Hans Solo Wins 39th Woolly Worm Festival, Owned by Young Brothers From Boone

Published Monday, October 17, 2016 at 9:22 am
The champion woolly worm in races at Saturday's Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk was Hans Solo, who was owned by brothers Reyn and Hickson Beekman of Boone, NC.

The champion woolly worm in races at Saturday’s Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk was Hans Solo, who was owned by brothers Reyn and Hickson Beekman of Boone, NC.

By Jesse Wood

The champion woolly worm in races at Saturday's Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk was Hans Solo, who was owned by brothers Reyn and Hickson Beekman of Boone, NC.

Brothers Reyn and Hickson Beekman of Boone owned the winning worm, Hans Solo. Photo by Jim Morton

Owned by a pair of young brothers from Boone, Hans Solo creeped his or her way to victory at the 39th annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk on Saturday.

Siblings Reyn and Hickson Beekman were the owners of the fastest woolly worm this side of the galaxy, according to Jim Morton, founder of the famous event.

Morton added that the great weather helped to make this year’s festival one of the most successful ever.

As tradition and folklore beckons, official festival forecaster Tommy Burleson predicted the upcoming winter’s forecast based on the color of the 13 body segments of the woolly worm.

Each segment represents one week of winter; black segments represent a harsher winter, while brown segments predict a milder winter. According to Burleson, the forecast is as follows:

  • Week 1 (begins December 21) – Normal temperatures with light snow.
  • Weeks 2-4  – Below normal temperatures with accumulations of snow.
  • Week 5-11 –  Above normal temperatures with little or no snow.
  • Weeks 12-13 – Average temperatures with light snow.
No one likes to lose, but Bailey Bartlett and Kailey Campbell were still smiling after their woolly worms were smoked in the final heat of Saturday's races at the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. Great weather helped to make the 2016 Woolly Worm Festival one of the most successful ever. Photo by Jim Morton

No one likes to lose, but Bailey Bartlett and Kailey Campbell were still smiling after their woolly worms were smoked in the final heat of Saturday’s races at the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. Great weather helped to make the 2016 Woolly Worm Festival one of the most successful ever. Photo by Jim Morton

More Photos from Todd Bush

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Woolly Worm Forecaster Tommy Burleson

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