The 7th annual Native American Heritage Festival will host singer/songwriter, Native American flutist of Mi’kmaq/Cree descent, Gareth as headline performer on Saturday at Bisset Park.

Gareth is a four-time Indian Summer Music Award nominee, four-time Native American Music Award nominee and “Rising Star Award” recipient. Gareth is also a champion of St. Jude Children’s Hospital and an anti-bullying advocate.

Also, featured at this year’s Native American Heritage festival will be Aztec dancers, Native Americans in full Regalia, Warrior Path as Host Drum, Red Fire Singers as Guest Drum and craft and food vendors with authentic merchandise reflecting the cultural heritage of the different tribes of Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

Dancers in full Regalia are welcome to participate in a $500 Luck of the Draw.

Gates will open at 11a.m. At noon, there will be a Grand Entry procession of many tribal affiliations, head dancers, elders and children.

Master of Ceremonies, Lowery Begay, will direct the activities in the arena and will explain the symbolism, protocol and spiritual meanings of the dances, Regalia and drums to the spectators.

Bisset Park is a natural backdrop for this event because when it was being excavated, Native American artifacts were found that dated back some 400-plus years.

Admission prices for the Festival are as follows: $5 for adults, $3 for youth and veterans.

The festival will be held rain or shine. Everyone is encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

The event is being sponsored by the Radford Visitor’s Center and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. More information is available at or by calling 267-3153.

— Submitted by Deborah Cooney

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