The 16th Annual Virginia Indian Festival returns to Riverbend Park Sept. 7. The public is invited to watch dance performances, shop for homemade crafts, and learn about the Native Americans who have lived and still live in Northern Virginia.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is $5 per person.
Native Americans from the Monacan Nation and the Chickahominy, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Rappahannock, Tauxenent, and Upper Mattaponi tribes are participating in the event.
They will perform traditional drumming and dances and demonstrate how to carve a canoe from a tree trunk using hot embers and an ax. Attendees can help build a representational version of a longhouse, the traditional home of forest-dwelling tribes of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Join in a dance circle or throw spears and shoot a bow and arrow. Learn how to make primitive tools such as the ones Native Americans used daily, and see how American Indians tanned deer hides, the traditional way of softening and conditioning hides to make into clothing.
Rose Powhatan, a Tauxenent and Pamunkey Tribe member and teacher, will discuss Virginia Indian totem poles. Powhatan made the totem pole on display in the visitor center and the poles on display at Jamestown.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, ice cream and French fries will be available.
Roads leading to the park likely will become congested and parking will be limited, so arriving early is recommended.
Riverbend Park is located at 8700 Potomac Hills St. in Great Falls. For more information, call 703-759-9018. For information about the park, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/riverbend.