Pow Wow coming Thursday, Friday
By By James Crawford
The 32nd Annual Poarch Creek Indian Thanksgiving Pow Wow is set for Thursday Friday at the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation on Jack Springs Road in Atmore. The Pow Wow will feature Native American dance exhibitions, individual dance competitions, craft vendors and a wide variety of both Native American and contemporary foods.
The Poarch Creek Indians are expecting upwards of 10-20,000 visitors in the two-day celebration based on past turnouts.
"We have a real nice pow-wow," said Poarch Creek Community Relations Director Roy Shiver. "It's big enough to attract quality dancers and vendors but small enough to have a family experience."
The dance competition will feature an introduction ceremony called the Grand Entry on Thursday, at 2:30 p.m. and Friday, at 10 a.m. Dancers from various Native American tribes, led by flag bearers, will enter the arena performing traditional song and dance. Afterwards, dance competitions will be held for adult men and women, teen boys and girls, young boys and girls, and tiny tots. Winners will be announced at the end of the competition on Friday.
The Poarch Creek Indians will also crown an elementary, junior, and senior princess on Thursday, at noon. Princess contestants will compete on Wednesday in various categories before a group of judges from different tribes. The princesses will represent the tribe throughout the year at various functions.
"They are our ambassadors of good will so to speak," Shiver said. "They will represent the tribe next year and go to events such as the parade in Atmore."
Kids can participate in a number of different activities, such as a bow and arrow turkey shoot or take a ride on a train that will encircle the grounds.
"We'll have an old fashioned greased pig chase where we grease up a pig and toss him in with a bunch of kids," Shiver said. "The winner will receive half the proceeds collected. There are hundreds of things that go on. It's just a full day of fun."
According to Shiver, the Poarch Creek Indians expect anywhere from 50 to 100 craft vendors to set up booths during the festivities. "You can find everything from hand-made Indian crafts to commercial jewelry," he said. "There will be leather works, tanned hides, turquoise jewelry and much more."
The Red Cross will hold an Alabama/Auburn blood drive throughout the day Friday. The group that collects the most pints of donated blood will receive a football autographed by their school's football coach.
Despite the success of past pow wow's, however, Shiver feels like some people outside of the immediate community are still a little reluctant to join in the fun and are missing out. "A lot of people have a misconception. They think a pow wow is such a sacred thing that they feel a little uneasy. But this event is put on for the public," Shiver said.
Registration for the dance competition will be excepted until Thursday at 2:30. Dancers must participate in at least one Grand Entry.
To have a craft booth, call Glenda Carlton at (251) 368-9136 ext. 2289. For more information about the pow wow contact Roy Shiver at (251) 368-9136 ext.2205.