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The Feast of the Flowering Moon offers Native American culture galore

Dancer at the Feast of the Flowering Moon
Dancer at the Feast of the Flowering Moon
courtesy Feast of the Flowering Moon

Here's your chance to have a family-friendly and educational Memorial Day weekend that is filled with Native American history, traditions and entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Just head for Ohio's first capital city of Chillicothe (Yes, I know the capital is Columbus now) for their annual Feast of the Flowering Moon on Thursday, May 22, Friday, May 23, Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25. It is approximately a 3 hour, 20 minute drive from Cleveland.

Feast of the Flowering Moon Taking place in downtown Chillicothe at Yoctangee Park, this 4-day event will feature Native American music and dancing, a mountain man encampment, traders and exhibits and live musical entertainment. There will also be a Grand Parade at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

There will be an opening ceremony on the Main Stage (including a Blessing of the Grounds) on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Mountain Men's Encampment will let visitors travel back in time to the 1800's where they can witness men, women and children living the way they did in that era. The families are dressed in period clothing and they sleep in tents and cook all food on an open fire.

Visitors can also delight in the continuous entertainment on the Main Stage like live musical performances by various artists including singer Jordan Clark, a Ross County Junior Idol singing contest, a Queen and Princess pageants and a baby contest.

Other activities include a martial arts demonstration, Bingo and a performance by cloggers.

Of course, plenty of food and beverages will be available for purchase.

A Bit of History Instead of using 12 months to define a year, Native Americans use 13 lunar moons. At the end of each May, tribes celebrate the yearly rebirth of the world. The Shawnee of Ohio called it Flowering Moon. It was deemed a time of singing and dancing to thank and celebrate the Creator for allowing them to survive another year and to enjoy Mother Earth's rebirth. The word "feast" can also be used to describe a festival.

Hours for the Feast of the Flowering Moon are 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, noon - 10 p.m. on Friday, May 23, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 24 and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. Admission is free.

For more information about the Feast of the Flowering Moon call 800-413-4118 or get online at www.feastofthefloweringmoon.com.

Yocatangee Park is located at Enderlin Circle in downtown Chillicothe. Chillicothe is 189 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 3 hour, 20 minute drive.