TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The 33rd annual 2021 Moundville Native American Festival was canceled due to concerns about the Coronavirus. Alex Benitez, the archaeological park director, said it was a tough decision to make, but the right move to keep people safe.
“It is devastating for us not to have it. Our event brings lots of Native American performers here, and so it is a gathering for us, for our Moundville family. And it’s a hard decision to make, we also have a lot of our Native American performers who just couldn’t make the trip this year. They have travel restrictions and come as far away as Oklahoma and Texas,” Benitez said.
Benitez made the announcement on the park’s website, but added they hope to bring everyone back in-person in 2022.
“For the visitors, it’s an experience they can’t have again and for us, and our performers and Native American friends, its equally upsetting in a sense because we will miss that family experience that we share every year,” Benitez said.
Typically, 8,000 school students, mostly fourth graders from all around Alabama, attend. The three-day event was scheduled for October 7-9 and features Native American artists, craftsmen and educators from Texas and Oklahoma and many other areas of the nation.