OKMULGEE, OKLAHOMA — Muscogee Creek Nation had their annual festival this past weekend celebrating their 40th anniversary with the largest anticipated festival the Nation has had so far. With a showing of approximately 60,000 visitors to this year’s event the celebration is growing and getting bigger and bigger each year. This year’s theme was “We are Muscogee.”
Headline acts such as the Jacksons playing medleys of their brother Michael’s most famous hits intermixed with many popular songs from the days of Jackson 5. Also playing the festival was this year’s two-time Grammy award winning, Diamond Rio, who headlined Friday night’s show.
“I loved getting to spend time with family and friends and listen to the bands play the whole time,” said Jaden Tiger-Hasty, 12 years old, a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation. “I got to meet the Jacksons too and I had never met anybody famous before.”
The Muscogee Creek Nation also brought in six time Grammy winner and jazz musician, Buddy Guy, and The Ohio Players to just name a few of the acts that came to perform at the free outdoor concert gratis the Nation.
From a free concert to a free carnival, it was an event for all ages.
“We added five new rides to this year’s carnival, Lowe said.
The celebration also featured an all Native rodeo with a record of over 300 entries.
“We have had our largest Native-only rodeo, second only to the Crow Nation’s,” said William Lowe, director of tourism and recreation.
“The festival keeps growing and growing,” said Lowe.
This year’s festival had a 5k run and Junior Olympics, traditional games for the seniors, art fair, gospel singing, and a free dinner and a stomp dance that kicked things off on Thursday night.
Saturday morning the parade had a major jump in attendance with the floats going from 15 entries to over 100 in total.
The duration of the event was packed day in and day out. Saturday night’s festivities ended with fireworks
“The concert lasted till late in the night, but it was worth it because there were fireworks and it was a surprise,” said Tiger.