Ithaca Times

First Peoples Festival: Indigenous peoples to be celebrated Saturday

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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:45 am, Fri Sep 28, 2012.

Not only will the Commons be busy this weekend, but DeWitt Park — just a couple of blocks over from Ithaca’s downtown pedestrian mall — will play host to the third annual First Peoples Festival.

Set to run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, the festival is intended to celebrate the indigenous peoples of New York state by featuring traditional crafts, displays and foods. On the Festival’s event page, it notes the intent is to “provide an educational opportunity for the public to learn more about the traditions and unlearn the stereotypes connected with Indigenous cultures.”

Among the highlights of the event are performances by the Allegany River Dancers, bluesman Butch Mudbone and Crow Weaver Band, as well as traditional flute music by Dan Hill. Barbara Bethman-Mahooty will be reading traditional stories at DeWitt Park; Amanda Crouse will be doing the same on the Commons as part of the Apple Harvest Festival. Alf Jacques will be demonstrating making traditional lacrosse sticks.

Traditional foods of indigenous peoples — including corn soup, buffalo burgers, fried bread and more — will be available; vendors also will be offering paintings, jewelry, silver, and other arts and crafts.

In addition, there will be a range of children’s activities taking place, including water drums by Allyn Underwood, balloon fun by Amazing Pete, face painting and Home Depot hands-on building activities.

For more information about the First Peoples Festival, contact Audrey Cooper at (607) 272-2292, visit the Multicultural Resource Center website at, or visit the event’s Facebook page at

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