This weekend we had 3 festivals to choose from: The Hungarian Heritage Festival in Belmont, one of the summer Facebook festivals, and the Stanford Powwow. Honestly we just couldn’t decide so we turned the decision over to our 3 year old daughter. She took it very seriously and ultimately we headed to the Stanford Powow. It was free with just $5 parking and we arrived just in time to get a quick look around before the opening ceremonies.
The first exciting thing was this Chief in his incredible costume. You can see how high his feathers went and some of them were even cropped out of this picture!
The opening ceremonies started with the flag carriers and they announced each individual tribe as they processed around the arena to the drum beats. The drummer were off to the side under a tent and we couldn’t get a good view of them.
Many of the costumes were very elaborate. Many included feathers and tassels and some included metal work.
After the opening ceremonies we checked out the booths. They were primarily selling handicrafts made from beads but there were a lot of paintings, wood working, pottery, drums, etc. We bought each of the children beautiful wooden maracas for only $5 each.
Next time we won’t eat lunch before hand, because there were tons of food trucks advertising “Indian Tacos” and other Native American food that smelled delicious. We did spend on a couple of lemonades though, it was hot!
Next up we returned to the dance in time to see the “Over 55”, “Tiny Tots”, and “Women 18-54” categories. Tiny Tots was my favorite!
We enjoyed the dancers and the displays, but we think we would have gotten more out of it if there was more educational information provided. We loved the dancing and the costumes, but would have liked to know where each tribe came from, what the significance of the costumes is, how reservation life has changes over the years, etc. I heard they were selling programs but I never found any and am not sure they would have answered these questions anyway. The kids and I are just going to have to hit the library to learn a little more!
For a free cultural festival I thought it was very worth the time we spent there. If you have any gifts to buy, this would definitely be a great place to go shopping!