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Welcome to Harrisburg

Guest Blogger - Mayor John R. McPeek

Hello there! Let me be the first to welcome you to our Shawnee Sasquatch webpage. This website is owned, operated, and managed by our Community Development Office at City Hall. It has been my great pleasure to highlight our upcoming festival and to be leading the reigns in developing this Project!

In fall of 2020, our commUNITY development committee began truly brainstorming the ideas and opportunities of the Region to highlight and promote Harrisburg and surrounding Southeastern Illinois. It has been no secret that Harrisburg, “Gateway to the Shawnee National Forest,” could easily be transformed into a destination getaway for a variety of communities in the Midwest. We had our goal. Now came the time to develop how we planned to achieve attraction and highlight the beauty of the area. As our committee began listing the assets and attributes of our community, we came upon a familiar hashtag on social media: #ShawneeSasquatch. A recognizable face at the cusp of the Garden of the Gods entrance. This staple in our community [albeit south] had become a regular for outdoor enthusiasts, instagrammers, and locals alike. Our character was set.

After in-depth discussion with local individuals and organizations, it was determined that the Sasquatch Figure was the most capable of producing our desired outcome – to resonate with tourists and visitors from across the Country. And it worked.

To date, I am pleased to say that we have had conversations with individuals from Texas, California, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma and beyond.

We are SO excited that you are interested in our small community and event. Welcome to all that we have to offer right Here in “Harrisburg.”

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