From buttered trout fillets to a trout race, all things trout will be celebrated during the 21st annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
The festival grounds will be filled with vendors selling arts, crafts and other wares, as well as festival food booths. Performing on stage will be the Hominy Valley Boys and the Caribbean Cowboys band.
Other happenings at the festival include:
• An environmental education tent featuring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Haywood Waterways Association, N.C. Wildlife Commission and numerous other environmental agencies and nonprofits.
• Talks by Rob Gudger, a biologist who raises wolves, and by Jim Casada, an expert fly-fisherman and renowned outdoor writer.
• Casting demonstrations and fly-tying demonstrations by the Waynesville Fly Shop.
• Casting contest for ages 16 and up.
• Project Healing Waters, dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled servicemen and veterans through fly-fishing, will have a booth.
• Kids activities and games, like making your own kite.
• Bean bag toss contest for teams of two at 10 a.m.
Two free youth fishing clinics will be held in conjunction with at the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival in Maggie Valley May 1.
The CATCH clinics Ñ Caring For Aquatics Through Conservation Habits Ñ are designed to teach young people how, when, and where to fish as well as aquatic ecology, water safety, fishing ethics and respect for the outdoors. Kids will wade in the stream to collect and identify aquatic bugs and test water quality, plus try their hand at fishing..
Program is for ages 6 to 15. Equipment is provided. Kids who have never fished or explored a stream are particularly encouraged to participate. The clinics are sponsored by the HCC Natural Resources Department, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Haywood Waterways Association and the town of Maggie.
The morning clinic will be from 9 a.m. until noon and requires registration. An afternoon clinic will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and will be first-come first-served.
To register, call 828.926.0866, ext. 117.
Maggie Valley will celebrate the trout heritage of the Smoky Mountain region with its annual Trout Festival, held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
One of the integral aspects of the trout festival is environmental education, and a tent will house exhibits from such groups such as the N.C. Division of Inland Fisheries, Haywood Community Alliance, Haywood Waterways, Friends of the Smokies, the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, NCSARDA (Rescue Dogs), Appalachian Bear Rescue, Haywood Community College, Haywood EMC and the Girl Scouts, who will be doing face paintings. The North Carolina Forest Service will be represented by their fire line plow and the personnel with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park will also participate.
This year’s stage entertainment list the Elk & Bugle Corp from Cataloochee Valley, the Dixie Darlin’ Cloggers, Rob Gudger, a wolf habitat show, Doris Mager’s bird of prey show, Lonesome Mountain Band from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the Rafe Hollister Band, from Waynesville and Priscilla and the Jerusalem Cruisers, from Maggie Valley.
The entertainment will include chain saw carving demonstrations, casting demonstrations and fly tying demonstrations throughout the day. Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva, is scheduled to speak around 11:45 a.m.
The WNC Sportsmans Club will have an Air Gun Range for youths ages 8-18, and the Maggie Valley Police Department will have a “Beer Goggle” driving course for all ages.
As always, trout dinners will be for sale to all participants.
Also the annual CATCH (Caring For Aquatics Through Conservation Habits) fishing clinic sponsored by Haywood Community College will take place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the creek. Children need to sign up early for the clinics as space is limited.
The Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce will sell Trout Race tickets for the 4:15 p.m. event at the creek with $800 in prize money to be given away by the Town of Maggie Valley.
For more information visit www.gsmtroutfestival.org or call 828.926.0866, ext. 117.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 20
Where: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, U.S. 10 (Soco Road) in Maggie Valley
Includes: Festival celebrating mountain trout with food, entertainment, crafts, and activities for children.