There are a lot of events vying for your attention this weekend - the Raleigh Christmas Parade, the reopening of Pullen Park, the N.C. Symphony's first Young People's Series concert, the grand opening of Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill ... and on and on.
I'll pull it all together in my Weekend Plans post Wednesday evening, but I wanted to highlight one more big event that's scheduled for Saturday: The 16th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.
It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Admission and parking are both free.
The event focuses on North Carolina's eight state-recognized tribes and features musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers and other presenters. North Carolina's American Indian population is the largest of any state east of the Mississippi River.
The day includes a grand entry at noon featuring dancers in colorful regalia proceeding onto Bicentennial Plaza to the rhythm of drum groups. At 2 p.m., the world-renowned Warriors of Anikituhwa of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will perform the Cherokee War Dance and Eagle Tail dance.
You can watch a dugout canoe being burned into shape or take part in some hands-on crafts and traditional games. Father and daughter storytellers, Lloyd and Dawn Arneach of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Gwen Locklear of the Lumbee tribe will share tales of long ago.
Vendors will sell everything from fry bread and sweet potato fries to beef stew and collard sandwiches.
The day also gives you a chance to see a couple of new exhibits at the museum.
The first is the major "The Story of North Carolina" exhibit, which I saw the other day with my kids and found absolutely fascinating. I highly recommend a visit to this. It traces 14,000 years of the state's history and includes all kinds of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for the kids. I'll have more about the exhibit on the site in the next few weeks.
The museum also will open "At the Speed of a Girl - Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting" on Friday. It runs through July 29. The small exhibit developed by Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines focuses on Girl Scouts in North Carolina.
Go to the museum's website for more information about the event and exhibits.