TUSAYAN, Ariz. - James Peshlakai and the Peshlakai Cultural Foundation will sponsor their annual hoop dance contest on Labor Day weekend, from Saturday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 1 between the Grand Hotel and McDonald's.
The hoop dance contest will be Saturday, Aug. 30, starting at noon. Categories are junior boys, junior girls, teen boys, teen girls, men, women, senior men, senior women and grand champion. Prizes are trophy buckles and cash.
Peshlakai said that the event draws dancers who have performed for audiences all over the world.
"One family spent a month performing in the Siberia area of Russia," he said.
Navajo singer and songwriter James "Elvis" Bilagody from Tuba City will serve as MC. He is a former professor at the University of Utah at Logan, with extensive knowledge of Indian culture and talent for bringing a contemporary vision to his art. The drum group will be the Rivertail Singers from Northern Arizona University. According to Peshlakai, while some contestants bring their own singers, the NAU group will be available for those who don't. He said other drum groups may show up as well.
Sunday, Aug. 31, is open mike, beginning at 10 a.m. All performers are welcome to take part.
On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30 and 31, a free traditional earth oven roast beef lunch will also be served.
Monday, Sept. 1, is Cowboy and Indian Musicians Day beginning at 10 a.m. and featuring Navajo singer Clarence Clearwater and cowboys from Grand Canyon and Tusayan.
The event will also feature Native American arts and crafts and Navajo tacos and soft drinks will also be available for sale.
"Our vendors and performers are very grateful to the people of Tusayan for allowing the Native Americans to participate in the tourist trade alogn with businesses. We enjoy sharing our culture, arts, crafts, food and song and dance with our visitors," Peshlakai said.
For more information, visit the Peshlakai Cultural Foundation Web site at www.peshlakai.org.