There are lots of annual fall festivals across the High Country! Check out these fun events and round up your whole crew to enjoy. Bear in mind that the routes to most of these festivals can get heavy with traffic, so it’s best to go very early in the day to have the easiest ride and to get the best parking.
If you happened to miss one this year, be sure to make a note for next time. Dates change, but in general, each festival is held the same weekend in each year (ex: Valle Country Fair is the third Saturday in October). Call Blowing Rock Information if you have questions about attending any of these autumn festivals: 828-295-4636
Autumn at Oz- Beech Mountain
September 7, 8, & 9, 2018
Autumn at Oz has changed its date to now be in September! This popular festival is typically a sold out event, usually months in advance. What was once a theme park is now open for special events like this one. Guests are guided down the Yellow Brick Road, meeting Dorothy and her friends. The park also offers live music, dancers, a petting zoo, face painting and concessions. For information about tickets, visit www.landofOzNC.com
Brushy Mountain Apple Festival- Wilkesboro
October 6, 2018
The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is a free one-day arts and crafts festival in downtown Wilkesboro. Four music stages join hundreds of arts and crafts vendors and more food items than you can eat. Some craft vendors celebrate Appalachian Heritage with old-time processes such as woodcarving, soap making, and pottery throwing. It wouldn’t be an apple festival without plenty of apples, and they’ve got plenty! Enjoy apples from local growers, apple cider, apple butter, dried apples, candied apples and more. On the Friday night before the festival, Oct. 2, gather at the corner of 10th and Main Streets in downtown North Wilkesboro for Apple Jam, a live music event starting at 6 p.m. The proceeds go to the Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club, a group that supports nonprofit organizations and families in need within the community. For more information, call (336) 921-3499 or visit www.applefestival.net.
Boone Heritage Festival – Boone
October 7, 2018
Held in the wooded setting of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, the Heritage Festival provides a fun look back on Appalachian homesteads in a festival atmosphere. The Boone Heritage Festival includes musical performances, storytellers, historical demonstrations from the colonial/Revolutionary time period, vendors, regional crafts, children’s activities, food, and a raffle. Admission is free. The free event is hosted by a local nonprofit, the Southern Appalachian Historical Association. Held at Hickory Ridge Learning Museum, festivities take place from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. For more information, call (828) 264-2120 or visit www.booneheritagefestival.com.
Todd New River Festival- Todd
2018 date TBA
Crafts, food, and fun all day with face painting and special children’s activities are offered at the Todd New River Festival. This small-town festival is held right on the banks of the New, and is a long-running tradition in Todd. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Walter and Annie Cook Park in Todd and is sponsored by the Todd Ruritan Club. Bring a lawn chair to enjoy music and storytelling. For more information, call (828) 964-1362 or visit www.toddruritan.org.
Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest- Banner Elk
October 13 and 14, 2018
Sugar Mountain’s annual Oktoberfest invites you to bring your lederhosen or dirndl and have fun! Parking, shuttle service, and admission are free for this two-day event. The the Harbour Town Fest Band and the Valle Crucis Middle School Band will provide entertainment, and a wide variety of festival food and crafts will be available for purchase, as well as traditional Spaten beer. Attendees may also purchase a ride on the ski lift to view fall color from the top of the Oma’s Meadow Slope. Oktoberfest lasts from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. both days of the weekend. The festival takes place rain, shine or snow. For additional information, call (828) 898-4521 or visit oktoberfest.skisugar.com/
Valle Country Fair- Valle Crucis
October 20, 2018
The annual Valle Country Fair is a sure favorite among locals and visitors. Overflowing with food, crafts, music, and family fun, the Fair offers an all-day immersion into all things “fall.” Watch fresh cider being pressed from local apples. Carve a pumpkin, try some brunswick stew, and browse the artisan tents. Tap your toes to some great music, watch traditional dancing, and hear classic tales spun by a master storyteller. Perhaps the best part: the festival usually coincides with peak color for the Valle Crucis area. Vendors donate at least 10 percent of their profits from the day to charity, and the festival is a force for good in the High Country. Admission is free, and parking costs $10 per car, $25 for a small bus or van and $50 for a motorcoach. For more information, contact Holy Cross Church at (828) 963-4609 or visit www.vallecountryfair.org.
Woolly Worm Festival- Banner Elk
October 20 and 21, 2018
The quirky and light-hearted Woolly Worm Festival is an event that you won’t see anywhere else! Enjoy traditional festival fare like crafts, food vendors, and live music, plus the Woolly Worm Woad Wace. Participants (you can be one, too!) bring to a woolly worm caterpillar to race up a three-foot long string for a chance to win $1,000. The winning worm is used to predict the length of winter, depending on the variation of brown and black stripes. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children aged 6 to 12 and free for children five years of age and younger. It costs $5 to race a worm. Proceeds from the festival go to support children’s charities, small business, and tourism. For more information, call 828-898-5605 or visit www.woollyworm.com