Friday, September 6, 2013

Totally Texas -- Drums & dancers: it’s pow wow time!

51st Annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow

Traders Village, 2602 Mayfield Road, Grand Prairie


It’s pow wow time again at Traders Village in Grand Prairie. Sponsored by the Dallas/Fort Worth Inter-Tribal Association, the 51st Annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow opens tonight, September 7, through Sunday, September 8. Arts and crafts shows and food booths featuring fry bread, Indian tacos and more, open at 6 p.m. tonight in the Green Expo Building at the west end of the grounds.

Artists and vendors from across the country will bring jewelry, pottery, baskets, painting, rugs, clothing and more for show and sale.

Dance contests, with host Pawnee host drummer Jason Lightfoot, run from 8 - 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and 7 - 11 p.m. Saturday, and 1 -5 p.m. Sunday. Dancers from dozens of tribes will compete, in full regalia of feathers, buckskin, beadwork and bells will compete in the arena adjacent to the Green Expo building.

Dance categories are based on age, sex, and style. Traders Village is also sponsoring contests for men’s straight dancing and women’s jingle dress dancing. Despite the name, “straight dancing” involves some of the most elaborate regalia, with details of each dancer’s outfit unique to his style. Jingle dresses are sewn with hundreds of tiny, triangular bells.

A posting on Pow Wow Calendar notes that everyone is welcome to dance, but a CDIB card is required for contest eligibility.

Entry to Traders Village and the pow wow events is free. Parking is $3. The Village is huge, and so is the parking lot, so wear comfortable shoes. The village has ATMs, stroller rentals, carnival rides and games, and everything you could want at a huge flea market. For more information, see “51st Annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow” on Facebook or

(Next Friday -- the fall festival season unofficially opens, with a roundup of some of my old and new favorites.)

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