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Fall Festival Guide 2014: Your Guide for the Best Fall Festivals to Attend When the Leaves Start Changing

Hay bale people all set up and ready for Sugar Mountain Resort's Oktoberfest
Hay bale people all set up and ready for Sugar Mountain Resort’s Oktoberfest

by Madison Fisler Lewis

Sept. 26, 2014. Are you looking for a great way to welcome in the autumn season that is fun for the entire family? The High Country is home to a plethora of fall festivals and autumn activities that provide great fun for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy. Find the section for your area and check out all of the great things there are to do here in the High Country after you’re done watching the leaves turn.


The Boone Heritage Festival: The Boone Heritage Festival will take place on Sunday, Oct. 12, celebrating Appalachian Heritage with 18th century living history demonstrations, craft vendors, music jam sessions, children’s activities, live music, storytelling and more. The festival is held annually at Daniel Boone Park as part of the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. Don’t miss this free day of education, fun and adventure!

Harvest Boone: The fourth annual Harvest Boone Festival will be held Sept. 25-28 at the High Country Fairgrounds. The event will collect food for the Hunger and Health Coalition to add to the seven tons of food raised for the organization so far in the years since the event’s inception. Harvest Boone is the sister festival to the Boone in Blossom Festival, another community outreach festival that strives to build and support local businesses in the High Country.

Blowing Rock

Ghost Train Festival: Tweetsie Railroad’s Annual Ghost Train Halloween Festival will bring all of the thrills and chills of the spookiest season to the High Country. Each weekend, guests can take a trip back in time to the “Great Train Wreck of 1914” as they ride the spooky Ghost Train. Stroll through the Freaky Forest, visit the Boneyard and explore the 3-D Maze and the Black Hole, take a trip through the Haunted House and enjoy the Creepy Carnival. Tickets are limited, so ordering in advance is strongly recommended. Tickets and more information about this event are available at www.Tweetsie.com.

Blowing Rock Halloween Festival: The Blowing Rock Halloween Festival is a fun thrill for everyone in the family. Held in downtown Blowing Rock, the festival includes air walks in Memorial Park, fun games for all ages and a Fun House set up in the recreation center for the children. Later in the day, guests can enjoy hayrides through Blowing Rock, a Monster March, trick or treating through downtown, a moonlight scavenger hunt at Broyhill Lake and of course, a costume contest! The festival will take place from 2-9 p.m. For more information about this festival, call 828-295-5222.

Banner Elk

Woolly Worm Festival: The 37th annual Woolly Worm Festival is held annually in Historic Banner Elk. This year’s event will be held Oct. 18 and 19. The festival offers fun activities for all ages including clogging and dance demonstrations, trampolines and inflatable rides, more than 140 craft vendors, food vendors and more. But the highlight of the festival is the annual Woolly Work Race where kids race found or purchased Woolly Worms for the right to predict the weather for the coming winter. This festival is a fun community event to promote small businesses and children’s programs in the area. For more information, visit www.WoollyWorm.com.

Sugar Mountain

Oktoberfest: Grab your stein and don your Lederhosen; Sugar Mountain Resort will host the 24th annual Oktoberfest Oct. 11-12! This annual event brings all the best of Bavarian culture to the High Country including traditional Bavarian cuisine and traditional Spaten beer to wash it all down. The event will also feature an array of craftspeople and food vendors for your shopping pleasure. Don’t forget to bring the kids along, a children’s activity area will be available featuring play stations, bounce houses, hay rides, face painting and much more. Live music will be going all day, as will the 1.5-mile scenic chairlift rides to Sugar’s 5,300-foot peak. Don’t forget to shop for the upcoming ski season at the Sugar Mountain Sports and Gift Shop for special sales and deals. For more information about this event, visit www.oktoberfest.skisugar.com.

Beech Mountain

Autumn at Oz: Autumn at Oz, the annual family festival held at Beech Mountain, will present a two day event for the entire family Oct. 4-5. Children and adults alike will experience all the excitement and magic that the Land of Oz has to offer down the Yellow Brick Road. Click your heels and come take a nostalgic stroll through the Land of Oz with the whole cast of characters including Dorothy and her friends. For more information about this event or to purchase tickets, visit www.autumnatoz.com.

Countryside Hayride: The Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual autumnal hayride, showing off dazzling displays of color throughout the countryside.  Please come out and enjoy autumn on Beech Mountain with the help of the Town of Beech Mountain. This event takes place Oct. 11.

Halloween Celebration: On Oct. 25, come and enjoy a spooktacular Halloween time! Our Spell-a-bration begins at Town Hall where the little ghouls and witches Trick-or-Treat at all of the local businesses on the way to Buckeye Recreation Center.  With food, games, a bounce house, costume contest, and a haunted egg hunt, your little monster is sure to have plenty of fright and fun at Buckeye that night

Valle Crucis

Valle Country Fair: The 36th annual Valle Country Fair brings together all of the flavors, sights and sounds of harvest season in the High Country on Oct. 18. Held each year in Valle Crucis, this event features 150 craft exhibitors, live mountain music, local food, live animals, face painters and performers. For the kids, activities include pumpkin carving, fall crafts, carnival games and a kids market. Treats for sale will include fall favorites like kettle corn, cotton candy and candy apples. For more information about this event, visit www.vallecountryfair.org.


Avery Country Agricultural and Horticultural Fair: The 21st annual Avery County Agricultural and Horticultural Fair is already well underway. The fair began on Sept. 9 and will continue until Sept. 13.  This year’s theme celebrates the 100th anniversary of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. This popular fair is a family-oriented event that strives to preserve mountain heritage. Included in the event lineup are pig roundups, chainsaw competitions, cupcake wars, corn hole tournaments, corn shucking, heritage displays and demonstrations, a beauty pageant, a talent show and much more. On Saturday, attendees will get to see Carolina Mower Racing on the racetrack and a garden tractor pull. Food will be abundant and there will be plenty of rides all along the midway.


Todd New River Festival: The Todd New River Festival is a beautiful mountain festival held on the bank of the New River that will enchant you with its charm and keep you coming back to the beautiful town for years to come. This year, the 21st annual New River Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in picturesque Cook Memorial Park. The festival offers guests gospel singing, checkers playoff, crafts, storytelling and bluegrass music that plays all day long and of course food and fun for the entire family. Hop onto N.C. 194 and head on over to Todd for a High Country festival experience you won’t soon forget.


Brushy Mountain Apple Festival (North Wilkesboro): On Oct. 4, downtown North Wilkesboro will celebrate the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival once again. The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is one of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. The festival will include music, vendors, and over 150,000 people come out each year to enjoy a free day of family fun. Check out arts and crafts like furniture, carvings, and of course all kinds of apples. There will also be cloggers and other entertainment for everyone to enjoy. For more information on this festival, click here.

Mineral City Heritage Festival (Spruce Pine): On Oct. 12, The Mineral City Heritage Festival in October of each year in downtown Spruce Pine thrives on sharing the old traditional mountain traits. Folks can watch an old-fashioned train engine chugging and making apple cider, watch the pot boil with apples peeled, and the making of apple butter. For more information on the festival, click here.

Keep checking back, as new fall festivals and autumn activities are sure to be added! If you have information about a fall festival that you would like to see on our Fall Festival Guide, let us know at madison@highcountrypress.com.