• WHAT: 36th annual Three Rivers Powwow complete with traditional dances, ceremonies, vendors, and food
• WHEN: Today from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 6:30 p.m.
• WHERE: Three Rivers Lodge on North Union Road north of Manteca
• ADMISSION: Free
• DIRECTIONS: From Highway 99 take the Lathrop Road exit in Manteca and travel west a mile to Union Road and turn right. The lodge is a mile to the north on Union Road.
The 36th annual Fourth of July Powwow at Three Rivers Lodge in Manteca enters its second day today with the grand entry starting at 1 p.m. If you miss today’s colorful parade of dancers, the spirited rhythmic Native American drummers, or the traditional food and arts and crafts, you can catch up on all the festivities Sunday. The last day of this summer gathering of different tribes from all over California and about a dozen other states including Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wisconsin will run from noon until 7 p.m.
“Our event is on their calendar, so we get (visitors) every year from across the country,” said Ramona Valadez, executive director of Three Rivers Lodge which has been playing host to this traditional cultural celebration for nearly four decades.
Last year, attendance during the first two days of the powwow was more than 2,000, Valadez said.
Among the powwow participants who came all the way from Southern California were Anna Jacome and her four children. Her husband stayed at home this time because of his job, she said.
“This is the first powwow where I drove by myself without my husband,” said the stay-at-home Jacome who brought along sons Dakota, 8, and Jay, 10; and daughters, Cheyenne, 17, and Monica, 18, who will be a freshman at the University of San Diego this fall. The family lives in Mesa Grande. They have been coming to the Manteca powwow for nearly a decade.
“We come just to enjoy,” said Monica who plans to major in Sociology at USD.
Like many of the guests, the Jacomes who belong to the Kumeyaay tribe, attend powwows “about once every weekend” during the summer.
In addition to the spiritual gourd dancing, drummers, and dance competitions, guests at the Three Rivers Lodge powwow can browse through the more than two-dozen booths selling Native American arts and crafts. Valadez said some of the vendors are from Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California.
“Honoring the Nation” is the theme of the 36th annual Fourth of July Powwow. Three Rivers is located at 13505 N. Union Road in Manteca.