The Seneca Allegany Casino will host this year's annual Veterans Pow Wow on Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31, 2011. The event, which begins each day at 10 a.m., celebrates the culture and heritage of the Seneca Nation and features dance and drum competitions, arts and crafts, and food.
The event, which had previously been held at Veterans' Park in Salamanca, comes to the grounds outside Seneca Allegany Casino for the first time. Master of ceremonies will be John Block and Bill Crouse, Sr.
One highlight from Saturday's activities is an honoring of the original Pow Wow committee members at 5 p.m. Reggie Crouse will facilitate the presentation.
"We originally started the Pow Wow mainly to give the kids a chance to learn how to dance Iroquois and Western style, but also wanted to help them have even more pride being Native American and gain respect for other dancers and tribes - no matter where they come from," Crouse said. "The Pow Wow brings families and communities together, and many travel from thousands of miles away to attend and dance."
A highlight from Sunday's activities is the finals of the dance competitions at 1:30 p.m. Hundreds of participants from throughout the country will vie for $52,000 in prize money during dance, smoke dance, and drum competitions. This year's head judges include: Joe "Ponchie" Plain (Male Dance), Rowena Roberts (Female Dance), Joshua Johnny-John (Male Smoke Dance), Bev Porter (Female Smoke Dance), and Kenny Merrick Jr. (Drums).
The Seneca Allegany Casino Veterans Pow Wow is an alcohol-free event and is open to all ages. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 17 and for elders 60 years and older, and free for children ages 4 and younger. Veterans and active service members with identification will receive free admission.
For more information, call (716) 945-1254.
* A full schedule of activities can be found in the July 28 edition of The 'Press and online in the e-edition. *