On Saturday, April 16, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members flocked to the first-anniversary celebration of Talking Stick Resort. The festivities began with performances by Community dance groups, singers and storytellers, and continued with food, prizes, a teen zone and family activities. The evening ended with a free concert by Los Lonely Boys.
The event kicked off with Community dance groups Bird Singing and Dancing by the River and the O’odham Himdag Cudgam Dancers, and a performance by the Ron Carlos Duo. Community member Royce Manuel educated the audience about the calendar stick that the O’odham used long ago. Shortly after Manuel’s speech, the Casino Arizona staff held a cutting of the cake ceremony and raffled off prizes; the grand prize was a TV.
As the program went on in the Talking Stick Resort grand ballroom, guests were free to visit any of the activity stations, including a cartoon sketch artist, face painting and balloon makers, or head over to the buffet tables. Guests were also surprised with a visit by the Phoenix Suns Gorilla; families jumped at the opportunity to take photos with the spunky mascot.
The teens were provided with music by Community member DJ Element and video game stations including Mario Kart and Call of Duty in the Talking Stick showroom. Youth were also offered two performances by dance group Motion Theory Dance Company.
The final event of the night brought people to the dance floor to get an up close and personal glimpse of the San Angelo, Texas rock band Los Lonely Boys. They played music from their new album Rockpango and past hits such as “Heaven.”