Back 2 School Festival Announces 2023 Dates 

Last Updated on July 12, 2023 1:12 pm

 Boone, NC – The Back 2 School Festival has announced its schedule for 2023. The annual event will be held on Saturday, August 12, at Watauga High School. Pick up times for individual schools are as follows: 

8:30 am – Hardin Park 

10:00 am – Green Valley, Mabel, Bethel 

11:30 am – Valle Crucis, Two Rivers, Blowing Rock, Home School 

1:00 pm – Parkway, Cove Creek 

Students of both Watauga High and Watauga Virtual Academy are asked to attend during their home school district’s time slot. 

Now in its 11th year, the Back 2 School Festival provides free school supplies to any student in Watauga County whose family might be struggling to meet the high cost of back-to-school shopping. 

“This has become such a huge community event,” said festival coordinator Kendra Sink, “we are so thankful for how the community always comes together to support what we do. 

Last year the festival served over 1,600 students and is preparing up to host just as many this year. 

According to Mattie Lucas, the festival’s publicity coordinator, “Attendance has grown each year we’ve held the event, but we’ve especially seen a large increase in need since COVID. More and more people are struggling to make ends meet, and having such a large expense taken off their plate is a big deal for families in our area.” 

“It takes hundreds of volunteers to pull this off every year.” Said volunteer coordinator Anna Floyd. “Whether you’re collecting supplies, donating funds, or helping us hand them out on the day of the event, we really need everyone’s help to make the event a success.” 

The festival will also be providing free haircuts again this year, a popular feature that has been on hiatus since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. “We’re so happy to have haircuts back this year” Lucas said. “Students can sign up for an appointment on the day of the festival, and we’re actively seeking stylists to volunteer their time. These may seem like small things to some, but this can make such a difference for children in our community who get to start the school year off confident and prepared and on the same foot as their classmates.” 

The festival is currently collecting school supplies for their Pack the Bus campaign in three different locations – First National Bank on Blowing Rock Rd., Peak Insurance at New Market Center, and Blue Cross Blue Shield on Highway105, and are still seeking sponsors and volunteers. If you would like to learn more about the Back 2 School Festival, you can visit their website at 

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