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Native American Festival returns

Tom Detrick, of Cottondale, Fl., arranges his Artifacts Museum and Gallery display items Thursday in preparation for this year's Native American Cultural Festival at Chehaw. The three-day festival begins today. (April 12, 2013)

Tom Detrick, of Cottondale, Fl., arranges his Artifacts Museum and Gallery display items Thursday in preparation for this year's Native American Cultural Festival at Chehaw. The three-day festival begins today. (April 12, 2013)

ALBANY, Ga. -- You may have noticed the teepees scattered at locations around town. That's a sure sign the Chehaw Native American Cultural Festival is back for the weekend.

According to park officials, The Cultural Festival will feature music and storytelling, Aztec dancing and a Native American show, as well as primitive technologies of the Native Americans and colonists.

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Ken Purdy, of Montezuma, assembles his Flint River Forge booth at Chehaw Park Thursday in preparation for this year's Native American Cultural Festival, which runs through Sunday. (April 11, 2013)

"One of our new attractions this year is a show called 'Warriors on Horseback,'" said Doug Porter, executive director of Chehaw. "It's an exciting show featuring authentic Native Americans on their horses."

Porter said the warriors can be expected to do all sorts of amazing things, and may even surprise a few of the Chehaw train passengers.

For the past few years, the Cultural Festival has taken place inside the Chehaw zoo. Park staff is planning some demonstrations involving the animals there, Porter said. The alligators are set to take center stage.

"With the weather warming up, the gators are starting to get hungry again," Porter said, "so we'll be feeding them this weekend. That always makes for great entertainment."

Planned also for the festival are demonstrations on flint knapping (the art of stone tool chipping), primitive fire starting, deer-hide tanning, pottery making, story-telling, basket weaving and other Native American crafts.

Festival dancers represent a few of the more than 500 Native American tribes and will perform in colorful regalia. There will be authentic teepees and bark shelters for closeup viewing.

And don't forget the food vendors and the wide variety of Native American crafts -- including fine Southwestern jewelry -- available for purchase. According to Ben Kirkland, natural resources manager for Chehaw Park, a lot of the available jewelry is of very high-quality, purchased from Hopi, Navaho and Zuni craftsmen in Arizona and Oklahoma.

According to officials, Friday is a special "Kid's Day," with rates of only $5 per school-age child.

Today, Saturday and Sunday The Cultural Festival will begin at 9:30 a.m It ends at 3 p.m today, 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Regular park and zoo entrance rates of $10.75 per adult or $7.75 per child ages 4-12 apply on Saturday and Sunday. Chehaw members will pay $1.

For additional information call Chehaw Park at (229) 430-5280 or visit www.chehaw.org.

Comments

Thurman 1 year, 7 months ago

" Friday is a special "Kid's Day," with rates of only $5 per school-age child". "The Cultural Festival will begin at 9:30 a.m It ends at 3 p.m today," This certainly is not convenient as kids get our of school at 2:45 P.M. I cannot see how to pick up my grandson's, get to Chehaw, and enjoy any of the festival with this time frame. But we will be there tomorrow.

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

One of the better things brought to Albany. Not only will the children enjoy, but they might even learn. Get a dream catcher, and have the creator of this talisman instruct the children what it is for nad how to use it. Some may just get a good nights sleep with this added layer of protection in the bedroom. I know one PTSD sufferer that swears the Dream Catcher has stopped the ghosts from visiting. It is all about what you believe.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, as much as I would like to attend, simply cannot afford gas to drive to Chehaw and then spend am additional $22 for my spouse and I to get in. Whatever happened to the average family being able to go to things like this? Breaks my heart I can't go....

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm with you Flunky but heart won't break and feet won't hurt by not going. Most who go have no intention of also visiting the zoo . While all would like for Chehaw to become self sufficient, the ticket seller's should wear a balaclava on this one!

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 7 months ago

The statement about my heart breaking is because I have never missed the Indian Festival but this year I am missing because I can't afford it and the powers that be don't give a rat's a** about those of us in this boat. I care nothing about going to the animal park--just wanted to meet the Native Americans.

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VietVet1 1 year, 7 months ago

Are they really going to have real Native American dancers this year? And only had "almost one" Native American vendor. Last year was a joke! Even tried the day old fry bread (needless to say it wasn't any good - should have known as the servers were eating hamburgers from the parks vendor). This event is nothing like the previous promoters events. What a shame!

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VietVet1 1 year, 7 months ago

And here's something the vendors best understand and hold Chehaw Park accountable.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. For a first time violation of the Act, an individual can face civil or criminal penalties up to a $250,000 fine or a 5-year prison term, or both. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000.

Under the Act, an Indian is defined as a member of any federally or State recognized Indian Tribe, or an individual certified as an Indian artisan by an Indian Tribe.

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VietVet1 1 year, 7 months ago

Before buying Indian arts or crafts at powwows, annual fairs, juried competitions, and other events, check the event requirements on the authenticity of products being offered for sale. Many events list the requirements in newspaper advertisements, promotional flyers, and printed programs. If the event organizers make no statements on compliance with the Act or on the authenticity of Indian arts and crafts offered by participating vendors, you should obtain written certification from the individual vendors that their Indian arts or craftwork were produced by tribal members or by certified Indian artisans.

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Opinionated 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree it costs a lot to take a family for one day. Our answer was a family membership to Chehaw. It costs 75.00 a year for a family membership and that gets you admission to all of the events like the Indian Festival (this year they did charge members one dollar). We like taking our kids out on nice weather days for picnics, hiking/biking, camping, playground, zoo, etc. We don't live in an area with parks and our neighborhood traffic is like a Sunday NASCAR race. So Chehaw becomes our really big backyard. It's nice to have a safe place to take them where they can enjoy the outdoors. It's the best money we spend the whole year.

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