Western Navajo Nation Fair, Tuuvi Gathering kick off Oct. 10 and 12

Food, fun, rodeo, carnival, pageant, parade and more

The 51st annual Western Navajo Nation Fair will be held Oct. 10-13 along with the annual Hopi Tuuvi Gathering which kicks off Oct. 12. (Loretta Yerian/NHO)

The 51st annual Western Navajo Nation Fair will be held Oct. 10-13 along with the annual Hopi Tuuvi Gathering which kicks off Oct. 12. (Loretta Yerian/NHO)

TUBA CITY, Ariz. —Gatherings are a big part of the Hopi and Navajo way of life and starting next week, two of the biggest events on the western Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation will take place.

Considered the grand finale of the fair season for the Navajo Nation, the 51st Western Navajo Nation Fair kicks off Oct. 10-13 in Tuba City. Running concurrently, the annual Hopi TUUVI Gathering takes place Oct. 12-13 at the Upper Moencopi Village on the eastern edge of Tuba City.

Dancers and vendors from across the Navajo and Hopi nations will come together to celebrated both events and enjoy rides, food and visiting with family and friends.

Western Navajo Nation Fair

The Western Navajo Nation Fair takes place at the Western Navajo Fairgrounds, located off Highway 160 in Tuba City.

This year’s fair theme is Theme Living My Best Rez Life. Activities include a parade that runs the length of the town, rodeo, pow-wow, pageants, concerts, Ye’ii Bicheii ceremonies, country dances, carnival and more.

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The 51st annual Western Navajo Fair takes place Oct. 10-13 in Tuba City. (Loretta Yerian/NHO)

Headliners for the week will include acts like Snow tha Product, a Mexican, American rapper and actress from San Jose, California; country singer/songwriter Brandon Lay; American country music singer Aaron Watson; rapper and singer Baby Bash, rapper, songwriter and actor Juvenile and singer, songwriter, dancer and actor Ginuwine. Friday and Saturday nights’ shows will be included with your paid admission to the Fairgrounds.

Other highlights include the Miss Western Navajo 2019-2020 Pageant. The pageant will be held at the Tuba City Amphitheater at the Western Navajo Fairgrounds Oct. 10. A Junior Rodeo and Women’s Friday Night Lights Rodeo take place Oct. 11.

For the first time ever, the Western Navajo Fair will be hosting a drag show, according to the fair’s website. The “Excuse My Beauty” Drag Show will feature some Diné. The show is for all ages and is alcohol and drug Free. Highway 160 Bull Riding takes place Oct. 12.

Carnival rides and entertainment will be held at the Western Navajo Fairgrounds.

More information and a full schedule of events is available at http://westernnavajonationfair.net/

Hopi Tuuvi Gathering

This year's event date weekend is Oct. 12-13, at the Upper Moencopi Village, Tuuvi Grounds located immediately behind the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites on the corner of Highway 264 and Highway 160.

This free event welcomes all during the weekend of the Western Navajo Nation fair in Tuba City and features more than 200 Native arts and crafts vendors.

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The Butterfly Dance is performed by Hopi dancers at the 2017 Tuuvi Gathering. Dances will be performed at this year's gathering as well. (Loretta Yerian/NHO)

There will be food booths offering “fair food" for hungry attendees as well as "traditional Native foods" like fresh green chili stew, frybread and homemade loaves of Hopi or Pueblo bread and extra tasty Hopi "Nok-quivi."

“The event itself is free to the public, there is free parking. The only fees that we take are from our vendors,” said DeAnnethea Begay, Operations Assistant Manager for Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites and coordinator for the Tuuvi Gathering.

One of the biggest highlights for the gathering is the all-day social dancing provided for the public to enjoy which feature dancers and drum groups. Event provided seating is available for the public in the arena area, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn or folding chairs, as attendance becomes quite crowded and provided public seating becomes limited during the dance activities.

“We have social dances from sunup to sundown,” she said. “People can come enjoy dances, all the vendors – from food and jewelry to arts and crafts. We are strictly an art market so all the vendors are required to show proof of the Indian Arts and Craft Act of 1990, we make sure all of our vendors abide by that.”

Begay said many of the groups performing are local dancers from Hopi.

“Usually our dancers come from either one of the villages, some of them get their own dance group together,” she said. “Usually they don’t come to us until the day of.”

Arts and Crafts booths will feature traditional Native and contemporary art work, jewelry, textiles, music items, farm produce, some imported items and fresh native herbs, medicines.

Another special highlight will be Oct. 12 when a Native Rock and Blues event will be held at the Legacy Room, located within Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites. Doors open at 7 p.m., the show starts at 8 p.m. (MST). Tickets are available starting Oct. 1 at the front desk of the hotel.

Booth space which is available for purchase immediately costs $110 for a standard booth, $150 for premium booths located near the dance area and $415 for food vendors for the weekend. The Tuuvi Gathering is alcohol and drug free. More information is available online at experiencehopi.com or from the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites at (928) 283-4500.

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