Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Indigenous Peoples Celebration to be Held at Gloucester’s Machicomoco State Park

The interpretive area at Machicomoco State Park (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

GLOUCESTER — Machicomoco State Park will host an Indigenous Peoples Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Interpretative Area on Nov. 5.

The program will offer an opportunity to learn about local tribes and participate in hands-on demonstrations, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

“This is a great opportunity for our park visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of Virginia,” said Machicomoco Chief Ranger Josh Mazzatenta. “The park is rich in culture and visitors can take part in hands-on demonstrations while they learn about traditional plant uses and the wildlife and natural resource management used by the Virginia Indians. Our goal is that visitors will continue to explore and learn about the Indigenous Peoples of Virginia and their story of persistence.”

The celebration will include dance performances by the Rappahannock Dance Group & Maskapow Drum Group at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. at the Demonstration Circle of the Interpretive Area.

The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, the Mattaponi Indian Tribe & Reservation and the Kiskiack Chickahominy Tribe will host educational displays, and there will be 13 additional education vendors spread out through the interpretive trails to provide an interactive experience, according to DCR. Demonstrations will include flint knapping, cordage twisting, dugout canoe burning and fishnet tying.

“This year we have 16 exhibitors, which is more than last year, and so we appreciate the participation from the community as they see the importance of bringing this event to the public,” said Mazzatenta. “We are excited to share this event with the public and help tell the stories of the Indigenous Peoples in Virginia.”

The event is free with a $5 parking fee. For more information about the event or the park, call Machicomoco State Park at 804-642-2419.

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