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Experience Native American traditions at Fort Ancient's annual celebration

Native American performers at the Fort Ancient Celebration
Native American performers at the Fort Ancient Celebration
courtesy Fort Ancient

If you are a Native American enthusiast and would like to learn more about the heritage of Native Americans in Ohio then head for Oregonia, Ohio on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8 for the Fort Ancient Celebration -- A Gathering of Four Directions.

Fort Ancient Celebration Located on the east side of the Little Miami River and built over 2000 years ago by American Indians (known as "the ancient ones" during the Hopewell culture), Fort Ancient is comprised of 18,000 feet of earthen mounds and walls. It was built by using clam shell hoes and digging sticks to move the dirt.

Visitors can see remains of the prehistoric mounds. Portions of the walls in conjunction with the movements of moon and sun were used to provide a calendar system for the people.

In celebration of this heritage, Fort Ancient is hosting a festival, A Gathering of Four Directions, on June 7 and 8. It is the largest Native American-themed event in Southwest Ohio. The Celebration will feature a variety of demonstrations and authentic activities. these include archery, tomahawk throwing, drumming and performances by more than 100 dancers in full regalia. In addition, there will be demonstrations by silversmiths and flint knappers, storytelling, flute music, crafts and games.

Visitors will be able to participate in dream catcher workshops and can take a stroll through an 18th century camp. And check out the prehistoric garden tours led by Master Gardeners.

Guests will have the chance to purchase Native American-themed handmade crafts, jewelry and clothing from more than 40 vendors. Food will also be available for purchase.

Also on the property is the Museum at Fort Ancient which covers three major themes -- The First Ohioans (initial arrival of the earliest American Indians), Tillers of the Soil (exploring, hunting, gathering and farming) and When Worlds Collide (first contact with the Europeans). The museum also offers a classroom with many hands-on, "touchable" displays. There is also an outside, seasonal garden featuring crops grown 2000 and 1000 years ago.

Make sure you check out the two scenic overlooks on the property in addition to the picnic area and 2.5 miles of hiking trails.

Admission to the Fort Ancient Celebration is $9 for adults and $6 for youth (6-17). Children 5 and under are free. Hours for the Celebration are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 8.

For more information about the Fort Ancient Celebration -- A Gathering of Four Directions, call 800-283-8904 or get online at www.fortancient.org.

Fort Ancient is located at 6123 State Route 350 in Oregonia, Ohio. Oregonia is 215 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 3.5 hour drive.