Powwow Ignites Summer Season in Cherokee

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37th Annual Cherokee Powwow Attracts Dancers from First Nations Across the U.S.

When strong personal, familial and spiritual traditions are paired with a healthy dose of competition, the 37th annual Cherokee Powwow ignites a three-day festival of drum, song and dance to kick off the summer season in Cherokee. Hundreds of powwow dancers, including several world champions, will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes at the Acquoni Expo Center, June 29 – July 1, 2012. Visitors can watch the near-fireworks onstage in the Traditional, Fancy Shawl, Grass, Two Step, Jingle and the Daniel French Memorial dance competitions.

“Powwows are hugely popular social gatherings within Native communities that feature authentic Indian competitive dancing, drumming and tribal regalia,” said Robert Jumper, Tourism Manager for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “Visitors to Cherokee’s powwow will experience a colorful expression of energy and reverence as people of all ages from across the country gather to watch and participate. It’s a sight to behold, and there’s nothing like it in North Carolina.”

Craft vendors from across the country will offer of a variety of handmade treasures for sale. On-site food vendors will have various menu items from burgers, fry bread, meat pies, roasted corn, snow cones and a variety of cold beverages. There will be plenty of free parking and stadium seating, and visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Coolers and pets are not permitted. During the two-hour dinner break for the dancers on Saturday evening, Cherokee entertainers will perform flute music, traditional dancing and storytelling.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Friday and Sunday admission is $5 per person; Saturday is $10, children under 6 free. Grand entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday. The Acquoni Expo Center, formerly known as Cherokee High School, is located at 1501 Acquoni Road in Cherokee. For information, please call 800.438.1601 or visit http://www.cherokee-nc.com.

About Cherokee
Explore trails of legends and adventure wrapped in authentic Cherokee culture brought to life in the stories, history, traditions, songs, dances, ceremonies and fascinating period dress of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee offers activities, packages and itineraries that make visiting an affordable pleasure for all ages and interests. Visit the new Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center. Enjoy cultural festivals and attractions, bonfires, camping, tubing, hiking, wading, biking, birding, waterfalls, water mills, a pioneer village, art galleries and shops, hotels and motor lodges, family fun parks, petting zoos, more than 30 miles of untamed trout waters, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. For more information about Cherokee, visit http://www.visitcherokeenc.com or call 800-438-1601.

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Jennifer McLucas
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