Thousands of visitors are expected in Tishomingo Saturday for the final day of festivities during this year’s Chickasaw Festival and Annual Meeting.
Tribal members and friends are expected to be on hand at Murray State College’s Fletcher Auditorium to hear Governor Bill Anoatubby deliver his State of the Nation Address, the highlight of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation. The annual State of the Nation address is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Immediately following Governor Anoatubby’s address at 11:30 a.m., the annual Chickasaw Festival Parade will make its way down Tishomingo’s Main Street as other activities get underway at the historic Chickasaw Capitol Grounds.
In conjunction with the parade, the Tishomingo High School Marching Band will once again be hosting its annual Band Day Extravaganza, in which bands from other area schools are invited to compete.
A total of 18 bands are scheduled to join Tishomingo’s ‘Pride of Little Dixie” for this year’s contest, 11 of which will participate in that morning’s parade competition.
Later in the day, beginning at 2 p.m., the full slate of 18 bands will take part in the field competition at the Tishomingo High School football field. Admission is free and concessions will be available.
A wide variety of exciting events and activities will take place throughout the day on Oct. 3, including tours of the historic Chickasaw Capitol and Chickasaw White House in Emet.
Children’s activities, a petting zoo, horseshoe tournament, cultural classes, storytelling, living history vignettes, stomp dance demonstrations and a book signing by Chickasaw Press authors will be conducted on the Capitol grounds.
All festival events which have traditionally been held at Pennington Creek Park have been moved this year to the west side of the Capitol grounds, due to the flooding that occurred at the park earlier this year.
Throughout the week hundreds of students have been learning about Chickasaw history and culture, courtesy of daily events at the grounds of the historic Chickasaw Capitol Building in Tishomingo that have included school tours, cultural demonstrations, and storytelling and “living history” vignettes.
Those school tours will continue through this Friday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
The Southeastern Art Show and Market opens at 9 a.m., Friday, Oct. 2, and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, on the south side of the Capitol grounds.
The following sites will be open to the public for tours through Friday: the Chickasaw White House in Emet, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Chickasaw Capitol and Council House Museum in Tishomingo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the Chickasaw Bank Museum in Tishomingo, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the festival, the Johnston County Riding Club will host its 38th Annual Rodeo at the Murray State College rodeo arena in Tishomingo on Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3.
Showtime is 8 p.m. each night. The rodeo is this year’s final stop for the Ward Rodeo Company’s 2015 Stampede Rodeo Series.
Scheduled events will include bareback riding, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and team roping, as well as several junior events.
A health fair and traditional meal will be conducted Saturday on the Murray State College campus, beginning at 11:30 a.m. A fast pitch softball tournament is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. that day at the Johnston County Sports Complex.
A complete listing of events, locations and schedules is available online at www.chickasaw.net/annualmeeting.
For more information, call (580) 371-2040 or 1 (800) 593-3356; or visit the Chickasaw Nation Facebook page at facebook.com/TheChickasawNation or twitter.com/ChickasawNation.