Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor

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For decades, Tree Town has kicked off powwow season with intertribal dancing and Native American traditions. And now, for its 40th birthday, Ann Arbor's student-run Dance for Mother Earth Powwow returns March 17-18, 2012, with plenty of lore and family fun.

Think of the event as a huge, inclusive reunion where people meet, sing, dance and renew and strengthen their customs. Its popular contests, which draw a colorful array of talent, keep things lively as singers, 150 dancers and 12 drums from different groups compete, judged on everything from mastery of movement to fancy regalia outfits sure to delight kids. There's even a daily "tiny tot exhibition" featuring wee ones, up to age 6. And don't miss the spellbinding, tone-setting grand entry, held daily.

You can carry away some culture, too: Sculptors, painters, basket weavers and some 33 artisans and crafts people show and sell their wares.

The event, which started with a small group of Native American students and community members, has now evolved into a favorite annual event that draws thousands. This year, it's getting closer to its Ann Arbor roots, too, taking place at Pioneer High School.

Activities begin at 10:30 a.m. both days, ending at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for 5 and under. Or get family passes, which are $25 for two adults and three kids under age 12. Parking is free!

Check out the Metro Parent listing to get full details on the address, phone number, website and more for the 2012 Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor.

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