MENOMINEE—The legend of Bigfoot has been part of the American culture for centuries. Some call the purported ape-like creature Sasquatch. Whatever you call the hairy legend of the forest, you’re almost guaranteed to know someone who has a story about the mystery monster or an interest in learning more. That’s where a group of Upper Peninsula volunteers comes in.

The Marinette/Menominee Bigfoot Convention Committee has set June 4 as the date for this year’s convention, to be held at Riverside Golf Course in Menominee. Previous conventions have attracted about 300 guests a year. The fourth annual gathering is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The all-day event is poised to captivate young and old alike with a slate of nationally renowned speakers, vendors with Bigfoot merchandise and a meal consisting of “big foot-long” hot dogs and beans.

Speakers include cryptozoologist and author Ken Gerhard. The veteran researcher has traveled the world in a personal quest to bring to light personal stories of cryptids and other mysterious phenomenon of the animal world, from the Loch Ness Monster to werewolves and the Chupacabra. This is Gerhard’s first appearance at the local convention and it promises to be exciting.

Returning to the joy of many is Allison Jornlin. Jornlin is also an author and researcher, specializing in the paranormal. The accomplished speaker also established the first haunted history tour in Milwaukee 14 years ago. She’ll definitely make your hair stand on end.

New to the convention but no stranger to Bigfoot investigation is Barnaby Jones, no not that one. Jones spent countless hours in the woods at the home of Barb and Craig Sulk of Menominee. Craig is the one who captured a photo 10 years ago that was so compelling the TV show “Finding Bigfoot” brought an entire production crew to his property to further investigate. Craig tragically died of cancer last year but that didn’t stop Jones from pursuing evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. Jones is the lead investigator for CAPS, which stands for Cryptids, Anomalies and the Paranormal Society.

Two other newcomers this year include Mary Sutherland and Shetan Noir. When it comes to first-hand experience with the paranormal, you need look no further than Sutherland. She literally wrote the book on one of Wisconsin’s most notorious ghostly cities, Burlington. Lying below the city’s business section are more than two dozen ancient burial mounds. As for Noir, her studies focus on the Great Lakes region, having written “Mothman and other Flying Creatures” and “Lake Monsters and Odd Creatures of the Great Lakes.” As a researcher she has also investigated Bigfoot and Dogman and has been on numerous ghost hunts.

Doors open at 8 a.m. to shop the vendor booths, the convention opens at 8:30 with a special tribute to Craig Sulk at 9. The first speaker begins at 10 a.m. Admission is $15. More information is available online at WisconsinCAPS.com.

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