September 23 – October 2
Yei’Bi’Chei Commences (Yei’Bi’Chei Grounds)

September 27 – TUESDAY

9AM Miss Northern & Northern Navajo Teen Pageants
Navajo Food Competition(s) NNN Fairgrounds
4PM – Personal Interview Competition (Phil Thomas P.A.C.)

September 28 – WEDNESDAY
9AM Miss Northern & Northern Navajo Teen Pageants
Contemporary Skill/Talent Competition (Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
1PM – Miss Northern Navajo Teen Contemporary
Skill/Talent Competition (Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
6PM – Indoor Exhibit Judging (4-H Exhibit) 6PM Art’s & Crafts Showcase Judging

September 29 – THURSDAY
7AM – Fairgrounds Open 9AM Old Timer’s Rodeo (Rodeo Arena)
9AM – Miss Northern Navajo Traditional Competition(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
9AM-3PM – Elder Fest (Pow Wow Arena)
10AM-2PM – Youth Day Activities (Song & Dance Arena, Kidsperforming in Tent)
10AM City of Fun Carnival (Kids Day)
1PM Miss Northern Navajo Teen Traditional Competition (Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
1PM Small Animal Judging (4-H Exhibits)
1PM Old Timer’s Rodeo (Rodeo Arena)
4PM-6PM Free BBQ (City Market Parking Lot)
6PM-10PM Night Performance (Rodeo Arena)
6PM-10PM Gospel Night (Indian Market Tent) 11PM Carnival Closes

September 30 – FRIDAY
8AM Fairgrounds Open
8AM Open All Indian Rodeo Morning Slack (Rodeo Arena)
9AM Livestock Show (4-H Exhibit)
10AM Indian Market Opens
1PM T-NT Tug of War Showdown (Indian Market Tent)
130PM B90 Bull Riding Shootout (Rodeo Arena)
3PM 4-H/FFA Livestock Sale (4-H Exhibit)
3PM Pow Wow – Open Registration (Pow Wow Arena)
4PM-6PM Miss Northern & Miss Northern Teen Coronation (Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
5PM Song & Dance – Open Registration (Song & Dance Arena)
5PM City of Fun Carnival Opens
5PM Gourd Dancing (Pow Wow Arena)
5PM Public Speaking Presentations (4-H Exhibit)
6PM Song & Dance – Warm up Dancing (Song & Dance Arena)
7PM Pow Wow Grand Entry (Pow Wow Arena)
Open All Indian Rodeo 1st Performance (Rodeo Arena)
8PM-12AM Entertainment & Performances (Indian Market Tent)
1130PM Carnival Closes

October 1, SATURDAY
5AM Parade Line-up (Fleet Mgmt.)
8AM Parade (East Hwy 64 – West 491)
9AM Song & Dance (Open Registration)
(Song & Dance Arena) 10AM Fairgrounds Open
10AM Indian Market Open
1030AM City of Fun Carnival Opens
11AM Pow Wow – Re-Open Registration (Pow Wow Arena)
11AM Gourd Dancing (Pow Wow Arena)
1230PM-7PM Family Show & Performance (Indian Market Tent)
1PM Pow Wow Registration Closes 1PM Grand Entry (Pow Wow Arena)
1PM Song & Dance – Grand Entry (Song & Dance Arena)
130PM Open All Indian Rodeo 2nd Performance (Rodeo Arena)
2PM Demonstrations & Talent Show Presentations
(4-H Exhibits)
5PM Gourd Dance Session (Pow Wow Arena)
5PM Awards Presentation (4-H Exhibit)
7PM Pow Wow – Grand Entry (Pow Wow Arena)
7PM Open All Indian Rodeo 3rd Performance (Rodeo Arena)
8PM-12AM Entertainment & Performances (Indian Market Tent)
12AM Carnival Closes

October 2 – SUNDAY
8AM Fairgrounds Open 9AM Grand Finale Song & Dance – Roll Call (Song & Dance Arena)
10AM Song & Dance – Grand Entry (Song & Dance Arena)
10AM-6PM Indian Market Opens
10AM-3PM Cultural Performances (Indian Market Tent)
11AM Final Gourd Dance (Pow Wow Arena)
12PM-5PM Gourd Dance Session (Pow Wow Arena)
12PM City of Fun Carnival Opens
1PM Open All Indian Rodeo Final Championship Short-Go (Rodeo Arena)
1PM Final Pow Wow Grand Entry (Pow Wow Arena)
1PM Parade Winner Ceremony (Indian Market Tent)
11PM Carnival Closes

September 18, 2016

The 70th annual Navajo Nation fair just ended and it was as busy as usual. However, this year, fair organizers decided to move some special events around which caused a reduction in crowds over the weekend. The organizers moved the entire pow-wow to the weekday. Hopefully, they will work this out next year.

This coming week is the Utah Navajo Fair Sept. 14-18. This fair is smaller than the Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock and is mostly attended by Navajos from the northern region of the reservation. The fair is held in Bluff, Utah and organizers expect attendance at 5,000. There is a rodeo, carnival, parade, elder fest, pow-wow, and arts and crafts sales.  The parade is on Saturday Sept. 17 at 8 am. For more information, http://www.utahnavajofair.com/

Then next week, starting Sept. 22-25 is the annual Southwest Navajo Fair in Dilkon, Ariz. Dilkon is located about 30 miles north of Winslow, Arizona.  Attendance at the Southwest Navajo Fair is usually around 5,000.  In the past, this region of the reservation was known for great ropers and bull riders. The fair is also much smaller in size compared to the main fair, but that means you can get a better sense of cultural events. One such event is the song & dance event. In this event, contestants will dress up in their finest clothing and they will dance with a partner, as they go around in a circle and have its origins in the traditional Navajo Na’daa ceremonies. Years ago, these events were controversial as traditional Navajos did not agree with this spin-off from the traditional Na’daa ceremony. The controversy has since died down, but many Navajos still frown upon it and it is not a traditional Navajo social event. The event became popular in the 1980s and 1990s. The songs are more social. Today, the event is very popular among a certain segment of the population. For more information contact Dilkon Chapter at (928) 657-8102

If you want to see some presentations on Navajo culture then attend Culture Night presentations on Sept. 20 at 5 pm (DST) at Tsehootsooi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Ariz. There will be a demonstration on Navajo moccasin making by Damien Jones and Navajo basket weaving by Isabelle Whitehat. These are educational sessions and FREE. For more information contact Theresa at (928) 729-6822, or Emerson at (928) 729-8055.

WHAT’S IN THE HEADLINES

Last summer, the Navajo Nation was in the national news after a toxic spill occured at Gold King Mine near Durango, Colo. For a few weeks the Animas River was filled with yellowish toxic acidic waste water and Navajos were enraged. The river runs through several Navajo communities, including Shiprock, NM. This week, on Sept. 7, the U.S. EPA announced the Gold King Mine will become a Superfund site.

NBC news anchor Lester Holt airs a news story last year in August 2015 about the toxic spill into the Animas River

NBC news anchor Lester Holt airs a news story last year in August 2015 about the toxic spill into the Animas River

Many tribal members have also gone up north to join alliances with other tribes who are protesting against a pipeline running across the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.  The pipeline passes about a half-mile from the 2.3-million acre reservation, and the tribe contends it will disturb historic sites located off the reservation and could contaminate drinking water for the tribal members. It is not often that tribes unite on a single issue, but it has happened.