Watauga County Farmers' Market has been open since 1974.
In 1973, the New River Valley Resource Conservation and Development Project, sponsored by the USDA with the Soil Conservation Service as the "lead agency," developed the idea for the market.
Support came from the Watauga County Commissioners who provided a $1,500 grant as seed money, and from a community action program known as WAMY (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancy) that provided the manager's salary.
The market found a vacant half-acre lot on the outskirts of Boone, North Carolina and remained at that spot for the first two years.
North Carolina Governor James E. Holshouser came to the formal dedication on July 6, 1974. Governor Holshouser stated that "This is a great example of how community spirit can be built for something the people know is important". The start of the market was entirely a community event. The Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation helped locate vendors by sending out a survey to its customers. Free coverage was provided on the local radio station and in the newspaper. The market continues to support the community with policies such as allowing local non-profits to set up once during a season for free.
The Watauga County Farmers' Market then moved to its current location in the parking lot of the Horn in the West Amphitheater in Boone.