111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair | Cherokee, NC

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111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair

Tuesday, October 3 to Saturday, October 7

The 111th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair promises five days of excitement and engaging activities that will create lasting memories for visitors of all ages!

From traditional stickball games and captivating competitions to authentic crafts, delectable food vendors, exhilarating rides, and games. The fair offers a diverse range of experiences for everyone. See below for the full Fair Week Schedule. We can't wait to see you there!

Admission and Tickets

Tuesday through Friday: General Admission is $10.00 per day.

Saturday: General Admission is $20.00.

Free Admission: Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes can show their enrollment card at the gate for complimentary entry.

Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact:

Cherokee Welcome Center
Email: josilong@ebci-nsn.gov
Phone: (828) 359-6490

Lisa Frady
Email: lisafrad@ebci-nsn.gov
Phone: (828) 788-1708


Location:

Cherokee Expo Center / Old High School Site
Get Directions

1501 Acquoni Rd
Cherokee, NC 28719

Fair Week Schedule


Monday - Fair Week Stick Off

5:00 PM - Games Start
Immerse yourself in the excitement of traditional stickball games at Unity Field, as skilled teams compete, showcasing athleticism and strategy. No carnival rides, just stickball. Please visit 2023 Cherokee Indian Fair Stickball for the full schedule.

 

Tuesday - Parade Day

3:00 PM - Parade Start*
*For a detailed timeline of the parade, please visit Cherokee Indian Fair Parade 2023.

Join the spectacle of the Annual Cherokee Indian Fair Parade, featuring vibrant floats, marching bands, and beautiful smiling faces. The parade will start from the Casino Trail/intersection, taking a left onto 19 South through downtown Cherokee, crossing the bridge turning right onto 441 North, and ending at the traffic light by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The parade will then turn right across the bridge, taking the roundabout up toward the Ginger Lynn Complex to disband. Vehicles will disband to the left in GLW parking, and all floats will disband taking the route behind the Ginger Welch Complex. Roads close at 10AM. For more information, reach out to Josie Long at the Cherokee Welcome Center.

Gates Open: 5:00 PM- 11:00 PM
Fairgrounds are open from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, offering attractions, food vendors, and entertainment. Main Stage events begin at 7:00 PM.

7:00 PM - Welcome/Color Guard
Opening Prayer
National Anthem/Cherokee Anthem
Introduction of Chief, Vice Chief & Tribal Council
Royalty & Guard Marshal Introductions

8:00 PM - Elem. Dancers/Singers

8:45 PM - Storytelling

10:00 PM - Robert Runningwolf Band

 

Wednesday - Children's Day

Gates Open: 8:30 AM – 11:00 PM
A day brimming with joy for children, youth, and adults, featuring stickball games, games, and activities catering to all ages. Wristbands for minors beginning at 10:00am.

8:45 AM - Baby Crawling Registration Begins

9:00 AM - Exhibit Hall Opens

10:00 AM - Kids Ride Wristband Giveaway, Baby Crawling Contest Begins, Train Ride Begins

10:15 AM - Sign ups for Contest Begins

11:00 AM - Lunch Begins

11:15 AM - Robo Cars

11:30 AM - Boys Ax Throwing/Girls Lid Toss

11:45 AM - Turtle Race

12:00 PM - Rides Open

12:15 PM - Greast Pig Contest X 3

12:30 PM - Longest Hair Contest (5-7)

12:45 PM - Longest Hair Contest (8-12)

1:00 PM - Longest Hair Contest (13-17), Scheduled Stickball Games Begin

4:00 PM - Chicken Race

5:30 PM - WCU Drumline

6:30 PM - Youth Dance Contest

7:00 PM - Teen Dance Contest

7:30 PM - Tribe Called Praise

9:30 PM - J.A.M.

10:00 PM - Exhibit Hall Closes

 

Thursday - Elder's Day

Gates: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Commence the day with a captivating fashion show, spotlighting both traditional and contemporary Cherokee fashion at 2:00 PM. Witness the experience and wisdom of elders and adults as they compete in stickball games, celebrating their rich journey.

