Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum in Cleburne hosts Santa Fe Days April 1-3. The largest celebration of American Indian arts and culture in North Texas, the event features American Indian artists and dances and a variety of children’s activities. Plus, there’s plans for a youth competition Pow Wow, stickball workshops, and a ribbon shirts and skirts fashion show.
Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy a variety of family-friendly presentations and activities. Parking is $10 per vehicle, which covers wristbands for up to eight guests, valid for the entire weekend. Additional wristbands are $2 each. Proceeds support repair and repurchase of Museum teepees lost to storms in recent years.
The II Americas Celebration-Santa Fe Days honors the complex and diverse history as well as contemporary lives and resilient adaptations of American Indian culture today. This year’s event will bring American Indian artists representing 40 or more Nations across the U.S. In addition, fine jewelry, pottery, and artwork will be available for purchase. The last event drew 7,000 participants and spectators.
“We are thrilled to make Cleburne the new home for our event,” said event Chair C. Annette Anderson. “It was recommended to us by several American Indian artists in the Fort Worth area, and the area has historical and cultural meaning to our American Indian and Indigenous people. The Kiowa, Comanche and Apache people hunted along the sacred buffalo trails known as the Chisholm Trail. The Kiowa name for this area is Ahn Daw Gaw Beeh, or ‘where the plains meet the big trees.’”
Santa Fe Days Opens April 1
Gates open to the public at 3 p.m. April 1, followed by a Traditional Memorial Gourd Dance (4–8 p.m.) and Meet and greet with featured artists Damon and Irene Neal, Jicarilla Apache, from 6–7 p.m.
Saturday, April 2, gates open to public at 9 a.m. An Opening ceremony and grand entry is led by Daniel Alvarez, Apache, U.S. combat, Silver Star recipient, at 10 a.m. The beautiful procession will feature the Renegade Nation Color Guard and allies, plains-style dancers, Aztec dancers, community leaders, tribal royalty and dignitaries.
John Taylor Memorial Youth Pow Wow competition starts at 10:30 a.m., followed by ribbon shirts and skirts fashion show, professional twirling demonstration and youth presentation, and a National Covid Mourning memorial Dance Special at 2 p.m. Stickball demonstrations and workshops take place all day.
All Tribes’ Church Service Sunday
On April 3 an All Tribes’ church service for all denominations opens to all guests, featuring church hymns sung in tribal languages. The John Taylor Memorial Youth Pow Wow competition continues with finalists from the older divisions. Guests may participate in Intertribal and social dances. 10:30 a.m. National Covid Mourning Memorial Dance Special at 2 p.m.
The schedule features daily dance performances at Santa Fe Days, along with a Family Cultural Path and Children’s Craft Area. Attendees can learn loom beading, make dream catchers and more. The Indigenous Market Place will offer products for purchase inspired by the plants, foods and other resources first used in the Americas, including Indian tacos and fry bread. There’s also a Native Book Authors Corner.
Santa Fe Days is sponsored by the Indigenous Institute of the Americas, the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, the Inter-tribal Council of AT & T, and Little Brother of War Organization For more information, please visit iiamericas.org/santafedays/.