LEETONIA- The Leetonia community will celebrate the cultural phenomenon that is Bigfoot.
In conjunction with The Genoskwa Project, the Village of Leetonia, Leetonia Parks Department and Leetonia Coke Ovens Commission will host The Genoskwa Fest 2014 June 13 through 15. The weekend event will feature a 5K race through town, Bigfoot expert Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum and a vendor fair.
All proceeds from the event will go toward the renovation and restoration of the coke ovens.
"With all the Bigfoot activity in Columbiana County, we thought it'd be a fun way to raise money for the coke ovens," said Andrew LaVogue of the coke ovens commission.
The festival kicks off with the "Are You Chasing Bigfoot or is Bigfoot Chasing YOU!!" 5k race at 8 p.m., registration at 7 p.m., June 13 at the coke ovens. Registration is available at active.com/Leetonia-oh to at village hall. The registration fee is $20 before April 30 with a souvenir T-shirt and $25 dollars after May 1.
On June 14 Meldrum, a leading expert in foot morphology and locomotion in primates, will speak at 1 p.m. at the Leetonia High School. Marc Dewerth of the Ohio Bigfoot Conference will also speak. Cost is $5 with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be space for approximately 1,100.
The same day downtown activities will include concession food and drink vendors, games, information booths, crafts, inflatables and face painting. The Italian-American Club will also host a dance that night in conjunction with the festival.
On June 15 Meldrum will again be featured at a one-on-one brunch at the Charles Nelson Schmick House Bed & Breakfast, sponsored by Priscilla Kurtz. Tickets are $40 in advance, but are not currently available. The day will also include a Bigfoot hunting workshop and campfire stories at the coke ovens in which participants can hike a tour of the coke ovens in search of Bigfoot evidence.
Busing will be available from the high school to downtown and the coke ovens.
Vendors will be setting up on Main Street downtown on June 13. Vendors can still apply for space by contacting Leetoniacokeovens@gmail.com or stopping in at village hall for a registration form.
Sponsors are still being accepting for the 5K race. For a fee businesses can have their names printed on the T-shirts.