By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
The first meeting of the Cherokee Indian Fair Committee was held Monday, April 13 at 5:30 pm. Frieda Huskey, EBCI Fairgrounds & Events supervisor, conducted the meeting and introduced the new Special Events Assistant, Angela Hernandez to the group. Attendees included: Frieda Huskey, Angela Hernandez, Chris Watty, Josie Long, Angela Hull, Janet Owle, Tammy Jackson, Shirley Hubbard, Geraldine Thompson, Joyce Bradley, James Welch, Nikki Nations, Faye Pheasant, Annie Owens and Joletta Crowe.
Items discussed at the initial meeting included progress on a theme for the Fair. The committee is soliciting theme ideas by running a contest for EBCI tribal members. The winning theme writer will receive $100. The theme will be selected by the Fair Committee after the submission deadline of April 30. Submissions may be taken to the Cherokee Welcome Center (828-359-6491) or the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds (828-359-6492).
Huskey announced that the group of day organizers who arranged the days of the Cherokee Indian Fair last year will continue to work on the upcoming fair. The Cherokee Indian Fair Parade and parade day activities will be organized by Josie Long. Wednesday, referred to as Children’s Day, will be organized by Angela Hull and Faye Pheasant. Thursday, or Elder’s Day, will be organized by Nikki Nations and Joletta Crowe. Friday, also called Veteran’s Day, will be organized by Angela Hernandez and Warren Dupree. The last day of the Fair, known as Community Day, will be organized by Christopher Watty who will also arrange the Pretty Legs Contest, Cherokee Idol and will serve as the stage manager at the amphitheater throughout the week of Fair activities. Organizers began to make material requests for their individual days. Organizers will report to Frieda Huskey, as she will coordinate all activities of the Fair.
The EBCI Cooperative Extension Office and Qualla Arts and Crafts will continue to coordinate the community and individual entries and displays in the Exhibit Hall. Janet Owle and Tammy Jackson, representatives from the EBCI Extension Office, were present and said they would like to create the category booklet and get it to the public as soon as possible. Huskey asked that they coordinate with Kristy Herron, from the Department of Commerce, with regards to the category booklet. Owle also indicated that the livestock activities would also be a part of the upcoming Fair, and stated that she hopes to have eight or nine community display booths in the exhibit hall this year.
There was also discussion of temporary labor for the days. Organizers were asked to bring an estimate of the number of workers they would need to the next meeting.
The committee spent some time discussing financial procedures, and Huskey provided direction with regard to documenting and reporting for day organizers and requested that reports be provided by the EBCI Extension Office and Qualla Arts and Crafts when pay outs were made to communities and individual entry winners.
James Welch brought up several points concerning stickball games at the Fair. Huskey assessed that more of the stickball player leadership would be needed to address issues and ensure safety at the Fair, and she related she will schedule a separate meeting for that purpose.
The committee addressed questions regarding the starting time of each day. Some of the day organizers urged the committee to consider opening earlier so that additional activities could be included. Huskey is reviewing those requests for further discussion at the next meeting. Organizers wanted to know how the pageants would roll out this year and how timing of the activities could be improved to eliminate dead stage time and, in some cases, activities overlapping as some ran longer than originally planned. Huskey said she would reach out to the Pageant Committee to request that they attend the next meeting or send a representative.
Hernandez announced that future Cherokee Indian Fair Committee meetings would be held on the third Monday of each month until further notice. The date for the next meeting is Monday, May 18 at 5:30pm. Huskey encouraged the committee to invite community members, and anyone who is interested in helping to contribute to the success of this year’s Fair, to attend as many of these meetings as possible.
Huskey adjourned the meeting at 6:40pm.