Point Reyes’ 36 Annual Big Time Festival
Given the foundational role that Native American culture and heritage played in the development of our country and the exploration of the American landscape, it is important that we honor and recognize their traditions, rites, and practices. All too often it is easy to forget that our ancestors did not arrive at an empty continent, and that the survival of our relatives often times depended on the help of the native population.
Thankfully, there are events such as the Big Time Festival, held at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Celebrating their 36th year as a touchstone event, the Big Time Festival is a trade festival done in a traditional Native American way. Located at Kule Loklo, which is a Miwok Cultural Exhibit, the festival features many events that will both educate and entertain the whole family. Visitors will have a chance to watch skilled Native American craftsmen as they weave baskets, knapp flint, and fashion beads from clamshells.
Only half-mile hike from the Bear Valley Visitor Center, the Big Time Festival is a great time to pack a bag lunch and spend a long Saturday learning about a culture that not too long ago held dominance along this portion of the West Coast.
The Big Time Festival occurs on July 16th, and it runs from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. Along with the various demonstrations and crafting sessions, there will be plenty of purchasable items throughout the festival grounds as well as traditional Native American dancing as performed from the Intertribal group known as “Pomo,” as well as session where the dancers teach all those interested how to participate in the rich heritage of Native American dance.
Considering all the myriad of educational opportunities, the one-of-a-kind gifts, and the unforgettable activities afforded by the Big Time Festival, it seems almost shocking that the event is entirely free. Consider it a gift from a people who believe more in the importance of spreading the stories and rituals of a culture than they do in turning a neat profit. Bring the family, bring your sense of wonder, and go home with a mind expanded.
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