Powwows are social gatherings involving traditional native dances that continually evolve to include contemporary aspects. Each powwow begins with the grand entry, with the posting of the colors by Native American veterans, along with the eagle staff, and a procession of all the dancers into the dance area.
At the heart of the powwow are the drum groups, proving the beat to accompany the dancers' movements.
Represented are many tribes from all areas of America. The Gathering of the People Powwow is open to the public and a great way to learn more about Native American culture.
This year's event host drum is Twigh Twee Singers; from the Indiana Miami tribe, along with Co-Host Drum Kingfisher.
The Gathering of the People is excited to have leading the dancing head man dancer Chris Gresham and head lady dancer Pamela Malone Gresham. The Master of Ceremonies will be LeRoy Malaterre, known for his extensive knowledge of the powwow and the traditions and ways of the Native people.
Area Director is Larry Penrose. The head veteran will be George Reitter, who served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and Junior Boy Dancer is Marvin Malone from Terre Haute, while Junior Girl Dancer is Heather Bowser.
Native American food -- such as fry bread and Indian tacos -- will be available as well as traditional fair food. Authentic arts and crafts made by natives may be purchased directly from noted jewelers and artisans.
Gates to the event will open at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, with the grand entry at 1 p.m., each day.
There will be nighttime dancing, beginning at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25. Dancers in regalia are welcome at no charge and will be treated to a free dinner Saturday, Sept. 25.
In honor of the powwow, a Christmas toy drive for children of the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota, will take place. Those bringing a new toy for these children will receive $1 off admission per person per toy.
The Vigo County Conservation Club grounds are located east of Terre Haute and west of Brazil.
From Brazil, travel west to the junction of United States 340 and U.S. 40. Turn north onto Miami Gardens Road and drive north 1.4 miles to the first crossroad, which is Grotto Road. Then, turn west and drive 1.2 miles to the club grounds, 10382 Grotto Rd., Terre Haute.
Admission is $5 and children 10-under will be admitted free. There is plenty of parking available. Those interested in attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and blankets.