By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
The Cherokee Indian Fair will take place Oct. 7-11 at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. The Destination Marketing Department has prepared the lineup for this year’s event. The theme for this year’s Fair is Cherokee People: Our Legends and Tales. Each week, leading up to the Fair, the Cherokee One Feather will print a day schedule showing all the activities at the Fair.
The first day is traditionally known as “Parade Day”. Each day of the Fair has its own unique theme. On Parade Day, the highlight is the Cherokee Indian Fair Parade, where hundreds of people, floats and vehicles march through town, beginning at the Harrah’s Cherokee Resort and ending at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
The grand marshals for this year’s Fair will be Cherokee storytellers. Representing the storytellers are Kathy Littlejohn, Lloyd Arneach, Freeman Owle, Jerry Wolfe, Davy Arch, Freddie Bradley.
“A lot of hard work and patience are required to put on the parade and I appreciate the Welcome Center staff that makes the parade happen,” said Josie Long, who organizes Parade Day for the Fair Committee. “We hire in several temporary workers and they make sure operations continue. Cherokee Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Services and Cherokee Department of Transportation work together to help us with the Fair.”
Each float in the parade is eligible to participate in a contest for recognition and prize money. This is the first opportunity to see how the community interprets the theme of the Fair because all float designs that compete will have a theme requirement. In addition, many of the floats carry special guests. Tribal government officials, pageant winners and contestants and tribal elders are just a few of the people you might see in the parade.
At the conclusion of the parade the Fairgrounds ticket booth, gates and Exhibit Hall opens. At 6pm, the opening ceremonies will take place on the amphitheater stage. The Agricultural Extension Office and Qualla Arts and Crafts Cooperative will award prizes for exhibit hall community display designs. Local singers and dancers will take the stage.
Tuesday night at the Fair will also be the kickoff of Cherokee Idol. At Cherokee Idol, local singers have the opportunity to perform before a live audience with a professional audio and lighting team. Winners receive cash prizes and one will be crowned 2014 Cherokee Idol.
In recent years, a run/walk has been organized in conjunction with the Fair by the Executive Office to bring awareness and support to juvenile cancer. The event, known as the “Chief’s Challenge”, runs the length of downtown, starting at Phoenix Theatre and concluding at the Cherokee Urgent Care parking lot.
Parade Day Schedule
9am – Parade lineup begins
11am – Registration starts for Chief’s Challenge at Cherokee Phoenix Theaters
2pm – Chief’s Challenge starts at Cherokee Phoenix Theaters and ends at Cherokee Urgent Care
2:30pm – Parade judging
4pm – Parade begins
5pm – Gates/Exhibit Hall opens
6pm – Opening prayer, colors, National Anthem, Cherokee Anthem, Welcome by Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Welcome by Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Council Recognition and Speeches, Grand Marshall
6:45pm – Exhibit Hall Awards
7pm – Little Miss Cherokee Pageant contestant introductions
7:30pm – Old Antioch Singers
8pm – Tsa La Gi Touring Dancers
8:30pm – Cherokee Idol
10pm – Gates close