Celebrating tradition

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians will hold their 42nd annual Pow Wow Thursday and Friday. This year’s activities will include the Warriors Tournament dance contest, the Pow Wow Pincess Contest a chance to view the new PCI museum and much more.

Thanksgiving in Atmore means more than just turkey and stuffing. It also means a quick trip only a few minutes north to enjoy roasted corn and Native American dancing at the annual Poarch Band of Creek Indians Pow Wow.

This year the tribe will host the 42nd installment of the event, which focuses on the celebration of their Native American ancestry through traditional dances, as well as a number of presentations aimed at demonstrating for the crowd the way life was for the tribe hundreds of years ago.

The annual dance competition, which will last through both days of the Pow Wow, Thursday and Friday, is always the highlight of the festival and will feature tribes from all over the United States. This year’s event will feature both the Poarch Creek Pow Wow Club and dancers from the Oklahoma Creek Stomp Dancers.

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Gates will open Thursday at 10 a.m. with presentations from both dance clubs before opening ceremonies beginning at 11 a.m. with a welcome from Tribal Council Chairman Buford Rolin.

At noon, another popular Pow Wow tradition, the annual Princess Contest, will begin. The competition will feature Creek young ladies dressed in the traditional clothing of their ancestors. Returning princesses include Elementary Princess Mallory Gibson, Junior Princess Kennedy McGhee and Senior Princess Breiah C. Adams.

This year’s dance competition, the popular Warriors Tournament, will get under way Thursday at 1 p.m. with the awe inspiring Grand Entry event, and will include head-to-head battles throughout the remainder of the day and into Friday’s festivities. The final four and championship rounds will be held Friday afternoon, with winners announced at 5 p.m.

For those looking to fully immerse themselves in the Creek culture, plenty of vendors will also be on hand, selling a large variety of Native American items. The 2012 Pow Wow will also feature plenty of games and rides to keep the children busy throughout the festival.

This year, Pow Wow visitors will have an added choice of activities, as the newly opened Kerretv Cuko (Building of Learning) Poarch Band of Creek Indians Museum will be open to the public from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. both days.

General admission for adults 18 and older will be $10. Children ages 17 and under will be admitted for $5. For more information on this year’s Pow Wow event, call (251) 368-9136, extension 2656 or 2636.