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Great River Eagle Days returns to Quincy

WGEM News at Ten
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - After taking a year-long break due to the pandemic, hundreds of people gathered at the Oakley Lindsay Center for the return of the Great River Eagle Days.

The event honors the Bald Eagle with Native American ceremonies and dances, in addition to food, vendors, an auction, prizes and a candy dance for children.

Standing Bear Council President Leslie Haslem said everyone was excited to bring the tradition back this year.

“And it’s been really good so far, A lot of people are getting involved and getting out there and asking questions, a lot of people are buying things at the vendors and we’ve got fry bread and Indian tacos. We’ve had a line for those, which is great. But it’s been good,” said Haslem.

She said they have dancers from all across the country, including from Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and more, helping to educate the community on native traditions and ceremonies and to celebrate the national bird.

Haslem, who is half Cherokee, said it was important to celebrate the eagle because of the bird’s strength and symbolism.

“Eagles are our messengers to the creator, they are the ones that can fly the highest up to get those messages to the creator, so we honor them,” she said.

Haslem also stressed the importance of continuing to carry on these traditions.

She said a lot of culture has been lost over the years due to what happened to the Native Americans, so events such as this help to keep the traditions alive.

The celebration continues on Sunday with the traditional Blessing of the Eagle Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and a performance of authentic Aztec dances from the Omeyocan Dancers at 2 p.m.

Admission is $5 for anyone aged 10 and up and $3 for anyone over 60.

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