The 67th Cherokee National Holiday
August 30-31 & September 1, 2019.
Click here for the Online Interactive Map
Click here to take the Online Tour
Please check back often for new information and holiday announcements, including our full schedule for 2019. Entry forms and flyers will be added in the download section below, as they become available.
Hard copies of this year's schedule will be available at Info Booths located at WW Keeler Complex, One Fire Field, Cherokee Heritage Center, Intertribal Powwow and (Saturday only) Capitol Square. Please scroll down to the DOWNLOADS section for flyers, entry forms, schedules, maps and more! (updated frequently)
Osiyo! We invite you to join us for the Cherokee National Holiday, a celebration of Cherokee heritage, cultural awareness and reuniting families. Thousands of Cherokees and visitors from across the United States and abroad make the pilgrimage to the historic Cherokee Nation capital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to renew friendships and celebrate the Cherokee spirit. The holiday has been observed annually since 1953 to commemorate the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution and the Act of Union reuniting Cherokees both East and West after the Trail of Tears. With an exciting array of entertainment, cultural and athletic events, it has grown into one of the largest festivals in Oklahoma, attracting more than 100,000 visitors from across the world.
This multi-day celebration is jam-packed with sports activities for all ages, from traditional games such as Cherokee marbles, the cornstalk shoot and blowgun competition to the more familiar golf and softball tournaments. Hundreds of vendors and crafts people set up booths where visitors may view and purchase authentic Native American-made products and foods. Music lovers will enjoy many events, including gospel and bluegrass music, a toe-tapping fiddler’s contest and a concert from the award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir.
History buffs are invited to visit one of our exciting museums that highlight aspects of Cherokee life, such as the Ross Museum, Cherokee Supreme Court Museum and the Cherokee National Prison Museum. Nearby is the Cherokee Heritage Center and Family Research Center, that includes the Diligwa Living History Village. History is made every year as the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation delivers the annual State of the Nation Address to the Cherokee people.
Those with children will especially enjoy the annual parade downtown, storytelling, children’s games and fun hands-on traditional crafts events. The Inter-Tribal powwow held on the Cherokee Nation Cultural Grounds is always a crowd favorite, and highlights the Holiday celebration nightly as dancers from all over the United States compete for prizes and top honors.
The Cherokee National Holiday is a festive time in Tahlequah. We hope it will be an event you and your family will want to experience every Labor Day weekend.
About the Poster Art
The “Rising Together” theme signifies each Cherokee citizen’s role in the continued progress of building a brighter future. On the left is the staircase of the nearly complete outpatient health facility on the Hastings Campus. The right features original pillars from the female seminary hall, the first institution of higher learning for females west of the Mississippi after forced removal. Both structures symbolize the tribe’s commitment to health care and education, and their vital importance to the tribe’s future. At the design center is the four directions and Cherokee Nation Seal. Around the seal are green rings representing the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. Seven points represent the seven clans of the Cherokee people, and eight rings represent Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden’s eight years serving in office. The long gray beam represents the path of our ancestors on the Trail of Tears and 49 other beams symbolize the number seven and the tribe’s custom of considering the impact of a decision on the next seven generations. The bottom 12 cream lines tell the traditional migration story where 12 boats set out, but only seven reached the destination thus translating to the tribe’s seven clans.
About the T-shirt Art
“Rising Together” signifies each Cherokee citizen’s role in the continued progress of building a brighter future. At the design center is the Cherokee Nation Seal with a dark line leading from the right, symbolizing our Cherokee ancestors’ path from the southeast on the Trail of Tears. The 49 lines radiating from the seal symbolize the number seven and the tribe’s custom of considering the impact of a decision on the next seven generations. The seven alternating red, yellow, black and white color bands represent the traditional Cherokee colors and seven clans of the Cherokee people. The 14 southeast symbols represent the 14 counties in the tribe’s jurisdiction. The eight rings on the outer edge represent Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden’s eight years in office.
Wi tse do lv i (Y'all come!)
For more information about the Cherokee National Holiday, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org