The 51st Annual Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow is here!
The second exciting event of the 2024 Festival Season is almost here! The Seminole Tribe will host the annual Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow this Friday, February 9, 2024 through Sunday, February 11th, 2024 at the Hard Rock Hollywood in Hollywood, FL. This annual celebration of Native culture and arts will feature vendors, exhibition dancing, wildlife shows, arts and crafts contests, drumming exhibitions, movie screenings, and more! On Sunday, stick around for a FREE concert from Aaron Lewis on his The American Patriot Tour. Looking for more information about Pow Wows and the history of the Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow? Check out last year’s blog about the 50th anniversary event.
In our featured image this week, you can see a shot taken by Ralph Notaro at the 50th Annual Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow.
Below, you can see a map of the event space, on the Hard Rock Hollywood campus. Primitive camping facilities will be available for Pow Wow participants and vendors. Onsite parking is available.
Dance is an incredibly social and important part of Native American culture and life, and there are a number of different dances for different occasions and social groups. Pow Wows “are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a time method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians.” Generally, the types of dances seen at Pow Wows are social dances, meant to bring people together and celebrate the culture. In addition to the dancing, vibrant regalia is worn be each dancer and singer.
Like everything, culture shifts and changes with time. But, “Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance has not. The outfits worn by the dancers, like the styles of clothing today evolve over time, it is not a stagnant culture, but a vibrant and changing way of life.” You can learn more about the different types of dancing at this year’s Pow Wow here.
This year’s Pow Wow event will feature exhibition dancing on all three festival days, although no Pow Wow competition dancing will be held on Sunday, February 11th. Grand Entry times on Friday, February 9th will be at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. On Saturday, February 10th the Grand Entry times will be at 12:00pm and 7:00pm. Tribal Fair will hold one Pow Wow exhibition dance on Sunday, February 11th from 1:00-2:00pm.
A “Battle of the Guards” dance special will be held in honor of Stephen Bowers. The two-day competition will be on February 9th-10th, and all Native American color guards are invited to compete. As always, we encourage you to be respectful during all Pow Wow events, and allow the dancers and participants space to perform.
In addition to the Pow Wow dancing, this year’s Tribal Fair & Pow Wow will also include a drumming and singing competition February 9th-10th. The Southern 49 Singing Contest and Northern Hand Drum Contest first round will be held Friday evening, with final round held Saturday evening.
Native Reel Cinema Festival
The Native Reel Cinema Festival will return to this year’s Tribal Fair & Pow Wow with a number of award-winning movies, shorts, and celebrity meet and greets. Check out the offerings below, you won’t want to miss a second!
Frybread Face & Me
This indigenous coming-of-age drama was written and directed by Billy Luther. In it, 11-year-old Benny (Keir Tallman) goes to live on the Navajo Reservation with his maternal grandmother (Sarah H. Natani) after growing up in San Diego. Benny is joined by his cousin, nicknamed Frybread Face (Charley Hogan). This deeply heartfelt family slice-of-life won the best narrative feature at the 2023 Urbanworld Film Festival. Frybread Face & Me is screening both Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th from 5:00-7:00pm.
A 2023 Canadian documentary, Boil Alert follows artist and activist Layla Staats (Mohawk) as she investigates and seeks answers for unclean water supplies in indigenous communities in North America. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 15, 2023. Stevie Salas and James Burns direct. Boil Alert is screening both Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th from 5:00-7:00pm.
Directed by Erica Tremblay and starring Golden Globe Winner Lily Gladstone, Fancy Dance follows Jax (Lily Gladstone) as she searches for her missing sister and travels to the state Pow Wow with her young niece. Sundance Film Festival celebrates Tremblay’s directorial debut, saying the “juxtaposition of settler violence against the strength of Indigenous communities offers a nuanced account of the human costs of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic and the possibilities of healing for those left behind.” Fancy Dance will be screening both Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th from 7:00-9:00pm.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
A 2017 Canadian documentary, Rumble “tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now,
missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence.” It features “music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, Redbone, Randy Castillo, and Taboo. Rumble shows how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.” It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, where it won the “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling.” NRCF will screen Rumble both Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm.
Come join NRCF for the South Florida premiere of Hey Viktor! Hey Viktor! is directed by and starring Cody Lightning (Cree), who played little Viktor in the film classic Smoke Signals. The mockumentary-style comedy follows Lightning as he tries to revive his former career with a self-produced sequel to Smoke Signals. NRCF will screen Hey Viktor on Friday, February 9th from 9:30pm to 11:00pm.
