October 21, 2023
The Valle Country Fair in nearby Valle Crucis has been a favorite fall event in the Blue Ridge High Country for more than 40 years. With festivities spread out across a large hay field on the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center (about 10 miles from Sugar Mountain), the fair features 150 craft exhibitors, two stages of entertainment, and plenty of home cooking. This celebration of mountain living is a major fundraiser that supports a dozen area nonprofits.
Expect big crowds and traffic jams, especially since this is the same weekend as the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. (See tips below) Admission is free and parking is $10 per car. No pets are allowed. Hours are 9 AM until 4 PM.
Don’t forget to take home some of their famous baked goods, jams & jellies, apple cider and apple butter! Scrumptious cakes come out of the Valle ovens for auction at 12 noon. Take home chili, barbecue and soups by the quart.
Two stages host entertainment throughout the day. The stage near the dining tent showcases the best in local bluegrass, country and gospel music. A second stage located near the Kids’ Activity Area features cloggers, magicians and more. Fun activities in the Kids’ Area include games like Twister and pumpkin bowling, arts and crafts and creating Halloween treats.
The art and craft exhibitors are juried for quality and variety. Find all handmade original items in all media. As a show of support, exhibitors donate 10% of their earnings back to the charitable work of the Fair.
Eat plenty at the Valle Country Fair because almost all of the food concessions are operated by the church or by other non-profit organizations that return 100% of their earnings to local charities. Tables and chairs are provided under a large tent next to the music stage so that fairgoers can enjoy the entertainment while they dine.
Enjoy the freshest apple cider you can get, created in front of your eyes! The barn lists the recipients of the Valle Country Fair grants. They include Appalachian Senior Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs, Blue Ridge Women In Agriculture, the Children’s Council, Community Care Givers, High Country Caregivers, the Hunger and Health Coalition, LIFE Village , Mountain Alliance, Parent to Parent Family Support Network, Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center and Watauga County Schools Extended Learning Centers. The outreach committee at Holy Cross Church distributes all remaining proceeds to individuals and families in crisis.
Watch (and smell) the making of apple butter, and take some home!
Admission to the Fair is FREE and parking is available in the adjoining field for $10 per car, $25 for a small bus or van, and $50 for a motor coach.
It’s located on NC Highway 194 between the village of Valle Crucis and Banner Elk. Since the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk are the same weekend, expect lots of traffic. It’s also peak fall color time!
To bypass the Woolly Worm Festival traffic in the center of Banner Elk, here are directions to the Valle Country Fair from Sugar Mountain:
- Turn right onto NC 184. Go 1.4 miles to stoplight.
- Turn left onto NC 105. Go 5.3 miles.
- Turn left onto Clarks Creek Road. Go 3.8 miles (curvy road!)
- At end of road, turn left onto NC 194 for a half mile
Address for GPS: 122 Skiles Way, Banner Elk 28604. Go to their website for more info.
See our Fall Guide for many more things to do.