May 26-28, 2017
There is no other White Squirrel Festival in the world like the one that Downtown Brevard hosts every year! This fun street festival honors these special wildlife critters, the white squirrels. These are not albinos, but siblings to the gray Eastern tree squirrel. And this particular species made its way to Brevard in 1949 as a result of a carnival wreck in central Florida.
The White Squirrel Festival is nutty, family fun over the Memorial Day Weekend. The music is the major showcase, giving prominence to national and even international performers who are connected to Transylvania County, with 14 free concerts! And there's plenty of food, art and crafts. It’s no wonder that the White Squirrel Festival was recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 May festivals.
Kids of all ages continue to be thrilled by the annual Squirrel Box Derby. Creatively-designed derby karts race down Jailhouse Hill clocking 35 mph or more. Contestants compete for trophies for the fastest critter, the squirreliest theme, and the nuttiest design. In addition, businesses fight to win the overall Golden Nut Trophy, which combines overall speed and design.
For those who don’t believe they really exist, there are guided white squirrel tours. Resident expert and director of the White Squirrel Institute will guide families through Brevard College, the squirrels’ favorite feeding grounds. Those lucky enough to live in Transylvania County will be displaying their winning photos of these wildlife critters caught on film. Photo entries will be on display, as well as a White Squirrel Exhibit that recalls their Brevard history and the results of the squirrel count that takes place every year.
The weekend would not be complete without the “Memorial Day” Parade organized by the American Legion and VFW. This tribute to our slain veterans kicks-off the festival on Saturday morning at 9 AM. The crowd-pleasing parade is followed by a “Presentation of the Wreath” at the county courthouse War Memorial. Be sure to check out the 5K and 10K White Squirrel races sponsored by the Rotary Club.
Free admission. For safety reasons, dogs are allowed. No alcohol is allowed at festival, except for approved designated area.
- 5-8 PM: Downtown Gallery Walk
- 5:30-10 PM: Live Music on East Main Street
- 8 AM: 5 & 10K race
- 9 AM: Squirrel Box Derby Setup
- 9 AM: Veteran's Memorial Parade
- 9 AM-6 PM: Street Festival
- 12 Noon: Beer Garden Opens
- 12 Noon-10 PM: Live Music
- 12 Noon-6 PM: Street Festival
- 12 Noon- 6 PM: Live Music & Beer Garden
Directions from Asheville: I-26 East to exit 40/Highway 280/Airport toward Brevard. Downtown Brevard is 33 miles from Downtown Asheville.