Wildhorse Resort & Casino to Host 25th Annual Pow Wow on July 5-7

Wildhorse will celebrate the 25th annivesary of its annual Pow Wow on July 5-7. (Photo courtesy of Wildhorse Resort & Casino)

A Native American pow wow is a time when many tribes gather to celebrate cultural tradition, spirituality and competition.  For thousands of years, music and dancing has been an essential practice for tribes all over North America.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the annual Wildhorse Pow Wow.  The popular cultural gathering attracts Native American dancers and drummers from around the country to celebrate their heritage.  The event is also a draw for spectators who appreciate the rare opportunity to see colorful beaded regalia and intricately detailed ceremonial clothing.

The celebration takes place July 5-7 at Wildhorse Resort & Casino near Pendleton.  Grand entry begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

As is typical of large pow wows, visitors will find traditional foods and handcrafted Native American items offered for sale by traveling vendors and artists.

More than $90,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to outstanding dancers and drummers in a variety of categories.  Dancers will compete in Traditional, Fancy, Golden Age, Grass, Chicken, Jingle, and more.  Drummers compete in other categories.

The host drum for the 25th Annual Wildhorse Pow Wow is Sharp Shooter of St. Paul, Minn.  Emcees are Thomas Morning Owl, Fred Hill and Jerry Meninick.

Hill expressed his sentiment of Native American singing and dancing in an interview with The Archeology Channel.

“When you get hit by a song, when you get hit by the vibration of that drum that makes you move, that’s when it gives life,” says Hill.  “As long as we dance, we shall live. As long as we sing, we shall live, too.”

In conjunction with the pow wow, Wildhorse Resort & Casino is hosting Pow Wow Comedy Night in the Rivers Event Center on Thursday, July 4.  The show will feature comedian Tonia Jo Hall as the headliner.  Hall has gained notoriety as her hilarious alter ego, Auntie Beachress.  Marc Yaffee, who has entertained audiences for more than 20 years, will open the show.  Admission is free, show starts at 8 p.m.

With the launch of the expansion at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, areas usually reserved for vendors and event parking will be occupied by contractors.  As a result, the outdoor venue has been moved to the open area west of the Wildhorse RV Park.  Visitors should look for directional signage to the new location.