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Fall Festivals Roundup: Several High Country Festivals Taking Place During the Month of October

Compiled by Paul T. Choate

Oct. 1, 2012. Today marks the first day of October and the fall festivals are just getting underway. There are several events taking place in the coming weeks as we hold on to those few remaining warm (or at least comfortable) weather days here in the High Country. In order for you to get the most out of “Festival Season,” check out our compilation of what’s coming up here in our area. 

Fall Festivals

Art in the Park

Art in the Park is host to 90 artisans at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more.

When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: American Legion grounds, Wallingford Street, Blowing Rock
More info: 828-295-7851 or 877-750-4636

Seventh Annual Festival of Artisans

This yearly community fundraiser features the sale of arts and crafts created by friends and members of Rumple, as well a food such as soups, pot pies, cakes and cookies. A silent auction will be held featuring a variety of original items created by Rumple artisans and items donated by local businesses. The festival will also include breakfast foods and lunch in the front lawn of the church. The $5 per car fee supports local charity.

When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1218 Main St., Blowing Rock
More info: 828-295-7675

Autumn at Oz

Follow the yellow brick road right up to Beech Mountain for Autumn at Oz. Park in the large meadow across from Town Hall on Beech Mountain Parkway to take a tour of the private garden at Oz. Guests will tour Aunt Em and Uncle Henry’s farm and meet Dorothy and friends. Among the fun, visitors will find a concession stand featuring new and old Oz trivia, a small petting zoo, a mini-Oz museum, mountain music, square dancers and face painting. The tour takes 1.5 to two hours and Oz-esque costumes are encouraged. Strollers and wheelchairs will have to be parked. 

When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day
Where: Land of Oz Park, Beech Mountain
More info: 800-468-5506 or autumnatoz.com

Ashe County High School Band Festival

The fall band festival at Ashe County High School will feature bands from eight high schools from North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

When: Saturday, Oct. 13
Where: Ashe County High School, 184 Campus Drive West Jefferson
More info: 336-846-2400 

Festival of the Frescoes

The Festival of the Frescoes is a traditional country fair that lasts all day and is fun for all ages. There will be art, crafts and baked goods available.

When: Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: on the grounds of the Mission House across the street from the Holy Trinity Church, Glendale Springs
More info: 336-877-3607 or ashefrescoes.org

Second Annual Boone Heritage Festival

Spend a day celebrating Appalachian heritage with living history demonstrations and craft vendors, as well as live music and dance on stage. Interpreters in period clothing will show you how to make your own candles and crafts such as cornhusk dolls. Demonstrations include 18th Century skills such as cooking hearthside, weaving on a loom, throwing a tomahawk, shooting a flintlock rifle and more.

When: Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Hickory Ridge Homestead on the Horn in the West grounds in Boone
More info: 828-264-2120 or booneheritagefestival.com

Todd New River Festival

Todd is the archetypal small mountain town with a festival on the bank of the New River that will have your family talking about it and its charm for days. The musical line-up is always top notch with bluegrass and mountain music talent. The festival includes crafts, food and fun, gospel, a checkers playoff, storytelling, puppet shows, raffle drawings and performances. Hop on N.C. 194 to Todd for a real High Country treat.

When: Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Walter and Annie Cook Memorial Park, Todd
More info: 828-964-1362 or by clicking here

21st Annual Oktoberfest

Grab your beer stein, put on your lederhosen and head to Sugar Mountain Resort for the Oktoberfest celebration. An array of artisans and craftspeople open their stands at 10 a.m. each day. Youngsters have their very own place for fun at the Ski School Play Yard from noon to 4 p.m. A $10 fee per child per day includes hayrides, a chance to meet Sugar Bear and Sweetie Bear, and several Airwalk stations. Mountain bikers and families can hop on a 1.5-mile-long chairlift ride to Sugar’s 5,300-foot peak. The 15-piece Harbour Towne Fest Band will provide Bavarian tunes from noon until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors may also dine on typical German foods, such as Bratwurst, Knackwurst, German Potato Salad, sauerkraut and pretzels, as well as traditional American cuisine starting as early as 11 a.m. Admission and parking are free. Rain or shine, the festival will go on!

When: on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
Where: Sugar Mountain Resort, 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain
More info: 800-784-2768 or oktoberfest.skisugar.com

Old Car Cruise

Take your classic car out for a cruise on Saturday afternoon in West Jefferson. See other eye-catching classic cars and meet with fellow owners and enthusiasts.

When: Saturday, Oct. 13, 4 to 8 p.m.
Where: Backstreet in West Jefferson 

35th Annual Woolly Worm Festival

It’s time to name your woolly worm and whip them into shape for the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. The races begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continue all day until the final at 4 p.m. The winning worm receives $1,000 and is declared the official winter forecasting agent. In addition to the races, the festival features crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and more. More than 20,000 folks show up to take advantage of the family-oriented weekend. All proceeds go to support children’s charities throughout the country.

When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day
Where: Downtown Banner Elk
More info:  828-898-5605 or woollyworm.com

34th Annual Valle Country Fair

Hands down, one of the best places for early Christmas shopping is at the annual Valle Country Fair. Admission is free and ample parking is available for just $5 per car. A whopping 150 craft vendors will set up shop to showcase all of their juried work. Food concessions include Brunswick stew, barbecue, chili, hot dogs, hamburgers, baked goods, homemade jams and jellies, freshly pressed apple cider and apple butter. Fairgoers will also enjoy a variety of live entertainment from musicians and dancers. Holy Cross Episcopal Church will sponsor the event. No pets are allowed.

When: Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Valle Crucis Conference Center grounds off N.C. 194
More info: 828-963-4609 or vallecountyfair.org

Blowing Rock Halloween Festival

Plan for an afternoon of non-stop fun with hay rides, airwalks, games, a scavenger hunt and the Monster March Costume Parade. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes and scavenger hunt winners.

When: Saturday, Oct. 27, evening
Where: Downtown Blowing Rock
More info: 828-295-5222