For the past 19 years, Great Falls, MT has been the site of an annual Lewis & Clark Festival. This year the festival included a living history encampment at Giant Springs Heritage State Park, two outdoor concerts at the amphitheater near the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and ongoing Native American tribal traditions being demonstrated.
After a quick tour of the Center, we took some photos, both inside and outside. The diorama portraying the Lewis & Clark Expedition portaging the waterfalls is probably the most photographed display in the Center (and my favorite). My guests were also impressed especially when I pointed out the prickly pear cactus that was part of the terrain where the Expedition walked. Then I showed them the moccasins that were being worn. You can see why their evening activities included mending moccasins!
We headed outside to the amphitheater where Native American children were dressed in full regalia to entertain and educate festival-goers. As each dancer was introduced, the announcer discussed the history and traditions associated with the clothing being worn, and of the dance itself. A professional drum group from the Blackfeet reservation provided background, and the sun shone overhead. The temperatures were near 90 degrees but these kids danced their very best. One young boy had just been honored with being chosen as the best in jingle dance for all age groups in the United States. He was awesome!
Throughout the summer in northcentral Montana you can usually find a pow wow being held on the weekend. Pow wows are open to the public and visitors are welcome. Check our monthly calendar of events listed at http://www.russell.visitmt.com/calendarofevents/