Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow
Come November, the powwow trail leads to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and more people have taken notice.
The Red Mountain Eagle Pow-Wow, which just finished its 31st annual event, attracted its largest crowd in history over the November 4 weekend at the Salt River baseball field, across the road from the Community Building. Attendance was in the thousands, with more than 400 registered dancers and about 100 food and art vendors, coordinator Bill Hayes said.
“The powwow is gaining a lot of popularity and it’s now the biggest powwow in Arizona,” Hayes said.
The attraction is the combination of location, time of year/weather, and drum groups and working powwow professionals, like emcee Howie Thomson of Saskatchewan, Canada, Hayes said.
Host drums and award-winning drum groups Northern Cree of Alberta, Canada, and Omaha White Tail from Nebraska, played a part in attracting visitors from well beyond the Community. In addition, the $35,000-plus in prize money brings in dancers from across Indian Country.
“One thing that’s different than other powwows in the area is that we don’t allow non-Natives to come in and fill vendor spots,” Hayes said.
David Montiel continues to sponsor the popular event. This year, additional parking was added and lots appeared near or full throughout the day.
“I’ve heard nothing but good comments,” Hayes said. “The staff did a great job. We bring in professional staff, and that’s why the powwow runs so smoothly.”