Event honors Native American heritage, veterans’ service to nation
WHITE CLOUD – Native American dance, food, crafts and more will be featured at the White Cloud Purple Heart Pow Wow on Aug. 5-6, the 19th edition of a landmark cultural event in Newaygo County and the region. The event starts around noon on both days, with the colorful Grand Entry of flags, staffs and dancers in regalia at 1 p.m. and 6pm on Saturday, Aug. 5, and noon on Sunday, Aug. 6.
There will be a special VFW flag raising ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday with an honorary fly over. All are welcome to attend this special event honoring all veterans.
The Pow Wow will be held just west of downtown White Cloud, near 286 E. Baseline Road, just west of Sycamore Road.
“Dancing is the main attraction at the Pow Wow, so there will be a lot of that with people dancing until dusk, plus outstanding food and arts and craft vendors from all over, representing many tribes and nations,” said Gene Reid, event manager. “Everyone is welcome to join and be a part of our celebration. You don’t have to be Native American or a veteran. The camaraderie is a sight to behold and it’s a time for people from all over to come together. The Pow Wow is for everyone in our community to have fun, learn about different cultures and ask questions.”
More than 75 people in traditional regalia will dance during the event, which typically attracts more than 1,000 people. All people of any culture or ethnic origin are invited to join in and dance during specified “inter-tribal” dances. It is a way for everyone to take part in the dance circle together.
The event is sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. A Purple Heart recipient himself, decorated for valor during his service in Vietnam, Reid is a member of the Mohawk tribe, which is part of the Iroquois nation. Reid said the White Cloud Pow Wow attracts participants from many tribes, from as far away as South Carolina and New York, even Canada.
Admission for the event is $4 for adults and $3 for seniors and children 6-12. Kids younger than 5 get in free. Dogs are not allowed on the Pow Wow grounds and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Reid said organizers will strictly enforce prohibitions banning drugs and alcohol from the event.