Officials with the 8th annual Big Spring Powwow say they are still trying to âdrum upâ sponsors for the event, which is slated for April 21-22 at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.
According to Richard âIndioâ Lesser, event coordinator for the Big Spring Powwow Committee, preparations for the powwow are in the works, with just a few key ingredients missing at this point.
âDonations and sponsors are what keep the powwow going each year,â said Lesser. âIt costs anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 to put it on each year, so donations are always a huge help, even if it's just a few dollars here and there. Our local businesses, who help sponsor the event, are also a huge part of what we do. We'll be taking business sponsors right up until about a week before the powwow, so it's not too late to show your support for this great event.â
Lesser said sponsorships allow local businesses â and residents â to show their support for the event, which aims to educate the community on Native American culture.
âBusinesses can sponsor for a minimum donation of $50,â Lesser said. âThat guarantees their name will be in the program. Also, area residents who would like to make a donation â no matter how much it is â are very much appreciated, as well.â
While the powwow serves as a stage for Native American dancers to compete for prizes during the weekend event, Connie Lesser, the organization's secretary and treasurer, said it's also an excellent learning experience.
âThe MC we have is very good at explaining these things, and if someone has a question, he is more than willing to elaborate on what's going on and the story behind it,â Lesser said of Tim Harjo, event MC. âA lot of time, while the powwow is going on, we'll have people come up to us and ask us a question about how or why something is done a certain way, and we'll take that question to him so he can share that information with everyone.
âAlso, during the powwow we have inter-tribal dances, and that gives the public a chance to come down to the coliseum floor and take part in the dancing. A lot of the time the kids and younger people are willing to take part, but the adults are a bit more intimidated. But then the kids will dance and have fun and go back and tell their parents how much fun it was. Our hope is that will make the public a little more receptive to being a part of the powwow, not just to spectate, but to be a part of the event and to be involved in the culture.â
Richard Lesser said the head gourd dancer for this year's powwow will be Hector Valencia of Phoenix, Ariz., while Fabian Galvan of Lubbock, Texas, will serve as the arena director. Head male dancer is David Hoskins of Austin, Texas, and the Red Path Warrior Society will handle honor guard duties.
For more information about the powwow, contact the Lessers at 432-935-0125 or visit the Powwow Committeeâs website at www.powwowbigspring.net