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Over 700 dancers and 15 drum groups at 57th Annual Eastern Shoshone Indian Days

(Fort Washakie, Wyo.) - With one more day left, the 57th Annual Eastern Shoshone Indian Days has had another successful year as Wyoming's Largest Powwow. This event is held annually at the grass covered arena upon the Reservation in Fort Washakie. Today's Grand Entry begins at 2 p.m. It's always been a great social gathering to see and meet friends, especially ones that are not particularly seen every day. Sometimes years have gone by before bonds are rekindled. [image: f60f5d8c-32d1-42d7-a1b1-dc301a288e0c.png] Food, socializing, dance competitions, and money making are some of the highlights of this major powwow. Even celebrities can be found -- like Benny who is known across Indian country for his flavored lemonade, brick of fries, and Big Indian Cheesesteak. This year was special though, because Benny will soon be passing on the family business to his two children, Michelle and Larry Benson. We had the opportunity to sit down in Benny's Traveling Powwow Motor Home to interview him, where inside he was making his own special meal. Benny spoke of how he started in the concession business, "I started out at 16 years old," he said, "Me and my brother Mike, who I was very close with, were business partners. We had a dream of leaving Pine Ridge Reservation, and together we followed that dream." His brother passed away, but has imprinted memories that were still fresh in Benny's mind. When asked what's next for him, Benny said with a heart full of love, "I just want to spend my life with a decent woman who knows the characteristics of hard work." [image: 7cf4e463-f35c-444d-8520-65eda4ea1b18.png] Outside the arena, law enforcement actively worked to keep everyone safe, the drug and alcohol incidents to a minimum, and could even be found handing out glow sticks like Wyoming Highway State Trooper Henry and BIA Officer Jeremy. [image: ec676223-4885-4e4c-8ed3-759013e2bbc0.png] A church organization from Sheridan was found giving out Bibles, balloons, and DVDs. "We've even prayed with over 500 people thus far," said Third Day Ministry worker Barry Moen. [image: 1ef3c4cf-ffd5-4335-ba4a-c2d5ed9c80e9.png] North Bear Drum Group was found holding up their hit CD wanting to share their recorded creation with fans, new listeners, and even powwow trail regulars. [image: e6136407-b14d-46c0-8778-41c25df3184d.png] Sponsored by AT&T, Fort Washakie Librarian Robin Levin was organizing and accumulating stories from students from the 8th to 12th grade. The stories were of this recent past week's events from The Shoshone Reunion to the Powwow using students for gaining interest in the journalist modality and through teacher Mike Read. [image: 0c275e80-05cd-4705-a3d9-d02a02204c95.png] "Audio CDs will be distributed for free to those who are interested in this year's reunion and powwow stories," Levin said. "We collected these stories with the main objective here -- to encourage students to graduate and go to college and become successful individuals." The audio CDs will be ready later this year. [image: e9e0a816-9058-42ab-b5a3-64d879be5b97.png] A great reminder that powwows are not only about the beautiful dancers; they're also about reconnecting with cherished friends, buying colorful handcrafted bead and silver work, food, Indian hand gaming, Indian Relay Racing, and enjoying an event that will last within memories for years and years. [image: 0d80e7f6-32a2-4823-b9d5-52981a052136.png] Each year keeps getting bigger and better with over 700 dancers and 15 total drum groups, the 57th Annual Eastern Shoshone Indian Powwow is and was an event definitely not to miss. #perez #county10 #news #whatshappening *Feature photo: h/t Feike Van Dijk / Pitchengine Communities*