The annual Masik Tas or “birthday” celebration commemorates the day that the Ak-Chin Indian Community formally became a community. Open to the public, this year’s celebration was festive as always, with a parade, rodeo, carnival, food, arts & crafts and entertainment featuring popular musical acts and traditional performers. The community celebrated Masik Tas with events on December 1-5 and December 8-11 but observed the holiday on December 16 this year.
On Saturday, December 10, parade entries lined the streets of the community, complete with floats, horses, community departments, local groups, dignitaries, dance groups and more.
A free carnival and fun zone brought crowds in from December 9-11. The carnival/fun zone offered fun for the whole family — rides and games, a petting zoo and great food like fry bread and other fair favorites.
Free entertainment included performances by cultural dance groups and popular acts in well-attended outdoor concerts at the Ak-Chin Circle Field. On Thursday, December 8, Tejano artist Conjunto Bravo opened, and Grupo Control took the stage at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, December 9, Easton Corbin offered his unique take on country music to a crowd of more than 2,000 attendees. A fireworks show followed these evening performances and was a nice way to end the night.
On Saturday, December 10, the Vaila dance kicked off at 2 p.m. with a performance by Gertie and the T.O. Boyz, then Pick-Up Kings, Chaka and Friends, the Ak-Chin Band and Pima Express ended the night on the main stage. Also on Saturday, the mini stage showcased live entertainment from the O’odham Traditional Waila Band and several Native American dance groups. Artists demonstrated their work, too, including basket weaver Sally Antone, painter Dwayne Antone, and pottery artist Ron Carlos.
Lots of other festivities rounded out the Masik Tas Celebration, including basketball tournaments for men and women, a golf tournament at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, and Songivu’l and Toka tournaments. These are field games similar to kickball for men and hockey for women.
This year’s Masik Tas events offered lots of fun for all. If you missed any of it, make sure you join the celebrations next year!
CLN Community & Event Sponsor