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Powwow celebrates rich Native American tradition
A participant from last years powwow. - photo by Bulletin file photo


• WHAT: Three Rivers Indian Lodge Powwow
• WHERE: Union Road half mile north of Del Webb at Woodbridge
• WHEN: Today from 6 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., & Sunday from 11 p.m., to 7 p.m.

The annual three-day Fourth of July powwow hosted by the Three Rivers Indian Lodge in Manteca begins this evening at 6 o’clock.

“It will be a celebration Honoring Our Elders, a celebration Honoring our Traditions, a celebration Honoring our Ancestors, a celebration of our way of life upon Mother Earth,” said David Townsend, a board member of Native Directions, the parent company of Three Rivers, summing up the overall theme of the colorful gathering that features intertribal dances and songs.

Along with the Native American dances and songs are the colorful costumes, plenty of food booths including the perennially popular American Indian taco, and many traditional arts and crafts. There will be various contests as well in hand drums, all drums, and dancing plus raffle opportunities and many cash prizes.

In keeping with the Native American powwow tradition, admission at the gate is free to the public; however, visitors are reminded that this is a drug- and alcohol-free celebration. There is limited camping space as well but it’s available on a first come, first-served basis with $10 for donation.

 “Bring your family, bring your friends, spend the day or spend the weekend with us,” Townsend said.

Below is the powwow schedule for the three days of the celebration:

• Today, Friday – 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with the Grand Entry at 7 p.m.

• Saturday, July 2 – 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with Grand Entry at 1 p.m.

• Sunday, July 3 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with Grand Entry to begin at 1 p.m.

This event attracts thousands of people every year, bringing together Native Americans from all over the country with many of them coming from as far as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota and all over California.

Guests are invited to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the programs.