Review of the Ocmulgee Indian Festival

My five year old, Levi, and I had an enjoyable morning at the Ocmulgee Indian Festival.  We were able to go because they offer free admission on Friday for School/Homeschool Kids and Families.  We both had a nice time, and I want to let you know some of what you will see tomorrow or Sunday if you decide to go.

First of all – parking.  It was well thought out, but please know that you may not have the best spot.  I had a tree almost directly behind me and could only leave one way because there was a stump blocking the other way.  I am a terrible “backer upper”, but thankfully I realized that I could take down the rope fence, drive over it, and then put it back.  Just wanted to share that in case someone else ends up in the same predicament. :)   You park in a large field as you drive in, and there are plenty of people to show you where to go.  Parking is free.

As you walk up to the Festival, they have a large ring with bleachers and chairs.  They had a Muscogee Honor Guard begin the day, and then they had some singing and dancing.  As we were leaving, they had several Indians and schoolchildren participating in a game called Stickball.  They also invited kids to participate in the dancing.   I would guess this will be going on tomorrow all throughout the day.

As you head toward the Temple Mound, on the left and right side were a lot of people selling Native American items and offering facepainting ($1 or $2).

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My favorite part and definitely my sons favorite was listening to the Native Americans explain their homes, weapons, and tools.  You can tell that they thoroughly enjoy what they do and enjoy sharing with kids.  They were spread all around the exterior of the festival (in the shade).

Now, I do have to say that we weren’t able to stay very long, so we didn’t go past the bridge leading up to the Temple Mound.  I don’t know if there is anything up that way to see or not.

Now for my thoughts – I would say that this is geared for kids over 5.  It would definitely be more interesting if they have a basic understanding of Native Americans – I couldn’t help but think that my 8 and 9 year old would have really enjoyed it.  The speakers were very entertaining, answered any questions, and had plenty of Native American items to demonstrate.  Also, in regards to small kids, at least two of the Native Americans had their faces completely painted with red or red/black.  This actually startled my five year old, and he was very hesitant to go near them.  Also, please note, that there are few paved trails, so you will be pushing your stroller over roots, rocks, etc.

I would definitely recommend this as a fun, family outing.  Wear sunscreen or a hat, bring water, and your camera, and just plan to spend the day wandering around, enjoying being together, and learning more about Macon’s Native American History.

  • Where:  Ocmulgee National Monument, 1207 Emery Highway, Macon
  • When:  September 19th and 20th
  • Cost:  Adults $6; Children (6 – 12) $3

FPD

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