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Worth the drive: Coon Dog Cemetery is one-of-a-kind Labor Day celebration

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

 

TUSCUMBIA, Alabama -- Each Labor Day holiday, locals and visitors from near and far gather at the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery in northwestern Alabama for a one-of-a-kind celebration filled with music, food and fellowship. The annual Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration pays tribute to the dogs and to those who loved them, especially the cemetery's founder, Key Underwood, and his dog Troop, the first dog buried there 80 years ago.  

 

Set for Sept. 4, the Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration is now in its 80th year. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy a day of live music, arts and crafts, food and games. Slated to perform are the Southern Strangers featuring their old-time bluegrass music and Muscle Shoals music legend, Travis Wammack and the Snake Man Band. A variety of contests, including a buck dancing contest and a Liar's contest will keep festival-goers entertained. Barbeque and souvenirs will be available to purchase. 

 

"For most of the year, the cemetery is filled with peaceful sounds of nature; however, on Labor Day, the quiet is broken when folks gather for the annual Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration," said Janice Williams, president of the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery Inc. "The annual celebration pays tribute to the dogs and their owners, and is a time to honor the cemetery's founder, Mr. Key Underwood, and the burial of his beloved coon dog, Troop."  

 

The cemetery is the final resting place for some 300 certified coon dogs. The only one of its kind in the world, the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery is located at 4945 Coon Dog Cemetery Road in Cherokee, Alabama. Festival admission is free. Free shuttle service, provided by the Rose Trail Volunteer Fire Department, will be available for those needing assistance. 

 

For more information, call 256-412-5970, email coondogcemetery@comcast.net or visit coondogcemetery.com or facebook.com/friendsofthecoondogcemetery.

 

 

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