Darryl Worley Headlines 61st Annual Navajo Nation Fair
WINDOW ROCK -- If you're one of those folks who likes living in the "Here and Now," you’re going to love the 61st Annual Navajo Nation Fair, which kicks off Sept. 3 with the Open Indian Junior Rodeo and continues through Sept. 9 with a week of fun-filled events for the entire family.
Rodeo fans, hang onto your hats! You won't be disappointed by this year's lineup, including bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, chute dogging, steerwrestling, tie-down roping, ladies barrel racing, men’s and ladies breakaway, and team roping.
The Navajo Nation Championship Bull Riding is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena, followed by the All Indian Rodeo beginning Wednesday, Sept. 5, with one performance per day, an culminating Sunday, Sept. 9 with the Final Four Performance.
The Wild Horse Race will include five performances, beginning Thursday, after the last performance of the All Indian Rodeo. A Traditional Horse Race is set for 8 a.m. Sunday.
The Exceptional Rodeo, which showcases children with special needs, will kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday.
If that isn't enough excitement, be sure to catch the Open Indian Masters Rodeo, beginning at 7 a.m. Friday.
Frazier Shows will provide the Midway carnival rides entertainment beginning Wednesday.
The Ashkii' Happy Kids Day -- a favorite among kids and parents alike --is set for Thursday in the fairgrounds parking area.
The festivities, held in conjunction with the Office of the President's Youth Initiative, include relay races, education booths, obstacle course, amusements, watermelon-eating contest, dummy steer roping and demonstrations.
The day begins with a youth parade down the Midway, featuring many Native American dancers. A 3-on-3 basketball tournament as well as a basketball clinic will be held at the Window Rock Sports Center. Also scheduled is a 5K and 10K Walk and Run for participants of all ages, as well as a Youth Pow-Wow beginning at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds Powwow Arena.
From Friday on, the fair basically becomes a zoo as folks start lining up early to get the best vantage point for the fireworks display and Saturday morning parade.
LANTIS Fireworks and Lasers Show will provide the fireworks and entertainment following the Wild Horse Race.
After that, men, hang on to your ladies! Because when brown-haired, blue-eyed, 6-foot-6 country crooner Darryl Worley takes the stage at 9:30p.m. at the arena, it ain't "Nothin' But a Love Thang."
Worley, a preacher's son and grandson of a moonshiner from Pyburn, Tenn., is sure to impress even those who aren't country music fans with the title cut from his "Here and Now" album.
Worley was nominated by the Academy of Country Music in 2002 for Top New Male Vocalist and in 2002 and 2003 by the Country Music Association for its Horizon Award.
His tune, "Have You Forgotten," is sure to grab the hearts of Navajo Nation veterans. Written in 2002 after he traveled to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Uzbekistan to entertain U.S. troops, "Have You Forgotten" was nominated for Single of the Year and Song of the Year in 2003.
Worley -- whose music is influenced by the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Faron Young and others -- was a key organizer of the annual American Freedom Festival which raises funds for veterans.
Following the Worley concert, fairgoers will start jockeying for position for Saturday morning's annual parade. One of the highlights of the Navajo Nation Fair, the event promises to be standing room only from St. Michaels to Tse Bonito along Highway 264.
Other highlights Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m., are The Night Performance, which includes many Native American Tribes showcasing their art and talent, and the Miss Navajo Nation 2007-2008 Pageant.
Other popular events include the Contest Pow-Wow, beginning Sept. 7, the 4-H Jr./Sr. Livestock Show, a fry bread contest, baby contest, Hip-Hop dance, golf tournament, Gourd Dance and more.
General admission tickets are $6, adults; $4, children and seniors. Parking -- good luck! -- is $5. Tickets for the Darryl Worley Concert are $20.
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