Another week is upon us and there’s plenty of free fun to look forward to with the whole family. Look no further than a trip to Traders Village, which hosts a Native American Pow Wow this coming weekend, Sept. 20-22.
Several hundred Native Americans who represent dozens of tribes are expected to participate in the annual event that celebrates their culture and heritage.
The event is highlighted by its dance competition — a colorful, tribal dance-off where Native Americans of all ages — from toddlers to grandmothers — compete for prize money. The first competition takes place from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and then from noon to 3:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Dancers will be in full Native American regalia, so make sure your cameras and phones are ready to take some incredible photos.
Pow Wows are a Native American’s way of renewing old friendships and making new ones, along with renewing their culture and preserving their rich heritage. So, a good goal is to meet another family and strike some new friendships, or reconnect with an old friend by inviting them out for the weekend.
There are a few things you should know before attending if this is your first Pow Wow:
- Be respectful. These events celebrate Native American traditions that should be respected. The dance arena is typically a circle and is blessed upon before any dancing takes place. It’s important not to walk across it.
- Be observant. When the Pow Wow begins, dancers enter the circle and are typically led by the veterans and head dancers. Make sure to stand at this time, as an opening prayer is also said. Also try and refrain from eating and talking at this point.
- Click! You’re encouraged to take photos, but if you take a portrait that’s closer up of a participant in Native American garb, you should ask permission first. Most of the time, it won’t be a problem.
- Dance? Some Pow Wows do feature what’s called “inter-tribal” dance that follows the Grand Entry. That dance allows all in attendance to participate inside the circle. If you want to dance, walk with the beat and watch other men and women around you for some guidance.
- Donations. Pow Wows typically ask for a donation during the blanket dance. Those funds help benefit the group and allow them to put on future Pow Wows. So, if you have an extra buck or two, it’s not a bad decision to make a donation.
In addition to the dance competition, Native American artists, craftsman, and traders from across the country will sell their wares. There’s also an Indian food booth serving authentic Native American foods all weekend.
Like all other events at Traders Village, located at 2602 Mayfield Road in Grand Prairie, the Pow Wow is free of charge. It does cost $4 to park your car for the day.
Of course, there’s always plenty of fun things to do at Traders Village, including its 15 amusement park-style rides for kids of all ages. Rides cost $2.49 each, or you can buy an unlimited all-day ride pass for $12.99 — a great value for a full day of fun.
For more information, visit the Traders Village website or call 972-647-2331.
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