Banner Elk, located in Avery County, is OUR STATE magazine's Tar Heel town of the month. The town of approximately 1,000 people dates back to the arrival of Martin Luther Banner in 1848. Tourism is the major force of its economy. Between July and October, as many as 15,000 people will come on weekends to shop, enjoy the scenery, visit the many restaurants, or attend the town's famous Wooly Worm Festival. The town's quiet allure and scenic beauty attracts second-home owners. Lees-McRae College, with a student of body of 700, has been a Banner Elk institution for over 100 years and contributes to the cultural scene by bringing novelists, musicians, and other artists to the campus.