Twice a year in Loudonville, Ohio you can experience the Great Mohican Pow-Wow. Every July and September the Mohican Reservation Campground sponsors the Pow Wow and opens it up to the public. It is a great opportunity to experience and appreciate Native American heritage and culture. A Pow-Wow is traditionally a time when the Native American people join together in singing, dancing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones. Not much has changed, but here are a few tips on what to expect if you decide to venture to the Great Mohican Pow-Wow.
Check the Weather
Open your trusted weather app and see what the forecast has in store before you step foot out of the house. If it is going to be over 90 degrees I would recommend taking some precautions. The sun bakes you like pemmican roasting over a slow fire. There is literally zero shade, with the exception of one big tent. The big tent is utilized for demonstrations and morning welcome but does have plenty of seating if you need a respite from the direct heat. For the record nothing here is air-conditioned. I would recommend bringing a fan, umbrella, water, a hat and plenty of sunscreen.
If you are traveling with small children I would not recommend going in the heat. Taking our little one was not one of our best moves and we ended up having to the leave earlier than planned. The heat exhausted her and we were not about to deal with heat stroke.
Great Mohican Pow-Wow Parking
Parking for this event is located on the campgrounds. When you enter the RV Park the Pow-Wow can be seen in the distance. You will drive past people camping to get to the parking area. They will have you park on the grass, those with disabilities or unable to walk long distances can be dropped off at the entrance. There is not a shuttle that can take you back and forth from your car, you be prepared to walk. Parking is free.
The Grand Entry
If you only have a few hours to visit ensure that you arrive about a half hour before the Grand Entry. This is one of the most spectacular sites of the entire Pow-Wow. Flags are carried throughout the dance ring followed by tribal chiefs, princesses and elders and other important guests. The dancers follow forming a phenomenal parade that is truly a sight to behold. There is a drum roll before the Grand Entry that is a unique experience and showcases some truly talented individuals.
This is what you came to see. Immediately following the Grand Entry the dance competitions ensues. Dancers take to the ring dressed in traditional garb to compete. The attire worn is exactly what you envision and the dancing will leave you dazzled. It is even more impressive to see folks compete in full garb during 95 degree heat.
Visit the Artisan Booths
Feast your eyes upon a sea of handmade blankets, pottery, and jewelry. At first glance, you may think you stumbled into a craft fair as booth after booth hosts handmade wares by local artisans. Each one displaying temptation after temptation. Dream catchers, drums, furs, they have it all. My advice is to cruise through the entire area once or twice before going in for that perfect Pow-Wow souvenir.
Indian Fry Bread
There is a good variety of food options available for purchase. I still regret not ordering Indian Fry Bread. It was the most popular item at the Pow-Wow and it looks and smelled divine. It resembled a funnel cake or Elephant ear. However, with it being so hot sadly the last thing I wanted was food.
If you are taking pictures of a dancer, please ask the dancer first. It is a common courtesy to ask. Most everyone is happy to take a photo with you, but some may ask for a few dollars in return. There is also no drugs or alcohol allowed at the Pow Wow, so don’t attempt to smuggle in booze.
Pow-Wows can be different depending on the area you travel to and visit. The uniqueness of each area should be celebrated and encourage you to attend a variety of different Pow-Wows. Learn more about the Great Mohican Pow Wow here.
Looking for more fun things to do while at the Pow-Wow? Check out this great thing to do in Mansfield, OH!