Monmouth – The echoes of drums are not far off in the distance. Western Oregon University's Multicultural Student Union Powwow is set to take off Saturday at noon in the Werner University Center at WOU.
The grand entry, featuring a colorful parade of Native American dancers, will kick off the day’s festivities, which are poised to last until midnight.
Following the grand entry, the venue will open up to dances and dancing competitions, vendors, raffles, singing and music by host drum Bad soul.
“We are expected to have way more people attend this year,” Gabriela Acevedo-Solis said, one of the directors organizing the powwow. “We’re bringing in a lot of new people which is always great.”
Acevedo-Solis said that she anticipates double or triple the number of vendors, compared to last year’s powwow.
In addition to the expected increase in attendance, another addition to the powwow is the inclusion of a transitional special, which will begin at 1:45 p.m.
The transitional special will celebrate the coming of age for a Native American girl. The special will include and ceremony and follow with raffle, hosted by the girl’s family.
From 5 to 7p.m., a free dinner will be provided to all attendees. Indian tacos will be served, which feature a cultural favorite, Indian fry bread, topped with meat, beans, and other assorted add-ons.
After the dinner break, if you missed the first grand entry, a second grand entry is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“People enjoy seeing what happens on grand entries, they like seeing (the) dances,” Acevedo-Solis said. “It’s really beautiful, it’s a thing where you have to see it yourself.”
The event will be emceed by Nick Sixkiller, who has been Western’s powwow emcee for years.
“He’s very helpful, kind of building a bridge between Western and the Native American community,“ Acevedo-Solis said.
Participants from last year’s powwow said that they enjoyed being exposed to Native American culture.
“I encourage people to attend, it’s something new and would be beneficial for everybody, promoting diversity, especially around our community,” Acevedo-Solis said. “It’s for all ages.”
Admission to the powwow is free, and don’t fret it if you can’t attend, the powwow will be livestreamed to www.wou.edu/usc/video.