Hook, Line & Drinker Festival

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Headline: Fifth annual Hook, Line and Drinker Festival postponed until 2023



      On Tuesday, March 1, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board made the difficult decision to postpone the fifth annual Hook, Line and Drinker Festival, scheduled for May 14, 2022. A date for the 2023 event will be announced later.
     “Many of our vendors from the fishing, craft beer and outdoor recreation fields have expressed concern about attending this year’s event due to the ongoing national staffing shortage,” said Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Donaldson. “We are still seeing a lot of our business community, county and region-wide, suffering from a lack of adequate staffing. We certainly understand and find it best to pump the brakes on this year’s event.”
     All vendors who committed to the event will be reimbursed their entry fee.
     For more information, contact the chamber at 828-586-2155 or stay tuned to the festival website at www.hooklinedrinkerfest.com or its Facebook page.

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Hook, Line and Drinker Festival in May of each year. The event is held from 3-7 p.m., at the Bridge Park Pavilion in Sylva, N.C.


The festival features fly fishing guides and fishing industry vendors; food trucks; children’s activities; music by the Carolina Soul Band; clean water, outdoor activity and wildlife advocates; and WNC craft beer vendors.


In December of 2019, the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) named the Hook, Line and Drinker Festival one of their Top 20 Events in the Southeast for 2020.


There is always live music by some of the region's most popular bands. In the event's first four years, organizers welcomed classic hit artists Terri Lynn Queen & the Stingers (2017), A Social Function (2018), and Lyric (2019) as well as progressive bluegrass bands Unspoken Tradition (2017), Fireside Collective (2018) and Another Country (2019).


Admission to the family friendly Hook, Line and Drinker Festival is $5. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. Reusable Hook, Line & Drinker souvenir cups are included in the price of admission for all. Souvenir cups are required for craft beer vendor purchases by adults 21 and older.


A portion of net proceeds from the festival will benefit Trout Unlimited's “Trout in the Classroom” programming for 2021-22 and the "Kids Fishing Day" program at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department.


Jackson County is the proud home of the WNC Fly Fishing Trail® and the NC Trout Capital®. The WNC Fly Fishing Trail® features 15 hot fishing spots that run from the northern end of the county to the southern end along the Tuckaseigee River. Jackson County is stocked with more trout than any other county in the state and is home to the largest recorded rainbow trout caught in N.C.


In 2021, organizers were excited to introduce the event's very own festival brew! This special seasonal craft beer was a "Hook, Line and Drinker Pilsner," and was created by Innovation Brewing in Sylva (Dillsboro & Cullowhee). Proceeds from each pint sold benefit the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce's continued operation of the festival. THANK YOU INNOVATION BREWING!!


For more information, please visit the festival website at www.hooklinedrinkerfest.com, call the organizers at 828-586-2155 or visit the Festival's Facebook page.


The festival is located at 76 Railroad Avenue in Sylva, N.C. It is held at the Bridge Park Pavilion which is owned and operated by the Town of Sylva. It has enough parking spaces for our vendors but limited parking for festival guests. Visitors can try to park at or near the Bridge Park Pavilion or find a spot anywhere parking is allowed in downtown Sylva. There are multiple public parking lots in downtown that are well marked. Visitors with disabilities or physical limitations will find numerous well-marked handicapped parking spaces throughout downtown Sylva and near the park.


Below is a downloadable pdf map of the 2021 festival grounds and vendor layout. You can request a visitor guide for Jackson County, N.C. by calling 828-586-2155 or visiting www.mountainlovers.com. Our visitor guides have hiking trail trail and waterfall maps, nearby restaurants, lodging, event and shopping information. You may also request a WNC Fly Fishing Trail map. New 2022 map coming soon!

About THE Bridge PARK

Our festival is truly a family-friendly event for all ages. Not only will we have multiple trout fishing vendors and outdoor/wilderness non-profit organizations, the Carolina Soul Band will be performing two full sets of music. We'll have food vendors on site and a plethora of craft breweries. We will also be hosting children's activities for kids (and adults) of all ages courtesy of Professor Whizzpop and Macon Faces Face Painting and Henna Tattoos. There is a playground, restrooms and a small creek directly behind the stage and our fishing vendors will be coming out of their tents to give free demonstrations on Scotts Creek throughout the afternoon. There is a dancing area in front of the stage and everyone is encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit and enjoy the music while nibbling on some of the delicious treats our food vendors will be serving. You are squarely in the center of downtown Sylva, so all of our shops, restaurants, breweries and more will be open and ready to welcome you to their business. Our town is the home of one of the state's most photographed courthouses that overlooks our festival, so bring your camera!

How To Find Us


For lodging, dining and other activities to enjoy in Jackson County, N.C., visit the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center's website HERE or our Jackson County Tourism Development Authority's website HERE. View a quick informative video about Jackson County below:


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