Chalo Nitka Festival this weekend

Chalo Nitka Princess Jayden Ramos, Little Miss Taylor Hough, Tiny Miss Braelyn Smith, Queen Lacy Green, Baby Miss Sage Gates, 2016 Little Miss Aubrey Pollard and Mini Miss Jada Griner hope everyone comes to the Chalo Nitka Festival.

The 2017 Chalo Nitka Festival and Rodeo kicks into high gear on Friday and Saturday nights, March 3 and 4 at the rodeo grounds in Moore Haven.

Rodeo events including team roping and branding, a stampede race, relay race, wild cow decorating, wild horse race, ribbon roping, team tying, barrel racing and bull riding will begin Friday night, March 3 at the Bronson Arena on 10th Street in Moore Haven.

Rodeo action begins nightly at 7 p.m. Kids 10 and under can enter the calf scramble. Admission is $10 dollars for adults, $5 dollars for kids 6 to 12. Five and under is free with paid adult admission. The 69th annual Chalo Nitka Festival continues on Saturday, March 4, with the pancake breakfast, sponsored by Project Graduation, at Moore Haven Elementary from 7:30 to 10 a.m. At 10 a.m., the parade begins with line up on Riverside Drive, before winding its way up Avenue J to end near the Chalo Nitka Grounds.

Glades County elected officials, dignitaries representing the Seminole Tribe of Florida, royalty from area festivals, including the Chalo Nitka Queen and her court, led by 2017 Grand Marshal Senator Denise Grimsley, will participate in a range of conveyances, ranging from convertibles to swamp buggies, horses to ATVs, golf carts to boats.

Craft and food booths open at the Chalo Nitka grounds at 11 a.m., with opening ceremonies slated for 11:30. A variety of live entertainment, from alligator wrestling to clogging, are scheduled throughout the day. A carnival midway and pony rides are sure to entertain the kids, while adults will enjoy a variety of food and craft booths, including Native American exhibits in the replica Seminole chickee village on the Chalo Nitka (Seminole for “Day of the Big Bass”) Grounds. Admission to the festival grounds is $5. Children five and under get in free. Wear your 2017 t-shirt, now on sale at the EDC office, or Seminole attire and admission is free. And once the festival ends, it’s back across the street to the Bronson Arena for the second night of rodeo action at 7 p.m.

Meaning “Big Bass” in Seminole Indian, Chalo Nitka now showcases the local friendship with the Seminole tribe and is Glades County’s annual fair and festival.
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