With the anticipated aroma of freshly cooked Indian tacos, interesting vendors and traders, competitions, music, American Indian dancing and a variety of entertainment, Pawhuska is gearing up for this weekend’s Annual National Indian Taco Championship.
Organizers are hoping new vendors and competitions, and some cooperative weather, will translate into big crowds in downtown this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free.
"We are excited to announce that this year we have added a Native American Drum Competition," said Mike McCartney, Chamber Director. "It’s $1,500 winner take all."
Last year the event added Native American Dance competition, he said, "So this will be a nice addition to the NITC 2013." The dance competition’s prizes include 1st-$300; 2nd-$200; and 3rd-$100. The categories for age 16 and older are Men’s Straight, Men’s Fancy, Women’s Cloth, and Women’s Buckskin. The children’s exhibition begins at 11 a.m.
Contestants will be selling tacos to the public, and for $5 visitors will have the chance to help judge the Indian tacos. Judging begins at 10 a.m., and winners are announced between 3 and 4 p.m.
"We are in the final stages of our National Indian Taco Championship and are excited to bring in new vendors this year. It will be a great time for children and adults, so we hope to see a huge crowd this year," said Patricia Wilson, Chamber board of directors vice president and National Indian Taco chairman
Children are sure to enjoy the mini train rides and pony rides, and vendors are offering snow cones, baked goods, Native American beadwork, art work, jewelry and much more, organizers said.
Following the taco event, visitors are invited to the Osage County Fairgrounds for the National Indian Taco Barrel Racing Competition which starts at 6 p.m. The purse includes $1,000 "added money." The arena is open between exhibitions and jackpot. For entry information, contact Alexis Howell at 918-440-2479.
Sponsors include the Osage Nation, the city of Pawhuska, the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, Osage Casino and Osage County Tourism. For more information about the event, contact the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce at 918-287-1208 or www.pawhuskachamber.com.
The Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and Osage County Tourism are members of Green Country Marketing Association which works with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department and others to promote state tourism, a $6.2 billion industry.