17th annual Stars in the Desert gets underway next week

Photo by Scott Ridgeway
Vanessa Brown, CACY Program Director

Photo by Scott Ridgeway Vanessa Brown, CACY Program Director

TUBA CITY — The Community Action for Children and Youth (CACY) is hosting the 17th annual Stars in the Desert festival April 19-23 in Tuba City.

“Tuba City is a community with a mighty vision,” said Vanessa Brown, CACY program director. “The primary objective of Stars in the Desert is to honor children and young adults in the community.”

To accomplish this, special guest celebrities come to share a weekend of activities with native youth. This year’s schedule of events includes a Princess Pageant, celebrities’ visits, film screening of a native film, a powwow and Children’s Walk/Parade.

Princess Pageant

The Princess Pageant 2006 will take place at Greyhills Academy High School auditorium on Wednesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. Contestants must be ages 6 to 17 years of age. On Thursday, April 20 host families will meet their guest celebrities. For more information, call 928-283-4090.

‘Rez hope’

On Friday, April 21, celebrities will visit schools in the community.

Tuba City Junior High will host the screening of the film “Rez Hope” at 7 p.m., which is free and open to the public. The movie is written and directed by Norman Patrick Brown and features problems affecting native youth and communities.

There will be a panel for open discussion after the showing. For more information, call 928-856-4057.

Powwow

The Stars in the Desert Powwow will be held 10 a.m.-midnight (DST) Saturday, April 22 at Greyhills Academy High School. Admission is $3. Youth and youth groups are encouraged to set up vendor booths at no charge.

This year, the powwow will host the Student Excellence Awards and a Jingle Dress Dance Special. Drummers should bring their own chairs.

Gourd Dancing is slated to begin at 11 a.m. The Grand Entry will follow at 1 p.m., the Supper Break at 4 p.m., another round of Gourd Dancing at 5 p.m. and the Grand Entry at 6 p.m.

Head Staff personnel include Master of Ceremonies Joe Stands, Kayenta; Arena Director Dennis Bedonie Sr. of Tuba City; and Head Gourd, Raymond Keams of Tuba City. Southern Hosts are The Wanderers of Towac, Colo.; Northern Hosts are Eagle Creek of Dennehotso. At press time, Head Man, Head Woman, Head Boy and Head Girl had not been announced.

Call Serita Dale at 928-707-0531 for more information about the powwow.

Children’s walk

The Children’s Walk Parade will take place on 10 a.m.-noon, Sunday April 23 and will start at Department of Behavioral Health Services and end at Greyhills Academy High School. Registration is at 9 a.m. Water will be available throughout the walk and refreshments will be served afterward.

Following this, there will be a special presentation of Tuba City Angel House volunteers and a showing of two feature films, “Edge of America” and “The New World.” Some cast members will be present for the screenings.

Call the DBHS office at 928-283-3346 for more information.

Auditions for upcoming movies will take place throughout the weekend. Everyone, youth, family and community members are invited.

“I’m excited to meet and greet those new to this year’s Stars in the Desert, those who come back each year and the community that goes all out to support this annual celebration,” Brown said.

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