One of Saluda’s most celebrated festivals is the annual Coon Dog Day Festival. Coon Dog Day is a tribute to a special breed of dog known for its courageous spirit. A coon dog, or coon hound, is a type of scent hound.  The name is derived from their original use in hunting raccoons. Many years ago, I had a Walker Hound dog named Penny. She was a sweet dog and is missed. She would have enjoyed Coon Dog Day celebrating her breed!

Coon Dog Day is a special event celebrating the beloved breed with music, food, a parade, and even the crowning of a Coon Dog Day King and Queen. This year’s Coon Dog Day Festival will be held Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Main Street. There will also be a 5K race/fun walk, live entertainment, street dancing, craft vendors and more! The Coon Dog Day Festival is a great family event, and generally attracts a crowd of 15,000 or more attendees. Dogs are welcome to join in the fun as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. An information tent will be open in front of City Hall at 7 a.m. to answer any questions you may have.


The Coon Dog Day 5K Race/Fun Walk starts off the day-long festivities at 8 a.m. The race begins at City Hall. Walkers and runners alike will enjoy the challenging race route that includes a gradual uphill climb and winds through downtown Saluda with its tree-lined streets. They’ll also enjoy refreshments at the finish line. Visit the event website to register in advance, although race day registration is available.

At 11 a.m., the famous Saluda Parade will begin. The parade always has everyone entertained and with a bevy of handmade floats, as well as decorated tractors, fire trucks, classic cars, and horses. Coon dogs and their owners also participate in the parade, something you won’t want to miss. Trophies are awarded to the best float in the parade. One hit with the crowd is the Coon Dog Day royalty court float, which includes a king, queen, princes, and princesses. The court is elected from local candidates who range in ages, from newborns to 18 years old.

At 1:00 p.m., 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.

At 4:00 there is a Big Wheel Race on Greenville St for all the “kids”!


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

The Oaks Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance to Main Street!  Although our pet friendly suite is booked (by a coon dog and his fortunate owner, of course!) we have open rooms in our beautiful Victorian! Guest enjoy free parking and a full breakfast.