Calling all fancy dancers, jingle dancers and grass dancers! The Cherokee Nation will host the 59th Cherokee National Holiday’s intertribal powwow on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 -3. One of the largest powwows in the state, the event takes place at the Cherokee Nation cultural grounds located behind Sequoyah Schools on W. 810 Rd. south of Tahlequah, Okla.
Gourd dancing, social dancing and competitive dancing will be featured, and the powwow is free and open to the public. Cash prizes of up to $600 will be awarded to the top four contestants in the adult, golden age 55 and up and juniors age 6-15 divisions. Registration is open from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Ladies will compete in the areas of cloth, buckskin, jingle and fancy shawl dancing, and male contestants will take part in straight, traditional, grass and fancy dances. Contestants must register and remain in full regalia and participate in both grand entries to be eligible for cash prizes.
The powwow will kick-off at 5 p.m. Friday evening with gourd dancing. Grand entry takes place at 8 p.m. followed by social dancing. Women, juniors and golden age divisions will compete in their dances Friday night.
On Saturday, gourd dancing starts at 2 p.m. The grand entry is at 8 p.m. followed by social dancing and the men’s competition.
The head man and head lady dancers will be Randy Frazier (Prairie Band Potawatomi) and Angie Goodfox (Sac and Fox). The head singer will be Pat Oyebi (Kiowa). Although most of the contest dances are not traditional Cherokee dances, the Holiday powwow provides a welcoming way to include visitors from other tribal nations in Cherokee National Holiday activities. Spectators are welcome and are asked to observe traditional powwow etiquette while attending the event. Along with dancing, the powwow will also feature a variety of arts and crafts vendors, as well as food concessions.
For more information, call Darlene Foreman at 918-453- 5393 or Beverly Barr at 918-453-5233. Vendors interested in powwow booth space can call Lou Slagle at 918-453- 5544 or Amy Davis at 918-453-5536.
The Cherokee National Holiday, held annually over Labor Day weekend since 1953, commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Nation Constitution. With its exciting array of entertainment, cultural and athletic events, it has grown into one of the largest festivals in Oklahoma, attracting more than 90,000 visitors from across the world. The 59th Cherokee National Holiday is a smoke-free event. It is sponsored by the Cherokee Nation, a modern tribe of more than 300,000 citizens with its capital in Tahlequah, Okla. This year’s Holiday theme is “Jobs, Language and Community,” reflecting the Cherokee Nation’s emphasis on cultural and economic initiatives.
For a full schedule of events and event locations for the Cherokee National Holiday, please call 918-453-5536 or visit http://holiday.cherokee.org