The 40th Annual Woolly Worm Festival takes place the 3rd weekend of October 20 and 21, 2017 in the quaint mountain town of Banner Elk North Carolina. Yes there is an admission cost to get into the festival because all of proceeds are given back to our community to enhance our schools, children’s programs, and to promote businesses and tourism in Avery County. The Woolly Worm races begin around 9:30 a.m. Each heat consists of 25 worms and races continue all day until the grand final around 4 p.m. The winning worm on Saturday is declared the official winter forecasting agent. The Sunday worm races are for prestige, fun and small prizes. In addition to the Woolly Worm Races, the festival features crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and much more.