LUMBERTON — American Indians from across the United States and Canada are expected to visit Robeson County on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to help the Lumbee Tribe celebrate the coming of spring.
The Lumbee Tribe’s ninth annual Dance of the Spring Moon, Lumbee Spring Powwow, is being held at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center on U.S. 74 just outside of Lumberton.
Alex Baker, communications director for the tribe, said several thousand spectators, as well as more than 400 dancers, are expected to take part in the event. They will compete for thousands of dollars in prize money.
“We want to invite all of our neighbors to take part in the powwow,” Baker said. “Those who are not Native Americans are welcome and encouraged to take part in our celebration of the arrival of spring.”
According to Baker, the host drums this year will be the Midnight Express, from Minnesota, and the Wild Band of Comanche, from Oklahoma. Local tribal members Frank Lowery will serve as “head male dancer,” and Ashley Mitchell will be the “head lady dancer,” he said.
Each day there will be a grand entry when all the dancers and drummers gather in the arena at the same time. Any veterans in attendance are also honored during the grand entries.
Baker said that this is the best time for spectators to view all of the dancers and drummers. At other times those dancers in the ring are a limited number competing in special categories, he said.
The grand entries will be Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at noon and 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Dance competitions for elders, adults, teens, boys and girls categories will be held all three days of the event.
Baker said there will be a special honor song and dance recognizing the tribe’s elders who participate in the 14 Heritage groups at about 4 p.m. on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Baker said that at least 33 vendors are expected, including nine featuring food.
“There will be plenty of authentic Native American crafts,” he said.
Gates open to the public Friday at 5 p.m.: Saturday at 11 a.m.; and Sunday at 10 a.m. A worship service will be held Sunday at 11 a.m.
Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for young people ages 6 to 12; and $5 for those 55 years of age and older, and those with military IDs. Children ages 5 and younger are free.