A century of celebration

MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT – A festival that typically draws people from all over the country will have some extra appeal this year.

The Meskwaki Powwow is celebrating its 100th annual festival beginning Thursday and running through Sunday.

It is truly a unique event held annually on the only Indian settlement in the state.

Visitors can learn about the culture and history of the Meskwaki Nation, also known as the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa. Their history is shared through the grand entry dances, performed at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in full-dress regalia to tribal music Thursday through Sunday.

Powwow Association member Christina Blackcloud said they will have special dance contests throughout the festival as part of the 100th celebration.

“It’s attracting national native dancers,” Blackcloud said. “There’s going to be a lot of great dancing going on.”

The Meskwaki people also share their culture with an historical display tent and visitors can also eat traditional Native American food and purchase clothing and other traditional items from a collection of vendors.

“The people are witnessing a living festival,” said Jonathan Buffalo, historical preservation director of the tribe. “Everybody walks away with their own understanding of us. We hope they enjoy the day with us.”

Due to heavy rains and flooding earlier in the summer, the powwow has been moved from the regular grounds on the settlement to the arena behind the Meskwaki Casino this year.

General admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children 5 and over. Those 5 and under are free. For more information visit www.meskwakipowwow.com.