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Chukchansi kicks off 2018 Pow Wow

Chukchansi’s largest cultural event of the year celebrates unity and heritage through song, dance, food

COARSEGOLD — Native American culture will flourish this weekend at the Coarsegold Historic Village, as the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians kicks off its 2018 Pow Wow in a celebration of song and dance with the theme “Unity for the Future.” Presented by The Fresno Grizzlies and Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, the Tribe’s largest cultural event of the year takes place Oct. 12-14 and will feature a remarkable showcase of traditional handmade regalia, singing, dancing, drumming, crafts and food.

“Pow Wow is an opportunity to embrace all of our brothers and sisters and honor our rich heritage through traditional prayer, dance, song, and food — because the things we have in common greatly outweigh our differences,” said the Picayune Tribal Council. We hope to see continued peace and unity within our varied communities, providing a positive environment for us to celebrate, learn, grow, and pass along traditions to new generations.”

Led by Master of Ceremonies Thomas Phillips, festivities will include dance, drum, handgame and horseshoe contests, raffles, and the crowning of the Chukchansi Princess. Contestants vying for the coveted title are Ariana Murillo, Cheyenne King and Makayla Chenot.

Highlighted performances include Red Hoop, So Ex Style and the In Tlanextli Tlacopa Aztec Fire Dances, in addition to Men and Women’s Team Dance. Dance competitions will range from Tiny Tots (6 years and under) to the Golden Age group (participants aged 65 and older). Wearing colorful outfits, dancers will demonstrate their talents as they compete for cash prizes. Head Dancers include Thomas Yellow-Horse Davis (head man), Kelly Swason (head woman), Ba’ac Garcia (teen boy), Destiny Ramirez (teen girl), Randy Garcia (Jr. boy), Jenesis Duran (Jr. girl), Michael Nephew (tiny tot boy) and Sacred Dawn Kaiser (tiny tot boy).

Guests also will want to experience the daily Grand Entry, a procession of all the Tribal dancers in their Native American finest. A variety of vendors will be on-site selling handmade Native American crafts. All dancers and spectators are welcome.

Pow Wow hours:

• Friday — 5 to 9 p.m.

• Saturday — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Sunday — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Event schedule

• Princess Crowning — Friday, 6 p.m.

• Aztec Fire Dances — Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.

• Grand Entry — Saturday, 12 p.m. 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

• Handgames — Saturday ($100 buy-in)

• Horseshoes — Sunday ($50 per team)

(Game registration is available starting Friday at 5 p.m. through Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Visit for a detailed event timeline.

Special thanks to all Pow Wow sponsors including Dumont Printing, Pepsi, Alena Foods, JSA, Main Event Graphics, DSS Security and US Foods.

For more information, contact


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