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The Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival has grown to be the biggest Indian Celebration on reservation land in Idaho It begins Wednesday in Fort Hall with the PBR Rodeo featuring Wiley Petersen and will conclude on Sunday with a spectacular pow-wow...and festival coordinator Delbert Farmer says "there will not be a dull moment in between."
Farmer said those attending the festival will not be disappointed as there will be a children's parade and an all-Indian parade, traditional Indian games and sporting events (such as the softball and the popular Indian relay races), arts and crafts shows, the crowning of Miss Sho-Ban, buffalo and salmon feasts and the spectacular full-costume grand entry and pow-wow dancing and much more.
"This year we will have 25 food vendors and 60 arts and crafts vendors with turquoise jewelry, bead work, clothing...and all kinds of things," Farmer said. "The vendors tell me that 'this is the place to be.' "
Farmer said the festival has grown so large since its start about 50 years ago that tribal officials had to form a safety committee to take a hard look at growth-related issues such as camping, parking and crowd control.
"I have people from all around the country tell me they love our festival because it reminds them of the good 'ole days," Farmer remarked. "Indians had trade fairs way, way back in the old days and that's actually how we acquired our horses.
"This is such a large and diverse Indian celebration that I don't even get to see everything that happens throughout the week," he joked.
This year the tribe has launched a brand new website with interactive video and a live feed, so that everyone near and far can stay abreast of festival activities.
"We welcome all dancers, drummers, and singers to the lands of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes in celebration of our yearly event for the community and visitors across the Indian Country," Farmer said in a welcoming statement on the tribe's new website.
For more information and a full schedule of events go to www.sbtribes.com/festival or call 208-238-0680 ext. 100.