Elk Fest

Smoky Mountain Elk Fest

August 22-23, 2020

Join us for the second annual Smoky Mountain Elk Fest at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds! We look forward to making it even better in 2020, after all, reintroducing the elk to the area was a lot of hard work and worth celebrating every year. Elk used to be abundant throughout the Western North Carolina mountains, but by the mid-1800s, the population was wiped out due to overhunting and habitat loss.

After extensive research by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, wild elk were reintroduced into the Cataloochee Valley in 2001. The original herd consisted of 52 elk, and over the years their numbers have grown to more than 150.

As the elk population continues to grow, though, there are some interaction issues when the elk end up in places they aren’t supposed to be—for instance, in our local farmer’s fields. Proceeds from the Elk Fest help us raise funds for habitat maintenance and create other ways to keep our elk protected and happy.

What is the Smoky Mountain Elk Fest?

The Smoky Mountain Elk Fest is a family-friendly event full of music, entertainment, craft vendors, and educational demonstrations. You can expect to find lots of great food and drinks, guided hikes, creekside demonstrations, wildlife artists, crafts, and kid’s activities.

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If you'd like to participate in this event, we'd love to hear from you! Apply to become a vendor today.

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The festival is fast approaching and it’s time to find your perfect place to stay! Explore our unique variety of accommodations.

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10AM – 6PM |  $5

Bring your own chairs and blankets and spend the weekend in the valley of mountains surrounded by Maggie Valley’s unrivaled beauty. Live music and entertainment all day, there’s plenty of scrumptious food and drink vendors to keep your energy high. Elk habitat demonstrations, outdoor educational demos, face painting, wildlife speakers, elk tours (please pre-schedule), RMEF Elk Calling Contest and so much more are in store for you and your whole family! Join us for our second year celebrating those big ole elk creatures that we love!

Food Vendor Form | Vendor Form | Vendor Rules & Conditions

Live Music   |   Cherokee Indian Dancers   |   Cloggers   |   Timber Sports Exhibition   |   Elk Habitat Tours   |   Guided Hikes   |   Trout Race   |   Face Painting   |  RMEF Official Elk Bugling Contest   |   Photo Contest   |   Kids Activities


In 2020 the Photo Contest is expanding into more categories with a few new requirements. Details to come. Start snapping your best elk shots now so you’ll have top pics ready to submit this summer.




Thank you to our generous 2019 sponsors

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