Festival School Day!

Please note:
The 2009 American Indian Festival
has been canceled.

Festival School Day

Doors open 8:30am - 3:00pm

Don't miss this truly unique opportunity for your students to attend a program structured just for them, to learn about American Indian cultures and lifeways, to experience the excitement and pageantry of a traditional American Indian Festival, and to do all this indoors in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

The Tennessee Livestock Center is a spacious and climate-controlled indoor arena located on the MTSU campus. The arena has plenty of seating around the performance ring for everybody and is perfect in case of inclement weather.

   THE field trip your students will talk about for years!

Festival School Day is specially planned for school groups and will include guest speakers, special displays, storytellers, exhibition dancing, music, craft and skill demonstrations, and audience participation games and dancing.

All of our artists, dancers, craft people, venders, and staff are kid-friendly and ready to visit, answer questions, share experiences, and pose for photos. Whether you and your students can visit for two hours or four hours or all day - there will be a wide range of interactive activities, educational programs, and entertainment available at all times.

American Indian Cultural Festival
Award Winning Cultural Festival

One of the Top Twenty Events in the Southeast
Southeast Tourism Society

American Indian Arts and Crafts       Cultural Exhibits
Exhibition Dancing       Music and Drumming
Nationally Recognized Artists and Musicians
Storytelling and Games       Skills and Crafts Demonstrations
Traders Village      Native Foods      Native Talent Stage

Join our Celebration!!

An overall affordable field trip hosted by several MTSU departments
and planned to reinforce and enhance standards based
classroom social studies instruction for grades 3 through 8.

School Day
is the Friday of the three day Festival. The School Session lasts from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Compass - map iconWhere/Location:
The Tennessee Livestock Center is located at 1720 Greenland Drive in Murfreesboro directly across the street from Reeves-Rogers Elementary School. The Livestock Center is located on the extreme north edge of the MTSU campus and is accessed directly off Greenland Drive. You may download a map here.

Is the Festival outside?
No! The entire event is inside the spacious Tennessee Livestock Center in climate controlled rooms.

Will the students be safe?
The entire building is closed to the public during School Day activities. All of our school day staff - volunteers, demonstrators, artists, craftspeople, dancers, and musicians - are user-friendly and dedicated to making this the best educational field trip experience available about American Indians. Please ask your students to act responsibly at all times and take reasonable precautions with very young children or special needs students. We want everyone to enjoy their visit!

    Special Group Rates for School Day!

How much does it cost?
Early Bird School Day Group Tickets
will be available check back for information for coming Festivals.

What is the Early Bird Deadline?
It is a date that we set to help us plan for our School Day activities. When we receive your order by that date, it confirms your reservation for your group to attend the School Day Program. Making a reservation guarantees we will reserve room for your students. Payment by the Early Bird Deadline guarantees participation in the free ticket offer.

When is the Early Bird Deadline?
The deadline for payment to guarantee participationwill be posted here for upcoming Festivals.

What should students wear?
Students should dress comfortably and expect to get their shoes and jeans dusty (some areas in the building have dirt floors) - otherwise regular school clothing should be fine.

What should students bring with them?
A sense of adventure, enthusiasm, curiosity, respect for cultural differences, plus they should be ready to have a lot of fun!! And, oh yeah, some pocket change - they may want to sample some Native foods, buy a souvenir or educational program booklet, purchase a gift for someone, get their face painted, or buy some of the special items the venders offer just for kids.

What should teachers bring with them?
An open mind, a willingness to join in the activities, some good walking shoes, lots of patience, and the mindfulness to remind students that although we are here to have a good time - running, rough-housing, and play ground behaviour do not belong at this event. We hope to have docents available to point you to Festival highlights and there will be maps in all areas to help you locate various activities.

Food and Drink:
Although there are concessions available in the building we strongly advise school groups to bring their own sack lunches. There simply is not enough time for students to enjoy the many Festival activities if they have to spend a portion of it standing in line waiting for food service. You may pack your coolers or boxes right into the building and claim seating territory as a "home base" so that your students may all return to that spot to eat lunch together and watch events in The Celebration Circle.

What is there to do at the Festival?
Children of all ages will find activities to engage their interests and skill levels. Our School Day Program is designed to be informative, interactive, entertaining, and fun! There are areas of activity and many things to do and see throughout the building. In addition to exhibition Native dancing and cultural performances they may see basket making, pottery making, stone tool crafting, fine jewelry making, bead weaving, drum making, blow dart demonstrations, and fully furnished plains style lodges. They may hear flutes, pan pipes, drums, stringed instruments, poetry, storytelling, puppet plays, singing, Native languages, and explanations of lifestyle and cultural artifacts. They may shoot arrows, be invited to join the dancing, play games, have their faces painted, ask questions, and interact with our artists, dancers, and staff. See our School Day Photo Gallery.

What age groups attend the event?
From first grade through high school, thousands of students of all ages have attended our School Day. Public, parochial, private, and home school groups have all enjoyed this cultural field trip. Our Festival is on the approved field trip list for Metro Nashville.

Will the venders have items for kids?
Yes - many of our artists and craftspeople carry specially priced items just for kids and there are always small kid-appropriate souvenirs available.

Camera icon

May we bring cameras?
Definitely yes! All of our artists and educators are user-friendly and are willing to answer questions or have their photo taken if asked. FYI: An artist or craftsperson may request that photos not be taken of original art work and that is their legal right. Please abide by their wishes.

When do the Festival programs start?
All booths, demonstrators, artists, craftsmen, and displays will be ready and open for visitors at 8:30 a.m. and stay open until 3:00 p.m. Your students may visit any area at any time. The scheduled program will begin at 9:30 a.m. with welcome, introductions, and music from The Celebration Circle. A variety of educational, cultural, interactive, and entertaining programs will be focused around The Celebration Circle from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Parking is FREE. You will be parking in front of the Livestock Center. You may access the spacious parking lot directly from Greenland Drive. (Please do NOT enter the MTSU campus to access the parking area or the building.) There is plenty of turn-around room and parking space for cars, vans, and school buses of all sizes. Vehicles are encouraged to disembark their passengers on the sidewalk near the front of the building and then park a short distance away thereby allowing plenty of room for everyone to maneuver.

More Questions?
Please email powwow@mtsu.edu (faster response) to contact our Festival Coordinator Georgia Dennis. You might also want to visit our general visitors FAQs page.

See our School Day Photo Gallery

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