Norton Mayor Joe Fawbush said the sixth annual event — celebrating the city’s 125th anniversary — starts at 6 p.m. and will feature the traditional guided woodbooger night walk along the trails of the Flag Rock Recreation Area beginning at 7 p.m.
Fawbush said the trail walk will let hunters hear several historical figures tell of their own woodbooger encounters over the centuries.
Eighteenth-century explorer and surveyor Christopher Gist, settler William Prince, 1890s rail baron and city namesake Eckstein Norton, early 20th century Flag Rock emplacer Karl Matuszczyk and a modern-day professor in search of the creature will prepare walkers for their own woodbooger encounters on the trail.
Fifteen dedicated woodbooger hunters on a first-signed basis can follow Sam DeLoach on a deep-woods search at 10 p.m. at High Knob.
Besides looking for the city’s most famous mountain resident, Fawbush said festival visitors can roast marshmallows, observe fieldcraft demonstrations by Boy Scouts, watch magician Eugene Mullins, enjoy deejay music from JGreat Entertainment and sample pizza and barbecue from on-site food vendors.
The Woodbooger Boogie contest features three categories: ages 4-8 at 7 p.m., ages 9-12 at 7:30 and ages 13 and older at 8.
Woodbooger Fest T-shirts will be on sale for $10, and craftsman Steven Paul Watson will also display and sell his work. Kids can enjoy face painting and balloon animals, and guests can try their hand at corn hole or get their pictures taken at the woodbooger photo booth.
Free glow bracelets and necklaces will be provided.
Sponsors include First Bank & Trust; Woodbooger Grill, Mi Finca & Eldorado Grill; Rodefer Moss & Co PLLC; Old Dominion Power; HCE Systems; Huddle House; Norton Kiwanis; Norton Lions Club; G2K Games; Miners Exchange Bank; Hickman Accounting; and Wildcat Pharmacy.
Admission to Woodbooger Fest 2019 is free, but a donation of two cans of food for local food banks is requested.
Parking will be at the Norton Upper Reservoir parking lot, with MEOC Transit providing free shuttle service. Overflow parking will be at John I. Burton High School, also with free shuttle service.
For more information, visit the Woodbooger Fest 2019 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2404189276321922/