Smoky Mountain Elk Fest
September 13 – 15, 2019
Mark your calendars for the first annual Smoky Mountain Elk Festival, happening this fall at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds in Maggie Valley, North Carolina! Why have an Elk Fest, you ask? Well, reintroducing the elk to the North Carolina Smokies was a lot of hard work. Elk used to be abundant throughout the area, 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 interaction issues when the elk end up in places they aren’t supposed to be—for instance, in our local farmer’s fields. Any proceeds from the Elk Fest will help us raise funds the build fences and create other ways to keep our elk protected and happy.
What is the Smoky Mountain Elk Festival?
The Smoky Mountain Elk Fest is a family-friendly event full of music, entertainment, and educational demonstrations. While we’re still working on the details, we know you can expect to find lots of great food and drinks, guided hikes, creekside demonstrations, wildlife artists, crafts, and kid’s activities.
We’re working on bringing live music shows and cultural performances, too. Check back often—we’ll continue to update this page as we learn more!
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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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