Navajo Nation gearing up for Grand Daddy of all tribal fairs

'Appreciating Tradition' focus of 66th annual event

Singing and dancing are several components of the upcoming Navajo Nation Fair. Submitted photo

Singing and dancing are several components of the upcoming Navajo Nation Fair. Submitted photo

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Nestled in the heart of the Southwest is a rich and vibrant tribe called the Navajo Nation.

Whispering canyon walls....mystifying ancient architecture....picturesque mountains....relaxing lakes and rivers...towering rock formations.....an earthly scent of cedar and sage after a light sprinkle of rain....magnificent sunsets...and refreshing blue skies....this is Navajoland, a panorama of awesome scenery and captivating getaways....this is what most Navajoland visitors come to see. However, it is the Navajo people that makes Navajoland beautiful and unique.

And within the four sacred mountains is one of the world's best kept secrets....the Navajo Nation Fair, which is the "Largest American Indian Fair in North America." When it first began 66 years ago, it was a small gathering of primarily Navajo people. Over the years, other tribes were invited and it soon became known as the largest gathering of Indian nations in the U.S. that cultivates and nurtures indigenous expression.

Today, it is a mecca and visual symphony for elegant Navajo art, dance, music, food and professional athleticism with a native touch. It is also where legends are matched with a new world of future champions vying for thousands of dollars in prize money.

The Navajo Nation Fair is an event that many people look forward to attending year after year. To continue this tradition, the Navajo Nation Special Events Office and a host of volunteers will launch the 66th Annual Navajo Nation Fair on Sept. 2-9. The theme this year will be "Appreciating Tradition."

"Hosting the World's Largest American Indian Fair takes more than a village," said Norma Bowman, Navajo Nation Fair Manager. "The Navajo Nation Fair takes a lot of volunteers, planning, and financial partnerships to make it a success. There are an array of individuals who are working quietly behind the scenes to make it a successful cultural celebration. Hosting the Navajo Nation Fair is a time-honored tradition and we are doing our best to make it a very enjoyable for everyone. This is a great opportunity to see how we showcase our people and share our cultural pride.

"The Navajo Nation Fair is the ideal place to experience American Indian culture, namely, Navajo culture. So if you're looking for a myriad of cultural excitement, make plans to join us here in the capital of the Navajo Nation in September," said Bowman.

The Navajo Nation Fair will include six days of all-Indian rodeo, a country and western concert featuring Gary Allen, a traditional Navajo song and dance competition, a Navajo arts and crafts exhibition, an inter-tribal pow wow, a parade, a livestock and horticulture exhibit, an inter-tribal night performance, the coronation of Miss Navajo Nation, traditional Navajo cuisine, and much more.

For more information about sponsorships, parade, event fees and participation or other related questions, please contact the Navajo Nation Museum Special Events Section at (928) 871-7941 or www.navajonationfair.com.

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