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Native Americans gather in anticipation of the opening dance ceremony to start the past year’s Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival festivities. This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival and is set to unfold on November 4-5, 2023. / Laura Austin File Photo

10th Anniversary of Petroglyph Festival set for this weekend

Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival  California Kari Crutcher October 25, 2023– The 10th Anniversary of the Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival is set to unfold on November 4-5, 2023, in the heart of California’s high desert. An extraordinary assembly of talent will celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, illuminating the rich tapestry of indigenous history and art.

This young dancer is dressed and ready and looks as if he is eagerly awaiting the dance to begin. / Laura

For a decade, the festival has been a confluence of culture, tradition, and breathtaking artistic expressions. This year features programming scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, representing the spirit and beauty of Native American Heritage.

World-renowned artists and performers head this anniversary festival, including the Blue Mountain Tribe, Native American Hoop Dancer Eric Hernandez, the Akamya Culture Group, and Basket weavers Dr. Julia Parker and Lucy Parker.

With over two decades of experience, Hernandez is a cultural ambassador who breathes life into the ancient tradition of hoop dancing. His performances synthesize athleticism and grace, woven into a powerful cultural significance and continuity narrative. Hernandez’s extraordinary talent transcends entertainment, offering a spiritual education and a connective experience that inspires audiences of all backgrounds.

The musical brilliance of Blue Mountain Tribe, triumphant winners of the Native American Music Awards three times over, will grace the festival with rhythms and melodies that echo the heartbeats of ancestral lands. Renowned for their powerful performances, they have headlined numerous music festivals, cultural events, and film festivals, always leaving an indelible imprint of the richness of Native American musical traditions.

Adding to the vibrancy of the festival’s tapestry is the Akamya Cultural Group from Big Pine, CA, bringing with them the colors, sounds, and stories of indigenous cultures. Dr. Julia Parker and Lucy Parker, extraordinary basket weavers, will also be a part of this illustrious event, sharing the intricate beauty of this timeless craft.

The Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival is not merely a celebration but an immersive educational journey that paints the skies, lands, and minds with the elegance and wisdom of Native American cultures. It invites you to be part of an experience where each moment, performance, and artistic expression is a thread in the beautiful, continuing story of America’s indigenous heritage.

Join us in this significant 10th-anniversary celebration and be swept away in the currents of culture, artistry, and tradition. Admission is free and is a family-forward event.

The event will be held at Petroglyph Park on November 4 and 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The event performance Schedule is as follows:

Saturday, November 4: 10:30 AkaMya Culture Group, 12 noon Blue Mountain Tribe, 1:30 Ram Dancers, 3:00 Eric Hernandez, and at 3:30 Blue Mountain Tribe.

Sunday, November 5: 10:30 Ram Dancers, 11:30 AkaMya Culture Group, 12:30 Eric Hernandez, and 1:30 Blue Mountain Tribe.

On Saturday and Sunday, Dr. Julia and Lucy Parker will give basket weaving demonstrations at 12:30 at LeRoy Jackson Park.