Yeah, you hear the name Seminole all the time down here. As you should -- the Seminoles inhabited this place way before we were born, and we should remember that. We got places named after them, which helps the remembrance, like the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Been there, haven't ya? But have you been to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, out in the heart of the Everglades? You can take an hour drive up to Palm Beach Gardens or down south and hit the Keys, but out west, you can hang with the Native Americans. Every year, the Seminoles invite -- besides us -- Native American artisans from all over the U.S. to come and party with them during their weekendlong American Indian Arts Celebration, also known as AIAC. You'll see the traditional music, arts, and dances -- but they also revel in the contemporary: The bands are award-winning American Indian artists. There will be an Indian market full of beadwork, leatherwork, jewelry, and paintings. You'll get a satisfied earful of storytelling and song. There will be dance groups. Seminole Stomp Dancers will perform. A Seminole or two (or three or four...) will wrestle alligators. Also on tap: Kids can see critters up-close, and there will be an archaeology tent. It costs $9 for adults, or $6 for students, children over 4, and seniors. The introduction to it all and the national anthem kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. -- it starts at 10:30 on Saturday and Sunday. FYI: The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (34725 W. Boundary Road, Clewiston) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and showcases artifacts and dioramas, depicting Seminole life at the turn of the century. Visit ahtahthiki.com, or call 877-902-1113.
Nov. 4-6, 2011