GALLIPOLIS — The Native American Education Association Inc. will present its eighth annual Harvest Moon Pow Wow on Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in the Gallipolis City Park.
The pow wow is free to the public and primarily serves to the revitalize the traditions and culture of the Native Americans, as well as to help spread education about Native American history and their lifestyle.
The event will feature music, dances, education about Native American culture and spirituality, storytellers and many vendors in which goods such as Native American artwork and jewelry can be bartered for or purchased with money.
Native Americans will come together to share experiences, discuss issues, preform demonstrations, and sell and exhibit their work. Storytellers that will be on hand will present tales about Chief Cornstalk, Tecumseh and others.
The artistic drum for the event will be Red Circle, and the co-host drum will be Sky Hawk. The groups will be coming from northern Ohio and bringing many dancers.
There will be a total of 15 vendors present at the pow wow, including a T-shirt vendor who will print shirts on the spot, which is new to the event this year, event coordinator Thomas Abrahamson said.
Also new to the event are veterans from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4464 and Gallia County Vietnam Veterans, who will open up the ceremonies each day and conclude the pow wow with a closing ceremony on Monday, Abrahamson, said.
Courtside Bar & Grill will be the food vendor this year, serving their own menu in addition to traditional Native American foods such as fry bread, buffalo tacos, buffalo burgers, elk burgers, buffalo pizza and more.
Additionally, Saturday and Sunday is ‘Kid’s Day,’ which will feature demonstrations, dances, storytelling and vendors that focus on educating and entertaining children. For instance, Abrahamson said the “candy dance” will feature a dance in which children will stop to pick up candy from the ground when the drum beat stops.
“Needless to say, we’re going to have a lot of things going on this year,” Abrahamson said.
While the pow wow serves to celebrate the Native American heritage and way of life, Abrahamson said it also serves to help raise funds to bring educational programs to schools in the Gallia, Meigs, Jackson and Mason counties.
“It’s really pretty neat. We’ve had many requests from schools,” he said. “We try to work with schools and go wherever we can.”
Raffles and donations from pow wow attendees help to raise funds for the educational programs, and local businesses sponsor the pow wow to make it possible, he said.
Abrahamson also said the pow wow — while showcasing Native American culture — is for more than Native Americans to attend, and that involving non-Native Americans is important.
“It’s open for everyone,” he said. “It’s a time for everyone to come and have a good time.”