The Nanticoke Indian Tribe’s annual powwow is returning this year — and changing sites.
After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, the event will take place at Hudson Fields in Milton from Sept. 10 through Sept. 12.
Previously, the event has been held on tribal grounds near the tribe’s museum and community center in Oak Orchard.
Organizers believe Hudson Fields will provide more open space and so open the powwow and its traditions to a whole new audience.
“Our powwow is a cultural event, and it’s a gathering of Native Americans to renew and refresh their spirits,” said Chief Natosha Norwood Carmine. “It’s a time of gathering, coming together, remembering and honoring our ancestors and our elders, and teaching our youth and the generations to come.”
Carmine said that while they will miss the ambiance of the trees native to their ancestral grounds, hosting the powwow at Hudson Fields also will allow for more distancing in light of the COVID delta variant.
The powwow will feature traditional activities like crafts, dances, and songs, as well as the beloved annual pig roast.
“There are so many local people in Sussex County who have never been to the powwow and hopefully this will allow them to come share in our culture, witness our dance, partake of some of our native foods, and visit the vendors who work very hard making their crafts and wares,” Carmine said.
New additions to this year’s event include a tribute to 9/11 with native flute, expanded dancing to include Aztec dancers, a children’s area presented by the Brandywine Zoo, a car show organized through the Delaware Street Rod Association, and an interactive exhibition of birds with the Delaware Museum of Natural History and Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections.
Shuttle buses will operate all weekend to transport visitors around the venue.
“We’re very excited to have a cultural event at Hudson Fields,” said Julie Hudson of Hudson Management.
Hudson said that while other events at Hudson Fields, such as fundraisers, concerts, and sporting events, are beneficial to the community, this will be their first event of cultural significance.
She believes that having the Powwow in a more high-traffic area will allow the Nanticoke Tribe to attract more visitors than before.
“I think a lot of people just don’t know about the Powwow because they always held the event on their native lands, which is extremely important and very valuable to the tribe,” Hudson said. “It’s just unless you heard about it in the paper or you knew about it, or you’ve been attending it for years, there’s tons of people in this area that vacation here or even live here that don’t know that the tribe exists and the powwow exists.”
Tickets to the event cost $8 for adults, $5 for children 11 to 17, and free for children under 10.
Hudson Fields, easily visible from Route 1, is at 30045 Eagle Crest Road, Milton, Delaware 19968.
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