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Drums, dance on display during Thunder on Beach Powwow at fairgrounds

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The methodic beating of drums and rhythmic dancing are on full display this weekend at the Indian River County Fairgrounds as the annual Thunder on the Beach Powwow gets underway.

“We’ve had an awesome turnout,” said ticket-taker Kelly Chesser Saturday afternoon, adding that this is the first year in a long time the weather has been good. Organizers expect a few thousand visitors to the fairgrounds to learn about Native American culture, watch tribal dances and even participate in demonstrations.

“We had a good time,” Troy Martin, who brought his visiting relatives from North Carolina to the fairgrounds Saturday.

Alice Powell said it was interesting for her and her three kids, Ethan, Jeremiah and Alexis, to see the culture first-hand and watch the dances. They had come to Florida for the warmth and sunshine and were not disappointed when Martin suggested they go to the Powwow.

Several hundred people gathered under the pavilion to listen to the Redbird Jr. Singers and Host Drum – Northern Wind perform as natives dressed in traditional garb took to the center stage to dance led by Lead Dancers Ed Winddancer and Kaye Taylor.

More than 30 artisans and crafters had booths set up displaying their wares, which ranged from jewelry and clothing to native music and handmade flutes.

Food vendors offered buffalo burgers and gator tail to hungry visitors.

The annual Thunder on the Beach continues Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The cost is $6 adults, $4 for children, those under 6 get in for free.

For more information about the event, call (772) 567-1579 or visit www.ThunderOnTheBeachPowwow.net.

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