Western Navajo Nation Fair kicks off Thursday at Tuba City Fairgrounds

A ferris wheel lights up the sky during the 2012 Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka Thayer

A ferris wheel lights up the sky during the 2012 Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka Thayer

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The 45th Western Navajo Nation Fair kicks off this weekend at the Tuba City Fairgrounds Oct. 17-20 with something for everyone including music, dancing, arts and crafts, a rodeo and a pow wow.

Ben Davis, vice-president for the council of Naa'taanii, said this year's fair is bigger and better than last year.

"We have more events lined up, we have several bands that will be playing, three major bands, two of which are Faster Pussycat and Authority Zero," he said.

Faster Pussycat plays at Greyhills Academy Gym on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Authority Zero plays Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Davis also said one of the big draws for this year's event is the pow wow with several different categories like the women's northern traditional and the southern cloth/buckskin combined. The head master of ceremonies for the pow wow is Reuben Little Head from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe from Montana.

"It's a great event and draws a huge crowd," Davis said. "It's a wonderful thing to see that we're attracting people to Tuba City from as far away as Canada and New York to come out for this event."

There is also a drum contest where different groups can compete for $1,500.

Browns Amusement runs the carnival. Davis said there will be more rides this year.

"Normally they just bring a small amount but this year they have a lot of rides, new rides that they are bringing out," Davis said.

The vendors for arts and crafts will be under a huge tent. In case of inclement weather the sides of the tent will be dropped down to protect the vendors and visitors alike. The Native performances will be in the tent with the vendors surrounding them.

The fair will get started on Thursday with Kid's Day, featuring games and entertainment for the kids and reduced admission. The carnival starts at 9 a.m. with a 5K run with Runavajo at 6 p.m. followed by a comedy show, 49 Laughs, at 7 p.m. and a country dance featuring Fire Rock at 9 p.m.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and his appointees for divisions will be on hand Friday to help with Elder's Day, which is a chance for the community to honor and feed the elders who come in traditional outfits. Entry is free for the elder groups on Friday.

"This is a one day event for them, a social gathering, a song and dance gathering where they can enjoy themselves," Davis said. "It's a unique thing to see that because there are not a lot of events that are for the elderly group."

There will also be a junior rodeo which starts at 9 a.m. The carnival begins at 10 a.m., the gourd dance starts at noon and 5 p.m. and the pow wow grand entry takes place at 7 p.m. Another country dance featuring local band Twang Deluxe starts at 9 p.m. One of the headliners, Faster Pussycat, will be at the Greyhills Academy Gym at 7 p.m.

Starting at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday the fair features Native performances by the Havasupai Elders and Dancers, Hunter Redday, the Hualapai Singers, the Hualapai Dancers, the Benally family and the Apache Crown Dancers.

Saturday night the other headliner, Authority Zero plays at Greyhills Gym at 7 p.m. followed by a country dance featuring Aces Wild at 9 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

The All Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday followed by the Fourth Day Music Fest at 1 p.m. Native performances take place from from 3 p.m to 9 p.m. to end the fair.

Camping for those who cannot get a hotel room is available on the fairgrounds.

More information about the fair is available at www.westernnavajonationfair.net.

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