The Woolly Worm Festival , October 20-22nd, 2023
Celebrating 36 years!
Far from being a normal festival, the Woolly Worm Festival became a tradition rooted in Lee County’s culture. The woolly worm is believed to forecast the weather for the coming winter season. A woolly worm’s body has 13 segments-each corresponding to a week in winter. If a segment is light brown, that means the week will be mild. If a segment is black, that means a harsh, cold week. The worm acted as a weather predictor for many old time farmers who would harvest crop and cut firewood in preparation for the upcoming winter.
Plan a visit to Beattyville/Lee County. If you would like vendor information contact the Woolly Worm Festival Committee at (606) 464-2888.
Woolly Worm Raceway
Be sure to race a woolly worm at the raceway located at the heart of the festival. Races will take place all day long each day of the festival. Win a pleminary race and you will be eligible to race your worm in the championship race on Sunday afternoon. Banded Woolly Bears, as they are property named are easy to find. In the fall months they can be found in leave piles, on lawn furniture, around wood piles, and even crossing back country roads. Don't worry if you didn't bring a racing woolly worm with you, just pick one up at the raceway.
Rules of Woolly Worm Racing:
1) The worm you are racing must be a Banded Woolly Bear.
2) Place your worm on the string below the starting mark until the whistle is blown.
3) when whistle sounds, let woolly worm go.
4) Once your woolly worm climbs past the starting mark on the sting, you are not allowed to touch him.
5) First worm to the top WINS! Winners are qualified for the Championship Race on Sunday.
6) Grand Champion Woolly Worm is the official weather predictor of the year!
Here are some tips that will help you take care of your woolly worm. After a weekend of racing, release him back into nature where you found him.
Corn Hole Tournament
Saturday, October 21st at 2pm
Beattyville City Park, River Drive, Beattyville KY
Cornhole Tournament will be happening again this year at City Park. Anyone that wants to play is more then welcome! Bring your own partner! If you don’t have one, we can team you up with someone extra! 1st and 2nd place trophies will be awarded! $10 PER TEAM
Lee County Youth Pet Show
Lee County 4H will be having our Pet Show in Person Friday October 20th at the Woolly Worm Barn. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and Pet Show will begin at 10:00 a.m. You will find a list of categories below. If you have any questions you may contact Carissa Miske at 606-464-2759. We look forward to seeing you then....
Pet Show Categories:
Most Adorable Dog
All Creatures Great and Small
Most Impressive Trick
Most Unique Pet
Pets That Look Like Their Owners
Overall: Best Pet in Beattyville
Overall: Pet the Judges Want to Take Home
Woolly Worm Festival Parade, Saturday
What is a festival without a parade? The annual Woolly Worm Festival Parade starts at 1:00pm on Saturday of the festival. Floats will start from City Hall located on Railroad Street and travel up Main Street in Beattyville to the intersection of Main and HWY 11. Awards are given to the top three decorated floats. The parade showcases everything that Lee County can be proud of... Justice & Safety, Fire & Rescue, Health & Wellness, school groups, church groups, non-profits, businesses, pageant contestants, classic cars, motorcycles, hillbilly's... and more. If you would like to enter your organization info the parade call Don Begley Auto Sales at (606) 464-2961.
Woolly Worm Car Show: Sunday
One of the best car shows in the region can be found behind the Beattyville Elementary School on Sunday of the Woolly Worm Festival. Over 100 classic cars from all over the state are parked and pristinely displayed from 9:00am to 4:30pm. Registration is $20.00 and starts at 9:00am on Sunday of the festival. The annual event will feature a "Top 100" trophies, top motorcycles and miscellaneous, and numerous "Business Choice" awards. There is also a Best of Show Award. For more information on the annual car show call Josh Smith at (606) 464-2888.
Woolly Worm Stage Entertainment Schedule 2023
The Woolly Worm Stage is located at the heart of the Woolly Worm Festival at the beginning of Main Street in Beattyville. Also on site with the Woolly Worm Raceway and the Woolly Worm Barn. Be sure to race your woolly worm. Win a heat race and get into the championship race on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to also sign up for all the prize drawings and non-profit raffles!
10:00am - Pet Show
3:00pm - Shelby Marie Davis
4:00pm - Wasper Jaws
5:00pm - Lee County Band
6:00pm - OPENING CEREMONIES
7:00pm - Appalachian Troubadours
10:00am - Shelby Davis
11:00am - Bellemy & Brown
12:00pm - Introducing Tragedy
1:00pm - Woolly Worm Parade
3:00pm - Sturgeon Creek
4:00pm - James Overbee & Roy Lee Centers
5:00pm - Middle Fork Grass
6:00pm - Jack Strong Band
7:00pm - Shefton Kash & The Forever Band
Sponsored by Mercy Health: Marcum and Wallace Hospital
9:30am - Car Show (behind elementary school)
1:00pm - Injoy
2:00pm - Lennie Centers & Centerline
4:00pm - Championship Woolly Worm Race
4:30pm - Closing Ceremonies & Prize Drawings
Tourism Stage at Town Square Entertainment Schedule 2023
The Tourism Stage is located near the Lee County Courthouse. Sound is provided by WSKVfm 104.9. The stage is sponsored by the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission, WSKV Radio, the City of Beattyville, and the Lee County Fiscal Court. Be sure to join our Master DJ Ethan at the Tourism Stage each night for street dancing!
11:00am - TJ Howard
12:00pm - String Roots Trio
2:00pm- Tom Towson
3:00pm - Sturgeon Creek (sponsored by Citizens Bank & Trust)
4:00pm - Chelsea Nolan
5:00pm - Lola Ray Griffin
6:00pm -Travis Napier
7:00pm - Jacob Fultz & Monroe Land Way
12:00pm - Scott Griffin
1:00pm - Woolly Worm Parade
2:00pm - Shelby Davis
3:00pm - Myron Hogan
4:00pm- Graham Durbin, Hunter Ross, & Mason KingMarshull Band
5:00pm -7:00pm - Marshull Band
11am - Church Service by Thompson Chapel
12:00pm - String Roots Trio
2:00pm - Rob & Deidre Morgan
3:00pm - Patricia Montgomery
4:00pm -Community Pickn' & Grinning' on Town Square
Blast from the Past...
Woolly Worm Silver Anniversary 2012
The Woolly Worm Festival celebrated 25 years in October 2012. The 25th anniversary festival was dedicated to the World War II veterans of Lee County. At the opening ceremony, community leaders honored all the survivors as Kentucky Colonels. The festival was first initiated in 1988 when a group of people were sitting around in the Purple Cow dinner on Main Street thought up an idea for a festival that was culturally significant and would create tourism. In its 25 years, it has emerged as a nationwide event that attracts over 30,000 people and has a variety of special activities such as woolly worm races, craft displays, parade, pet show, festival food, car show and live entertainment on two stages in Beattyville, KY. During the milestone celebration, visitors enjoyed local musical talents like the Appalachian Troubadours, Lisa Briscoe Lacy, Clinton Fry Band, Harold Fouch & Alonzo Ambergery, and the Hilltop Pickers. People came from miles around to be entertianed by some larger names such as Common Ground and Brad Alford & Saddle Tramp. Special musical guest, sponsored by Bretagne Oil, was Russle Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. They were fresh off the win of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year for the second consecutive year.