INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The 9th annual Thunder on the Beach Pow Wow at the Indian River County Fairgrounds the weekend of Feb. 17 to 19 is the largest of its kind in Florida, featuring three action-packed days of performances, crafts, ethnic foods, music and much more.
Last year, 10,000 attendees enjoyed the spectacle of Native Americans representing tribes from all over the U.S. performing dances in brilliant tribal regalia, singing, drumming and storytelling. It is number one of 25 pow wows in the State of Florida.
Field activities include primitive native encampments so you can see what life was like before the first Europeans arrived, bull whip, fast draw, knife throwing and archery demonstrations, a story telling circle, an exhibit of Treasure Coast birds of prey and alligator adventures.
In the arena, enjoy non-stop performances by noted Native American singers, dancers and musicians, including the headliner, renowned Native American flute player and recording artist, J.J. Kent. The arena will also feature 30 artist and vendor exhibits including Native American-made clothing, jewelry, leather goods, art, musical instruments, dolls, handcrafted tools and weapons, recordings, and more. An auction of items donated by vendors will also be held.
Friday, Feb. 17 is Kids Day, a field trip opportunity for all Indian River County school kids with fun activities from 9:30 am to 1 pm. Last year more than 1,000 kids attended. Then at 3 pm, the Pow Wow is open to the public with plenty to see and do until 10 pm.
Saturday, Feb. 18 festivities begin at 9:30 am and continue well into the evening. In addition to the performances and vendors, at 5 pm the public is invited to a free native dinner consisting of elk, wild boar and buffalo stews. In the field, a movie will be shown that evening about Native American history and culture.
A Thunder on the Beach princess will be crowned in both the senior (ages 14-17) and junior (ages 8-13) categories (register by 10:30am Friday and Saturday mornings), and finally at 10:30 pm, attendees are invited to participate in a native bartering activity called the trade blanket.
The fun continues on Sunday, Feb. 19 with all the field and arena activities mentioned above from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm.
Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and kids 6-12, no charge for kids under six. Watch the spectacle or take part in it, either way, a great time is guaranteed for all!
For more information, including lodging and camping, visit www.thunderonthebeachpowwow.net , or call event organizer, Dona Chesser at 772-567-1579.