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Powwow ends three-day run in Manteca
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The Northern Drums celebrate the sobriety roll call at the powwow. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Orena Monahan once again enjoyed her three-day stay at the Fourth of July Powwow at the Three Rivers Lodge in Manteca.

Since 2008, she’s attended every one of these events featuring colorful parade of dancers not to mention spirited rhythmic drummers.

“It’s always a good time coming to Manteca,” said Monahan, who patiently put together an earring using 13-cut beads on Sunday. “I’ve met up and talked to old friends and checked out the (vendors) booths.”

Originally from Winterhaven – in California near Arizona and home to the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation – she now resides in San Jose, where she was able to depart Friday to take part in the powwow happenings.

This year’s theme was “Youth Honor our Tradition.”

The 37th annual event included participants from throughout the western U.S. According to Eric Kimple, who served as master of ceremonies for the past 15 years, the furthest came from Wyoming.

The third day event was a Celebration of Sobriety, with the drum circles performing during the Sobriety Roll Call.

“Recovery – that’s what this non-profit organization is all about. For those who go through this program, we know a lot of the success cases,” Kimple said.

The Three Rivers Lodge was founded in 1974 to provide drug and rehabilitation services under Native Directions, Inc.

The final day also featured a dance contest with participants dressed in full Native American regalia.

“I would love to dance,” said Kimple, who lives in Hayward. “That’s my first love.

“But instead I’m out here as the MC.”