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The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival At a Glance ~ A Unique Cultural & Educational Event on the Shores of Lake Ontario

In the past five years, the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival has evolved into one of the premiere Native American Cultural and Educational events in Upstate New York.

For two days during the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival, you will enjoy a variety of Native American performers, educational presenters, and numerous Arts & Crafts vendors.

Beginning Friday night, May 27, with the new Gala dinner to honor our sponsors, festival-goers will be entertained and educated by local and national Native American artists.

From the beginning, the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival has been a vital venue for talented, award-winning, and diverse Native American performers and presenters to inspire, educate, and celebrate our unique individual and collective cultural differences and traditions.

This year’s line-up is no different.

The historic Mexico Point State Park in Mexico NY will once again host the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival on May 28 & 29 from 12-5pm daily.

It attracts almost 1000 people from the Northeast United States and Southern Ontario, features music, storytelling, dance, educational programming, and is full of entertainment for people of all ages.

2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival Line-up

Corn Bred
Jonny Lipford
The Storytellers
Owl & Dove
Laura “Bright Star” Vannah
Thunder Hawk Singers
Gypsy Red
Michelle Johnson
The People of the Standing Stone Dancers

The Children’s Activity Area will once again be home to our popular activities and entertainment for children which features making bracelets and painting “spirit rocks”. Children will also again be able to get their picture taken in authentic Native dress while being educated on the significance of the traditional clothing.

The Talking Stick Teaching Circle will again feature educational programming for the entire family:

Vannah’s “Totem Spirits” workshop
Nancy Kaiser’s Wild Spring Edibles multi-media demonstration
Native American pre-contact wigwam campsite
Mary Gillen’s Reiki for Animals & People

Even a Lacrosse demonstration and game!

There will be lots of refreshments, while Native American Artists vend their Arts & Crafts.

Economic Impact

While serving the general public of the Oswego County community, the Native Circle hopes to inspire, educate, and encourage a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Indigenous Culture that is right in our own back yard.

It is unusual to have this type of event in Oswego County. According to the 2000 Census, only .4%, or 498 out of 122,377 residents, are listed as American Indian in Oswego County. Even though the Onondaga Nation is only 35 miles and the Oneida Nation a mere 45 miles away from Oswego, there is no other festival like this one within a 75 mile radius.

As the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival has grown, it continues to generate $7,500—$10,000 in direct economic impact each year. Surveys show that visitors to the festival, on average, spend $20.00 per day, per person. This money is spent on food, gasoline, lodging, and other purchases that go directly into the local economy. These surveys also show that many visitors, who have become acquainted with the area through this Festival, make return visits to Oswego County throughout the year.

Collaborations & Partnerships

The Native Circle Advisory Board includes Laura K. Vannah, M.A., Founder & Executive Director; Betty Green and Sandra Scott, Co-Presidents of The Friends of Mexico Point Park; Morgan Kerr, event coordinator and Chairman of Christmas in Mexico; and Ken Quiet Hawk and Deborah New Moon Rising of The Storytellers.

The diversity in backgrounds, knowledge, skill, and heritage of this advisory board sets the tone and models the message of embracing, inspiring, and celebrating diversity.

Partnerships with Oswego County BOCES, Mexico Academy of Central Schools, Oswego Arts Collaborative, and Cornell Cooperative Extension have also been formed to involve more youth in this festival in a variety of capacities from performing community service, to posting flyers, to demonstrating the art projects on which they are working.


The Native Circle Advisory Board will publicize the event on multiple websites: its website www.nativecircle.net and social media sites, the Mexico website www.mexicony.net, and the official Oswego County Planning and Tourism website www.visitoswegocounty.com. Promotion will include news releases about various aspects of the festival and recognize sponsors. News releases will be sent to the greater Syracuse area media sources, including daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, and cable television.

Oswego County Planning and Tourism Department will provide in-kind publicity through press-releases and feature articles to reach beyond Central New York. Children’s activity news releases will also be sent to the Syracuse New-Times, and to Watertown, Fort Drum, and Southern Ontario media outlets. The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival has also garnered national and international attention and media coverage including BlogTalk Radio, Native Peoples magazine, News from Indian Country, and radio stations in Ireland, Austria, London, and multiple radio stations in the US.

The Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival hopes to promote understanding of, and respect for, the Indigenous people, history, and culture within the Central New York community.

Please contact the Native Circle at 315-963-3820 or email info@nativecircle.net for more information.

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