By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Most towns and counties around the country host some form of fair, usually during the Fall when the leaves are just starting to turn and the air is getting crisp and cold. Cherokee is no different. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians hosts its annual Cherokee Indian Fair, known for years as the Fall Festival, each October.
But, for Cherokee, the Fair is not simply the Fair…it is a homecoming for many, a time to get Chestnut Bread, ride the Gravitron, see whose basket won this year, and watch the roughest sport on the planet – Cherokee Stickball aka Cherokee Indian Ball.
The Tribe hosted the 2010 Cherokee Indian Fair on Oct. 5-9. The weeklong festivities kicked off with a parade on Tuesday, Oct. 5 featuring marching bands, pageant contestants, community and program floats, and the children’s favorite – CANDY!
“I hope everyone enjoyed the Cherokee Fall Festival,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. “I continue to be amazed with the level of craftsmanship in our Cherokee communities; the exhibits and displays were wonderful. I also enjoy the opportunity to celebrate with our Cherokee elders and veterans. This year’s Festival was one of the best yet and I can’t wait till next year.”
Robert Jumper, manager of EBCI Travel and Tourism, commented, “I hope everyone had a safe, fun and exciting experience at the 98th Cherokee Indian Fair. Many people worked long hours to ensure that this Fair was a great experience and had a variety of performances and activities that would appeal to all age levels.”
He continued, “The grounds maintenance staff and contracted labor worked diligently to keep the Fairgrounds clean and safe. Our law enforcement, emergency medical services, facilities, sanitation, water and fire departments worked extra hard to keep the peace and ensure the safety of every visitor to the Fair.”
Jumper said that a survey team was on hand during the event and gathered thoughts and comments on possible improvements for future Fairs. “On behalf of the Travel and Promotion program, I thank all who gave time and effort to our Cherokee Indian Fair and, especially to the many who came to enjoy the experience.”