The skies are supposed to be clear and sunny as Red Clay State Park hosts the annual Native American Pow Wow Saturday and Sunday.
“The annual Red Clay Pow Wow will be as big as ever, and the weather looks perfect for the gathering. There will be lots of Native American dancers, crafts, storytellers, exhibits, music, and of course the wonderful traditional foods the Cherokee,” said Jim Corn of the Friends of Red Clay Association.
Sponsored by the Friends of Red Clay and Native American Services of Tennessee, the event will include traditional dancers, storytelling, living-history demonstrations and more. In addition to musicians and dancers, the festival will feature craftspeople selling their wares and handicrafts at various vendor booths.
The festival is free and open to the public both days, with a $5 parking fee per vehicle or motorcycle. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. each day, according to officials
“Red Clay’s 2013 Pow Wow is a great opportunity to educate families and students about Native American history and the key role it played in shaping Tennessee,” Park Manager Erin Medley said. “The festival is a way to preserve this heritage for future generations, and we have a talented roster of artists, performers and craftspeople on hand for this year’s event,” she said.
Corn said this year’s Pow Wow may feature an appropriately seasonal visitor.
“There is even a rumor that the ghost of Sleeping Rabbit will make an appearance at dusk each afternoon, just in time for the Halloween season! The park and all the good Friends of the Red Clay invite everyone out for a really nice family traditional Native American weekend” Corn said.
Sleeping Rabbit is buried just outside of the Red Clay State Park grounds. He was a Cherokee and signer of the Treaty of the Cherokee Agency in 1817.
Native American arts and crafts will be demonstrated and sold throughout the event. Traditional and festival foods also will be available, along with some old favorites. Park visitors should bring a blanket or chairs, along with sunscreen and protective shades, according to Medley.
For more information and specific event times and activities at Red Clay’s 2013 Pow Wow, contact the park office at 478-0339.
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line, and is the site of 11 of the last 12 Cherokee Council meetings before the infamous Trail of Tears. The park encompasses 263 acres of narrow valley and forested ridges and features picnic facilities, a loop trail and amphitheater.
The park also contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek. The Cherokee used the Blue Hole Spring as their water supply during council meetings.
For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com /RedClay/.