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Festival celebrates county's diverse heritage

Annual event at Oakville Indian Mounds Park to feature plenty of history, food, music, fun

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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:00 am

The Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum will host the annual Multicultural Indian Event this Thursday through Sunday, May 17-20.

"There were many cultures that shaped Lawrence County and that blended with the Indian culture," said Butch Walker, coordinator of the Lawrence County School's Indian Education Program.

As different groups intermarried, the traditions and customs blended together into new traditions and customs. Walker said the multicultural factors were important in shaping county history.

Walker pointed out that this is the 20th year for the event and he tries to add something every year to keep it interesting for everyone who comes. He also wants people from Lawrence County to attend every year.

"This year we have added the concerts at the end of the day featuring people with Lawrence County ties," Walker said.

On Thursday night Chad Bradford will entertain. On Friday, Nashville Star runner-up Zac Hacker will sing and then on Saturday Nashville Star winner Angela Hacker, who is Zac's sister, will perform.

The concerts begin at 6 p.m. Although admission to the Multicultural Indian Event is free, there is a charge for the concerts. Concert tickets are $10 per night or $25 for all three concerts.

The event is open to the public all four days but school children up to the sixth grade will be bussed in on Thursday. Older students will be there on Friday. Walker believes it is important that children in Lawrence County learn about their heritage.

Last year, the event featured real people portraying Lawrence County historical figures. Walker called it a Living Memoriam of Historic Lawrence Countians. The living history was so popular last year that Walker carried it over to this year and it looks to become a traditional part of the event.

Carla Waldrop of Haleyville will portray the colorful Aunt Jenny Brooks, a woman of extraordinary strength and character.

Uncle Dick Payne will be portrayed by Steve Turner of Haleyville. Payne is credited with coining the phrase "Free State of Winston." He was a banker, blacksmith, farmer and miller.

Roy Pounds will be Red Eagle or William Rutherford who led the Creeks in the Creek Indian War.

Gen. Leroy Pope Walker who lived in Moulton for a time was the Confederate Secretary of War who ordered the attack on Fort Sumter to begin the Civil War. He will be portrayed by Dr. Allen Ray Jeffreys of Moulton.

Tiffany Stokes of Bear Creek will portray Tuskiahooto. She was Chief Doublehead's daughter and reputed to be one of the most beautiful women in the state.

Dr. Tandy Walker, portrayed by Rod Hayes of Trinity, lived near Oakville and served in the Alabama Legislature.

Edward Herring of Mount Hope will portray Sam Baker, the son-in-law of Aunt Jenny Brooks. He was also a gunfighter and sheriff.

Creek and Cherokee cultures had a heavy influence on settlers in Lawrence County. There will be Indian camp sites set up and Indian dancers.

Confederate re-enactors will also have a campsite and demonstrations of military life during the Civil War.

Birdchopper dancers with Rick Bird from Cherokee, N.C. will return this year. White Horse, a local drum group, will also be returning.

There will dance demonstrations. Then students and teachers will be able to participate in dance demonstrations.

Jeff Hughes will be telling stories, in the southern tradition, at different times throughout the event.

Craftsmen will be showing off such skills as pottery making, flint knapping, stone pipe making, drum making, shingle making, soap making and blacksmithing.

Vendors will offer a wide rang of items from Native American crafts to T-shirts, jewelry, baskets and plants.

No one will go away hungry. Food vendors will offer shaved ice, funnel cakes, cotton candy, Indian fry bread, roasted corn, popcorn, blooming onions, just to name of few food items.

Robert Montgomery, an award-winning old-time banjo player, is again coordinating musical entertainment at the amphitheater for the event. Music will be on going from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily.

Musicians involved include Kaitlyn Terry, Rachel Hutto, Glory Bound Bluegrass, Autumn Alexander, Tia Hollis, Beckah Stockton, Kristin Stockton, Off The Top, Lauren Terry, Crystal Terry, Wilsons, Shannon Reed, Marshall Lewey and Luke Slaton, Chris Smith, Rona Pounds and Judge and Jury.

The event will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday; and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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