The 67th annual Shinnecock Powwow, scheduled for this weekend, is shaping up to be a larger-than-life celebration of Native American culture on the East End.
The powwow, which will run from Friday through Monday at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation just outside Southampton Village, will feature all of the past fan favorites, including musicians Arvel Bird, The Aztecs and Mystic River, as well as The Thunderbird Dancers. Attendees will also find vendors of native arts and crafts, food and raffles.
“It will be a wonderful time,” powwow committee member Beverley Jensen said this week. “This year, we are back to our standard powwow favorites. I think what is important for us is that it is a wonderful, fun time for our tribe.”
Ms. Jensen said the tribe anticipates approximately 15,000 visitors to the annual powwow, which will showcase the traditions and history of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. More than 100 Native American tribes are expected to attend the alcohol-free event, which will also feature a sunset firelighting.
According to Ms. Jensen, the Shinnecock Nation has hosted a powwow for hundreds of years, but it was revived for the public in 1946 as a benefit for the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church and has now evolved into an event that hosts thousands of visitors every year.
The three-day gathering will entertain crowds with Native American drummers and dancers, arranged by age and judged in traditional war, blanket and smoke dances, all competing in hopes of winning a trophy and more than $50,000 in prize money.
The Shinnecock grounds open to the public on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday through Monday at 10 a.m. A grand entry of groups parading and dancing in full costume will be held on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 and 7 p.m., and Monday at 12:30 p.m. The weekend will be emceed by Charles K. Smith II and Sandon Jacobs.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children age 6 to 12 and people with disabilities. Children up to the age of 5 can attend for free. Parking is free. The tribe has asked that people not take pets to the event.
“We hope that people will come and enjoy the festivities all weekend long,” Ms. Jensen said. “No matter what day you show up, it will be a joyous and wonderful occasion. I am proud of this powwow.”