The 53rd Annual Saluda Coon Dog Day will be on Saturday, July 9, 2016. All told, there will be more than 12 hours of festivities; from the 8am eye-openers to the 8pm-11pm street dance.
In addition to the familiar parade of whatever shows up, there will be a 5K race, a fun walk, a pack of vendors, crafts and live music from area bands. The 2016 Coon Dog Day will also have an AKC sanctioned Coon Dog bench show and a Youth Show, followed by a Coon Dog treeing contest.
Perhaps the most exciting event will be the inaugural Saluda Coon Dog Day Big Wheel Races. The event was inspired by one in San Francisco – make of that what you will. Big Wheel racing is open to adults, chronologically speaking, and actual children. The actual children 14 and under can race FREE, while the chronological adults can participate for a fee of $10. Prizes will be awarded in both the adult and children’s divisions. The Big Wheel race will begin at 4pm, after both the 2:30pm bench show in the big tent and the following treeing contest have been completed.
The Saluda Coon Dog Day Parade will start at 11am and end when the last entrant reaches the Main Street finish line. Based on past participation, the 2016 parade will hit about a 9.7 on the diversity scale, a 9.8 for creativity and a near perfect 10 on the “Are you kidding me?” standard. All individuals and groups are welcome and participation is free. All that paraders have to do is start lining up around 9am and be ready to go. They will see signs directing them to the mustering point when coming in from Interstate 26.
Many people believe that the parade is the biggest reason Saluda Coon Dog Day draws about 15,000 visitors, and not many people would disagree. As in past years, the parade will include tractors, fire engines, classic cars and simply old cars and trucks. Some of the latter will be driven and occupied by “Hillbillies” who clearly conjure up memories of the Clampett family of “Beverly Hillbillies” fame.
The parade will follow the finish of the annual Coon Dog Day 5K/fun walk – both popular fixtures of Coon Dog Day festivities. The running and walking will start about 10am and end when all participants finish. Throughout the day, vendors will be offering all kinds of items and services, from handmade mountain crafts to craft beers to chiropractic and massage therapy. If you can find it in the mountains you will find it at Coon Dog Day.
A complete schedule of Coon Dog Day activities was not available at PetGazette press time, nor was a complete list of vendors. (They will be signing up until the day before the event.) So for up-to-the-minute news or more information about Saluda Coon Dog Day, go to www.saluda.com/events/coondog.php or call the city office at 828 749-2581. And don’t forget to tell them PetGazette sent you.