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Red Fern Festival: a yearly tradition to locals and visitors


The fresh morning air gently cooled my skin as the sun broke from behind the trees. It was a gorgeous, almost perfect April morning. The quiet is broken by the commotion of the dogs and the spectators in the park. Their distinct “bawl” echoes in the distance as one-by-one, they begin to alert their owners that they have performed their job and treed their intended prey.


If you close your eyes and allow yourself to be taken back in time, you can almost hear the roar of the steam engine making its way through the Ozarks. The whistle blaring as it begins to chug its way into town, and the rush of air as the train stops and the brakes lock to deliver a set of Red Bone pups, soon to be known as Old Dan and Little Ann by a young Billy Coleman to the General Store in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.


Wilson Rawls timeless tale of a boy's love for his family, love of his dogs and his love for adventure in the Cookson Hills of Cherokee County and Adair County’s lives on and is celebrated the last weekend in April in Downtown Tahlequah.


As easy as it is, for me anyway, to get lost in my imagination of that point in time in America, the delicious smell of “fair food” opens my eyes to, vendors, games, contests, events, bands, attractions, and people participating in bringing a wholesome family weekend to a beautiful location that’s worth experiencing with either your eyes open or your eyes closed. Can’t wait to see you guys this year at the 15th Annual Red Fern Festival, Downtown Tahlequah, April 28th and 29th.

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