Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk 2024

The Woolly Worm Festival celebrates its over 47 years on October 19th and 20th, 2024.   The residents of Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain villages have celebrated the coming of the snow season with The Woolly Worm Festival. The event is hosted by the Avery Chamber of Commerce.  The third weekend in October determines which worm will have the honor of predicting the severity of the coming winter. That worm earns the honor by winning the final of many hard fought races up a three-foot length of string set on the main stage and a chance to win $1000.00.

This is how the woolly worm race works:
As the late Charles Von Canon explained, “The Wooly Bear caterpillar has 13 brown and black segments that correspond to the 13 weeks of winter. The lighter brown a segment is, the milder that week of winter will be. The darker black a segment is, the colder and snowier the corresponding week will be.” The winner of the final heat becomes the survivor of the fittest and is used to for prognasticating. Its been done that way for decades by the local farmers.

Don’t miss this one of a kind festival where racing woolly worms is a highlight. A true predictor of the coming winter weather is the honor bestowed upon the winner of the final heat on Saturday. Woolly Worms are racing all day for this two day event with the Championship race held Saturday at the end of the festival close to the day’s end for the festival. You will find great food, a worm race, live entertainment, and lots of arts and craft vendors.


Hemlock Inn offers lodging for the Woolly Worm Festival.  Hemlock Inn is located downtown Blowing Rock and offers Blowing Rock Lodging for the event and other Festivals and Events.  Check out Blowing Rock accommodations and the specials that we have going on right now on Blowing Rock Lodging and Blowing Rock accommodations.  We are downtown inn in Blowing Rock nearby to all of the areas activities and Blowing Rock Restaurants.

Click here to find out more details on the Woolly Worm Festival. 

The Hemlock Inn has been lovingly owned and operated by the Summers family since 1994.