GALLIPOLIS — The Harvest Moon Pow Wow is returning to Gallipolis City Park Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday with dancing, drumming and the celebration of Native American heritage and culture.
The event is free and open to the public.
“I have a southwestern Ohio drum coming in and dancers from all over,” said event organizer Rona Roach. “We’ve got vendors who sell handcrafted goods and I’m loading up (equipment for the event). I’ve got loads of tents and all that for the pow wow so I’m out of breath. Its been nonstop for the last six weeks getting ready for the pow wow.”
“We want to teach our culture and if we can’t answer questions we find someone who can,” said Roach. “This is our thirteenth year in the park and we had done two years in the fairground…”
“(For those of Native American descent) It’s important for us to keep our culture alive and to teach our young little ones coming up the importance of family,” continued Roach. “We look at everybody as family. As far as the community, it helps heal the community because it brings us together. If people would come talk to us, they would realize we’re not any different from anybody else. Many Native Americans are very spiritual, so this is like a homecoming… We come together and tell our experiences. Some of us only see each other once a year at the Harvest Moon Pow Wow. Some of us might see each other at certain events.”
Roach said those who often participate in the pow wow will visit with local students to discuss Native American culture.
“A lot of people in this area have Native American backgrounds but might not know it,” said Roach. “They may not know to look for it. Reservations can help, historical societies and groups like that. So, if you go and look and get stumped on something, we can help you look back maybe a bit further.”
Roach invited children to take part in the “candy dance” anticipated to happen every day of the event.
“I’ve got a ton of candy this year,” said Roach.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.