Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 3, 2014

Red Fern weekend less than a month away

TAHLEQUAH — Though the Red Fern Festival is still more than three weeks away, anticipation is building for one of the city’s biggest and most well-attended annual events.

The eighth festival is April 25-26 in downtown Tahlequah. Most events are at Norris Park, with others staged at Sequoyah City Park, the Cherokee Capitol Square, and along Muskogee and Water avenues.

As many in Cherokee County know, the Red Fern Festival is inspired by the Wilson Rawlins novel, “Where the Red Fern Grows.”

“While the festival is only eight years old, it has been blessed with success from year one,” said David Moore, executive director for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce. “The festival is centered on a book many people relate to. It is a book about hard work, determination and heartbreak. Those are things we deal with in our daily lives.”

Drew Haley, director of the Tahlequah Main Street Association, said Red Fern preparations are “going great.”

“We’ve streamlined the process for our vendors,” Haley said. “They can go online and pick out a spot on the map, and we can accept vendors until the day before the festival or we run out of room. I’m also excited to see downtown involved with sidewalk sales. There will be something to do along all those blocks.”

The two-day community celebration features live music, the barbecue and chili cookoff, and a rubber duck race. Many local organizations plan fundraisers in conjunction with the festival. There are also the hound dog field trials, animal exhibits, games for children, and the auto show with cars, trucks and motorcycles.

“We like showing off our cars,” said Mitchell DuVall of the Cherokee Cruisin’ Classic Car Club, or 5Cs. “People like looking at old cars, and I think they reminisce about the cars they drove when they were young.”

DuVall has participated in the Red Fern Festival since its inception in 2007, but he promises to be more relaxed this year.

“I am not president of the car club anymore, so I don’t have as much work to do,” he said.

“I will have more time to talk to members of the other car clubs at the festival. It’s a lot like a family reunion. I know the chili cookoff is always good, and the festive games are a big draw for everyone who attends.”

Thousands are expected to attend the festival, many from beyond Cherokee County.

“From the perspective of the chamber, Red Fern is also a big economic boost for Tahlequah,” Moore said. “It brings people from around northeast Oklahoma and across the country.”

The festival opens at noon Friday with arts and crafts, and the newly added vintage show. Vendors for the show should be able to display collections or assortments of vintage items. Photographs, rugs, movie posters, clocks, toys, and furniture are welcome additions. Further suggestions are listed at redfernfestival.com with the vintage vendor form links.

Friday continues with storytelling at 1 p.m., a cake walk at 5:30, turtle races at 6, and live music at 6:30. The evening concludes with a screening of “Where the Red Fern Grows” at 8:30.

The car show begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Capitol Square. Children’s games are at 10.

The barbecue and chili cookoff begins at 11, as do the hound dog field trials at Sequoyah Park.

The horseshoe tournament, and the checkers tournament at Iguana Cafée, start at 1 p.m. The duck race starts at 2. Awards are announced at 5 and live music begins at 6 p.m.

Bands which have already signed to perform at Red Fern include the Hank Williams tribute Hankerin’ 4 Hank, and the Tulsa folk duo Barton and Sweeney.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament