Woollies race Saturday, Sunday
by Anna Oakes
But it’s not just any worm. The bands of color on the woolly worm are said to represent the weather conditions during the 13 weeks of the coming winter, and each year, the annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk holds woolly worm races to select the official forecaster.
The 35th annual Woolly Worm Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, in downtown Banner Elk.
Tickets cost $5 for adults per day or $2 per child per day. Children ages 4 and younger are admitted free.
Bring your own woolly worm or purchase one at the festival to enter the races.
The winning worm on Saturday will forecast the winter weather via a close examination of its brown (mild) and black (harsh) bands. The “trainer” of the winning worm on Saturday will take home a $1,000 cash prize. Sunday’s winner takes home a $500 prize.
In addition to the races, the festival features dozens of craft and food vendors, children’s bounce houses and live music. Parking is available at Lees-McRae College.
The festival is organized each year as a joint effort of Kiwanis and the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, generating tens of thousands of dollars for each of those organizations to use in their efforts to benefit the people of Avery County.
For tickets or more information on the Woolly Worm Festival, visit http://www.woollyworm.com.