MILTON — More elbowroom means more attractions.
That is the thought for organizers of the 43rd annual Nanticoke Indian Powwow, as they move to a bigger venue, Hudson Fields in Milton.
The event, being staged Friday through Sunday, will include additional offerings to augment the traditional dancing, drummers, food vendors and cultural happenings that have punctuated earlier powwows in a secluded area of rural Millsboro.
“We had outgrown our previous location. The powwow was growing every year, which obviously became more difficult with the grounds that we were on at the time,” said Avery “Leaving Tracks” Johnson, a tribal council member and powwow coordinator. “So we teamed up with the Hudsons, both Julie and Christian, to take the opportunity to actually move it to Hudson Fields for several reasons. One, it’s a larger space. Another reason is it gives us more visibility.”
Nanticoke Indian Association Chief Natosha Carmine shared those reasons earlier this summer.
“Why is (it) that we moved? Just the opportunity for growth,” she said at the time. “We will miss the trees and ambiance of the Norwood property and the Price property, all of those who allowed us to have the powwow at their property.”
Mr. Johnson added, “We were kind of tucked away, and hidden in a way, and we thought it was time to come out in the open and let the rest of the state know that we’re still around and our culture is still thriving.”
The powwow was canceled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New to this year’s gathering will be a car show, a bird show, a Brandywine Zoo exhibit and kids’ zone, a 9/11 remembrance and unique dance performances.
“This will give people a nice variety of things to see and experience,” said Mr. Johnson.
A plethora of vendors — selling food, music, jewelry, souvenirs, arts and crafts, beadwork, leather and regalia supplies — is expected.
The powwow opens with a pig roast and vendor preview Friday at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with two dance sessions. The Grand Entry (a parade of dancers) will take place at noon. There also is a tribute to 9/11 with several performances planned.
“This is a great opportunity for us, our tribe, to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 with a flute performance and then follow that with a traditional bagpipe artist as a tribute,” said Mr. Johnson.
Sunday will open with church services at 8:30 and 10 a.m., plus one dance session and a Grand Entry at noon.
Shuttles to the entrance will be available in the parking lot throughout the festival.
The cost for admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 11-17. Children 10 and under will be admitted free.
Smoking, alcohol and/or drugs are prohibited during the powwow. Pets are strictly prohibited, except for service animals with proper credentials.
An open-class car show is being held in partnership with the Southern Delaware Street Rod Association during the powwow. The show runs noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
It is open to all vehicles. Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 cars, with trophies in several classes. Vehicle registration is $15, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Geared for children, Brandywine Zoo staff will host a booth to teach about ambassador animals and engage kids in conservations about nature. Attendees can visit the area and interact with reptiles from the zoo.
There will be activity booklets and coloring pages for children to take home, along with information about the zoo.
Phung Luu, a nationally recognized conservationist and animal trainer from Dover, will bring his free-flight bird show and presentation.
Powwow visitors will have the opportunity to see owls, falcons, vultures and many other birds up close, as a way of teaching the importance of conservation.
In addition to regular dance circles featuring Native Americans from North America, there will be a demonstration from Aztec dancers, who will present their unique and entertaining style. Drumming and music will be provided by Red Blanket Singers of New Jersey and Stoney Creek of North Carolina.
“It gives people something else to experience,” Mr. Johnson said. “And quite frankly, it gives our dancers a chance to take a break.”
Dancing will take place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Hudson Fields, on Eagle Crest Road, Milton, is an outdoor venue for sports, concerts, food and festivals.
For more event information, visit here.