Planning is underway to finalize a schedule of events for Southern Gap Elk Fest 2020 to be held at the Southern Gap Visitor Center and in the surrounding community in October.
Music, games and good food — as well as opportunities to take part in guided tours to view Buchanan County’s elk population — will be among the activities on tap October 14-17 as Buchanan County Tourism, the Southern Gap Visitor Center, SWVA Sportsmen and the SWVA Coalfields Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation host the four-day festival designed to feature unique and memorable experiences for lovers of wildlife and the outdoors and those seeking a taste of authentic mountain heritage.
Admission to daily festival events is free, however, there are fees for guided elk viewing tours and a wild game dinner. Lodging and camping are available on site, as well as in the nearby Town of Grundy.
The festival fun starts Wednesday, October 14 with the premiere of “The Elk of Southern Gap,” a newly-produced mini-documentary on the Buchanan County elk restoration project that will be shown at the Southern Gap Visitor Center during a wild game dinner hosted by the Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets will go on sale for the wild game dinner in August.
Friday and Saturday events will include a wildlife photography class and contest; mountain games including a tug of war contest and stone toss; 3D archery; a running with the elk race; a taxidermy competition; guided elk tours; an ATV night ride on the Coal Canyon ATV Trail; local arts and crafts; bugling and turkey call competitions featuring youth and adult divisions; bonfire story-telling; stargazing; a kids zone event hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Central Appalachia; and live entertainment to be announced.
Arts and crafts vendors and food trucks will be set up on site.
The festival event awards ceremony will be held Saturday evening prior to the entertainment with winners from all the various competitions held throughout the festival announced.
Arts and crafts vendors are being sought. To reserve your 12 foot by 12 foot space, call the Southern Gap Visitor Center office at 276-244-1111. Festival sponsors are also being sought and may call either of the numbers above for additional sponsorship information.
Additional event sponsors include media partner Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.
For festival updates, follow @WildBuchanan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or log onto www.WildBuchanan.com.