Thousands Flock To Tahlequah For Cherokee National Holiday

Friday, September 2nd 2016, 7:33 pm
By: Tess Maune

Folks are already in Tahlequah for the Cherokee National Holiday; 100,000 people are expected to descend on Tahlequah for the holiday.

The Cherokee National Holiday is a three-day celebration that honors the tribe’s history; Cherokee Nation chief of staff, Chuck Hoskin Jr. said it’s like a homecoming for the tribe.

“We're celebrating the reunification of our people after the Trail of Tears and the signing of our constitution back when we came here after removal,” he said.

But the holiday weekend is more than looking back; it's also looking forward, embracing the future.

“We're also taking on some environmental challenges, and that's really a part of what we'll be focusing on this weekend,” Hoskin said. “It's gonna be a big part of Chief Baker's State of the Nation address tomorrow.”

Hoskin said 100,000 people from all over the world will be in Tahlequah this weekend; and Cherokee or not, everyone's welcome.

Darlene Kissinger drove in from Missouri for the celebration.

“My grandmother was full-blooded Indian, Cherokee,” she said. “She came from Tennessee and she came over here in a covered wagon.”

The event is the perfect opportunity to share that heritage with a younger generation.

You'll find everything from tours of a Cherokee Village as it would have been 300 years ago, to vendor booths that showcase traditional and contemporary Native American culture.

The big Cherokee Holiday Parade is at 9:30 Saturday morning. There's also a powwow at 7:00 both Friday and Saturday night.

You can find out more about the celebration and the events here.