Annual celebration retains native traditions

REED CITY – Native traditions will live on through an annual native gathering to be held in Reed City.

Beginning at sundown on Friday, June 20, the celebration will continue through Sunday, June 22, at a campsite on Lakola Road.

The gathering, which began in Kalamazoo in 1993, is being hosted by Carol Benson, a resident of Reed City.

“(We are) a little group celebrating our culture in a native tradition,” she said.

The native gathering is free and open to the public. Benson said participants need not have Native American ancestry, but a “native heart” to attend.

The celebration is held each year on the third weekend in June, Benson said, and used to draw hundreds of guests. Participation has dwindled since the event was moved from Morley to its Reed City location.

“I’m trying to rejuvenate a little bit of life into our powwow,” Benson said. “Any vendors that are interested are more than welcome to come.”

Vendors are welcome to set up and sell their products at the site. All items must be handmade, local or come from the Western Hemisphere, Benson said.

The celebration will include ceremonial dances and traditional music. Participants are encouraged to bring a food item, which will be added to a potluck style stew to be shared with all who attend.

Overnight camping will be available on site. For more information and specific directions, call (231) 856-4451.