HAVERHILL — One late-summer day in 1988, a group of Native Americans gathered at Plug Pond.
Wearing their tribal dress, they broke out in cultural dance, music and song. They told visitors about their tribes and shared other information about their deep history.
It was the start of a quarter-century-long tradition that has grown to rival the popularity of Haverhill’s many other festivals.
And tomorrow, it will be back to celebrate year number 25.
The annual Native American Intertribal Pow-Wow is coming to the Plug Pond Recreational Area Saturday and Sunday.
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness and the city’s Recreation Department, this family event is an opportunity to learn about Native American culture while experiencing the foods, music, dance, crafts, storytelling and other traditions that are part of this event. Gates will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.
“We believe that it has become such a popular event for many reasons,” said Dawn Duncan, MCNAA board member. “It has always been a true collaboration with the community where Native Americans feel at home and proud to share our rich culture. It is a beautiful location, perfect for sharing authentic and traditional Native drumming, dancing and other cultural activities with the public.”
New to this year’s event is seven-time Native American Music Awards winner and recording artist Joseph Fire Crow. One of the top three Native American flute players in the world, Fire Crow will hold a special performance on Saturday. Fire Crow is part of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and has been releasing albums since 1992. His album “Cheyenne Nation” was nominated for a Grammy in 2001.
Members of Gedakina Inc. will launch a 30-foot war canoe and some North Shore Native Americans will bring their smaller canoe and kayaks. Rides in the canoes and kayaks will be offered to the public.