Tahlequah showcases the Red Fern Festival
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Local

Tahlequah showcases the Red Fern Festival

Published 3/29/18

Jalen Porter

TNE Writer

Each year Tahlequah showcases the Red Fern Festival downtown. Traditionally, the festival is the last week of April and includes a variety of events each day. There is music, food, events and other various attractions.

The Red Fern Festival began in 2007 by Tahlequah Tourism. Tahlequah Main Street Association took over in 2013. This year it is lead by a group effort including the city of Tahlequah, TMSA, Tahlequah CVB and Chamber of Commerce.

The name of the festival originated from a legend that tells a story about an angel planting the seed of the red fern in Tahlequah. Tahlequah was established as the Cherokee capital in 1839.

“Ever since I’ve been at NSU I attended the Red Fern Festival,” said Michael Davis, Troup, Texas senior. “They have plenty of things for people to do, but I always enjoy the different types of food they have. I will definitely be there this spring.”

Each day throughout the week they have different festivities going on. Monday through Thursday includes performance in Norris Park by the Children’s Choir, the Tahlequah Middle School Choir, the NSU Jazz Band and the Tahlequah High School Choir. On Friday, there is a Vintage Plane Fly-In, a military, police and fire static display, an arts and crafts exhibit and a raccoon hunt. Saturday festivities include a Hound Dog Field Trials in Sequoyah park, a string instrument contest by the NSU Jazz Lab at Norris Park, Kiwanis Barbecue and Chili Cook-off and a concert in Norris Park.

“Seeing people get out and enjoy what Tahlequah has to offer is a great thing to see,” said Drew Haley, Red Fern Festival manager.

The 2018 Red Fern Festival will include a performance by Byron Berline at Norris Park. Berline is a popular solo act who plays the fiddle. He attended the University of Oklahoma in 1963 with a B.A. in education. Berline has played sessions with a number of artists such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and Ian Matthews and Southern Comfort. In the 1980’s Berlin founded the production company BCH with Crary and Hickmam which led to a number of albums they produced together. In recent years, Berline has owned and operated Byron’s Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Music.

“I usually attend the concerts at the Red Fern Festival,” said Tim Davis, Sallisaw sophomore. “Country is my favorite genre of music, but I never heard of Byron Berline. That would be something different to experience.”

The Red Fern Festival is April 23-28 on Muskogee Ave. in downtown Tahlequah.

For more information, visit tahlequahmainstreet.com

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