Annual Fall Events in the High Country of North Carolina

Pumpkins at a fall festival in the High Country of North Carolina

It’s no secret the Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful place to watch the transition into fall. If you aren’t out hiking or enjoying the scenery, there are many annual fall events you can attend to get you in the mood for autumn in the High Country of North Carolina.

4 Autumn Events to Attend Near Boone

Whether you’re near Boone or the West Jeffersons, the High Country hosts multiple family-friendly fall festivals, fairs, and autumn events. Here are 4 of the best fall events for you to try this year.

#1: Valle Country Fair

Valle Crucis, surrounded by mountains, has one of the picturesque views in the High Country. The Valle Country Fair is hosted by the Church of the Holy Cross and the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Everyone is invited to celebrate the new harvest season.

Vendors from across North Carolina, Tennessee and the surrounding areas come to sell their quality hand-made crafts, home-cooked food and mountain music.

Admission is free and paid parking is available adjacent to the fair. The event will take place on October 16 this year across from Holy Cross Church at 122 Skiles Way, Banner Elk, NC 28604.

#2: Ghost Train at Tweetsie Railroad

During the month of October, the Wild West turns spooky. Each evening, Tweetsie Railroad’s “Casey Bones” takes over as the Engineer and takes guests on a journey of ghosts and ghouls with surprises around every corner. There’s also a haunted house and freaky forest. These activities are recommended for ages 8 and older.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tweetsie Railroad (@tweetsierr)

For kids of all ages, they can also take part in trick-or-treating on Main Street, a black-light puppet show and carnival rides!

Why Everyone Should Visit Tweetsie Railroad

#3: Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Resort

Strap on your Lederhosen and get ready for Sugar Mountain Resort’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. In October, attendees can enjoy live music, chairlift rides, arts & crafts, games and authentic Bavarian food and beer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sugar Mountain Resort (@skisugar)

Oktoberfest is traditionally held for 16 days and was first celebrated almost 200 years ago. It is known for the free-flowing German beer and food such as sausages, potato salad and apple strudel.

Admission, parking and shuttle service are free. For more information, call 828-898-4521.

#4: Woolly Worm Festival

The Woolly Worm Festival is one of the most popular festivals in the High Country. Close to 30,000 people attend each year. The event is in October in the middle of downtown Banner Elk.

There will be plenty of craft vendors, food and music for all ages to enjoy. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children and everyone age five and under are free. All proceeds go to enhance schools, children’s programs and business tourism in Avery County.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag)

Why is it called the Woolly Worm Festival? According to the festival’s official website, “The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 brown and black segments, which the late Charles Von Canon explained to the small crowd huddled together in the sub-freezing temperatures at the first Woolly Worm Festival correspond to the 13 weeks of winter. The lighter brown a segment is, the milder that week of winter will be. The darker black a segment is, the colder and snowier the corresponding week will be.”

Celebrate Fall in Appalachia

The High Country of North Carolina is the perfect place to celebrate fall, Appalachia style. Watch the leaves change colors while attending one of these events.

About the Author

Shalamar Blevins grew up in Ashe County, right next to the North Fork of the New River. Shalamar loves the outdoors after spending most of her life kayaking and hiking in her own front yard. 

Throughout her life, Shalamar tried to learn every art form she could get her hands on, from ceramics to African Batiking! Being creative and adding a splash of lively color is Shalamar’s superpower. After studying the classic mediums from local masters such as Stephen Shoemaker and Lenore DePree, Shalamar attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston- Salem before attending UNC-Asheville. After graduating in 2011, Shalamar spent time traveling through Europe and Asia before moving back to the North Carolina High Country to start her own studio and to work for Florence Thomas Art School.

To this day Shalamar still loves to travel and hosts small art classes on location and at festivals. She joined the 828 Real Estate gang in the fall of 2021. Since then, she has been working diligently to provide their agents and clients with the latest marketing tools, while celebrating the adventures that await in the 828! Shalamar got married to wonderful fellow Ashe County native, Micheal the summer of 2021. Micheal is a 13 year US Army Veteran, recently graduated from Nursing school and just started a career at Watauga Medical. They have 2 fur babies, an Australian Shepherd named Quill and Chocolate Lab named Brody. These boys keep Mike and Shalamar on their toes!

 When Mike and Shalamar aren’t working on their garden and home improvement ventures, they love spending time with their big family and friends while exploring the local music and art scene of NC High Country!