WINSLOW-Local Native Americans and the Winslow Desert Scene Elks Lodge have come together to put on the First Annual Winslow Native American Music Festival that will take place during the festivities in Winslow on Sept. 28-29. The festival occurs at the same time as the Standin' on the Corner (SOTC) Festival, Just Cruisin' Car Show and High Desert Piece Makers Quilt Show.
Navajo Winslow resident Robert Carr founded the Winslow Native American Music Festival and got together with Desert Scene Elks Lodge to put on something on for the community that they expect will draw an even larger crowd into Winslow that weekend.
"I took it upon myself to found the Winslow Native American Music Festival because I wanted equal representation for Native Americans at these celebrations," Carr said. "The Native American community and Desert Scene Elks just want to do their own thing. We want to be recognized and will respect the festivities that day as long as they can respect what we are trying to do. We just want to give everyone a chance to be happy and have a good time."
A majority of the visitors to last year's SOTC Festival were Native Americans from either Winslow or the nearby reservations. Carr's secretary, Kim Avis Kelly, who is helping plan the Winslow Native American Music Festival, said that the Native American bands they have invited to play in Winslow have a large following on the reservation.
"At the Battle of the Bands at the Window Rock Fair, there are over 20 stages and over 100,000 people showup," she said.
Carr spoke before a recent city council meeting to address the City and the SOTC Foundation about there never having been Native American entertainers for the SOTC Festivals, especially when most people that go are Native American. Casey Gilliam, president of the SOTC Foundation, said that the SOTC Foundation tried to get Native American bands, but that they were all booked.
In the two weeks following that statement, Carr who has many Native American contacts, founded this music festival and booked eight Native American bands including Badlands, Triple Cross and Stateline, along with San Carlos Apache comedian Drew Lacapa.
The Desert Scene Lodge will be bringing in some hip-hop bands and will open their bar to the public that weekend and also the lodge for barbecue chicken, catfish, ribs and hot links. The Native American Music Festival plans to be out in the streets with a stage and arts and crafts vendors, at First and Kinsley Streets in downtown Winslow.
Vendors' fees are $75 for two days or $50 for one day. Those interesting in arts and crafts vending or helping out with the Winslow Native American Music Festival may call Robert Carr or Kim Avis Kelly at (928) 289-2837.