Many gather for annual event
By By Adrienne McKenzie
The frigid air on Thursday and Friday did not keep anybody away from the 37th Annual Pow Wow held at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Reservation.
The two-day festival held at the PCI had a good crowd, Tribal Council member Robbie McGhee said Friday afternoon.
"Due to the weather yesterday (Thursday) I think we have had a great turnout," McGhee said. "The weather today is bringing everybody out. I think it's a success and everyone is enjoying themselves."
PCI community relations director Sharon Delmar agreed.
"We have had a great turnout despite of the cold weather," she said.
The Pow Wow is full of entertainment, history and heritage. People in attendance are able to shop at the merchandise tents set up by many vendors. There were also several food booths set up.
Thanksgiving Day opened up with the Oklahoma Creek Stomp Dancers and then PCI had a special treat for the crowd.
"This year we are having a new program that started with the Poarch Creek Pow Wow Club," cultural education coordinator Alex Alvarez said last week. "We have been working with 18 kids teaching them how to dance and getting their outfits ready, we are looking forward to them being in the arena for the first time."
JoAnne Butler is a dancer with the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe located in Texas and she said she has enjoyed herself at Poarch.
"I feel it's going pretty great," Butler said. "Yesterday (Thursday) it was really cold so today it is a lot easier to dance. I've had fun. I've been dancing my whole life so I go to Pow Wows all the time."
Opening ceremonies on Thanksgiving Day were at noon with Paul Pearson performing the National Anthem on a steel guitar and Tribal chairman Buford L. Rolin welcoming everyone in attendance. Miss Indian World Megan Young was the special guest speaker.
There was also a princess contest on Thursday. The Indian Princesses include, Dariane Guy as the Elementary Princess and Brenna Hall as the alternate, Destiny Morris as the Junior Princess and Deidre Smith as the alternate and Mallory Young as the Senior Princess and Danielle Martin as the alternate.
Friday concluded the Pow Wow at 5 p.m. and there was a stomp dance at Poarch's Wellness &Activities Center at 8 p.m.
Those responsible for the Pow Wow each year are the members of the Pow Wow committee, which includes Gloria Fowler, Shirley "Pug" Roberson, Chris "Ding Ding" Blackburn and Connie Vickery. Also the community relations department work to get the Pow Wow ready. The community relations staff includes Sharon Delmar, Mandy Peebles, Suzanna Lambeth and Gayle Johnson.