School groups and visitors throughout the county swarmed the grounds of the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center Friday and Saturday for the 32nd annual Multicultural Indian Event.
The festival brought a total estimate of 10,000 visitors to Oakville’s Indian Mounds during the event on Friday and Saturday, Cultural Resource Specialist Anna Mullican guessed.
“We don’t take individual admission fees, so it is hard for us to calculate,” she said. “We are estimating 6,000 on Friday for school day and 4,000 Saturday.”
The festival, which opened to the general public at 10 a.m. on Saturday, featured a variety of activities, concessions, vendors and demonstrations that celebrate North Alabama’s natural and living history.
Master Cherokee craftsman, Noel Grayson, was among several demonstrators at the festival sharing history and educating visitors on Native American culture.
Grayson carried on the teaching of Cherokee crafts at the festival this year by demonstrating his talent in constructing darts, bows, arrows and other tools in traditional Cherokee fashion.
Other educators and demonstrators at the festival included Jim Sawgrass, who presented a portrayal of Southeastern Native American and Muskogee Creek Indian culture, Monica Newman Moore, a historian and expert in ancient textile artistry, Walter Moore, who has researched games and toys that were popular 230 years ago, and many more.
Visitors of all ages were invited to take part in free activities like atlatl—a spear-throwing exercise—and stickball. $1 canoe rides, wagon rides and face paintings were also offered all day during the festival.
Vendors and concessions including Lake’s Frybread, The Pink Pig, Cheesy Melts, LouAllen Farms, jewelry and craft stands, woodworking, special souvenirs and several others are stationed all around Oakville’s lake.
Visitors enjoyed entertainment including Native American storytelling, Hoop Dancing by Mvskoke Creek descendent Cody Boettner, Live Country and Blue Grass Music, and a raptor bird education presentation provided by Auburn University.
“It was another great year for the event, and we couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather,” Mullican said.
The event was free to attend. Proceeds from parking donations at the two-day festival will benefit the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center, which is owned and operated by the Lawrence County School System.
Oakville Indian Mounds Education center is located at 1219 County Road 187 in Danville. For more information, call (256) 905-2499 or visit http://www.oakvilleindianmounds.com/.