TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will host the 67th Cherokee National Holiday Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, when more than 100,000 visitors travel to Tahlequah to experience the annual celebration of history, culture and art.
This year’s event features more than 50 activities, including an intertribal powwow, a parade, arts and crafts vendors, music and a variety of competitions.
The theme for this year’s Holiday is “Rising Together” and is represented in commemorative artwork by Cherokee National Treasure Dan Mink. “Rising Together” signifies each Cherokee’s role in the continued progress of building a bright future.
“The theme for the 67th Cherokee National Holiday is quite fitting,” said Principal Chief-elect Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Today we find Cherokees living in every state of this country and all across the world. For a people who have been counted out many times before, I believe it speaks to the heart and the resolve of the Cherokee people that, in 2019, we are still here, more than 370,000 citizens strong. We are working hard each and every day to build a healthier foundation for our Cherokee families. We strive to preserve our language and our culture for future generations. And we are doing all of this collectively, because we know the Cherokee Nation is better off when we, as Cherokees, rise together.”
The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which reestablished the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast.
This year’s Holiday celebration features activities for all ages, including traditional games such as Cherokee marbles, a cornstalk shoot and a blowgun competition. Other sporting events include chunkey, a stickball social game and exhibition games, horseshoe pitching, softball, a golf tournament, the 5K Holiday Run and a three-on-three basketball tournament.
“Each year, the Cherokee Nation Holiday serves as a homecoming for many Cherokee Nation citizens who travel from across the world to participate in activities,” said Cherokee Nation Community Tourism Manager Bayly Wright. “This annual celebration of Cherokee history and culture provides something special for everyone to see and experience.”
Several marquee events are set for the 67th Cherokee National Holiday. The annual parade travels down Muskogee Avenue in historic downtown Tahlequah and is the only parade to be announced in both Cherokee and English. It begins at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Crafton Street and Muskogee Avenue. For those unable to attend, the parade will be broadcast in the Cherokee language on KTLQ AM 1350 radio.
Following the parade, Principal Chief-elect Hoskin will give his first State of the Nation address at the Cherokee National Peace Pavilion, just east of the Cherokee National Capitol building in downtown Tahlequah.
The Cherokee National Holiday Intertribal Powwow is one of the most popular events of the weekend. This two-night event provides more than $35,000 in prize money for southern strait, northern traditional, fancy, jingle and other dance categories. The powwow begins with gourd dancing at 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, and grand entry at 7 p.m. both nights.
Also scheduled are the Jason Christie Children’s Fishing Derby, traditional food demonstrations, art shows, a quilt show, an open-house event at the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, and the Cherokee culture, plants and symbology garden tour.
For a complete list of events for the 67th Cherokee National Holiday, visit https://holiday.cherokee.org/.