Prize money totaling $100,000 helps create one of the biggest and most anticipated cultural events in the Choctaw Nation – and it will arrive before Christmas. Intertribal dancers and singers from 30 different tribes across the United States and Canada will come together for the 13th Annual Choctaw Pow Wow on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Choctaw Event Center in Durant.
Doors will open to the public at 10 a.m. both days. In addition to the Pow Wow, Gourd Dancing will take place 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
Dozens of local artists, craftsmen and food concessions also will be open. Admission is free to the public. There is bleacher seating, but people may bring chairs to sit at dance-floor level. The Choctaw Event Center, located at 4216 U.S. 69 or Highway 69/75 and Choctaw Road, is climate controlled and there is plenty of close-by parking.
This year, dancers and drum groups will take home $100,000 for the two-day competition. Dance categories include Golden Age, Senior, Junior, and Teen for both men and women. Tiny tots, up to age 6, will also take the floor.
Styles of dance represented will include Choctaw Traditional Dress, Southern and Northern Traditional, Fancy Shawl, Jingle, Cloth, Straight, Fancy, Grass and Chicken. Four Dance Specials will also be presented.
Dancing will begin Saturday after the Grand Entry at noon. After a dinner break a second Grand Entry will take place at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, the season will be recognized with a “Native Nativity” play at 10:30 a.m. Sunday’s Grand Entry also will begin at noon.
For more information, contact Kerry Steve, of the Choctaw Nation Cultural Services Department, 800-522-6170, Ext. 4090 or email@example.com.