Calendar of Events
Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation 2021 Plan updated September 2021
Due to safety concerns for the public and our volunteers and supporters, as well as in observance of state and local COVID-19 mandates, GBEHF will follow the reopening plan below for the 2021 season (please check back for updated plans as circumstances change):
The Banner House Museum will open for guided outdoor walking tours or docented “Porch Talks” (see below for details) beginning Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Masks required for guests while interacting with volunteers, even while on the tour. Indoor access will not be available for guests as this fragile nature of our historic objects does not allow for full adherence to CDC cleaning protocols.
Update: The Banner House Museum will close for the 2021 season at end of day on Saturday, September 4. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage those who are interested in learning about area history to utilize our free cell-phone based Walking Tour (see below).
GBEHF has made the difficult decision to cancel all group events such as the Heritage Luncheon and the Bus Tour for the 2021 season. We look forward to bringing them back in 2022.
Walking Tours of Downtown Banner Elk-$10 per person
Wednesday through Saturday, Walking Tours will be leaving the Banner House at noon. The Walking Tour is approximately 1.5 miles of walking a loop from the Banner House Museum through Historic Downtown Banner Elk and back to the Museum. Depending on how how fast participants want to walk and how many questions they have, expect a tour to take about an hour and a half. We try to keep the tours at a maximum of 10 people so everyone can hear us. If you are traveling with a large group, we would be happy to try to set up a private tour! Tours are $10 per person and $7 per person for current Foundation Patrons. Masks required for guests while interacting with volunteers, even while on the tour. Indoor access will not be available for guests as this fragile nature of our historic objects does not allow for full adherence to CDC cleaning protocols. Yes! we can modify a tour for wheelchair accessibility! Please email or call for more information.
Porch Talk Presentations
For those who choose not to take up a Walking Tour, or in case of inclement weather, we are pleased to offer Porch Talks as docents are available, Wednesday through Saturday 11-2:30. These informal chats about the history of Banner Elk are free, though donations are greatly appreciated. Masks required for guests while interacting with volunteers, even while on the tour. Indoor access will not be available for guests as this fragile nature of our historic objects does not allow for full adherence to CDC cleaning protocols.
Cellphone App Walking Tour: Downtown Banner Elk
Walk along the path of history as you learn about some of Banner Elk’s most prominent historic buildings and their roles in the community. You will be surprised what you’ll learn! Now we welcome you to enjoy the sites of Old Banner Elk at your own pace using the Pocket Sights Tour Application for your cellphone. To access the tour, please use your cellphone to search for and download the free Pocket Sights app from the Apple Store or Google Play store or use your cellphone and click here for a link to download the app from a preview page (scroll to the bottom of the preview page for a link to download the Pocket Sights app). Either way you choose to find it, you must actually download the app for the tour to work properly.
Tips for using the Pockets Sights Walking Tour App:
- You must download the Pocket Sights app for the tour to work properly. If you do not download the app, you may not see images, will not be able to use navigation, and will not be prompted to view information for tour sights. It just won’t be as fun!
- When prompted, please allow permission for the app to access your location for the tour navigation to work, but that is the only permission needed and you can turn off the location permission after the tour or uninstall the app if you choose. If you choose to share images within the app, you will need to share media permissions.
- We suggest you park in the two spaces behind the Banner House Museum and open the app at your car. If you open the Pocket Sights app at another location, it will re-order the tour stops, which may make some of the wording in the information paragraphs seem odd, but it’s OK.
Because the app uses your location, it should list our “Historic Downtown Banner Elk” tour as the first option in the list of tours you can take. If you don’t see it, use the search bar to type in “Banner Elk” to find the listing. When you see the tour in the list, tap on it to start our lovely tour.
- When prompted, please select “standard mode” and then select “Follow Me” in the bottom right of the tour screen.
- The first tour stop is a “Welcome.” Your phone should “buzz” and pop up the information page for the Welcome stop. If not, this one is no big deal. Just tap “skip” and then you walk to the Museum sign facing Hickory Nut Gap Road to be prompted for the Samuel Banner House (Banner House Museum) tour stop.
- As you walk along the tour path, your phone will “buzz” to alert you to a stop. Depending on the calibrations of your phone, you may be a little before or after where we marked the stop in the app. It’s OK. The stops allow room for error and still be able to view the sites.
- After you finish reading about a stop, tap the “back” button on your phone or tap “continue tour” if you have an iPhone to go back to the map.
- Notice that there are also directions at the end of each information page to get to the next stop since the navigation may be a little off from one person’s phone to the next or you may not have a good signal. You may also choose to enable the Voice Navigation in the App by tapping the three button menu icon in the top right corner and selecting the Voice Navigation option from the menu. Again, the calibration of your phone may make the app navigation a little off, so the written directions at the bottom of each information page may be easier if you have poor reception.
- There is no fee to connect to the tour, though donations are greatly appreciated and may be dropped in the donation box on the front porch of the Banner House Museum, or mailed to the Foundation.
If you have any questions or would like more information, email us anytime!