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With the Woolly Worm Festival set to take place in Banner Elk this coming Saturday and Sunday,
kids like Bailey Bartlett of Linville have been having fun are getting their woolly worms ready to
race for fame and prizes. Photo by Jim Morton

Originally published: 2013-10-16 16:09:49
Last modified: 2013-10-16 16:09:49

Wild and woolly times at Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival this weekend

Jamie Shell / (

Given the rollercoaster ride of recent winters and after one of the wettest summers in memory, it is more important now than ever to fall back on one properly proven prognosticator to deliver a prediction for this year’s winter weather.

Returning for its 36th edition, the Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival will bring thousands of visitors to downtown Banner Elk for a two-day festival of races, food and fun this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20.

Every year, the young and young at heart bring their woolly worms to compete at the festival in heats, as the worms are raced up a 42-inch vertical string.

Each heat winner of the races that take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday earns a $20 prize and advances to the semifinal round. Victory in that matchup earns the winner a prize of $100. The winner of Saturday's final race takes home the grand prize sum of $1,000.

On Saturday race day, more than 1,200 woolly worm caterpillars compete for
the top prize, as well as the chance to determine the official weather forecast for the coming winter.

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