The Red Fern Festival

Tahlequah, Okla. – This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Red Fern Festival in Tahlequah. The festival was created in honor of Wilson Rawl’s novel “Where the Red Fern Grows” which was based in Tahlquah. The festival takes place in down town Tahlequah during the last weekend of April and covers a seven block area with many different activities offered. There is a screening of the movie as well as fern sales and a Miss Red Fern Pageant among many other things. The festival hosts live music, food, crafts and games- providing a little something for everyone. The festival received a Citation of Merit from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department for Outstanding New Event in its first year, and won the Redbud Award for Outstanding New Event in its second year. Last year the festival had approximately 28,000 people in attendance. This year will no doubt be just as successful and entertaining.


The festival kicks off at 4pm on Friday, April 29. Some of the activities that day include inflatables, a cake walk, a coon hunt and the screening of the movie. The music kicks off at 5pm on Center Stage with The Farinelli’s.

On Saturday, April 30 the festival opens at 9am and some of the activities include a car show, a chili cook off and a duck race. At 10am on Center Stage is the second annual Miss Fern Pageant.

At 1pm on the Center Stage is country duo Alaska & Madi, who are both 20 year old Oklahoma ladies who have been singing together since they were 8.

At 2pm on the Lakes Country Stage is the first round of America’s number one country music talent search, the Country Showdown contest.

At 5pm on Center Stage is Barton & Sweeney who are described as “two guys, two guitars and a ton of talent”.

At 6pm on Lakes Country Stage is Chuck Dunlap & Scott Carson, Stillwater guys who are not only great musicians in their own rights but who also host Red Dirt Nation Radio. At 7:15 on Lakes Country Stage are the Skillbillies who are described as a group of Oklahoma boys who love to play.

At 8:15pm on the Lakes Country Stage is the lovely and talented Kaitlin Butts who has been busy making quite a name for herself in the Oklahoma/Texas Country music circuit in the last couple of years. Her sassy stylings and beautiful voice have both earned her a great deal of recognition, and she is definitely one that you don’t want to miss.


At 9:30pm on the Center Stage is Zane Williams, who is also a hot name at the moment in Oklahoma/Texas music. His heartfelt lyrics and songwriting skills have set him apart from many.

“Where the Red Fern Grows was one of my favorite books as a child for sure,” said Williams when asked about the festival. “Tahlequah is a beautiful part of Oklahoma. I noticed Kaitlin Butts is on the bill opening for us, and I think she’s really talented. We have a lot of people opening for us, but she’s definitely someone who has caught my ear, someone that has got a bright future. I’ll be looking forward to seeing her. It’s been 6 months or so since I’ve seen her, so I look forward to maybe getting to know her a little better and getting to see her show again.”


On Sunday, April 31 the festival opens at 9am and activities include inflatables and music. On the Center Stage at 1pm and 3pm Olen Davis and the Travelers will be playing.

You can find out a complete schedule of events as well as more info on the festival at the website

Tonya LittleComment