Western Navajo Fair kicks off this weekend and continues Oct. 18-21

Events include a powwow, parade, food, arts and crafts, dances, concerts, rodeos and more

Dawa takes the Pepsi Center Stage Oct. 19. Courtesy photo

Dawa takes the Pepsi Center Stage Oct. 19. Courtesy photo

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - "Courage, sacrifice and duty. We honor all our heroes."

That's the statement that sums up this year's 44th annual Western Navajo Fair held in Tuba City at the Fairgrounds from Oct. 18-21. Come one, come all to this four-day extravaganza and celebration of all things Navajo featuring a carnival, a Powwow, a parade, food, arts and crafts, dances, concerts, rodeos, a golf tournament, and so much more.

Heroes in the Armed Forces, officers from various law enforcement agencies, fire fighters from the Navajo Nation Fire Departments, and Navajo Nation emergency medical technicians will all be honored. The Navajo Nation appreciates their courage, sacrifice, and duty in serving their country, nation, region, and community.

Opening and closing this year's festivities will be the popular Yei Bi Cheii ceremony, which starts Friday at 8 p.m. and ends Oct. 21 at 6 a.m.

The prelude to the fair starts this weekend with Open Team Roping on Saturday and Sunday at the Tuba City Fair Rodeo Grounds. The Miss Western Navajo Pageant will also be on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at Monument Valley High School in Monument Valley, Utah. Or stay in Tuba City on Saturday and head to the Tuba City Chapter House for a Baby Contest.

Books open at 9 a.m. (DST) and roping starts at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday for the Five Steer Saddle Roping competition held at the Tuba City Fair Rodeo Grounds. Saturday will be open draw pot, draw pot saddle roping, and pick and draw saddle roping. Contestants will be judged on a five steer average with a 16 second cutoff, progressive after one, buy backs optional, and must have five down to receive points.

Sunday will have more draw pot saddle roping and pick and draw saddle roping as well as mixed roping. Mixed roping partner has to be a female 14 years old and under or 50 years old and over. For more information contact Dave at (928) 606-0447, Cody at (928) 266-8226, or email at dslim_82@yahoo.com.

The fair resumes in full swing on Oct. 18 with a kids day starting at 10 a.m., the first day of the carnival, and an Exceptional Rodeo and rodeo. The Exceptional Rodeo is for adults and children with special needs and will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., registration begins at 9 a.m. Events at the rodeo include barrel racing, calf roping, pole bending, bull riding, and horse racing.

There will also be food stands, educational booths, arts and crafts, and a Bashas' sponsored community barbeque.

On Oct. 19 the carnival continues, as well as more rodeo activities, a career expo, an elderly/senior day, a contest Powwow, a song and dance contest, and a country western dance. There will also be food stands, arts and crafts, and music performances at the Pepsi Center Stage by the Plateros, Dawa, Guilty Wilson, Miracle Dolls, Jimmy Farrell, and Steven Crane Ministries.

Rodeo activities this day include a Junior Rodeo featuring five different divisions for youngsters between the ages of 3-18. The Junior Rodeo begins at 9 a.m.

At 6 p.m. at the rodeo grounds will be the Diné Young Guns Bull Riding and "Bares N Broncs" featuring open bull riding open to the world and saddle bronc and bareback riding. For more information contact Tauchoney and Sarah Slim at (928) 206-3513 or (928) 266-7703.

Grand entries for the Powwow contest will be Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be nine different dance categories to compete in as well as a drum contest.

Pepsi Center Stage performances will be the evenings of Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. Bands and artists performing will be playing both nights including the popular band the Plateros as well as Phoenix based live music group Dawa, currently up for six NAMI awards.

Dawa's relationships and achievements within the Native music scene run deep. A blend of culture and music, Dawa combines influences from genres such as rock, reggae, acoustic, and indigenous sounds to create its uniquely original style.

Collectively experienced on local and international levels, the band strives to convey positive vibes, a respect for life and a sense of cultural dignity through its music. With the ability to perform as a duo, trio, or a full live band, Dawa is capable of handling all music performance needs, customized to fit all events and venues.

Dawa hits the stage from 8-10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 6-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 20.

The Western Navajo Fair parade begins at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20, line up is at 6 a.m. at the Tuba City High School Pavilion. Non-political entries into the parade cost $100 and political entries are $200. The parade will start at the high school, travel down Edgewater and turn onto Main Street and concludes at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

After the parade and before hitting the Fairgrounds on Oct. 20 visit the Tuba City Senior Center ground for the 2012 Music Fest, a fundraising event featuring "live rez bands" from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Gate admission is $10 per person, there will be a concession stand. This is an outdoor event so bring your own chair, umbrella, hats, canopy, or whatever you need to be comfortable. For more information contact John Chee from Fire Rock Band at (928) 401-9455.

Also on Oct. 20 will be the Cultural Night Performance and Exhibition starting at 6 p.m. at the "Pepsi Inter-tribal Stage" on the Fairgrounds. Highlights should be White Mountain Crown Dancers, Aztec Dancers, Japanese Laido, Hopi Dancers, plus more.

There will be another song and dance contest at noon, as well as more rodeo activities, food booths, a country western dance, arts and crafts, music, and of course the carnival will again be open all day.

On the final day of the fair, Oct. 21, the song and dance contest will be at 8 a.m. There will also be an open show rodeo, food booths, and arts and crafts. Oct. 21 will be the last day of the carnival as well.

Free parking will be available everyday at the Fairgrounds except for Oct. 20. Advance tickets for the carnival are available at the Tuba City Chapter House. Vendor spaces are $50 per day.

Fairgrounds admission is $5 per person, kids 11 and under and seniors 60 and over are free. Rodeo admission is $6 per person.

For a complete schedule of events, more information, maps, entry fees for competitions, awards, or more contact information visit westernnavajofair.org or call the Tuba City Chapter House at (928) 283-3284.

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