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Hammonassett Festival Now a Bigger, Annual Event at Guilford Fairgrounds

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September 30, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Building on past success, the Hammonassett Festival has expanded to better honor Native American traditions and cultures and celebrate our Natural World.
The Hammonassett Festival comes to the Guilford Fairgrounds this fall for two days of celebration, education and entertainment. Honoring nature and Native America, the 7th Festival will take place on Saturday, September 30, from 10 AM to 7 PM and Sunday, October 1, from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Each day will begin with a Native American blessing and smudging ceremony, led by Allan Saunders (Mohegan), and followed by music, dance, art and crafts vendors, exhibits and demonstrations, activities for the whole family, storytelling and a variety of food choices.
“Word of the Festival has spread, and we have been approached with dozens of exciting ideas and opportunities. To accommodate that interest, this year’s event offers more attractions and extended hours,” says Barbara Hanson, Co-Chair of the Hammonassett Festival. She adds, “The event has traditionally taken place at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, but ongoing construction at the park prompted us to take the event to the nearby — and spacious –Guilford Fairgrounds.” It is Barbara’s feeling that “the Festival isn’t about Place, but that the heart of the event is the gathering together of many peoples to share and celebrate and honor and learn. We hope to raise community awareness of the culture and time-honored traditions of the Indigenous Peoples, as well as issues they face today. We hope to raise awareness of how we can work together to repair the balance between people and nature, and preserve the beauty and abundance of Mother Earth for those who live with the land and the seven generations that are coming. “
Featured performers:
–The popular Native Nations Dance Troupe, led by Erin Meeches (Schaghticoke), will return with multiple performances each day. The Dance Troupe is made up of Native American performers who travel nationally and come together for specific events. They will gather in the Dance Circle to share their dances and interpretations, dressed in traditional regalia and accompanied by live singing and drumming of a Native Drum group.
–Aztec Dancers and Peruvian Scissor Dancers will perform multiple times during the weekend.
Featured wildlife shows:
–Live raptor show by A Place Called Hope, a raptor rehabilitation center in Killingworth, CT
–Live reptile show by The Meigs Point Nature Center of Hammonasset Beach State Park
Other special attractions:
–Multiple performances of Native American flute music and guitar by Allan Madahbee (Ojibway)
–Performance on Saturday by local music group, Ponybird (Anishinabek Solutrean Metis Indigenous Nation)
–Expanded Children’s Area offering stories, games and crafts presented by the Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS) and local Libraries
–The New England Atlatl Championships, where attendees can try their hand at the ancient skill of spear-throwing
–Museum outreach programs, demonstrations and environmental exhibits
–Variety of food choices
The above features and special attractions are subject to change.
Exhibitors and vendors: Pre-registration is required. Contact: HammonassettFestival @gmail.com
The Festival is presented by Friends of Hammonasset, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is sponsored by Friends of Hammonasset and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.
What: Hammonassett Festival
When: 10 AM-7 PM, Saturday, September 30 and 10 AM-5 PM Sunday, October 1, 2017
Where: Guilford Fairgrounds, 111 Lovers Lane, Guilford, CT
Directions: Exit 59 off the Connecticut Turnpike, south on Goose Lane and across Boston Post Road, right on 146 (Boston Street), left onto Lovers Lane.
Parking: Free on-site parking
Admission: adults, $5; children under 12, free
Note: No pets or alcohol at the Fairgrounds, including the parking lots
Find more information and schedule of events at Facebook.com/HammonassettFestival or email [email protected]
Variations in spelling of Hammonasset are correct and are not identical. Two “t”s are used for the Festival to be true to the original Native American spelling.
Editor: If there are questions about content or more information is needed, contact Barbara Hanson at 203-457-9622. Please do not include any phone number in the article.


September 30, 2017
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
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Guilford Fairgrounds
Stone House Lane
Guilford , CT 06437
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