Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 15, 2012

Cherokee Holiday gears up

TAHLEQUAH — The Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer break for students, but for Cherokee citizens, it’s a time of celebration and homecoming.

The 60th annual Cherokee National Holiday will take place Friday through Sunday, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, and is expected to draw tens of thousands of citizens and visitors.

This year’s theme is “From One Fire to a Proud Future,” and emphasizes the kinship and unity of all Cherokees. The festival celebrates the tribe’s signing of its 1839 constitution and an act of union that formally joined factions of the tribe into one nation.

During his state of the nation address at Monday evening’s Tribal Council meeting, Principal Chief Bill John Baker said he’s looking forward to this year’s celebration.

“This is the 60th year of the Holiday, and I like it when that number also coincides with my birthdate,” said Baker, who turned 60 in February. “The volunteers have been working really hard to make this Holiday the biggest and best ever, and I truly appreciate all of their efforts.”

The Holiday kicks off with the Holiday art show, in which artists compete for $12,000 in prize money in 12 categories: traditional, contemporary pottery, paintings, drawings and graphics, photography, sculpture, contemporary basketry, textiles and weaving, diverse arts, youth ages 1-8, youth ages 9-13, and youth ages 14-18.

“We have expanded the youth category this year, and broken the ages down a little more, offering more prize money for the youth, who are our future,” said Marie Smith.

The show will be displayed at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center, 100 N. Water Ave., and opens at 1 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31. Winners will be announced on opening night. The show continues Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The arts and crafts vendors will have two locations this year. Beginning at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 31, vendors will present their wares on the grounds at the Cherokee Heritage Center, at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill. More than 80 Native American vendors featuring original paintings, prints, jewelry, basketry, beadwork, traditional clothing, flutes, pottery and quilts.

Vendors will also be available downtown at the historic Cherokee Courthouse Square beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, as visitors gather for the Holiday parade and state of the nation address.

Over 100 parade entries are expected for this year’s Holiday parade, which is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, on Muskogee Avenue in downtown Tahlequah. Entry categories include floats; vehicles; marching bands; businesses, churches and non-profits; and Cherokee Nation employee groups. Trophies will be awarded in each category and in best overall presentation. Applications for entry are due by Friday, Aug. 24. For more parade information, contact Debra Lack at (918) 453-5310.

The Holiday powwow is a perennial favorite among citizens and visitors, and this year, coordinators expect more dancers from more tribes, including the well-known Northern and Southern host drum groups. This year, the powwow has increased its total prize money, with $35,000 being offered.

The event is slated for 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, and Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Cherokee National Cultural Grounds, West 810 Road, just south of the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Complex.

“We’re doing a lot of different things [this year],” said powwow Chairman Rob Daugherty.

“We are offering more of a celebration and more opportunities for different styles of dance from different tribes and different nations of powwow people. We want people to come, have a good experience and some fun.”

Those with a competitive spirit and a desire to learn more about Cherokee culture won’t want to miss out on traditional games like marbles, the cornstalk shoot, a blowgun competition and stickball games. The cornstalk shoot will be at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, west of the CN complex, followed by the blowgun competition at 1 p.m., at the Cherokee Heritage Center. The marbles tournament finals will take place at 4 p.m. at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Stickball games will be held at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at the Markoma Center, off of Fourth Street near Go Ye Village, and at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Sequoyah High School football field.

In addition being the site for arts and crafts and traditional Cherokee Games, the Heritage Center will provide free admission to its attractions during the three-day Holiday.

“The Cherokee National Holiday provides us with a unique time to open our doors and provide free admission to the public, so that everyone can tour the attractions and enjoy the grounds,” said Karen Cooper, executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center.“This is a special weekend at [the center]. With thousands of guests visiting, we have the chance to share Cherokee culture through art, music and a variety of performances.”

Free admission includes entry to the Tsa La Gi Ancient Village, Adams Corner Rural Village and the Trail of Tears exhibit. Free guided tours of the Ancient Village will be offered every 30 minutes, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., each day.

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is also offering visitors free admission to its three museums over the weekend, including the Cherokee National Prison Museum, the Supreme Court Museum, and the John Ross Museum. Each presents a unique perspective on Cherokee history and culture.

The Supreme Court Museum, at 122 E. Keetoowah St., is Oklahoma’s oldest  government building, built in 1844. The museum features three historic aspects of the Cherokee Nation judicial system and language, including the Cherokee Advocate and the Cherokee Phoenix newspapers.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.


    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow