Once again, the town of Saluda, NC put on a great Coondog Day Festival! In fact, this year was the 50th year for the festival. Now, this is like many small town festivals…they shut down “the” street in town, people set up booths, everyone shows up for the parade and a good time is had by all. I went with Grannie, Daisy and Molly! Last year there were record high temperatures. I am happy to say it was around 80 degrees, and other than a few on and off rain showers, the weather was much nicer this year!
I went to help with the American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue booth-which is the rescue I am fostering Molly through. Sadly, there are many people who come to this festival with the view that a coonhound is only good for hunting. We are there to show that they can be happy members of the family.
The parade is quite an interesting experience. Basically-there is no registration. If you want to be in the parade just show up at call time and they will put you in line. A couple things to note-the folks with guns (the confederate reinactors, and they guy following the dog in the hospital bed) were actually firing blanks. Lets just say there were many freaked out dogs watching the parade. Heck, there were freaked out humans!
At one end of the festival is where all the breeders set up. They have a coonhound bench show, a treeing contest, and that night they go out for a coon hunt. This year, Daisy and I tried the treeing contest. Basically…they put a scented fake raccoon in a cage and run it up a pole under this tent. The dog is supposed to run up and tree the raccoon. I am proud to say….Daisy refused to bay. Why am I proud? Well, all these “hunting” dogs were going NUTS over this dead, taxidermied raccoon in a cage. Daisy? She walked in, took one sniff then looked at me like “Um, Mom, it’s already dead!! DUH!” Then proceeded to wag and be cute towards the crowd. She was not fooled! It was a fundraiser for one of their regular coonhound club members who has been diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t have health insurance. You had a five dollar entry fee and they “auctioned” off your dog-the one with the highest price won and got to split the pot of money.
Hope you enjoy some of the pictures. If you live in the area, we’d love to see you next year!