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Festival welcomes traditions

During its 30th anniversary, the city's annual festival will combine its oldest tradition with new events, activities and entertainment.

This year, visitors to Seminole's Pow Wow can feast on chicken dinners _ similar to the ones cooked up by area firefighters at the first festival in 1967.

For the first time, children will have access to a playground inside a caterpillar-shaped tent, adults will be able to dance the night away, and everyone will be able to buy afghans commemorating the 30th anniversary celebration.

"Each year, we add things to the Pow Wow," said City Council member Patricia Hartstein, chairwoman of the committee planning the festival. "The format is the same but we've enhanced what we had last year."

The Pow Wow, scheduled for Saturday, will include a parade, arts and crafts, a car show, games, rides, live music, vendors and food ranging from alligator nuggets to pickles on a stick to funnel cake.

Thousands of residents from the Seminole area turn out each year for the city's largest event. At least 50 vendors will hawk T-shirts, jewelry, country crafts, American Indian artifacts and food.

More than 60 groups are expected to march in the hourlong parade filled with clowns, floats and dance troupes. Last week, Osceola High School's band dropped out of the parade, leaving only the Seminole High band to perform. Organizers, who hoped the two bands would provide breaks between other parade acts, are now frantically searching for a replacement.

The parade will start at Seminole Mall at 10 a.m. and proceed to the city's recreation center on 113th Street, where tents, booths, tables and chairs will be set up.

The Pow Wow will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In case of rain, the event will be held Sunday. Live music will resound at 1, 4 and 7 p.m.

Pow Wow organizers still need at least 15 volunteers to help sheriff's deputies keep traffic off the parade route. Volunteers will watch over barricaded side streets while deputies man the main intersections along 113th Street.

Admission to the Pow Wow is free except for the $5 charge to the first-ever Be Bop Ball, which will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Recreation Center auditorium.

The Pow Wow is funded by donations. Participants must pay for food, souvenirs and crafts.

_ Anita Kumar, the Times Seminole reporter, can be reached at 445-4160 or by e-mail at kumarsptimes.com.

To volunteer

To volunteer at the Seminole Pow Wow or have your band perform in the parade, call Doc Kinsey at 391-0095 or Tracy Jones at 391-8345.

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