SIDNEY – The eighth annual Honoring Our Veterans and First Responders Pow Wow is set for Aug. 17-18 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Volunteers vow they will present a variety of Native American aspects of life.
A Shawnee tribe event, the Pow Wow volunteers will present aspects of various Native American traditions.
The main gate opens at 10 a.m. each day with events starting at noon and presentations closing at 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Pow Wow is free and open to the public. Visitors are urged to bring their own chairs and shade, if possible. Food venders will be available, and donations will be accepted to offset expenses.
George Reiter, of Cincinnati, is a co-organizer along with family and friends. He said the event honors veterans and first responders and educates visitors to the involvement of Native Americans in military service.
Reiter said the Pow Wow is a way Native Americans show respect veterans and first responders. Reiter was joined by Mary Chambers and Tammy Jameson, both of Piqua, during an interview recently at the SDN offices.
Jameson spoke of a high percentage of Native Americans serving in the military during wartime. Chambers said educating people about native culture. Reiter said his hopes are to properly inform people that their ancestors “were not like the Indians (depicted) on TV”.
Reiter, who is not Native American, is a Vietnam War veteran having served in Korea. His wife, Shirley, is of Apache descent, and volunteers for the event.
The goal to establish a Pow Wow in the area was the idea of the late Martin Tall Horse, of Piqua, a Native American and Vietnam veteran. Tall Horse passed away on Memorial Day in 2011. His family joined the Chambers’ relatives of Tall Horse, to continue the dream, Reiter said.
The Southern Singers of Cincinnati will perform the host drum. The group, Thunder Nation, will serve as co-host drum. The groups will provide traditional Native American dances.
A Candy Dance is planned for children. Jameson said a flute player will stop playing during the dance signaling the children to gather candy nearby.
Several food vendors will be on hand. A Navajo Nation food truck from New Mexico will be providing Indian Fry Bread and Navajo tacos plus other menu items. Also available will be hamburgers and brats.
Reiter also stated there will be no charge for food for veterans and first responders.
Chambers said Native American blankets will be part of a raffle. A 50-50 drawing is also planned.
Reiter said local veteran organizations will be involved in the event. First responder vehicles from the Sidney police and fire departments along with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will be on display.
Reiter said the event will be a family friendly atmosphere and stated no alcohol, carrying of weapons, or making public political statements or demonstrations will be permitted.
Reiter said along with the Pow Wow, the fairgrounds will also be hosting annual horse and goat shows. The Sidney Junior Fair 4-H group will also be involved in the Pow Wow.
For more information, contact Reiter through his Facebook page or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.