111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair celebrates “They Made The Way” Theme

by Aug 18, 2023COMMUNITY sgadugi0 comments

EBCI Commerce Division release


CHEROKEE, N.C. – The excitement is building as the 111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair approaches, scheduled to take place from Oct. 3-7.  This year’s theme, “They Made The Way,” honors the profound contributions of Cherokee individuals, both historical and contemporary, who have played pivotal roles in shaping the vibrant culture of the community.

The fair will be held at the historic Cherokee Expo Center, the old Cherokee High School Site, located at 1501 Acquoni Rd., Cherokee, N.C. This cherished venue holds deep cultural and nostalgic significance, serving as an ideal backdrop for an event that pays homage to the rich heritage and traditions of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

**Fairgrounds Reference Note: Throughout this press release, the term “Fairgrounds” will refer to the Old High School site.**

Fair Week Schedule (Full event detail schedule forthcoming):

  • Monday – Fair Week Stick Off
    • Time: 4 p.m.
    • Event: Immerse yourself in the excitement of traditional stickball games at Unity Field, as skilled teams compete, showcasing athleticism and strategy. No carnival rides, just stickball.
  • Tuesday – Parade Day
    • Parade Start: 4 p.m.
    • Parade Route: Join the spectacle of the Annual Cherokee Indian Fair Parade, featuring vibrant floats, marching bands, and beautiful smiling faces. The parade lineup will take place in the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino lower parking area. The parade will start from the Casino Trail/intersection, taking a right onto 19 South through downtown Cherokee, crossing the bridge turning right onto 441 North and ending at the traffic light by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The parade will then turn right across the bridge, taking the roundabout up toward the Ginger Lynn Complex to disband. Vehicles will disband to the left in GLW parking, and all floats will disband taking the route behind the Ginger Welch Complex. For more information, reach out to Josie Long at the Cherokee Welcome Center.
    • Gates Open: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Event:  Fairgrounds are open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., offering attractions, food vendors, and entertainment. Main Stage events begin at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday – Children’s Day
    • Gates Open: 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Event: A day brimming with joy for children, youth, and adults, featuring stickball games, games, and activities catering to all ages. Wristbands for minors beginning at 10:00am.
  • Thursday – Elder’s Day
    • Gates: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Events: Commence the day with a captivating fashion show, spotlighting both traditional and contemporary Cherokee fashion at 2 p.m. Witness the experience and wisdom of elders and adults as they compete in stickball games, celebrating their rich journey.
  • Friday – Veterans Day
    • Gates: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Event: Express heartfelt gratitude to our veterans. The fairgrounds stand as a platform to honor their sacrifices, offering a day of appreciation and fostering community unity.
  • Saturday – Community Day
    • Gates: 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
    • Event: Embrace the spirit of togetherness through community-led games, spirited stickball matches, and shared festivities. This celebration of unity will continue until midnight, forging lasting bonds.

Highlighting the Fair: The 111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair promises five days of excitement and engaging activities that will create lasting memories for visitors of all ages. From traditional stickball games and captivating competitions to authentic crafts, delectable food vendors, exhilarating rides, and games. The fair offers a diverse range of experiences for everyone.

Entertainment: The entertainment lineup for Saturday, Oct. 7 features two iconic performances:

  • The Romantics: Rock out to the legendary American rock band with hits like “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep.” Their electrifying performance starts at 8 pm.
  • Starship: Enjoy the melodic sounds of this renowned American rock band, known for chart-toppers like “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” They take the stage at 9 pm.

Admission and Tickets:

  • Tuesday through Friday: General Admission is $10 per day.
  • Saturday: General Admission is $20.
  • Free Admission: Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes can show their enrollment card at the gate for complimentary entry.

Exhibit Hall Information:

  • Exhibit Entry Date: Friday, Sept. 29 at the Yellowhill Activity Center from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Community Fair Booth Set Up: Saturday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Judging: Monday, Oct. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Exhibit Hall opens to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Exhibit Hall is open to the public Wednesday, Oct. 4 through Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Exhibit Pick-Up: Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Baked Goods and Livestock judging will not be held at the Yellowhill Activity Center but at the EBCI Cooperative Extension Center. Baked Goods will be judged on Monday, Oct. 2 at the Extension Center. Baked items will be received at the Extension Center from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  There will be no items accepted after 12 p.m. Pick up Baked Goods and/or containers from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Extension Center on the same day. Judging Dates: Livestock will be judged on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the EBCI Cooperative Extension Center. Entries must be at the Center at 9 a.m. Judging is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Please reach out for further details:

Contacts for Exhibit Hall:

  • Extension Center: Tammy Jackson, (828) 788-0878; Chumper Walker, (828) 788-2356
  • Qualla Arts & Crafts: Vicki Cruz, (828) 226-4275

For more information and updates on event details, please visit the official event website: https://cherokeespecialevents.com/calendar/event/cherokee-indian-fair1/

Cherokee Welcome Center (828) 359-6490, josilong@ebci-nsn.gov

Lisa Frady (828) 788-1708, lisafrad@ebci-nsn.gov

Frieda Huskey (828) 269-7095, friehusk@ebci-nsn.gov