Tahlequah Daily Press

September 12, 2013

63rd Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration set


TAHLEQUAH — The 63rd Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration begins Friday, Sept 13. On the schedule for Friday night is a gospel singing, stomp dance and arts, crafts and food vendors.

Several events will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, including a dignitary breakfast, 5K and 1K fun run, parade, state of the nation ceremony, hog fry, children’s activities, turtle races, basic art lessons and make-and-take crafts and arts, crafts and food vendors.

Cultural activities slated Saturday include a horseshoe tournament, cornstalk shoot, blowgun shoot, marbles demonstration and stickball game.

Other events associated with the celebration but not held on the same weekend, will be the mens’ fast pitch and co-ed softball tournaments, set at the Sequoyah ball fields Oct. 4 and 5.

The theme for the 63rd Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration is “Weaving the past into our Future.”

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a tribe steeped in tradition, and one that is committed in preserving the history, culture and language of its people.

The tribe offers several language classes each season in communities across the 14 counties of Northeastern Oklahoma.

Keeping the culture in the forefront is always a priority. The UKB offers regular classes in making Keetoowah Cherokee crafts, including baskets, marbles, stickballs, stickball sticks, bows, blowguns, darts, among others.

In 2011, the UKB opened a museum with the permanent gallery featuring the history of the Keetoowah Cherokees.

The tribe has recently received a grant to fund phase II of the museum, which will double the size of the venue.

The Keetoowah Cherokee never forget the ones who came before them. The UKB car tag is titled, “Honoring our Ancestors.”

Several facilities created over the past few years bear the names of revered Keetoowah Cherokee leaders.

The first facility was the UKB Child Development Center, named for Keetoowah forefather Henry Lee Doublehead

 The elder community center is named for Jim Proctor and the museum is named after former chief John Hair.

For more information on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration, call (918) 431-1818 or (918) 456-6533.