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Members of the Woolly Worm Committee: Adam Binder, Dr. Carol Schaffer, Mary Jo Brubaker, Nancy Morrison, Ray Knowles, Tom McMurray, Merryweather Worm, Mr. Woolly Worm/Roy Krege, Babette McAuliffe and Susan Freeman
Photo courtesy of Avery Chamber of Commerce

Originally published: 2013-10-09 13:20:44
Last modified: 2013-10-09 13:22:10

Wace a worm, win a wad

Caroline Harris / (

At the 36th annual Woolly Worm Festival, the winning worm’s winter predictions are needed more than ever before. The winningest wiggler will determine what the particularly wet summer will mean for the coming winter. Will it snow for every day that it rained during the summer? Only the woolly worm knows, and everyone knows that the only way to know what a woolly worm knows is to go to the Woolly Worm Festival, which will be held in downtown Banner Elk on Oct. 19 and 20.

The Woolly Worm waces will pit worm against worm as they climb up a few feet of string, veritably sprinting up a vertical football field in terms of their two-inch size. The fastest worm in Saturday’s races wins $1,000, and $500 on Sunday.

The 13 segments of the woolly worm represent the 13 weeks of winter. Black segments usually mean below average temperatures for the corresponding week and amber segments usually mean average temperatures.

Mr. Woolly Worm, event emcee Roy Krege, challenges any meteorologist to beat the woolly worm’s 87-percent accuracy rate in predicting winter weather over the last 35 years.

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