BINGHAMTON, NY – A festival that celebrates local Native American heritage is happening this weekend in Vestal.
The 4th anniversary of the Haudenosaunee Festival will take place tomorrow afternoon to showcase local Iroquois Confederacy items.
It will be on the Rail Trail, near the Coal House.
The event, which will be will have speakers from the Onondaga nations, including a traditional corn grower, a lacrosse stick maker, and others.
The theme for the festival this year is wampum, which are small cylindrical beads that can be made into jewelry, belts, and others.
A wampum belt maker will donate one to the Vestal Museum.
Museum Director Cherese Wiesner-Rosales says she has always been fascinated by Native American culture.
“Often times, the general public, when they think about Native American culture, they think of something that’s in the past. It’s not. It’s alive and living. These people are so knowledgeable and interesting and deep. We really value that we have the opportunity to have a connection with them.”
Free Native American food will be available during the event, which will go from noon to 4 P-M tomorrow afternoon.
There will be boundaries surrounding the event, which will have about 200 meters of space.
Masks are required, and signs will be available to better explain the rules.