GRAY — Native American tribal representatives from Maine, New England and around the country will come to Maine Wildlife Park Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13, with native dancers, drummers, craft vendors, singers and traditional food booths.

This event is a celebration of Native American heritage and culture, offering entertainment, education and fun all weekend long. There will be returning performers and vendors, as well as new dancers, musicians, traders and food.

Grand Entry will occur at noon each day. It is the ceremonial start to the Pow Wow, and includes the presentation of the park’s bald eagle, unique because it is one of a few Pow Wows nationwide including participation of a live bald eagle.

Children will get to dance with the “Kennebago Bear” and “Moxie Moose” mascots. There will also be many opportunities to learn about Native American history through ceremony, music, dancing, storytelling, historical artifacts and replicas.

There will be several features at this year’s event. Host Drum will be the Split Feather Singers, a group of natives from all over New England. Other entertainment will include Wolf Cry Singers, a group of Native women singing traditional songs, Black Hawk Singers, Walking Bear Singers and Grandmothers Tears Singers. Badgers Den Native Foods is a food option.

The Penobscot tribe, together with the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Abenaki Indians, were once members of the old Wabanaki Confederacy. The Abenaki and Wabanaki have the same Algonquian root, meaning “people from the east.” There are approximately 3,000 Penobscot Indians now, most of whom live in Maine.

The Attean family of the Penobscot Indians, have lived on and off of Indian Island, as well as in and around Old Town. Theirs is a family of renowned craftspeople, who create hand-made intricate baskets for display and work; birch-bark canoes; walking sticks; beaded jewelry and other crafts.

Their craftsmanship can be found at the annual Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market and the Common Ground Country Fair.

The Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park barbecue will provide food. Native American crafts, singing, dancing, educational and cultural information and children’s games will be ongoing throughout each day.

The Pow Wow will run each day, rain or shine.

FMI: maine.gov/ifw/education/wildlifepark/, facebook.com/mainewildlifepark/.

The Maine Wildlife Park Pow Wow will include participation by the park’s bald eagle.

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