Is Bigfoot in the Blues?
A crew from Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” intends to find out this week.
The film crew of 25 to 30 people will be shooting throughout the week in the Walla Walla Valley in preparation for their series finale, said David Woolson, president and chief executive officer of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Walla Walla Film Office.
Energy has been building around the arrival of the crew for weeks, as a local Facebook page gathered tips from local residents with Bigfoot experiences.
On Saturday, the crew — including hosts of the show — held an invitation-only “town hall” meeting at Jacobi’s Cafe to kick off their search.
The television show follows a team of four from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization: crab fisherman James “Bobo” Fay, science educator Cliff Barackman, BFRO President Matt Monkeymaker and a skeptical scientist, Ranae Holland.
Each has varying experiences with Bigfoot or Sasquatch and differing beliefs in its existence, according to an online description on the show.
They travel to areas of the country most notorious as hotspots for the enigma, interviewing locals on their own sightings, examining evidence and searching through the areas where Bigfoot has been reported, the description explained.
Woolson said he became aware Walla Walla was in the running and reached out to the production crew last November.
The recruitment and services by the Walla Walla Film Office are part of the Chamber’s Creative Economy initiative to build Walla Walla’s profile as a destination for film, television and advertising shoots.
Apart from the community’s notoriety as a home to Bigfoot, the arrival of the show is also a shot in the economy during what is typically a slow season for tourism, Woolson said.
He estimates with stays at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference, plus costs of food and other spending, the visit will result in upward of $50,000 in the community.
“This will have a really nice economic impact for literally the dead of winter here,” Woolson said.
When it airs — an exact date has not yet been set, he said — the show will give global exposure to the community.
Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8321.