Sampling ‘coon’

The 69th annual Gillett Coon Supper.

I like barbecued raccoon meat.

I finally accepted this fact Saturday night after I tried “coon” for the second year in a roll at the 69th annual Gillett Coon Supper. Believe me, it’s words I never thought I would utter.

The Gillett Farmers and Businessmen’s Club hosts the coon supper as a fundraiser for college scholarship. It originally began after World War II as a way to raise money for athletics at Gillett School District but the focus shifted when the district was consolidated with the DeWitt School District.

It remains one of the most popular events in Arkansas County and is held each January. It also garners more than 600 attendees — pretty impressive for a community of only 691 residents.

Former U.S. Congressman Marion Berry helped boost the event in the political realm and, today, it’s considered a kickoff into Arkansas’ political season. The coon supper is officially a nonpolitical event, but that doesn’t stop Arkansas politicians from stopping by to be seen and visit with constituents.

It’s always a good time with great music, good company and sometimes too raunchy jokes. If you’ve never been — there’s always next year.

Here’s my story and pictures on the event that appeared today. By the way, have you ever tried “coon” and did you like it?


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