Volunteers demonstrate Native American bead working techniques during last year’s Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc., Native American Heritage Festival. This year’s festival is slated to take place April 28.
Most people have at least heard of, or know something about, the Cherokees and the Seminoles (the Native American tribe, not Florida State University athletic department).
Yet, at the same time, how many of those same people can actually rattle off any details about the Creek, or Muscogee, Indian tribes? That was an issue local historian Ted Key faced nearly 30 years ago, when he was a teacher in Clayton County Public Schools.
“My students knew a lot about the Cherokees, the Seminoles, the Sioux and the Apache, but none of them knew anything about the Creek and Muscogee tribes that actually lived in Clayton County,” Key said. “So, that’s why the historical society [Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc.] decided to re-create a Creek Village on the Stately Oaks grounds, and begin holding a Native American festival.”
Historical Jonesboro is set to host its 28th annual Native American Heritage Festival on April 28, from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m., at Stately Oaks Plantation, 100 Carriage Lane, in Jonesboro.
The festival is set to focus on Creek and Muscogee cultures, including traditional Native American games, clothes, beadwork, storytelling, food and blow gun activities. Key said the event is also expected to include exhibits of Creek and Muscogee artifacts, including an approximately 500-year old grinding stone that was found on the Flint River.
“The time period we’re focused on is the early 1600’s, to the time of removal, which was when the Native American tribes were forced to leave the area, and move to Oklahoma in 1828,” Key said.
Historical Jonesboro President Barbara Emert said the group is doing cross-promotional efforts with the City of Jonesboro, which is set to hold its annual Jonesboro Days celebration on the same day.
Admission for the festival will be $6 for adults, $4 for seniors over the age of 55, and $3 for children under the age of 12. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who attend the festival in uniform will be admitted for half-price. Anyone who buys a tour of the Stately Oaks house on that day will also be admitted for free to the festival.
House tours cost $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and members of the military (with identification), and $6 for children and retired military members.
Call (770) 473-0197 for more information about the festival.