61st annual Coon Dog Day draws crowds to Saluda 

Published 12:22 pm Monday, July 8, 2024

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SALUDA—This year’s 61st Annual Coon Dog Day celebration in Saluda was a huge success, drawing in visitors and locals from near and far. Main Street was filled with people, creating an enthusiastic and lively atmosphere throughout the day.

The day kicked off with the Saluda Elementary School 5k Fun Run on Main Street, drawing participants of all ages. Vendors offering a wide array of goods and crafts were set up along Main Street,  including Joyce Windows, So Thoughtful Gifts, Asheville Dragon Fly, DMW Designs, The Mail Room, Modern Forestry, Bartlett Tree Experts, Transylvania Storytellers, Carolina Bee Farm, Carolina Coonhound Rescue, American Black & Tan Coonhound Rescue, Sweetwater Valley Dog Rescue and St. Lukes/Saluda Medicine. 

Artist Mikaela Darnell, who had a booth for the first time, said, “I came to Coon Dog Day as a kid and loved visiting Saluda, and it’s fun to get out here, meet the public, relax and enjoy all the festivities.”

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One highlight of the day was the Coon Dog Day Parade, which was led by the American Legion 250 Honor Guard and Saluda Fire Department, followed by Coon Dog Day Queens from present and past, throwing candy to the kids. A trailer filled with coon dogs was a favorite in the parade.  

Sabrina Romero, co-owner of Earthly Minds, said, “This is our third year in Saluda as a business and our third Coon Dog Day, and it’s always a great time. We love seeing all these people enjoying downtown Saluda and all the dogs.” 

The parade was followed by the “Every Dog’s a Star Show,” a contest and fundraising event featuring all kinds of dogs. The entry fee for the contest was $2 per contest, with all proceeds donated to the local humane society.

Other notable events included the Firefighter Agility Contest and the AKC Registered Coon Hound Dog Show at the Saluda School Ball Field. The day concluded with live music by Jack Roper and The Weatherman Band and a fun-filled Square Dancing Under the Stars event.