Special to Atmore News
After a two-year break due to COVID, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians will once again celebrate one of its most unique Thanksgiving traditions with its Annual Pow Wow.
The two-day celebration, which will be held Thursday, November 24, (Thanksgiving Day), and Friday, November 25, marks the 50th anniversary of the gathering on Poarch’s reservation lands that began in 1971 as a homecoming celebration for Tribal members.
Defined by its tradition of sharing, the Tribe extended invitations to friends and neighbors, and the event grew rapidly. Today, a half-century later, the Poarch Pow Wow has become a favorite tradition for thousands of Alabama families, as well as visitors from across America, who travel to Atmore to experience Poarch’s tradition and to honor the Tribe’s place in Alabama’s history.
“This year’s Pow Wow is especially meaningful to us,” said Chris “Ding Ding” Blackburn, Planning and Events Coordinator for the Tribe. “We are so happy to be resuming the Pow Wow after having to cancel it the last two years due to COVID-19, and the fact this year also marks our 50th celebration makes that return to tradition even more special.”
The event packs in plenty of family-friendly activities for all ages. The dance competitions will feature American Indians from over 20 Tribal Nations across the U.S., performing indigenous dances in authentic regalia. Dance competitions feature four age categories, and several different styles of dance, each arranged within male and female divisions.
Another highlight is the annual crowning of the Poarch Creek Indian princesses who will serve as Ambassadors for the Tribe throughout the year at public events, as well as tribal gatherings, all around the United States.
“Pow Wow is a time of celebration that we all look forward to throughout the year,” said Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. “We are grateful for those who take this special opportunity to experience part of our 50-year Native American tradition. It is a true joy to share this cherished time with so many people, from places both near and far. “
In addition to the main performances, visitors can find unique crafts and goods at the many vendor booths including handmade items by tribal artisans. Guests can also enjoy an array of foods such as traditional home-cooked barbeque, fire-roasted corn, or buffalo burgers.
The Annual Thanksgiving Day Pow Wow starts at 10 a.m., each day. Admission is $5 per person for ages 7 and older. Children ages 6 and under are free.
For more information go to https://pci-nsn.gov/annual-thanksgiving-pow-wow/ or on Facebook (Poarch Creek Indians Annual Pow Wow).