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Pow Wow at the park

18th annual event in Newhall celebrates Native American culture

Posted: September 25, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 25, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Sam Sierra, 6, wearing Northern traditional regalia, prepares to participate in the intertribal dance at the 18th annual Pow Wow and Native American Craft Show held at William S. Hart Park in Newhall on Saturday.

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Native traditions celebrated at the 18th annual Hart of the West Pow Wow and Native American Craft Fair have become a local tradition, Santa Clarita Valley residents said Saturday during the first of the event’s two days.

Vendors and visitors at the annual fair at William S. Hart Park say they attend the event every year.

“I just like the vibe here,” said Saugus resident David Pritchard, who walked booth to booth with his wife, Jackie, and daughter Emma.

Pritchard, originally from Birmingham, England, said he enjoys the event so much he took his mother to last year’s event during a visit.

“I like coming to this park.”

Dee Westlund has attended the Pow Wow every year for five years.

Every year, she staffs a booth set up by the Wildlife Waystation, which cares for wild animals released by the people who bought them as exotic pets.

The group looks after more than 400 lions, tigers and bears — and other animals.

“The animals come to us in a variety of ways,” Westlund told enquiring visitors.

Wafting through the canopies of boothes selling animal pelts, turtle shells, knives with handles made of bone, and thousands of designs for turquoise jewelry was the smell of cooking.

Daniel Gardner, at the Jean Becay food booth noted native frybread is popular year after year.

“ It’s probably the ingredients,” he said. “But it’s also handmade and fresh.”

The event continues today and is free to the public, offering people a chance to experience the richness of Native American culture with dancers, drummers, authentic and delicious cuisine, and arts-and-crafts displays.


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