovens are remnants of the Industrial Revolution which brought a demand for coke, a fuel derived from burning coal.

Anyone with questions can email the commission at leetoniacokveovens@gmail.com.