Oklahoma is home to 39 sovereign tribal nations, and the Red Earth Festival strives to honor each of their unique histories and cultures during its June 9-11 event. The celebration brings parades, performances, food, music, art, tournaments and a plethora of other activities to downtown Oklahoma City.
The festival has run for 31 years, but the variety of entertainment options never stales. Festivities begin with a parade, which serves as a colorful taste of what’s to come.
“The parade draws hundreds of entries including tribal leaders, princesses, floats, bands, military organizations and motorcycle clubs,” says Eric Oesch, deputy director at Red Earth, Inc.
The weekend includes an “Ask the Expert” panel that provides guests an opportunity to bring their Native American art and historic pieces for free evaluation. A powwow draws hundreds of dancers, singers and participants to fill a dance arena at Cox Convention Center. New this year is a Native American Handgame Tournament.
This festival is by no means only for those with Native American heritage; Oesch notes that people from all backgrounds visit and enjoy the festivities.
“Every year the Red Earth Festival attracts guests from throughout the world,” he says. “While walking through the artist display booths, it’s not uncommon to hear people speaking German or a variety of other languages as Red Earth is a destination event for many European travelers looking to experience the native cultures that make Oklahoma and the United States unique.”
Visit redearth.org for an event schedule.