(Courtesy Muscogee Creek Nation)
A quiet moment at the Muscogee festival, a chance to appreciate Native art and Muscogee culture.

There's Something for Everyone at Annual Muscogee (Creek) Festival

Tish Leizens

“Everyone is invited to celebrate at the 39th Annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival,” welcomes Muscogee (Creek) Principal Chief George Tiger. “We want to encourage everyone to enjoy the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Heritage Festival and Rodeo, with over 20 planned activities there is something for everyone. “

An expected 50,000 visitors, up from 40,000 last year, are heading to the 39th Mvskoke Nation Festival, to be held on June 20 to 23, at the Claude Cox Omniplex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. And there truly will be something for all of them, plus headlining acts like Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson and country star Aaron Lewis performing. Even R.J. & Jay Paul Molinere, Houmas, from the History Channel’s Swamp People, will be on hand to sign autographs.

Smokey Robinson will be at the Muscogee festival.

“We have a website solely dedicated to the festival (CreekFestival.com). We have also added a bass fishing tournament at Lake Eufaula that will take place on June 16 and are adding an iconic four-story Ferris wheel to the children’s carnival,” said William Lowe, director of Tourism & Recreation for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

“Each year we try to set the bar a little higher and grow our event,” said Lowe.

A stomp dance (said to be the largest in the world),  officially opens the festival on June 20, Thursday. The popular rodeo, featuring barrel racing, calf roping, bronc and bull riding is slated for the next two days. Also on June 22, historic downtown Okmulgee will be the site of the parade that will showcase floats depicting Muscogee culture.

Country artist Lewis’s performance is Friday night, with Cole and Robinson taking center stage on Saturday.

While the festival officially starts on June 20, a scholarship pageant, softball tournament and basketball tournaments are scheduled in other locations prior to the main event, as well as the fishing competition.

All the activities fall under the central message the tribe wants to impart—“We Are Mvskoke.”

Said Chief Tiger, “One of the things we’ve done last year is really to target that theme. We just decided to use it this year for the festival because that is who we are. We are Muscogee People. We take care of one another and we support one another.”

The theme is significant, said Lowe. “We are becoming more prominent in the landscape and in the community.”

(Courtesy Muscogee Creek Nation)

In the past year, he said the tribe has increased relations with city and state governments, made major land purchases and announced the expansion of the River Spirit Casino, including the addition of a Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville restaurant.

“The biggest draw to our festival is Mvskoke Culture, but our recreational sports tournaments and our national entertainment lineup is getting stronger each year,” said Lowe.

For all the details on the 39th Annual Mvskoke Nation Festival, go to CreekFestival.com.

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