Navajo Nation Fair begins Monday

Annual fair runs through Sept. 8 in Window Rock

Children walk down the midway during Navajo Nation Fair Kids Day Sept. 6, 2012. Photo/Geri Hongeva

Children walk down the midway during Navajo Nation Fair Kids Day Sept. 6, 2012. Photo/Geri Hongeva

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -The Navajo Nation Fair, which takes place Sept. 2-8 in Window Rock, is the ideal place to experience Navajo culture. The seven-day event features an Indian rodeo, a pow wow, arts and craft competition, concerts, a free barbecue, a fry bread contest, fireworks and a new $1 million ride called Freak Out.

According to the ride's owner Steve Broetsky, the ride took almost two years and approximately $1 million to make in the Netherlands. Broetsky said there are only two dozen Freak Out rides in the world.

Freak Out will makes its premier on the Navajo Nation during the Navajo Nation Fair.

"We're trying to add new events, attractions and activities to make the Navajo Nation Fair a week full of adventure and fun for the entire family," said Martin Begaye, Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation department manager. "We hope individuals who enjoy carnivals will enjoy Frazier's new ride and we pray for everyone's safety at the carnival and at the entire Navajo Nation Fair."

Unlike in previous years, Begaye said there will be three straight days of concerts and fireworks. The public will have a chance to win a horse trailer or win $1,000 or $5,000. Raffle tickets are on sale for $10 to give fairgoers a chance to win $1,000 on Sept. 4-7 and $5,000 on Sept. 8. People must be at the Indian rodeo in order to win the cash giveaway.

"[In the past,] the only way a person could win anything is if he or she was entered as a contestant or participant," Begaye said. "This year's fair will be an opportunity for anyone to become a winner."

Navajo Nation Fair Manager Genevieve Tsouhlarkis echoed Begaye's comments saying she wants to invite everyone to come out and enjoy the fair and the action packed week of events and activites.

"The Navajo Nation Fair is the granddaddy of all tribal fairs and it is the premier Native American festival in North America," Tsouhlarkis said. "This is how we show our appreciation to the Navajo people and how we showcase our cultural pride and beauty to the world."

Additional highlights include: a golf tournament, a parade, a half marathon, a livestock show, a hot air balloon glow, and a baby contest, roping, a wild horse race and song and dance.

More information about the fair is available at (928) 871-6478 or www.navajonationfair.com.

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