Families urged to attend powwow

September 29, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Wakichipi Pow-wow and Show returns to the Martinsburg Youth Fairgrounds this year with a different format, Pow-wow President Barry Richardson said.

Gone are the dance competitions among the visiting American Indians, Richardson said.

Instead, anyone can dance, Richardson said. Organizers wanted to get the audience more involved and are encouraging families to come.

Twenty American Indian dancers are expected as well as Aztec dancers from Mexico City.

This year's powwow will be more traditional and educational, Richardson said.

On Friday, Sept. 30, local students will visit the powwow.

A parade of nations kicks off the powwow at noon Saturday, Oct. 1.

Visitors can learn about American Indian dances and culture and interact with dancers, singers, drummers, artists and craftspeople.

"The purpose is, hopefully we'll convert some folks to know and believe and look at American Indians in a different light and different way," Richardson said.


Many people still think of stereotypes when they see American Indians. They think all American Indians are the same, but there are 500 different nations, he said.

There will be craft demonstrations and sale of such crafts as turquoise jewelry, moccasins, beadwork, rugs, books, paintings and dreamcatchers.

Food for sale will include buffalo stew, fried bread, Indian corn soup and buffalo burgers.

The event also features storytelling, pony rides, face painting and a tepee.

If you go ...

WHAT: Third annual Wakichipi Pow-Wow and Show

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Berkeley County Youth Fairgrounds

COST: Friday, $7; Saturday and Sunday, $8 for adults and $5 for children.

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 81 south to Martinsburg exit 12 east (Apple Harvest Drive aka W.Va. 45). W.Va. 45 becomes W.Va. 9 as you drive east toward Charles Town, W.Va. In the first several miles you will go under an underpass; get in the left lane after that underpass. After the second light past the underpass, cross a railroad track and turn left on Grapevine Road. Follow Grapevine to Golf Course Road (Grapevine dead ends into Golf Course Road). Turn right on Golf Course Road, crossing a one-lane bridge, following Golf Course Road up a hill past a golf course on the left. Just past the top of the hill, follow Golf Course Road to the left. The fairgrounds are on the left just past the golf course.

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