The Ak-Chin Indian Community hosts its Native American Recognition Day celebration annually on the last Saturday in September. Native American Recognition Day (NARD) is an event celebration that focuses on sharing traditions and artwork from different Native American cultures with others.
This year’s NARD celebration is on Saturday, September 30 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Milton “Paul” Antone Park in Maricopa. Events are coordinated by the Ak-Chin Him-Dak EcoMuseum.
A Fun Run/Walk and a 5K Run kicks things off, starting at 8 a.m., with registration for both beginning at 7:30 a.m. After the walk/run, other festivities happen from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park.
The day features performances by different Native American dance groups, artist demonstrations, information booths, a variety of food vendors, and arts and crafts booths. In previous years, performers included the Yellow House Dancers, who showcased a hoop dance. Previous artist demonstrations featured self-taught painter Joseph Smith and basket weaver Sally Antone. Look for a similar variety of entertainment at this year’s event!
There will also be a horseshoe tournament and a watermelon-eating contest, along with bouncy houses and face painting for the little kids. Bring the whole family for a day full of fun! Everyone is welcome to attend and participate.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community has hosted NARD events for years. The Community’s first NARD celebration was held in front of the Ak-Chin Indian Community Him-Dak EcoMuseum. Since then, the event has grown substantially and moved to the park so as to provide more space for exhibitors and guests.
Milton “Paul” Antone Park is located at 46851 W. Farrell Road in Maricopa. For more information about Native American Recognition Day, contact the Ak-Chin Him-Dak EcoMuseum at 520-568-1350.