October 16, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Downtown Banner Elk
Shawneehaw Ave S
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Adults $6, Children 6-12 $4, Children 5 and younger free
Woolly Worm Festival @ Downtown Banner Elk | Banner Elk | North Carolina | United States

Since 1978, this quirky, world-famous festival has been used to predict the upcoming winter weather for the North Carolina High Country.

According to local legend, the 13 bands on the woolly worm (woolly bear caterpillar) represent the 13 weeks of winter. Brown bands indicate a mild week, black bands indicate a cold, snowy week. Since every woolly worm has different colors, the Woolly Worm festival holds races to determine which worm is used to make the forecast. The owner of Saturday’s winning worm receives $1,000, and Sunday’s winner gets $500. The festival also includes craft vendors, food, live entertainment and rides.

This two-day family event annually draws more than 20,000 attendees and takes place during the traditional peak weekend for autumn leaf viewing in Banner Elk and the Blue Ridge Mountains.