(828) 898-5605 info@averycounty.com

43rd Annual Woolly Worm Festival

Buy your Woolly Worm Shirt here!

Click here to shop!

43rd Annual Woolly Worm Festival
Regretfully Cancelled
Third Weekend in October, October 17-18, 2020
Festival Hours: Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday 9 am – 4 pm
Located at the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School
185 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC 28604

We are making plans for exciting “Virtual Woolly Worm Happenings” so stay tuned to woollyworm.com and averycounty.com.

Press Release:

It is with deep sadness that the 2020 Woolly Worm Festival of Banner Elk has been cancelled.  This is not a decision the Woolly Worm Board of Directors has taken lightly. Every year, profits from the festival are given back to our community to enhance the lives of children and to promote business and tourism in Avery County.  Local businesses and organizations also benefit from festival visitors to our community.

After careful consideration and guidance from local and state agencies as well as the Boards of Directors from the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk and the Avery County Chamber of Commerce the decision was made to cancel this year’s onsite Woolly Worm Festival on October 17 and 18, 2020. We know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

Your safety comes first, and we’re grateful to all who planned to be a part of this year’s Woolly Worm Festival, and who’ve made it a fall tradition since 1978.  We hope you’ll join us when the Festival returns to Banner Elk in 2021.

In the meantime, the Woolly Worm Festival’s Board of Directors will be developing a link from our website to many of our vendors so that you will still be able to support and purchase some of their wonderful handicrafts online.  The Board is also working on a way to decide which Woolly Worm will determine this winter’s weather forecast with virtual online races. Plans are being made for a way that children can interact with Merryweather online. Please continue to check our Woolly Worm website (woollyworm.com), Avery Chamber website and the Woolly Worm Facebook page for further details as plans develop.

We would like to congratulate Hallie Tucker of Mountain Community Bank on winning the Corporate Race!


The Annual Woolly Worm Festival takes place each fall on the third weekend in October in downtown Banner Elk. This festival is annually attended by an estimated 20,000 guests. The Woolly Worm festival is one of the High Country’s largest and most unique festivals.

Up to 1,000 worm racers vie for the top position and the honor of having their worm predict the upcoming winter weather at the festival’s famous woolly worm races. The winning worm on Saturday takes away a whopping $1,000 and on Sunday, $500. Worm races are limited so be sure to come early and register your worm.

In addition to the worm races, there will be delicious food, over 150 craft vendors, great music all weekend, trampoline & inflatable rides, fall foliage and beautiful mountain views. Shop for woolly worm memorabilia, souvenir shirts, and hand-crafted items that will become family heirlooms. There will be something for everyone!

The Festival is sponsored by Banner Elk Kiwanis and the Avery County Chamber of Commerce and all proceeds are given back to the community to enhance our schools, children’s programs, and to promote business and tourism in Avery County.

Admission is $6.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Children 6-12, Free for 5 and under.

For more info, click here to visit the main website.

Phone: (828) 898-5605
Email: chamber@averycounty.com

Travel Guide

Explore the Extraordinary

Home of the Annual Woolly Worm Festival
and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visitor, Relocation and Business Guide

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Silver Partners