Woolly Worm Festival

Banner Elk

Always the third weekend in October

Oct. 16-17, 2021

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

According to 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, t... Read More

Singing On The Mountain


June 27, 2021

Singing on the Mountain is a free gospel music festival that began in 1924 and is the longest running old-time gospel convention in the Southern Appalachians.

The festival takes place in late June in McRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Singing on the Mountain begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. It features music from a half dozen or so bands, along with a gospel message delivered at 1 p.m. by a noted minister or evangelist... Read More

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games


July 8-12, 2021

Founded in 1956, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans are considered America’s grandest Scottish-themed games.

The spectacular setting in MacRae Meadows at the base of historic Grandfather Mountain provides an ideal setting. The games include brawny athletes, delicate dancers, noisy bagpipe band parades, rocking Celtic music and plenty of kilts. Visit the heritage tent to research your family tree and the... Read More

Art on the Greene

Banner Elk

Memorial Day weekend, July Fourth weekend, Early August weekend, Labor Day weekend

May 29-30, July 3-4, Aug. 7-8 & Sept. 4-5, 2021

Four times each summer, the green at the Historic Banner Elk School comes to life with Art on the Greene, featuring quality, hand-made arts and crafts from select regional and national artisans.

The shows occur Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, an early August weekend and Labor Day w... Read More

A Small Town Christmas

Banner Elk

Always the first weekend in December

Dec. 3-5, 2021

Create lasting memories during a special weekend filled with traditional holiday activities. A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk begins Friday evening with the lighting of the town tree and a holiday play performed by Ensemble Stage at the Historic Banner Elk School.

Saturday’s events begin early in the morning and stretch well into the evening. Festivities include: a 5K... Read More

Concerts in the Park

Banner Elk

Thursday evenings, July 1 through Aug. 26

Concerts in the Park, sponsored by the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, are a popular summer activity. Each Thursday, well-known local and regional bands perform live shows at the Tate-Evans Town Park Amphitheater. The fun dance music — from Southern rock to oldies, soul, country and funk — is appropriate for all ages.

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to enjoy the music under the evenin... Read More

Trunk or Treat

Banner Elk

Oct. 31, 2021, 5-7 p.m.

One of the most popular family Halloween events in the North Carolina High Country. Children (and adults) come dressed in costumes for a fun trick-or-treat experience from the trunks of vehicles.

The festivities include a costume contest for kids, and a separate contest for four-legged friends. Be sure to check out the haunted house and hay rides. Come early for free face painting from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Read More

Golden Easter Egg Hunt

Banner Elk

The Saturday eight days before Easter

March 27, 2021

A great family event that takes place the Saturday eight days prior to Easter at the Historic Banner Elk School.

Beginning at 10 a.m., kids 12 and under can search for eight golden eggs hidden in Tate-Evans Town Park. Each of the eight eggs contains a ticket that can be redeemed for a prize between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce.

Eac... Read More

Fourth of July Parade

Banner Elk

July 4, 11:00 a.m.

One of the most popular (and most fun!) Fourth of July parades in North Carolina takes place each Independence day in Banner Elk. It’s a parade that makes Uncle Sam proud, with star-spangled vehicles, people and animals parading down Main Street surrounded by huge crowds.

The Banner Elk Fourth of July parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Lees-McRae College campus library and flows through the heart of this quaint resort town in the Blu... Read More

Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain

Village of Sugar Mountain

Always the second weekend in October

Oct. 9-10, 2021

Sugar Mountain Resort brings a taste of Bavaria to North Carolina’s High Country each fall with its Oktoberfest celebration. This two-day, family-friendly event features Bavarian music, a Bavarian costume contest, great food, regional artists, a children’s fun area and barrels of Oktoberfest beverages for partaking.

It’s a weekend of beautiful fall fo... Read More