Short Film Block
In addition to a number of feature length films, NRCF is proud to present a short film block during this year’s Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow. These short films include the premiere of Ode to Leviticus, directed by Montana Cypress (Miccosukee) and starring Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/ Métis) and Gary Farmer (Cayuga Nation and Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy). It will also include Borders, directed by Emmy Award winners Adam Conte (Oneida/Mohawk) and Kenneth Shirley. NRCF will screen this short film block on Saturday, February 10 from 2:00pm to 3:00 pm.
Meet & Greet, and More!
This year’s meet and greets will include a Q&A session, celebrity photo ops, and much more! Join NRCF for an exclusive celebrity line-up and meet and greet on February 10th, 2024 from 3:30pm-4:30pm. Special guests include Frybread Face & Me star Charley Hogan and returning NRCF favorite Steven Paul Judd. An additional meet & greet, with Q&A session and award session will be held on Saturday, February 10th from 9:00pm to 10:00pm. NRCF will host a special award ceremony for musician Pat Vegas, member of the band Redbone and award him the Mary Moore Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arts & Crafts Contests
A number of Arts & Crafts contests will be held throughout the weekend. This includes adult and youth clothing contests. Clothing and patchwork are integral to Seminole culture, and an important facet of Tribal Fair. Stop by to see some incredibly artistry and talent! You can learn more about Seminole patchwork and fashion in some of our previous blog posts. The Adult categories are: Modern, Old Style, Traditional, Contemporary, Skirts (Women only), and Jackets (Men Only). The Youth categories include Old Style, Contemporary, and Traditional.
In addition to the clothing contests, other arts and crafts competitions will also be held over the festival days. These include Seminole dolls (Women only), Baskets (Women only), Woodcarving (Men only), Seminole patchwork design, Beadwork, and Self-made Clothing with patchwork. An all-ages fine arts contest, separate from the arts and crafts competitions, is also available.
This year’s Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow is full of good music and exciting cultural experiences. Below, check out three talented musical performers you can see at Tribal Fair 2024!
One of the most recognizable Seminole musicians of the moment, Spencer Battiest comes from a long line of musicians. He split his time growing up between the Seminole Hollywood Reservation and Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Battiest often performs with his brother, Doc Native. Their breakout hit, The Storm, was released in 2011. The lyrical follow up, Dream, came out one decade later in 2021.
In 2014, when he signed with Hard Rock Records, Battiest stated that “Whether or not I become a huge success, my goal is to elevate Native Americans and encourage my people to go after their dreams in whatever field they choose, to do it to the best of their ability and at the highest level they can.” Spencer Battiest will put on a special performance on Friday, February 9th at 2:00pm honoring our Nation’s Veterans.
The Osceola Brothers
Opening for Aaron Lewis, the Osceola Brothers are a Seminole hard rock group formed in 2012 and based out of Hollywood, FL. Members include Cameron (vocals/guitar), Tyson (bass), and Sheldon (drums). According to Mack Walker, a youth journalist at VoxATL, the trio “give you the nostalgic taste of classic rock and translate it into this new age of music.” They will perform immediately prior to Aaron Lewis on Sunday, February 11th at 2:00pm.
Headlining this year’s free concert event is Aaron Lewis! Aaron Lewis, the Vermont-born powerhouse first found success with Staind – the 2000s-era hard rockers who injected meditative muscle into an era better known for mindless aggression. But while that band is still very much alive, it was never enough to satisfy Lewis’ creative drive. Embracing his roots to earn a rare second round of success, a series of solo Country projects have led to two No. 1 Billboard Country Album debuts – TOWN LINE (2011) and SINNER (2016) – plus a PLATINUM collab with heroes George Jones and Charlie Daniels (“Country Boy”), and a GOLD-certified Billboard No. 1 with “Am I The Only One” in 2021. Lewis’ 2022 solo album followed suit, with FRAYED AT BOTH ENDS emerging as the best-selling Country album in America, but he never wrote songs for the stats. No matter the sonic setting, Lewis writes and sings to get his truth out and his upcoming album THE HILL is no different.
Lewis will perform at 3:30pm on Sunday, February 11th in the Seminole Ballroom.
Interested in more Seminole events? Check back in next week for all the details for Brighton Field Day Festival and Rodeo, held the following weekend February 16th-18th, 2024 at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena on the Seminole Brighton Reservation.
Originally from Washington state, Deanna Butler received her BA in Archaeological Sciences from the University of Washington in 2014. Deanna moved to 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 Lakeland, FL with her husband, two sons, and dog.