Coon Dog Day in Saluda started in 1963 as a fundraiser chicken supper for the local coon clubs. It is known throughout the area as a "celebration of dogs and their people" and serves to present this old mountain tradition to the public as well as a homecoming for Saluda natives. Festivities take place on the baseball field of the Saluda School and historic Main Street of Saluda. There is a bench show and a treeing contest, and hunters with their dogs share the art of coon hunting with visitors. A night hunt takes place on Friday evening before the festival. There is more to the event than the presentation of dogs and hunting lore, though. The day begins with a 5K run followed by a parade. In addition to marching bands, civic organizations, and boy scouts, there are coon-hunting floats and jalopies with the drivers dressed in patched overalls. The music starts up on the Main Street stage at 9 a.m. and lasts all day. Most of the acts are local, and most play bluegrass, though there is usually some blues and country as well. The festival ends with a bluegrass street dance in the evening with called square dances. Craft vendors, food booths, and children's games and rides, and all of the town's stores and restaurants are open for business. The town is perched at the top of the Saluda Grade, the steepest standard-gauge stretch of railroad in the United States. One new event for the kids and wannabe kids will be a Big Wheel Bike race.
Downtown Saluda, NC
Early Country Music