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Powwow offers mix of cultures

The name has changed, but folks can still expect to see the same exciting entertainment at the Native American Powwow, plus a few new features.

The event, formerly known as the Mother's Day Powwow, kicks off at 9 a.m. today with the grand entrance featuring dancers and drummers. All will wear the full regalia of traditional American Indian dress.

Sponsored by Osceola Promotions and Pasco County Parks and Recreation Department, the three-day powwow is an exchange of cultures and traditions held at the Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City.

Admission is $2 per adult, and children 12 and younger are admitted free. Organizers liken this event to an annual fundraiser.

"The proceeds go back to enhance the already beautiful Withlacoochee Park," organizer Mittie Wood said.

Highlights will include a new group of dancers, the Aztec Fire Dancers. They are a family of seven from Mexico City who wear feathered headdresses and sequined capes and dance with fire in their routine. The popular drum and dance groups All Nations Warrior Drum and Deez Guyz will return this year.

The public can tour the villages of Withlacoochee, replicas of Creek Indian homes in the 1800s, and Florida Cracker cabins. Folks can hear lively storytelling, the serene sounds of flutist Joseph Z and sample authentic American Indian foods such as fry bread, corn soup and Indian tacos.

Traders will sell handmade arts and crafts including dream catchers, carvings, drums and beads.

On Saturday, local motorcyclists are invited to join the Gold Wing Road Riders and the Harley-Davidson Bike Run at 2:30 p.m. as they travel from the Pasco County Fairgrounds to the Withlacoochee Park.

Admission into the powwow for bikers is two nonperishable foods. All food donations from the motorcycle run will benefit needy families in Pasco County. Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

_ Ebony Windom can be reached at (813) 909-4609 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 4609. Her e-mail address is ewindomsptimes.com.

If you go

WHAT: Native American Powwow

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., off SR 52, Dade City

ADMISSION: $2, ages 12 and younger admitted free

Kids from Chester Taylor Elementary School in Zephyrhills joined in a friendship dance with Johnny McDonald, a Cherokee Indian from Navarre, during the Withlacoochee Native American Historical Society's Powwow last year. The event, formerly know as the Mother's Day Powwow, was renamed this year.

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