FORT HALL — Windy and rainy weather may have crimped things a bit Thursday, but the 56th Annual Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival is underway, continuing each day through Sunday.
The festival is the largest outdoor powwow in Idaho.
Thursday’s scheduled events included traditional gaming with open games going on Thursday through Sunday and a $20,000 guaranteed split in various tournaments.
The Children’s Warrior Parade took place Thursday morning to help kick things off. The big parade coming up is the All-Indian parade Saturday.
Thursday’s events also featured Indian relay racing and professional bull rider Wiley Petersen’s “Bull Riding Mayhem” at the rodeo grounds, with the junior and senior rodeos taking place on Thursday and again today.
The National Indian Rodeo Association professional rodeo is scheduled Saturday and Sunday.
Grand entries for the dancing are held each day, with the biggest being tonight.
Among the dance specials is the one scheduled for Saturday, honoring Native American military veterans.
The Veterans Dance Special is open only to the Shoshone, Bannock, and Paiute tribes, and they can be dressed in uniform, fatigues, or regalia. The dance will take place after the noon grand entry.
Competition dancing will begin tonight and end on Sunday after all the judging is over. The “Chiefs Parade” for adults is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, with Petersen as grand marshal.
Indian relay racing will continue at the rodeo grounds at 5 p.m. today and Saturday with 23 teams competing, with the championship race scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday.
A free community buffalo and salmon feast at the dance arbor is planned at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Other activities throughout the festival will be men’s, women’s and co-ed softball; men’s, women’s, and co-ed golf; horseshoe tournaments; and a skate jam.
The crowning of the new Miss Shoshone-Bannock will take place tonight at 6 at the arbor.
The public is invited to the festival and no admission is charged, although there is a charge for events at the rodeo arena.