The Grand American Coon Hunt brings thousands of people to the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds each January. It’s the city's first major event of the year.
Sponsored by the United Kennel Club, the nationally known event is often viewed as the kickoff to the UKC coonhound events calendar.
The Grand American features skilled hounds from across the nation. There are two night hunts and one bench show.
The family-friendly event is not just for coon hunters, but visitors can find a variety of vendors and catch up with old friends while making new ones.
Between 27,000 and 30,000 visitors are anticipated each year, along with an additional 800 dog-owner participants and around 100 vendors, Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce President Reyne Moore has said.
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"It is one of the premiere night hunt events in the country. Visitors will come from all over the U.S. to enjoy the Grand American," she said in a previous interview.
Moore also noted the event also creates an economic boon for the county, particularly for restaurants.
"In addition to that income, we also see Grand American and UKC (United Kennel Club) hotel room and camping rentals, fuel-ups at Orangeburg County gas stations and an immeasurable impact on local retail establishments. In fact, many visitors bring their whole families to enjoy the event and experience what Orangeburg has to offer before, during and after the programs," Moore said.
She said that the Grand American Coon Hunt is a welcome attraction in the county.
"Orangeburg is an outdoorsman's dream, and we would love to see more events like this which highlight our local environment, wonderful organizations like the UKC and American Cooner magazine, all while bringing significant economic impact to our collective backyard," she said. The event is presented by American Cooner magazine.