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.


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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.


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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.


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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.