Pow Wow Club prepares for festival

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pictured are members of the PCI Pow Wow Club.

When dancers from around the nation show off their tribal traditions for visitors at this week’s 41st annual Thanksgiving Pow Wow, a new generation from Poarch will be among the participants.

The Pow Wow Club, founded and managed by Poarch Creek Indians cultural educator Alex Alvarez, will be dancing and competing as well.

The Pow Wow Club, made up of young members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, travels and performs all over the country but will be right at home Thursday and Friday.

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The club, which was founded in 2007, is a way for the younger generation of Poarch to get involved with their heritage and have a healthy lifestyle, Alvarez said.

“Basically, the club was started to give kids a healthy alternative of activity instead of other things that could get them in trouble,” he said. “It has steadily grown to 40 members and we pick up more kids each year.”

The Pow Wow Club gets busy during the holidays with performances requested, especially near Thanksgiving.

Dancing is the main activity of the group, but members also help in the community, Alvarez said.

“We mainly take part in inter-tribal pow wow dancing,” he said. “Our kids also do a lot of community service and perform for different venues such as schools, libraries and nursing homes. They serve as ambassadors to the Tribe, which is important.”

Serving as ambassadors means that the members of the club have to keep within specific guidelines.

Much like school activities, the group must maintain proper grades if they want to continue to be a member, Alvarez said.

“We require them to keep their grades in good standing,” he said. “It’s important that they have good grades and stay out of trouble because all of the activities they participate in. This club is a great way to give these kids a good lifestyle.”

The Pow Wow Club will be doing a performance on the first day Pow Wow on Thanskgiving at 11 a.m. They will also compete in the dance competition at the event.

The 41st annual Thanksgiving Pow Wow will be held from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Thursday and continue on Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

General admission is $10 for adults ages 18 and up and $5 for children ages 7 to 17. For two-day wristbands, it is $15 for adults ages 18 and up and $7 for children ages seven to 17. No pets, alcohol, weapons of ice chests allowed.