Youngest performers

Some of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe’s youngest perform traditional songs and dances on Broadway during the 2017 parade. Entitled Mojave Strong — Empowering our future through culture, tradition and wellness, the 42nd Fort Mojave Indian Days returns to the Tri-state this week.

NEEDLES — The first people of the Tri-state area focus on the future in a multi-day celebration this week, as the 42nd annual Fort Mojave Indian Days return.

Most of the activities will be centered around the Fort Mojave California Village Park at 500 Merriman Ave. A golf tournament begins at 8 a.m. Friday at the Mojave Resort Golf Club, 9905 Aha Macav Pkwy. in Laughlin.

“The theme for this year’s festivities is Mojave Strong — Empowering our future through culture, tradition and wellness,” reported Gentry Medrano, director of the tribe’s public relations department, in a piece appearing in the Sept. 26 Needles Desert Star. “Throughout the week, the tribe will host a number of community events emphasizing Mojave traditions aimed at promoting community involvement and increased health and wellbeing.”

The lineup:

• Thursday — A Spirit Run begins before sunrise at Avi Kwa Ame: ‘Spirit Mountain,’ north of Laughlin. The 2018-19 tribal royalty will be selected in a pageant Thursday evening.

• Friday — A nature walk begins at 7 a.m., the golf tourney at 8 a.m. Language, culture and traditional foods will be featured in a series of workshops at several locations on tribal lands in Arizona, California or Nevada. A luncheon is served from noon to 1 p.m. in the Merriman Avenue gymnasium.

• Saturday — Competitors begin signing up in the morning for a horseshoe tournament, frybread eating contest, tug-o’-war and wahoo games. The Fort Mojave Indian Days parade along Broadway between I and D streets in downtown Needles typically attracts dozens of entrants and hundreds of spectators. It begins at 10 a.m. A welcome from the tribal council, introduction of royalty and presentation of parade winners begins at noon in the park on Merriman Avenue.

A women’s bird dancing and men’s bird singing group contest will be held Saturday evening and the day’s events will conclude with the youth, women, and men peon tournament at Spirit Runners Park at 9 p.m.

For more information about any of the Fort Mojave Indian Days events, contact the Fort Mojave Public Relations Department at 760-629-4591 ext. 106 or send e-mail to publicrelations@fortmojave.com.

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