It’s the 10th of July and Browning and the Blackfeet Reservation are all spruced up and ready for the crowds that are always a part of the annual North American Indian Days (NAID) celebration. The rains of spring have finally abated, drying the campground, arbor and Charging Home Stampede Park, and the lodges, organizations and vendors have slowly moved in.
NAID is the largest celebration of the year, coming on the heels of July 4 and the Veterans Powwow, it stands between that event and Heart Butte Indian Days in early August. This year’s event has been organized by new members of the Indian Days Committee, with Stephanie Vielle, head of Blackfeet Tourism, Parks and Recreation, leading the group. She, Jay Dusty Bull and Belinda Bullshoe have put their efforts into organizing an event that spans as many as six days and as many major activities.
Things begin with Blackfeet Youth Day, celebrated this year at Starr School on Tuesday, July 9, and at All Chiefs Park in Browning on Wednesday, July 10. There are always scores of rides and booths, as well as contests and entertainment, be-ginning at 8 a.m. and running until 4 p.m.
Then it’s on to the 4-H Fair, with initial weigh-ins starting at noon on Tuesday, July 9, and offering project viewing through the afternoon. The Exhibit Building opens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and rodeo action starts at noon at Charging Home Stampede Park with the Pikuni Youth Rodeo. That evening at 7 p.m. the 4-Hers will hold the Beef Pre-Show and Animal Showmanship Clinics.
Indian Days itself starts on Thursday, July 11, with the first Grand Entry that evening at 7 p.m. The complete agenda is listed elsewhere in this issue.
Back at the 4-H and “rodeo ranch,” swine judging starts at 9 a.m., and the beef gets judged at 1 p.m. It’s the sheep’s turn to be shown and judged at 3 p.m.
The Wild Blackfeet Night begins at 2 p.m. at Charging Home Stampede Park, featuring the Pony Express Race, Saddle Horse Race with Stock Saddles and Ranch Bronc Riding.
Grand Entries on Friday are at 1 and 7 p.m., and back at the 4-H Fair the Livestock Auction runs from 2 to 4 p.m.
Over at Charging Home Stampede Park, things move into high gear with Indian Relay and flat track racing running from 4 to 7 p.m. and the UIRA Rodeo performing that evening from 7 to 10 p.m.
The annual Indian Days Parade starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, and it’s always a good idea to claim an early spot along the route. Grand Entry that day is set for 2 p.m.
Indian Relay and flat track racing also begins at 2 p.m. at Charging Home Stampede Park, and the UIRA Rodeo gets underway at 4 p.m.
Everything winds down on Sunday, but Indian Relay and flat track, as well as the championship relay and junior relay are slated for 2 to 4 p.m. at Charging Home Stampede Park.