Native American Days at Two Waters began the celebration on September 27 for a four-day event filled with several activities. The Traditional Red/Green Chili Cook Off began the festivities in the Round House Café. Fifteen participants entered their red or green chili into the contest, Jon Regner, Keith Andrews, Keith Taylor, Anna Lee, Lauretta Johnson, Barbara Saunders, Kevin Riding-In, Cruz Lopez, Morris Manuel, Stephanie Honeycutt, Peter Salcido, Salvador Montoya, Judy Montero, Monica Sampson-Vavages and Ernie Lopez. The contest was judged by Edward Reina, Councilwoman Deanna Scabby, Carol Silversmith, Dwayne Manuel, Brenna Wateuma and Royce Manuel.
Jon Regner claimed the first place prize of $100 and a plaque in the green division. Cruz Lopez took home the second place prize in the same division, earning $25 and a plaque. In the red division Ernie Lopez or Ernie’s Catering Service won first place, earning a $100 and a plaque. Montero finished second earning $25. The grand prize of $300 and a championship trophy was awarded to Sampson-Vavages.
Walking tours also took place on September 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme “Come Hear the Stories Behind the Exhibits at Two Waters,” presented by HuHugam Ki Museum. Contemporary Arts Day took place in the Round House Café. Dwayne Manuel was featured along with Anthony “Thosh” Collins, with Live Music by Bob Villa from Gila River Indian Community.
Art demonstrations and traditional dance performances took place on September 29. Tony Duncan, a champion Hoop Dancer performed, along with the San Carlos Apache Crown Dancers. Bird Singing and Dancing by the River and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Basket Dancers also took place. A traditional meal was served in the Round House Café, which included Three Sister Salad with corn, beans and squash pinion and mint soup, traditional red chili menudo, Indian Tepary Beans, O’o Hidad-bone stew with short ribs, Garbanzo beans, cabbage, carrots, corn and green chili. Popovers with honey and powdered sugar were served for desert.
Guest chef Ernesto Lopez served red chili, beans, squash posol and Ce:mait in the Round House Café. Traditional Artist Day featuring Ron Carlos (Piipaash Pottery), Royce Manuel (O’odham crafts) and live music by Gabriel Ayala (Pascua Yaqui).