Annual Sacred Springs Powwow Celebration comes to San Marcos


Drum group at the 2017 Sacred Springs Powwow.
Photo Courtesy Rene Renteria Photography

Brianna Benitez

The largest two-day Powwow in Texas is back with over 5,000 anticipated attendees, 100 performers, 60 native booths, traditional Powwow drum groups and, of course, frybread.

A Powwow is a traditional Native American gathering that allows people of the culture to come together to renew and preserve the heritage of American Indians.

The 8th Annual Sacred Springs Powwow will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The gathering will take place at the Meadows Center located near Springs Lake.

Fifty Native American market vendors will be selling arts, crafts and indigenous food. This year’s Sacred Springs Powwow will draw vendors from New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma.

Virgie Ravenhawk, owner of the handcrafted design company Red Tail Hawk, is one of the many vendors that will be present at the Powwow. Ravenhawk said she has attended Powwows all over the country.

“Powwow is about teaching,” Ravenhawk said. “Teaching people about what it means to come together.”

Red Tail Hawk will be selling handcrafted ceremonial pieces, flutes, walking sticks, medicine bags, crystals and drums made out of elk.

The annual Powwow is produced by the Indigenous Cultures Institute. It is funded by the San Marcos Arts Commission, the Tomblin Family Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts and Friends of the Powwow.

Precision Camera and Video, an Austin-based camera company, will be sponsoring the Sacred Springs Powwow. They will be loaning camera gear to Powwow guests and will be taking free Fujifilm Instax pictures for guests to take home. There will be a chance for guests to win a free gift card to the Precision Camera and Video store.

Several Texas State organizations like Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA), Bilingual Education Student Organization (BESO) and Sigma Lambda Gamma, Xi Alpha chapter, are volunteering at the event.

Taylor Laque, computer information systems junior, is the parliamentarian of HBSA. Laque said she manages the organization’s community service events. HBSA was asked by Maria Rocha, the organizer of the 8th Annual Sacred Springs Powwow, to volunteer at this year’s gathering.

“(Rocha) relies on us to be there and give back to the community,” Laque said. “Our relationship with her is something we really appreciate and value as an organization.”

Laque said 50 HBSA members will be volunteering at this year’s Powwow. She said volunteer roles vary from helping children with crafts, assisting dancers on and off stage and dealing with parking.

Andy Fernandez, bilingual education sophomore, is the president of BESO. Fernadez said she has volunteered at the Sacred Springs Powwow before, but this will be the first year BESO will be volunteering as an organization.

“(The Powwow) is a way for students to be more involved in the community and connect with the people of San Marcos,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said she enjoys attending Powwow to not only to help the community of San Marcos, but to witness the excitement of Native culture.

Over 100 Native dancers will be performing at the Sacred Springs Powwow. There will be a dance competition that will award men, women and youth performers with prize money. The Powwow Men competition has four dance categories: traditional, straight, fancy and grass. In the Powwow Women competition, there are be four dance categories as well: cloth, buckskin, jingle and fancy shawl.

Alejandra Tapia, engineering technology junior, is a member of Texas State’s Sigma Lambda Gamma Xi Alpha chapter. Tapia said the Texas State chapter has been annual volunteers at the Sacred Springs Powwow in the past.

“We volunteer because we enjoy it,” Tapia said. “Getting to learn about the Native culture and how they dress and dance is just so beautiful to see.”

Tickets are on sale for $10.50 for a two-day pass and $7 for one-day passes. There is a group special which offers four two-day pass tickets for $8 each. Children 12 years and under can attend the Powwow for free. Any San Marcos middle or high school student and Texas State student can attend the Powwow for free by showing a student ID.

Tickets are available online at and at the front entrance of the Meadows Center, located at 201 San Marcos Springs Dr., San Marcos, TX, 78666.

To learn more information about the 8th Annual Sacred Springs Powwow, visit

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