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41st annual Manteca event starts Friday
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A participant from a previous Three Rivers Indian Lodge Pow Wow that takes place each summer in Manteca. - photo by Bulletin file photo

It’s pow wow season.

By that, various Native American tribes from throughout the land will be conducting ceremonies of feasting, singing and dancing.

“(The pow wow) is about sharing our traditions and culture,” said Crystal Gallegos of Three Rivers Indian Lodge. “It’s a gathering of (tribe) nations.” 

The 41st annual Pow Wow “Honoring the Family” as presented by Native Directions Inc. / Three River Indian Lodge will begin Friday on the grounds located at 13505 Union Rd., Manteca.

A traditional wedding of headman Robert LeRoy and headwoman Frances Rocha will take place at 5:30 p.m., kicking off the three-day special event. All are invited.

The Pow Wow is a free event complete with Gourd Dancing – traditional Native American dance conducted in full regalia – and the sharing of a Traditional Meal.

An estimated 3,000 including some from out of state are expected to partake of this pow wow during the weekend but at various times. No pets will be allowed at this drug and alcohol-free outing.

The Gourd Dance led by Randy Pico will take place shortly after the wedding at about 7 p.m.

Right after that will be the final scheduled appearance of the Bear Dancers.

According to Gallegos, the Bears at the Native Directions Inc. / Three Rivers Indian Lodge event are at the end of their four-year contract.

The Bear Dancing will take place following the conclusion of the first-day pow wow, at about 10:30 p.m. Those with physical or even emotional stress-related ailments are invited to take part in the dance circle for the healing ceremony and take part in this “unique experience,” said Gallegos, who is an office assistant at the lodge.

Saturday beginning at noon will be the grand entry of the various tribes.

The 5 p.m. Traditional Meal will consist of chicken, salad, and other shared potluck items.

Vendors selling Native American arts and crafts – jewelry, traditional medicine, shirts, hats, and even pottery, to name a few – will be available during the pow wow.

Ditto that for the food vendors, who again offer up the always popular Indian tacos, fried bread and beverages.