Parents of Citizen Potawatomi Tribal youth should rest assured that a wide variety of activities will keep the Tribe’s youngest members busy all weekend, an organizer said.
If people are attending the 2023 Family Reunion Festival for the first time, they may not be aware of the variety of activities scheduled with the youth in mind, said CPN Child Development Center Director Donnette Littlehead.
“I tell you, my employees and myself, we all love it,” she said. “We love to just enjoy the Festival with the children that come from all over. We meet so many people, and it’s just so wonderful. We enjoy it so much, we really do.”
A complete schedule is included in the Festival registration packet. Most of the fun does not require registration, aside from a few contests. Youth are invited to attend any activities that may interest them, Littlehead added. It is recommended parents review the Festival schedule in the registration packet for additional details.
Often, parents and elders join in and are welcomed as well. Littlehead said the volunteers want everyone to enjoy themselves, no matter their age. Time spent between the generations is one of the best parts of Family Reunion Festival, she said.
Arts and crafts begin Friday at the South Reunion Hall from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Painted necklaces, God’s eyes and dream catchers are just a few of the planned crafts.
Parents and children do not need to be experienced crafters. Everything is designed so that any level of experience can participate.
“We make it age appropriate so even the littlest ones can do it,” Littlehead said.
June weather in Oklahoma can be very warm, so the pool is usually a popular place for youth to gather, she said. Located at the Child Development Center, it is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Because of its depth, the larger pool at the daycare is best for elementary-age children, pre-teens and more experienced swimmers. CPN employees as well as lifeguards are on hand to watch over the swimmers.
With safety in mind, Littlehead urges the parents of toddlers and smaller children to use the swimming pool at the powwow grounds since it is shallow.
Last year, the new splash pad located on the powwow grounds was also a popular stop for children and parents. All ages are welcome to visit the splash pad.
After a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m., arts and crafts re-opens from 1 to 4 p.m. at the South Reunion Hall.
Chess and checkers tournaments begin at 1 p.m. The coloring contest gets underway at the same time. Registration for the coloring contest closes at 2 p.m.
For teens 16 years and up, a pool tournament begins at 1 p.m. Competitors should register at the tent located south of FireLake Discount Foods. Registration closes at 12:30 p.m.
Friday evening concludes with the all-ages Dance Under the Stars event. Everyone is welcome to dance to old favorites and contemporary hits, Littlehead said. A dance contest is scheduled from 7 to 11 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m. in the tent south of FireLake Discount Foods.
Arts and crafts resume Saturday at the South Reunion Hall from 9 a.m. to noon, Littlehead said.
The pool located at the Child Development Center re-opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Activities pause during a staff and volunteer lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. Arts and crafts re-opens from 1 to 4 p.m. at the South Reunion Hall.
Basketball enthusiasts are invited to take part in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Play tips off at 9 a.m. at the CPN Child Development Center’s after school facility gym, located next to the CPN Wellness Center.
Both boys and girls aged from 7 to 14 years may compete, Littlehead said.
No activities are planned for Sunday, as most families are preparing to return home, she said.
A complete schedule is included with the Family Reunion Festival registration packet.