When I was a young boy growing up in Texarkana, I remember hearing about some hairy creature on the news that was terrorizing Fouke, Ark. Over time, the legend became known as the Fouke Monster and the urban legend continues today.

During that time, rumors were running rampant as to what it was -- everything from an escaped gorilla from a traveling circus, a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) and even some guy dressed up in an ape-like costume trying to scare people in this small community in Southwest Arkansas. Whatever the case, this whole story went worldwide and people, even experts, from all over the world have traveled to Fouke hoping to get a glimpse of some beastly creature that stalked the area to hear stories from the local town folks.

This whole ordeal turned into such a phenomenon that it has spawned an annual Boggy Creek Festival that runs in the month of October. This year, the festival is set from October 23-25 in Fouke. The festival, and the Bigfoot conference, takes place at the Miller County Fairgrounds where Bigfoot top researchers will gather to discuss and share information about the legendary creature of the boggy creek bottoms.

There will be plenty of great food, arts and crafts, a motorcycle parade, a concert from native Arkansas Blane Howard and a screening of the the Charles B. Pierce classic movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. The movie, based on actual events about a report of a “Bigfoot type monster” terrorizing a rural home outside of Fouke was the inspiration for the documentary-style film by Pierce in the early 1970s. The film notched a place in folklore history for the Bigfoot look-a-like, which has allegedly been seen in and around the town since the 1940s.

The festival will also feature bus tours guided by The Beast of Boggy Creek author Lyle Blackburn and local Bigfoot expert Jerry Hestand. The tour will take visitors to historical sites in the area that tie to sightings of the Fouke Monster and in the movie. Blackburn is a Bigfoot researcher, cryptozoologist and has appeared on the shows "Finding Bigfoot" and the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

In addition, there will be plenty of guest speakers including Robert Robinson and Dana Holyfield. Robinson recently completed his first book Legend Tripping: the ultimate family experience and has appeared on Monsters and Mysteries in America. Dana Holyfield has directed her own documentaries and has appeared on TV shows Mysteries At The Museum, Fact or Faked, Swamp People, Swamp Monsters, and more.

For more details on the festival, visit Boggy Creek Festival.