CHINLE, Ariz. – The 33rd annual Central Agency Fair is in full swing beginning with pageants for the Baby Contest and L’il Brave and L’il Miss Central Navajo pageant Aug. 20 and 21.
Central Agency Fair schedule:
6:00 p.m. Miss Central Pre-Teen Pageant and Coronation, Rough Rock Community School
9:00 a.m. Youth Day, Chinle Community Center
5:00 p.m. Miss Central Navajo Teen Pageant and Coronation, Many Farms Community School
6:00 p.m. Frazier Carnival opens, Gorman's Arena
6:00 p.m. Junior Bull Riding and Steer Riding, Gorman's Arena
9:00 a.m. WJRA Rodeo, Gorman's Arena,
9:00 a.m.Elder Fest,Gorman's Arena..
3:00 p.m. Song and Dance, Gorman's Arena
5:00 p.m. Miss Central Navajo Pageant, Mesa View Elementary School
5:00 p.m. Powwow Gourd Session, Gorman's Arena
6:00 p.m. Frazier Carnival opens, Gorman's Arena.
6:00 p.m. Wooly Riding, Gorman's Arena.
7:00 p.m. Powwow Grand Entry, Gorman's Arena.
9:00 p.m. Country and Western Dance, Gorman's Arena
7:00 a.m. Parade Line up, Highway 191
9:00 a.m. Parade begins, Highway 191
9:00 a.m. Food market/Arts and Crafts vendor, Gorman's Arena
10:00 a.m. Registration for Song and Dance, Gorman's Arena
12:00 p.m. Gourd Session, Gorman's Arena
12:30 p.m. Song and Dance, Gorman's Arena
1:00 p.m. Akali Yazhi Rodeo, Gorman's Arena
1:00 p.m. Powwow Grand Entry, Gorman's Arena
3:00 p.m. Frazier Carnival opens, Gorman's Arena
4:00 p.m. Miss Central Navajo Coronation, Gorman's Arena
6.00 p.m. Gourd Session, Gorman's Arena
7:00 p.m. Powwow Final Grant Entry, Gorman's Arena
7:00 p.m. CNRA/AIRCA/Ndee Rodeo 1st Performance, Gorman's Arena
9:00 p.m.Country and Western Dance, Gorman's Arena
9:00 a.m. Food Market/Arts and Crafts Vendors open, Gorman's Arena
10:00 a.m. Song and Dance, Gorman's Arena
1:00 p.m. CNRA/AIRCA/Ndee Rodeo 2nd Performance, Gorman's Arena
3:00 p.m. Frazier Carnival opens, Gorman's Arena
The public is invited to attend the various events that will make up the Central Agency Fair including the popular Powwow, Song and Dance and Rodeo events.
The theme for this year is, “Honoring Our Past, Present and Future Leaders.” To reflect that theme, the Central Agency Fair has named two grand marshals for its parade to take place Aug. 25 – Damon-Bahe Boxing Team and Navajo Code Talker William T. Brown.
According to Damon-Bahe Boxing Team Coach Johnny Bahe Jr., the team produced over 50 national champions, 75 regional champions and more than 100 state champions under his father John Calvin Bahe Sr.’s coaching. Under his own coaching, the team has produced 20 national champions, 30 regional champions and over 50 state champions since 2007. A member of the team, Mariah Bahe, is a six-time Arizona state champion, five-time regional champion and 2017 Junior Olympic National Champion. Another team member James Bahe is a seven-time Arizona state champion, five-time regional champion and 2017 Junior Olympic National Champion.
The Damon-Bahe Boxing Team was started in the mid-1960s by Lee Damon, a veteran of World War II, who taught John Calvin Bahe, Sr. Who had teams across the Navajo Nation but became stationed in Chinle, in 1985 when the senior Bahe was transferred to work at Canyon de Chelly. The Damon-Bahe Boxing Team has maintained its location in Chinle since.
Also named as grand marshal is one of the last living Code Talkers on the Navajo Nation. William T. Brown is from Cottonwood, Arizona, and is of the Water Flows Together clan and born for Red Bottom People. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1944 and was a Navajo Code Talker during World War II. After his service, Brown was also a community leader for the Cottonwood Chapter serving as treasurer/secretary.
Future leaders are further represented with the five pageants that the Central Agency Fair hosts. The Baby Contest boasted 32 contestants in three age categories for boys and girls. Many of the contestants were well spoken in the Navajo language and displayed cultural talents. When it was all over, KimQuilla Carr of Chinle, and Aiden Harvey of Tsaile, Arizona were declared the Baby Princess and Baby Brave, respectively.
The L’il Miss Central Navajo and L’il Central Navajo Brave pageant had three girls and three boys running for the title. The winner of L’il Miss Central Navajo - Autumn Clah - is from Lukachukai, Arizona, and attends Tsaile Public School. Her clans are Tódich'ii'nii, Tótsohnii, Mą'ii deeshgiizhinii and 'Áshįįhi. Lil’ Central Navajo Brave 2018-2019 Eli Brian Darcy Etsitty is from Chinle and attends Chinle Elementary School. His clans are Kinyaa'áanii, Tótsohnii, Tódich'ii'nii and Tódich'ii'nii.
There are four contestants each for the remaining pageants. Miss Central Navajo Pre-Teen pageant was held Aug. 22, at Rough Rock Community School; Miss Central Navajo Teen pageant was held Aug. 23 at Many Farms Community School and the Miss Central Navajo pageant was held Aug. 24 at Mesa View Elementary School with coronation Aug. 25 at the Gorman’s Arena Fairgrounds.
The four young ladies running for the coveted title of Miss Central Navajo this year are Mariah Yazzie, Raechell Yazzie, Adrianna Brown, and Stacey Bia. Each is from Chinle. Running for Miss Central Navajo Teen are Tonisha Draper of Chinle, Natisha Bull from Lukachukai, Arizona, Wyndelyn Clay from Round Rock, Arizona and Rochelle Francisco from Chinle.
The Gorman’s Arena Fairgrounds is where the bulk of the events take place during the fair. Visitors can expect to see many people dressed in their finest traditional clothing and jewelry at the song and dance. A warm-up started Aug. 24 with singing and dancing. Registration for the contest will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 25, with grand entry at 12:30 p.m. The song and dance will continue Aug. 26 with roll call a 10 a.m.
One of the most popular events is the powwow. A gourd dance started at 3 p.m. Aug. 24, and the powwow grand entry will be at 7 p.m. the same day. On Aug. 25, a gourd dance will be held at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. and grand entry at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
An Elder Fest was held at the fairgrounds Aug. 24, starting at 9 a.m. Elders from all over the Navajo Nation are usually in attendance at this event. Held off-site at the Chinle Community Center parking lot was Youth Day, sponsored by the Chinle Office of Diné Youth Aug. 23. Service providers set up booths and give the youth a chance to learn about various programs while having fun and playing games.
The Chinle Agency Fair has various rodeo events beginning Aug. 23, with junior bull riding and steer riding. On Aug. 24 the Western Junior Rodeo Association rodeo began at 9 a.m. and wooly riding for the kids at 6 p.m. On Aug. 25, an Akali Yazhi Rodeo is at 1 p.m. and the Central Navajo Rodeo Association 1st performance is at 7 p.m. The second performance will be at 1 p.m. Aug. 26.
There will also be the carnival beginning on Thursday through Sunday, and a country and western dance on Friday and Saturday nights.
The public is invited to take part in this year’s celebration and to honor all our leaders.