Best of Wyoming
1:43 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Prairie Wind Culture Festival - Gillette

The Prairie Wind Culture Festival (PWCF) was started in 2004.  It is an all volunteer, non-profit, secular organization with one goal: to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that exists in northeastern Wyoming.

The PWCF is an annual Festival that is free and open to the public.  As with any culture, the three main elements of the Festival are food, music and art!  This unique event brings people together to celebrate their differences while discovering the many ways in which we are all related.

The 8th Annual Prairie Wind Cultural Festival will take place at Campbell County High School’s South Campus on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  The Cultural Festival is free and open to the public.  Nearly one thousand people attended the Festival last year to experience ethnic food, music, crafts, art and demonstrations that represent the abundance of cultural diversity in this region.

The Festival has been supported in part by the Campbell County Community Public Recreation District, the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming Humanities Council and the Prairie Wind Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  The Festival has been organized and widely supported to celebrate diversity and encourage cultural awareness in and around the community.

This year the Prairie Wind Cultural Festival is featuring Colorado band, Hal Aqua and The Lost Tribe.  Hal’s band plays nouveau klezmer music -- an exuberant musical experience, rooted firmly in traditional Jewish modes and melodies and driven by contemporary rhythms and danceable grooves.  There will also be presentations by a Northern Cheyenne Dance Troupe out of Montana.  The Northern Cheyenne dancers will be performing traditional dances from the Cheyenne Tribe as well as other Plains Indian tribes.   There will be dance performances from the Bighorn Basque Club, local Indio-Latin dance group Matachines de San Mateo, and a presentation by the Shimokawara Dojo.  Wyoming Pipe and Drum will also be kicking off the event with Scottish Bagpipes.

Art is a big part of the Festival with a juried art exhibition displaying works from students; kindergarten through 12th grade.  Past years have brought work created by all of the Campbell County Schools, as well as work done by students from Montana.  Regional artisans and vendors will demonstrate, display and sell their work in the Market area; it is a great place to find unique goods from around the country and world, as well as local.   

Another element of the Festival includes participation by people who want to share information about their culture or experiences they’ve had in the community, the state, the country and the world.  Anyone is permitted to set-up a booth to display information, photos, videos and memorabilia to share with others.

A diverse array of ethnic food is served from 11:30 to 1:00 pm.  A community potluck offers free samples of authentic and freshly prepared dishes from all over the world.  Each dish is accompanied with information about the customs and traditions associated with the dish as well as the country of origin. 

The “Park” is a large family activity area with arts and craft projects including mask-making and musical instrument building.  There will also be a giant cardboard maze to promote imagination and resourcefulness as well as a 16 foot tipi setup to encourage cultural exploration.  The Park offers fun activities for the whole family.   

The Prairie Wind Culture Festival has enriched the lives of those who have participated and strengthened their community with an awareness of the rich cultural diversity that makes this region so unique, celebrating diversity and creating an environment that teaches honor and respect for people of all cultures.       

Schedule – April 21, 2012

The 8th Annual Prairie Wind Culture Festival will be held on Saturday April 21st from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at Campbell County High School - South Campus

    11:00 am - Wyoming Pipe and Drum

    11:30 am - Hal Aqua & The Lost Tribe

    11:30 am to 1:00 pm - FREE ETHNO-POTLUCK!

    12:45 pm - Northern Cheyenne Dance Troupe

    1:45 pm - Los Matachines de San Mateo

     2:15 pm - Shimokawara Dojo

     2:25 pm - Hal Aqua & The Lost Tribe

     3:40 pm - Bighorn Basque Dancers

     4:10 pm - Northern Cheyenne Dance Troupe

For more information, please see this year’s flyer: http://www.prairiewindculturefestival.org/Poster_8.5x11.pdf

or visit the Prairie Wind Culture Festival home page: http://www.prairiewindculturefestival.org.

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