News Column


July 10, 2014

By Terri Ferguson Smith, The Meridian Star, Miss.

July 10--MERIDIAN -- The cultural heritage of Choctaw Indians is front and center again this week as the 65th annual Choctaw Indian Fair continues in Choctaw.

This year's fair theme is "Preserving Choctaw Pride, Year After Year" and will feature historical and cultural displays, social dancing, tribal arts and crafts, Choctaw stickball and and traditional Choctaw food.

The fair also offers carnival rides and games, Shawi's Discovery Zone and musical acts each night.

Kaye Rowell, executive director of Neshoba County Tourism, said the arts and crafts especially highlight the Choctaw culture.

"People should come just to enjoy the culture of the Choctaw Indians. The food, the games, the dancers," Rowell said.

Visitors to the fair for the first time will enjoy the sights, according to spokesperson Misty Dreifuss.

"The Choctaw culture is on full display. When you get to the fairgrounds you're going to see people walking around in Choctaw dress and they are going to dance," Dreifuss said. "You'll see stickball players walking around in their gear and carrying their sticks. You have the smells of traditional Choctaw cooking."

Those unfamiliar with Choctaw food should get familiar with it, she said.

"It is so good. You have hominy. You have fry bread, which technically isn't traditional but boy do we claim it. We have Indian tacos," Dreifuss said.

Handcrafted jewelry and clothing will be on display and for sale, she said.

"That's truly a sight to see because you have people out there who are actually beading. You have people who are making baskets and sometimes they are out there making stickball sticks as well," Dreifuss said. "There are traditional Choctaw clothing for sale. You have Choctaw bead works on display and for sale. You have traditional Choctaw baskets."

The fair started on Wednesday and included the crowning of a new Choctaw Indian Princess. Activities continue through Saturday with concerts, featuring Chris Young tonight at 8:30 at the amphitheater, Crowder at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, and the Eli Young Band at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Adult season tickets are $20; adult day tickets are $12; student season tickets are $10; student day tickets are $7; children ages 5 and under are admitted free.

For more information call 601-650-7450. A complete listing of events can be found at


(c)2014 The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.)

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Source: Meridian Star (MS)

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