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Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration: Nov. 4-5, 2022

Folks may expect fry bread and alligator wrestling, but when they journey into the Everglades for the Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration Nov. 4-5, 2022, 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, halfway between Naples and Fort Lauderdale off Alligator Alley, at the exceptional Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.

Every year, the festival brings to Florida a special performance and this year it is the HAKA Māori Cultural Experience from New Zealand.

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.

Native American vendors sells arts and traditional arts in the Indian market.
Native American vendors sells arts and traditional arts in the Indian market.

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 Native American vendors who bring silverwork, beadwork, woodwork, basketry, leatherwork, photography, paintings, jewelry and an array of food to the Indian market.

The event will take place on the festival grounds across from the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.

The festival includes special activities for children, including a “take-away craft.” The festival always includes a Friday so that school groups can come on field trips.

Alligator wrestling is demonstrated at the Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration.
Alligator wrestling is demonstrated at the Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration.

More about the Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,  Friday and Saturday

Where:  The festival takes place on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. 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.)

Note: Most vendors accept cash only.

Note: The Friday celebration is scheduled so that school groups can come on field trips. Teachers should contact Abena at abenarobinson@semtribe.com or call 863-902-1113 ext 12235.

Web site

2022 Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration schedule

Friday, November 4, 2022

10  a.m. Welcome. Opening Ceremony & Māori Welcome Song

10:30 a.m. Duncan Family Presentation – Mainstage

Gator & Wildlife Show – Stage 360

11  a.m. Osceola’s Legacy Warriors – Stage 360

11  a.m. Ahfachkee School Fashion Show – Mainstage

Noon HAKA Māori Cultural Experience – Variety Showcase – Mainstage

Let’s Hoop Dance – Stage 360

12:30 p.m. Alligator Wrestling – Mainstage

Miss Seminole Florida Seminole Meet & Greet – Stage 360

1 p.m. Rez Jam, Ahfachkee School Showcase – Mainstage

Raffle Announcements – Stage 360

1:30 p.m. Storytelling & HAKA Māori Cultural Experience
Interactive Performances – Mainstage

Rez Jam – Stage 360

2 p.m. Alligator Wrestling – Mainstage
Hoop Dance Workshop – Stage 360

2:30 p.m. Rez Jam – Mainstage

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Live Seminole Artist Experience – Stage 360

3  p.m. HAKA Māori Cultural Experience – Performance – Mainstage

3:30 p.m. Gator & Wildlife Show – Mainstage

4  p.m. Rez Jam – Mainstage

4:45 p.m. Closing Announcements

Saturday, November 5, 2022

10 a.m. Welcome. Opening Ceremony & Māori Welcome Song

10:30  a.m. Rez Jam – Mainstage
Gator & Wildlife Show – Stage 360

11 a.m. Duncan F a.m.ily Presentation – Mainstage

Vendor Showcase – Stage 360

11:30  a.m.
Alligator Wrestling – Mainstage

Noon HAKA Māori Cultural Experience – Variety Showcase – Mainstage

Let’s Hoop Dance – Stage 360

12:30 p.m. Rez Jam – Mainstage

Live Seminole Artist Experience – Stage 360

1 p.m. Hoop Dance Workshop – Mainstage

1:30 p.m. Storytelling & HAKA Māori Cultural Experience
Interactive Performances – Mainstage

Gator & Wildlife Show – Stage 360

2 p.m. Miss Florida Seminole Princess Meet & Greet – Stage 360

2:30 p.m. Alligator Wrestling – Mainstage

Rez Jam –Stage 360

3 p.m. Lenora Roberts Fashion Show – Mainstage

Osceola’s Legacy Warriors – Stage 360

3:30 p.m. Raffle Announcements – Stage 360

4 p.m. Storytelling & HAKA Māori Cultural Experience
Interactive Performances– Mainstage

About the Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki Museum: The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum was awarded full accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in 2009, the first tribally-governed museum to have received accreditation. The museum opened in 1997.

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

Stories related to Seminoles American Indian Arts Celebration

For more information, call 863-902-1113 extension 12211 or contact Carrie Dilley at carriedilley@semtribe.com.

Notes from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.

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