Red Fern Festival approaches quickly
TNE Editor
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Red Fern Festival approaches quickly

Published 4/18/17

Thomas Gardner

TNE Writer

With springtime comes Tahlequah’s annual Red Fern Festival. Celebrating their 11th year, the Red Fern Festival will take place in downtown Tahlequah April 28-29.  The two-day celebration includes live music, a car show, coon dog field trials and the chili and barbecue cook-off, which is arguably the most popular event at the festival.

Events will kick off Friday evening with inflatables for kids in Norris Park from 3-8 p.m., live music under the newly constructed Morgan Street pavilion across from Norris Park from noon until 8 p.m., a coon hunt, cake walk and, of course, the ever popular screening of “Where the Red Fern Grows,” based on the classic written by Wilson Rawls.

“Watching the showing of the film each year is one of my family’s favorite Red Fern traditions,” said Patrick Mcright, Tahlequah resident.

After viewing the classic film Friday evening, hunters and animal lovers will not want to miss the Dog Field Trials taking place in Sequoyah City Park. Festival goers should have no issue locating the event. Just listen for the sounds of coon dogs. The dogs will take to the Town Branch, racing upstream following the scent of raccoon.

Beginning promptly at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Kiwanis Club barbeque and chili cook-off will take place on the corner of Muskogee Avenue and Downing Street. Children and adults both have the opportunity to take advantage of tasting kits with all proceeds being returned to the community through projects provided by the Kiwanis.

“One of my favorite events is the duck race,” said Matt Breece, Fayetteville resident. “It’s such a fun way to get the kids down by the creek.”

Classic car aficionados and gear heads will not want to miss the car show, which also takes place on Saturday. With the show growing exponentially over the past few years, it now includes dozens of categories, including rat rods, mustangs and muscle cars. This event will take place on Water Street with prizes being awarded at 2 p.m.

“Here at Tahlequah Main Street Association, we are really excited for this year’s Red Fern Festival,” said Drew Haley, Main Street Association director.

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