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.
"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.