EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – People across the region arrived at the former Jewish Community Center and Federation of Augusta on Weinberger Way in Evans, which is now the home to the Boy Scouts of America, for the 2023 Gathering of the People Pow Wow.

The event is described as an “old fashion family pow wow” that is free and open to the public.

Organizers say at least one tipi will be on-site.

Pow wow participation is not competitive, and there will be no contests.

On Friday night, May 19th, visitors were welcomed at 7 P.M. with Intertribal Dancing.

On Saturday the 20th, the events will kick off at 10 A.M. with a craft competition, followed by a Gourd Dance at 1 P.M., Intertribal Dancing at 3:30 P.M., a “camp feed” at 5:30 P.M., a 7 P.M. Grand Entry and continued Intertribal Dancing, and a midnight auction at 11:30 P.M.

While the Augusta-area Gathering of the People Pow Wow has been held since the 1980s, it had to be postponed multiple times during the pandemic.

This year’s Pow Wow will be the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

One of the event’s organizers, Kathy Trout Ford, who travelled to this year’s Gathering of the People from Charleston, said that people from across the country will be travelling to the event to celebrate their heritage.

Ford, who grew up attending the Augusta-area Gathering of the People Pow Wow, said that, while there are pow wows held across the country, it is part of the power and beauty of the experience to return home where one’s first gathering was.

Some of this year’s singers, drummers, and dancers will represent their homes from as far away as Florida and Washington state.

While there is free parking and free camping, there is no electrical hookups for camping or vendors.

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.