Florida Seminole Tourism

Kickoff to Seminole Festival Season

Festival Season is right around the corner! Three of the biggest Seminole Tribe of Florida events of the year are happening the first three weekends of February 2024. This week, join us for all the latest details on festival season and these exciting, special events. Dance to the rhythm at the Indigenous Arts and Music Festival, immerse yourself in Native dance at the Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow, and catch the excitement of the rodeo at the Brighton Field Day Festival.

In our featured image this week (2005.1.2464, ATTK Museum), you can see a newspaper clipping advertising the Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow and Brighton Field Days in 1998. In the images, you can see Betty Mae Jumper and Louise Osceola, among others.


Indigenous Arts and Music Festival – February 2nd-3rd, 2024

Junior Cypress Rodeo Arena, Big Cypress Reservation, 36500 Rodeo Drive, Clewiston, FL 33440

The annual Indigenous Arts and Music Festival is back for its second year! The inaugural festival was a huge hit in 2023, with rocking performances from Indigenous artists like Spencer Battiest and Doc Native, One Way Sky, and the Snotty Nose Rez Kids.  The upcoming event will feature more Indigenous musical artists, speakers, dancers, arts and crafts, food, discussion panels, and more. This year’s theme will be “Honoring Our Youth,” and you can expect it to be woven throughout many of the festival offerings! Gates are open from 9:30a to 6:00p both days, and onsite parking is available. You won’t want to miss out on this free, family-friendly event!


Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow – February 9th-11th, 2024

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL 33314

Back for its 51st year, the Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow is sure to be an action-packed weekend. This annual celebration of Native American dance, art, and culture draws people from across the United States. A free, family-friendly event, the three-day extravaganza will also feature Native American crafters, food, and wildlife shows. Primitive camping facilities will be available for Pow Wow participants and vendors only.


Pow Wow Exhibition Dancing and Drumming Competitions

Pow Wows are a way for native people to meet, dance, sing, and honor and celebrate their culture. It is a “way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a time to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.” Thus, Pow Wow dancing and singing are an incredibly important and vibrant part of Native American culture. In addition to singing and dancing, the regalia worn during dances is intricate and meaningful.

During your time at the Pow Wow, we encourage you to explore and take in all the different types of dance, dress, and music. While some Pow wows are closed to the public, this event is open to anyone to visit and enjoy! Looking for tips on how to have the best Pow wow experience as a spectator? Check out our post last year about the 50th Anniversary Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will host the pow wow Friday and Saturday of the event, with no pow wow on Sunday. Grand Entry will be at 2:00p and 7:00p on Friday, and 12:00p and 7:00p on Saturday. The dance competitions are ages 7 and up, with age group specific competitions. There will be a handful of sponsored dance and drum competitions. These include Fancy Shawl Special (sponsored by Christopher Osceola), Jingle Dance Special (sponsored by Christine McCall), Fancy Dance Special (sponsored by Kenneth Shirley), and 49 Drum N/S Special Three-man team (sponsored by Mariann Billie). Other competition dances include Fancy, Jingle, Chicken, Grass, Northern Traditional, Southern Straight, Southern Cloth & Buckskin, and Northern Cloth & Buckskin.


Battle of the Guards

As a special competition this year, the Battle of the Guards will be a two-day competition for Native American color guard teams. It is being held in honor of David Stephen Bowers. There is a four-person team minimum, and judging will be based on two categories.

First, the Grand Entry participation during each session, which includes the creative posting of the colors. Second, teams will be judged on the Saturday night live spotlight team dance. This does not have to be pow wow and can include any type of music. Props are welcome. Minimum requirements to enter are a four-person team, as well as an eagle staff, US flag, and tribal flag. First prize winners will receive $8,000, with cash prizes being awarded up through 5th place, with five additional consolation prizes.


Aaron Lewis in Concert

Most well known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of the alternative metal band Staind, Lewis will perform Sunday, February 11th at 3p. This free concert is part of his solo acoustic tour. Since 2010, Lewis has pursued a solo career, while also transitioning from metal to country. Lewis released his latest studio album, “Frayed at Both Ends,” on January 28, 2022.

His fourth solo studio album, it includes number one country hit “Am I The Only One.” Can’t make the event but still want to see Lewis in person? He will also be performing February 6th and 7th in Tampa at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, and on February 8th at the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee.


Brighton Field Day Festival – February 16th-18th, 2024

Fred Smith Rodeo Arena, 17400 Sports Complex Rd. NE, Okeechobee, FL 34974

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will host the 86th annual Brighton Field Day Festival February 16th-18th, 2024 at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena. Seminoles started the festival in 1938, and this event was originally intended solely for the Seminole community. Now, it is open to the public for anyone to come join and celebrate Seminole culture and traditions. It is one of the longest running Native American festivals in the United States. This family-friendly event will feature the PRCA rodeo, alligator wrestling, Native American arts and crafts, food, dancers and music. Additionally, there will be a concert by country music star Dustin Lynch on Saturday, February 17th at 6:00p.

General admission pricing for Friday is $30. Seniors with ID pay $25, and children under 5 are free. Coming with a class? Friday will also be a free cultural field trip opportunity for children. Interested parties can contact the Education office (863-763-3572) for more information or to schedule.  General admission pricing for Saturday is $50, with children under 5 free. Saturday’s ticket price covers the cost of the concert, and no additional ticket is necessary to attend. Sunday’s ticket pricing offers $30 General admission pricing, with Veterans and Active Military paying $20. Select retailers will be selling tickets, as well as the gate. No tickets will be sold online!



Named after Seminole Tribal icon Fred Smith, the PRCA Rodeo events will be held at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena. Smith was extremely influential in the trajectory of Seminole rodeo, which holds a long history within the Seminole Tribe. The Brighton Field Day Festival joined the PRCA, the largest and oldest rodeo organization in the world, in 1940. The grandson of Charlie Micco, Fred Smith was a powerhouse Seminole cattleman, politician, and leader. Charlie Micco was one of the founders of the Seminole cattle industry. Like his grandfather, Smith dedicated his life and legacy to Seminole cattle, his community, and his family. He was honored at the Brighton Field Day Festival 2012.

Rodeo events for this year’s rodeo include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. Performance times are 11:00a and 7:00p on Friday, and 3:00p on Saturday. Xtreme Bull Riding will close out Sunday at 3:00pm.


Dustin Lynch in Concert

A country music star, Lynch has released six studio albums and one EP. His latest album, “Killed the Cowboy”, was released on September 29, 2023. The album explores the star’s single-status, and what it means to be successful. In a Taste of Country interview, Lynch explains that “My hope is that this album finds someone who needs to hear it, I want “Killed the Cowboy” to embrace the single people of the world and lift them up, to let them know that you don’t have to live a ‘normal’ life to still be happy in your own skin.” The twelve-track album has been well received.


Which event are you most excited about? Stay tuned for the latest information on our social media as we get closer to the event dates.


Author Bio

Originally from Washington state, Deanna Butler received her BA in Archaeological Sciences from the University of Washington in 2014. Deanna moved to South Florida in 2016. Soon, she began working for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Deanna was the THPO’s Archaeological Collections Assistant from 2017-2021. While at the THPO, Deanna worked to preserve, support, and process the Tribe’s archaeological collection. She often wrote the popular Artifact of the Month series, and worked on many community and educational outreach programs. She lives in Fort Myers, FL with her husband, two sons, and dog.

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