Coon Dog Day returns to downtown Saluda on July 6

Published 1:46 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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Beloved tradition to offer parade, dog show, music and more


SALUDA—A beloved annual tradition returns to downtown Saluda on Saturday, July 6, with the 61st Annual Coon Dog Day celebration. 

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The City of Saluda recently announced the schedule for the event, which will include a full day of family-friendly activities celebrating the area’s rich cultural heritage and community spirit. The day will begin with the Saluda Elementary School 5K Fun Run and culminate in an evening of square dancing under the stars.

“We invite everyone to join us in celebrating this vibrant community event, which brings together everyone for a day of fun and festivity,” said Emily Lamar, co-chair of the event. “Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from out of town, Coon Dog Day offers something for everyone.”

The Saluda Elementary School 5K Fun Run will begin at 8 a.m., starting and finishing on Main Street. Sign-up is required. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., many vendors will be open along Main Street, and a shuttle service from public parking on Howard Gap Rd. will be available.

At 11 a.m., the Coon Dog Day Parade will make its way through downtown, featuring classic floats celebrating the event, followed by the “Every Dog’s a Star Show” at 12:30 p.m., a fun contest and fundraising event for all dogs.

A Firefighter Agility Contest will showcase the skills and agility of our brave firefighters at 1:30 p.m., and the AKC Sanctioned Coonhound Dog Show at Saluda School Ball Field will follow at 2:30. Same-day registration is available for the show.

Visitors will be able to “dance the evening away” with classic beach music at 5 p.m., when local celebrity Jack Roper and the Weatherman Band will perform during Shagging in the Park. Square Dancing Under the Stars will take place at 7 p.m., where folks can enjoy traditional square dancing in a picturesque outdoor setting.

According to a press release from the City of Saluda, the origins of Coon Dog Day trace back to 1949 when the Blue Ridge Coon Club, later known as the Blue Ridge Coon Dog Association, was founded by George Johnson to replenish the dwindling local raccoon population. By the late 1950s, the club hosted annual fundraising barbecues, which led to the first Coon Dog Day parade in 1963. Since then, the event has grown, adding music, dancing, arts, food, and a 5K race, but the dogs still reign supreme.

For more information on Coon Dog Day, to register for the parade, fun run, or dog show, or to view a full schedule of events, please visit