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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Pahrump Powwow returns

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and that means its almost time for the return of what is widely considered to be the Pahrump Valley’s most culturally immersive event of the year, the Pahrump Intertribal Social Powwow.

“We create a cultural and educational experience for all peoples through indigenous music, dance, crafts, storytelling and food,” the Pahrump Social Powwow’s website details, with Powwow Committee member Paula Elefante adding, “Many of the vendors that have been coming for years will be back again this year, so it’s a great time to start your holiday shopping at your favorite vendors’ booths.”

Hosted annually the weekend before Thanksgiving, the 24th Annual Pahrump Social Powwow will take over Petrack Park from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 17-19 and the theme for 2023 is “Celebration of Youth.”

Tribal members from around the country will be making their way to the valley to share the customs of their long-lived heritage, including two groups who will be the heartbeat of the event, the Drums.

“Our Northern Drum is Bear Springs, coming in from California and our Southern Drum is Southern Soul, coming from Arizona,” Elefante told the Pahrump Valley Times this week. “Both Drums have been here before and we’re excited that they’ll be coming back.”

The Drums won’t arrive until Saturday, Nov. 18 but that doesn’t mean the festival grounds will be silent the day before. There will be recorded music played throughout the day and the dancing will officially open at 2 p.m. with the Aztec Dancers.

The Saturday of the event is always the busiest day and the schedule is packed full of music, contests and dancing. Gourd Dancing will kick off at 11 a.m. that Saturday morning, with the Grand Entry, along with recognitions and presentations, to take place at noon. Intertribal Dancing will take over the grassy circle at 1:30 p.m. and the Tiny Tot Contest is set for 1:45 p.m.

More Intertribal Dancing will follow at 2 p.m. until the Aztec Dancers take to the grass at 2:30 p.m.

The Junior Contest is slated for 3:15 p.m. and the Candy Dance will take place half an hour later.

At 4 p.m. the adolescents will have their chance to shine in the Teen Contest and the entire audience can get in on the fun with the Round Dance at 4:30 p.m. Intertribal Dancing will conclude the day, with the colors to be retired at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 19 will run on a similar schedule with Gourd Dancing to open the event and another Grand Entry at noon. More dancing will entertain the crowd and there will be a Cake Walk at 2:15 p.m. as well as a Quilt Drawing at 3:15 p.m. The 50/50 raffle drawing is set for 4:30 p.m. and the event will wrap up around 5 p.m.

Admission to the Pahrump Social Powwow is free and the whole community is invited to take part in this festival of culture.

For more information visit PahrumpPowwow.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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