ADA, OK – The Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival is set to begin Sept. 29 and continue through Oct. 7. Each year, friends and family from across the country attend the weeklong event, which is highlighted by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby’s State of the Nation Address.
In 1960, more than 100 Chickasaws met at Seeley Chapel near Connerville, OK, to discuss the state of their nation and a vision for the future. Annually, the Chickasaw Nation pays tribute to this historic event by celebrating Chickasaw pride and progress during the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival.
The weeklong event will feature the coronation of tribal princesses, stickball games, a 5K and fun run, archery, senior and junior Olympics, golf, horseshoe and cornhole tournaments. Guests will also have the opportunity to browse and purchase artwork created by artists of southeastern and woodlands tribes at the Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM).
Venues in the Tishomingo, Ada and Sulphur areas will host activities throughout the week. Several activities are planned in Tishomingo, including a one-mile fun walk and 5K run, co-ed softball tournament, golf tournament, museum tours, junior Olympics and a stickball tournament.
Three young ladies will be crowned Chickasaw Princess, Little Miss Chickasaw and Chickasaw Junior Princess during the Chickasaw Princess Pageant at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center. New princesses will serve the remainder of 2023 and into autumn 2024 as ambassadors of the Chickasaw Nation at events around the state and across the nation.
Chickasaw Cultural Evening will take place at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, and includes artists, Chickasaw Press authors and a traditional meal. The night’s festivities will also include the presentation of the prestigious Silver Feather Award, an elite award for tribal members who dedicate themselves to the preservation and revitalization of Chickasaw language, culture and lifeways.
The hub of activity and celebration of tribal culture and history is the Chickasaw National Capitol, located in Tishomingo. Attendees can learn to play stickball, try their hand at archery, tour historic Chickasaw Nation buildings, stomp dance and learn techniques in ancient arts and crafts during the week.
Other events include a parade, arts and crafts vendors, cultural demonstrators, educational tours, food booths, a health fair, children’s activities, entertainment, a parent/child fishing tournament, storytelling, and stomp dances.