Coon Dog Day Saturday

Published 1:34 pm Thursday, July 3, 2008

Emma Chambliss has lived in Saluda the last 31 years. She and her late husband, Al, retired to Saluda from Sumter, S.C.

Coon Dog Day is an event that Chambliss has grown to love. She braves the crowds every year to enjoy the parade, which is her favorite part of the day.

This year, however, Chambliss won&squo;t be watching the parade, because she&squo;ll be a part of it. The 91-year-old has been chosen to be the grand marshal this year.

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She&squo;s taking her responsibility of waving to the crowds seriously.

&dquo;I&squo;m going to wave both hands,&dquo; she said. &dquo;I&squo;m going to be different.&dquo;

The parade will begin at 11 a.m., and Hop Foster will be the master of ceremonies.

Coon Dog Day brings in around 10,000 people every year. Because the town doesn&squo;t have the the infrastructure to handle such crowds, town officials decided this year to make some changes.

For example, the street dance has been shortened. In years past, the dance has been from 8 p.m. until midnight. This year the dance will run from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

In addition, the organizers of the 5k run decided not to hold the race during Coon Dog Day this year.

Some things, however remain the same. The Green River Boys, the Old Tyme Pickers, Sound Investment and the Folsom Prison Gang will return as the music entertainment. The Lonesome Road Band will perform during the street dance.

Flaco and Ze Clownettes will also return this year.

There will be 12 food vendors, 40 arts and crafts vendors, and five amusement vendors.

There will also be a dog rest area this year. The rest area will be in front of Gentle Hands Grooming and kiddie pools will be set up for the dogs to get wet and cool off. There will also frozen liver pops among other things for sale.

The bench show will take place at 1 p.m., the treeing contest will be at 3 p.m. and the annual night hunt will take place at 8 p.m.

Parking will be off of Ozone Dr. and shuttles will be running all day.