The thrum of drums and the thrill of Native American dance and culture will showcase this year's 32nd annual Mt. Juliet Pow Wow, which will be held at Mundy Memorial Park Saturday and Sunday.
Nearly 100 Native American tribes will be represented at the spectacular event hosted by local Cindy Yahola. There will be two days of dance competitions, great food and booths filled with Native American crafts for sale.
Yahola said the state has declared September 2013 "American Indian Heritage Month."
"It's going to be just great," Yahola said. "This is a way to educate the public about Native American culture. We thank the community for their support for all these years and the respect for our culture. I hope they come spend both days with us and go away with a little more knowledge of Native Americans."
Yahola said she is praying for good weather. One year, 10 inches of rain fell during the Pow Wow and she had to close at 8:30 a.m. the second day. Other years there were tornadoes.
One of the most enjoyed attractions at the Pow Wow is the tribal dancing, which will begin each day with the tribes parading into the show-ring, each sporting their tribal dress and displaying individual dance moves. Seven drummers will create the rhythmic music, and the singers will sing in their native language. The dancers will vie for cash prizes.
A special treat at this year's Pow Wow will be performances by a mother and daughter vocal team, Cherokee Rose and Salina, at noon Saturday. Both days there will a Hoop dancer and Eagle dancers. New this year will also be an award-winning flute player. State Rep. Susan Lynn will be a speaker as well.
A Trail of Tears Memorial Walk will kick-start the Pow Wow, beginning at the Grace United Methodist Church on North Mt. Juliet Road at 8 a.m. and continuing to Charlie Daniels Park. Melba Checote-Eades sponsors the walk and was presented with a proclamation from the city making Sept. 28 Trail of Tears Memorial Day.
The gates open at 10:30 a.m. at Mundy Memorial Park off Belinda Parkway.