Elk Fest

Smoky Mountain elk fest

2020 Dates TBA!

The inaugural Smoky Mountain Elk Fest was a huge success at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds this year! 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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Friday, September 13th, 2019
6 – 9PM  |  $40

Treat yourself to an evening of catered wild dishes, acoustic music performed by Ol’ Dirty Bathtub, and a silent raffle with impressive prizes. This limited ticket event will be benefiting the Elk Conservation Fund being established by Smoky Mountain Elk Fest. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by stopping by Visit NC SmokiesVisitor Center located at 1110 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC, or calling 800-334-9036 or online by clicking Taste of the Wild Tickets.

Saturday, September 14th, 2019
10AM – 9PM |  $5

Celebrate elk at our inaugural family friendly outdoor festival featuring cultural performances and live music all day! Take advantage of the variety of educational elk demonstrations and activities as well as elk habitat tours and hikes.




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



Thank you to our generous sponsors

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