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56th annual Shoshone-Bannock Indian festival kicks off Thursday

The 56th annual Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival starts Thursday. Hundreds of tribal and non-tribal people gathered in Fort Hall for a parade Thursday morning, kicking off the three-day event.

For day one of the Shoban Festival, Thelma Farmer and her family prepared their iconic Indian tacos. Made fresh in less than 5 minutes, these tacos have become a staple of this festival.

“We’ve been doing it for years. I started out as a young mother, and here I’m an old great grandma now,” Farmer said.

Farmer was joined by her children and even some of their children. It’s a family tradition they’ve done for years.

Among the fry bread, we have Charlotte Tendor who has been selling traditional Native American beads since the festival started, nearly 56 years ago. She spends weeks preparing for the festival.

“It takes me maybe two to three days to make each purse,” Tendor said.

It’s called a festival, but the events and activities throughout the weekend all have a cultural significance.

“We’ve always come together to celebrate the foods… We always come together to share, laugh, and just celebrate the fact that we’re alive,” public relations manager, Randy’L Teton said.

This weekend, it’s open and free to the public to be a part of the celebration. A few events will be the annual Chief’s Parade, traditional Native American dancing performances, the crowning of Miss Shoshone-Bannock contest and Indian Relay Races.

“Nationally we are known. So we have people coming from everywhere. We welcome everybody, and we do not charge anybody to come to our Pow Wow and celebrate,” Teton said.

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