8:30 AM - Pre-Reigster for Cornhole

10:00 AM - Elder's Cornhole Tournament

10:30 AM - Field Events Begins, Maybell & Alfred

11:00 AM - Ice Breaker Questions

11:00 AM - Fashion Show - Fair Main Stage

11:30 AM - Lunch/Door Prizes

12:30 PM - Door Prizes

2:00 PM - Field Events Ends, Traditional Fashion Show

2:00 PM - Scheduled Stickball Games Begin

6:30 PM - Little & Junior Miss Pageant - Fair Main Stage

7:00 PM - Caroline Freight Shakers

9:00 PM - Whisker Mountain Band

10:00 PM - Exhibit Hall Closes

 

Friday - Veterans Day

Gates Open: 8:00 AM- 11:00 PM
Express heartfelt gratitude to our veterans. The fairgrounds stand as a platform to honor their sacrifices, offering a day of appreciation and fostering community unity.

8:30 AM - Veteran's Breakfast

9:00 AM - Welcomings of Veterans

10:00 AM - Veterans Walk from Saunooke's Kiosk to Fair

11:00 AM - Lunch

12:00 PM - Opening Ceremony
Presentation of Colors/Cherokee Anthem
National Anthem/Invocation
POW/MIA Ceremony
Lew Hardin Welcoming
Principal Cheif Welcoming
Gift Presentation/Special Guest
Recognition of Veterans
Guest Speakers

1:45 PM - Closing Ceremony

2:00 PM - Closing Out Morning Events

2:00 PM - Veteran's Games

2:30 PM - Scheduled Stickball Games Begin

3:30 PM - Wiregrass Band

6:30 PM - Miss Cherokee Pageant - Fair Main Stage

7:00 PM - Thompson Brothers

8:00 PM - Trial By Fire

10:00 PM - Exhibit Closes

 

Saturday - Community Day

Gates Open and Archery Sign-ups Start: 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Embrace the spirit of togetherness through community-led games, spirited stickball matches, and shared festivities. This celebration of unity will continue until midnight, forging lasting bonds.

8:30 AM - Archery & Blow Gun Begins

9:00 AM - Volleyball Tournament Begins

10:00 AM - Basket Making Class (Birdtown)

11:30 AM - Traditional Dancing (Big Cove)

1:00 PM - Cast Iron Throwing (Snowbird)

2:00 PM - Axe Throwing (Wolftown), Scheduled Stickball Games Begin

3:00 PM - Ryan Perry Band

4:00 PM - Frybread Eating Contest

5:00 PM - Wood Chopping

8:00 PM - The Romantics - Fair Main Stage

9:00 PM - Starship - Fair Main Stage

10:00 PM - Exhibit Hall Closes

10:30 PM - Neal Morgan

11:00 PM - Pretty Legs

Fly Fishing Team USA National Championship

Monday, February 26 to Thursday, February 29

40 Anglers take to Tribal Waters


2024 Cherokee Retreat

Tuesday, March 12 to Sunday, March 17

An Introduction to the History & Culture of the Cherokee People

A Journey Towards Allyship and Uncolonization

For five days, participants will attend presentations by Cherokee tribal members on a variety of topics centered around Cherokee culture and history with the goal of moving towards uncolonization and allyship.

The legends, language, sense of place, history and food will slowly reveal the depth of Cherokee culture and spirituality and offer participants a background to reflect on their own expressions and connections to the Divine. Times of reflection will integrate the day's learning with the participant's own life experiences and spiritual growth without conflating them.


Rainbows & Ramps

Saturday, March 30 from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm

Join the local Cherokee people as they celebrate two local favorites, rainbow trout and ramps

At this community festival, savor a "taste of Cherokee" plate with fresh ramps, locally caught trout, potatoes, slaw and cornbread, dessert, and drink!

Bring your whole family and enjoy some good bluegrass music from the Wiregrass band, great clogging from the famous J. Creek Cloggers who were featured on the Emmy Awards Show in 2022 and get a chance to win some great door prizes.


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