2017 Red Fern Festival - April 28 & 29 2017
If it weren’t for Wilson Rawls, there would be no Red Fern Festival.
Rawls’ novel, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” is set in and around Tahlequah and tells the story of a boy and his two dogs. However, there’s more to the story, and the story resonates with all who read it. Whether a person is in the sixth grade reading it in school or read it many years ago, the tale stays in the hearts and minds. Many are curious about the place the story is set, and want to see for themselves what inspired Billy Coleman.
Now in its eleventh year, the Red Fern Festival is held in downtown Tahlequah on the last weekend in April. It is grown over the years and now spans over seven blocks with activities taking place at Norris Park, Cherokee Capitol Square and Sequoyah City Park. Live music, arts and crafts, hound dog field trials, a car show, a barbeque and chili cook-off, Miss Red Fern pageant, old fashioned children’s games, fern sales, screening of the movie “Where the Red Fern Grows” are featured attractions of the event. One of the most popular aspects of the children’s events is the crawdad hole, which has free-range, hand-caught crawdads children can catch while learning about them from knowledgeable adults.
The Red Fern Festival has grown in scope each year, both in events, size and attendance numbers. The 2015 festival had approximately 28,000 in attendance. In its inaugural year in 2007, the event received a Citation of Merit from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department for Outstanding New Event, and in its second year won the coveted RedBud Award for Outstanding New Event. There's something for everyone at the Red Fern Festival. Save the date and make plans to be in Tahlequah the last weekend in April.
2017 Festival Hours
Friday Noon - 10:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM