Saturday I went to the Brighton Reservation Field Day Festival and Rodeo. This had the feeling of a tribal fair from years past. Mainly because it was outside and there were plenty of Seminole vendors. I thought that it was much better than the Miccosukee festival. After this one, I really don't have any urge to ever go back to the Miccosukee festival, or the Hollywood festival in the huge, intimidating Hard Rock Cafe'.
Former tribal Chairman James Billie was MC in the arena for the contests. Here he is at the Seminole clothing contest for the little kids age 4 and under.
Quite a row of really cute looking kids in their best outfits. I bet the parents are really proud!
And look, we have the winner for the girls!
Okay, time to read the results for the boys, with the help of a young man from the previous year.
I didn't get a good shot of the winner of the boys, but I think you get the idea.
The festival also had many craft vendors and rendezvous sutlers, many who you will see next weekend at the Big Cypress Shootout.
Here is Herbie Jim with a table display and crafts.
Most of the visitors to Herbie's table were other Indians or people who knew him, but I feel that he was more here to teach than to set up a big display. He has done a tremendous job helping out the youth of the tribe.
Behind Herbie was the animal display, including this panther who would rather be back in the bigger cage at the Swamp Safari. I totally understand, with the big oak tree in the cage back home.
And what is a big cat without a big dog? Next door was a wolf. (This one is for you Jeremy!)
And this is the row that had many of the Seminole vendors. Probably one of the longest chickees that I have ever seen. It had about 20 different shops or vendors inside. It's a Chickee mall!
Then it was time for story telling in the arena, so I went back and found a place in the bleachers. This young man was carrying around an alligator up front for people to pet. The gator is almost as big as he was, and I thought this was really cute. You can't have this fun anywhere else!
Then James Billie and Raiford Starke (local musician who has played with James for many years) played some more of James' songs.
Herbie Jim told one story, followed by Everett Osceola who told another. Next more presentations. The tribal council member who raised the most money for the kids got to kiss a pig. It's sure looking more like the county fair here!
Then I went and watched the rodeo for a while, in the rodeo stadium. Contestants were here from all over the country.
Then I left about 3 p.m., because I wanted to be home before dark. I don't like to drive south of Immokalee in the dark! Overall, a very fun day!
Going home, I stopped by the historical marker on SR 78 near US 27. They have replaced the historical marker about Billy Bowlegs III, which has been missing for a couple years.
The county said they took it down to clean it, and now we have a new one. What I thought was strange was that this is Glades County, yet the historical marker was put up by the Polk County Historical Society.