Nanticoke Powwow set to celebrate fourth decade

Coastal Point • File Photo: Dancers from all over the country gather to dance during last year’s Nanticoke Indian Powwow.Coastal Point • File Photo: Dancers from all over the country gather to dance during last year’s Nanticoke Indian Powwow.Dancers and vendors will travel from all over the country to Millsboro for the Nanticoke Indian Tribe’s 40th Annual Powwow on Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10.

The theme for this year’s powwow is “The sacred fire that continues to burn within us.”

“We are celebrating our elders before us, those walking now and the generations to come,” said Nanticoke Indian Association Secretary Kayleigh Vickers.

The powwow is a family reunion for the Nanticoke tribe.

“We get to practice, see people and do things, traditionally, emotionally and spiritually, that we don’t always get to do,” said Vickers.

The powwow also serves to raise awareness and educate the public about the Nanticoke tribe and Native American heritage.

“The powwow provides education for the public and clarity for us,” Vickers said.

Even though many travel for the powwow, there is a strong local presence. Between 100 and 150 of the approximately 250 dancers who participate in the powwow are from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said Vickers. Additionally, three or four of the craft and food vendors at the event are local. The rest of the approximately 40 vendors are from along the East Coast and as far away as New Mexico.

The powwow grounds will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Grand entry on Saturday will be held at noon, and there will be a second dance session at 4 p.m. The Native American crafts and food vendors will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Sunday will be kicked off with a worship service at 10 a.m. The grand entry on Sunday will occur at 1:30 p.m. The vendors will open at noon on Sunday.

Admission each day costs $5 per person for those older than 12. Parking and admission for those 12 or younger is free. Handicapped attendees with wheelchairs may enter the powwow grounds on Mount Joy Road. Unless otherwise directed, handicapped attendees who normally use the general parking area should plan on continuing to use that parking area. There will be special handicapped seating available at the powwow.

The powwow grounds are located in a wooded area off of Route 24 (John J. Williams Highway). There will be signs posted along Route 24 between Route 113 and Route 1. For more information, call (302) 945-7022.