This Is How to Celebrate the Annual Coon Dog Day Festival

Any visit to Western North Carolina will be a truly magical experience. With mountain ranges, towering trees, and fresh air surrounding you at all times, it’s an incredible place to be. When an event comes to town, it’s even more special! One of our favorites is Coon Dog Day. This annual festival celebrates the beloved breed of dog with music, food, a parade, and even the crowning of a Coon Dog Day King and Queen!

If you’re going to be in town for Coon Dog Day, you’ll need to plan the rest of your trip! Use our complimentary Vacation Guide to experience everything in our area to the fullest. We created this list of handpicked, local recommendations of things to do around Orchard Inn to save you from hours of research. With it, you can create the perfect getaway!

When and Where is Coon Dog Day?

Coon Dog Day takes place every year on a Saturday in July, usually towards the beginning of the month. If you are looking for specific dates, check the Coon Dog Day website! The information is updated as soon as a date is chosen. Attendees are invited to enjoy the festivities on Main Street in Saluda. Dogs are welcome to attend, too, as long as they are leashed. Designated parking areas are available, and the festivities are less than a mile away from Orchard Inn!

Enjoy the Coon Dog Day Vendors and Entertainment

Be sure to get a bite to eat while you’re strolling through this festival! There is always an abundance of food vendors with mouthwatering, authentic Southern cuisine. Live performances take place throughout the day, ending with a festive dance in the evening. Don’t forget to purchase a Coon Dog Day t-shirt to commemorate your experience!

Coon Dog Day Events

Coon Dog Day 5K Race/Fun Walk

Every year, the Coon Dog Day 5K Race/Fun Walk starts off the day-long festivities at 8 a.m. If you would like to participate, just fill out an entry form and send in a check! You must pre-register if you would like to be guaranteed a t-shirt, but race day registration is also available. The race begins at City Hall. Both walkers and runners enjoy the challenging route that includes a gradual uphill climb and winds through downtown Saluda with its tree-lined streets. Then, everyone gets to enjoy refreshments at the finish line!

The Saluda Parade

The famous Saluda Parade begins at 11 a.m. Each year, the parade entertains all ages with handmade floats, decorated tractors, fire trucks, classic cars, and horses! Coon dogs and their owners walk the parade before taking center stage at the dog show. Everyone loves seeing the Coon Dog Day Royalty Float; the newly elected king, queen, princes, and princesses ride by and wave to the crowd! The royal court is elected from local candidates and is a sought-after position for those under 18 years of age.

The Dog Show

In the afternoon, thousands of attendees gather to watch the coon dogs take center stage at the American Kennel Club’s licensed show in the McCreery Park pavilion. Coon dogs are loyal pets, excellent hunters, and are known for their loud, unique bark and incredible sense of smell. After the bench show and special youth show, you’ll get the chance to see coon dogs in action at the treeing contest.

Where to Stay

If you’re going to be in town for Coon Dog Day, book your stay at Orchard Inn before it’s too late! This popular event has more than 15,000 attendees, so our cozy rooms fill up fast. We are located about a mile away from Main Street where the festival takes place, yet set back in the mountains to create a relaxing, secluded oasis. Browse through our rooms and cottages, then book your stay! We look forward to seeing you!