Get Breaking News

Enter your email address to sign up.

Receive special offers from

Mr. Woolly Worm-in-training Adam Binder calls a race. Photo by Caroline Harris

Originally published: 2013-10-22 15:28:16
Last modified: 2013-10-22 15:29:01

Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival a rousing success

Jamie Shell / (

One of the largest crowds to ever attend in its 36-year history, the 2013 Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival brought visitors from near and far for the annual event that left worms (literally) and owners (figuratively) hanging by a string.

An estimated 15,000 people entered the festival grounds at historic Banner Elk Elementary School on Saturday, Oct. 19, to kickoff the weekend's festivities. The smell of myriad foods and a wide variety of vendors offered a unique experience for each festivalgoer.

The primary business of the Woolly Worm Festival was, of course, the races. On Saturday alone, 66 race heats involving more than 1,600 worms were raced on the big board, with local legend Tommy Burleson among the worm judges and both veteran Master of Ceremonies Roy Krege and assistant Adam Binder keeping the massive crowd lively with conversation and commentary.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to