Everglades / Festivals / Southeast Florida

Seminoles’ American Indian Arts Celebration: Nov. 4 – 5, 2016

Hoop Dance

Hoop Dance (Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org)

Folks may expect fry bread and alligator wrestling, but when they journey into the Everglades for the Seminole Tribe’s American Indian Arts Celebration Nov. 4 to 5, 2016, they’re also going to see dancers, hear native musicians and meet some wildlife.

The Seminole’s annual cultural festival unfolds on the Big Cypress reservation, half way between Naples and Fort Lauderdale off Alligator Alley, at the exceptional Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.

Even without the festival, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is worth a visit. It opens with a dramatic multi-screen media presentation and its well-designed dioramas and exhibits explain Seminole history and traditions.

A highlight for many visitors is the one-and-a-half-mile boardwalk through a cypress swamp adjacent to the museum. About half way through the walk, visitors come to the village and ceremonial grounds with chickees where Seminole artists and craftsmen interact with visitors.

While the festival offers a full schedule of entertainment on its main stage, many come for the silverwork, beadwork, woodwork, basketry, leatherwork, photography, paintings and jewelry in the Indian market and the array of foods. The festival includes special activities for children, including a “take-away craft.”

American Indian Arts Festival poster

Tentative schedule American Indian Arts Celebration

Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

9:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony with Bobby Henry
10:15 a.m. Seminole Royalty
10:45 a.m. Alligator Wrestling by Billy Walker
11:30 a.m. Wildlife Presentation
12:15 a.m. Nakotah LaRance, Hoop Dancer
1 p.m. Alligator Wrestling by Billy Walker
1:45 p.m. Wildlife Presentation
2:30 p.m. Rita Youngman, Seminole Musician
3:30 p.m. Ted Nelson, Seminole Musician
4:15 p.m. Cypress Billie, Seminole Musician

Saturday, Nov.  5, 2016

9:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony with Bobby Henry
10:15 a.m. Rickey Pittman, Folk Musician
11 a.m. Seminole War Re-Enactment
11:45 a.m. Big Cypress Martial Arts Demo
12:30 p.m. Nakotah LaRance, Hoop Dancer
1 p.m. Patchwork Fashion Show
2 p.m.Seminole War Re-Enactment
2:30 p.m. Alligator Wrestling by Billy Walker
3 p.m. Miracle Dolls, Native Indie Rock
4 p.m. Paul Buster, Seminole Musician

Alligator wrestling at Seminoles' 2010 American Indian Arts Celebration by Heather Culligan

Alligator wrestling at American Indian Arts Celebration by Heather Culligan via Flickr

More about the American Indian Arts Celebration Nov. 4 to 5

When: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.,  Friday and Saturday , Nov. 4 to 5, 2016

Where:  From I-75 (Alligator Alley), take exit 49, Snake Road.  Travel north about 17 miles.   Snake Road becomes Josie Billie Highway as you enter the Seminole community.  Approximately one mile past the water tower, Josie Billie Highway intersects with West Boundary Road. The museum is on the left at the corner of West Boundary Road and Josie Billie Highway.  Museum parking is on the right, opposite the main entrance to museum.

Admission:  $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, students and military with ID. Children 4 years and under are free. This include admission to the museum and the festival. (This is the same price as museum admission alone on other days.)

Web site

More from Florida Rambler: Six places to celebrate Native American Heritage Month this November

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For more information, call 863-902-1113 extension 12211 or contact Carrie Dilley at [email protected]




  1. Hey Bonnie,

    This looks like a great celebration. I wonder if they did an RFP for this. I would have love to help out with events like these.


  2. Pingback: Indian Heritage Month: Six places to celebrate it in Florida | Florida Rambler

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