Dance to the Beat of Native American Drummers by osi33942

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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Margaret Drexel, Communications Director
          800-433-1072, mdrexel@wccvb.org

             Dance to the Beat of Native American Drummers

          “Celebration: A Gathering of Four Directions” at Fort Ancient
                                 June 7-8, 2008

    April 2008 – LEBANON, OH – On June 7-8 visitors can experience Native
American traditions, singing, drumming, more than 100 dancers, storytelling and
flute music during Celebration: A Gathering of Four Directions at Fort
Ancient– just one of many great celebrations in Ohio’s Largest Playground!®
    “It is our biggest annual event, and it is really very special,” says Site
Manager, Jack Blosser. As a member of the Mekoce Shawnee (Ohio), Blosser
often leads motivational talks to children while in full regalia. “I talk to people
about the difference between prehistory and history while weaving a positive
message about persevering through life’s challenges with a positive attitude.”
    The weekend will provide a variety of demonstrations for the public to watch
and to learn. Some of the demonstrations include flint knapping (making arrows
and spears of stone), fire building, pottery making, silver-smithing, stone carving,
and dream catcher making, to name a few. Additional hands-on opportunities
include spear and prehistoric dart throwing, archery, using a pump drill to make
jewelry, and dream catcher workshops.
    More than 40 vendors will be selling hand-made crafts such as Native
American style jewelry, knives, clothing, utility wares, dance staffs, finger woven
                             sashes, beaded necklaces, leather bags, flutes and
                             much more.
                                  Adding to the majesty of this annual event is Fort
                             Ancient’s recent nomination by the U.S. Department
                             of the Interior for a World Heritage Site designation.
                                                - more -
    Winning this award would place Fort Ancient in such esteemed company as
Stonehenge, the Palace of Versailles in France, the Acropolis in Greece and
Florida’s Everglades.
    Fort Ancient is open seasonal hours from April through October. For more
information and directions call (513) 932-4421, 1-800-283-8904, or
www.ohiohistory.org.


Background
        Fort Ancient is one of more than 59 sites operated by the Ohio Historical
Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving
and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, and natural history. The Fort
Ancient site was the first-ever state park in Ohio (1891).
        Fort Ancient’s Native American history dates back 2,000 years in the Ohio
Valley.
        Fort Ancient is home to North America’s largest prehistoric Indian hilltop
enclosure earthworks, stretching 3 ½ miles across the park’s 764 acres, much of
it along the hilltop of the scenic Little Miami River, one of the nation’s top 10
scenic rivers.
        The now tree-covered earthen walls, built 2,000 years ago by people
during the Hopewell culture, suggests a site used as a gathering place for social
and ceremonial purposes. The earthworks also may have been used to mark the
movement of the sun and moon.


Fort Ancient Museum
        Visitors to Fort Ancient will also find a 9,000 square-foot museum with
interactive exhibits, classrooms and research area concentrating on American
Indian history in Ohio; 15,000 square foot reconstructed prehistoric garden of
crops that were grown 2,000 and 1,000 years ago (sunflowers, goosefoot,
gourds, tobacco, corn, beans, squash and more); three miles of hiking trails; two
majestic overlooks offering a spectacular vista of the river valley, and a picnic
area.
                                       - more -

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Historic Marker Dedication
        Fort Ancient recently dedicated an Ohio Historical Marker commemorating
the 75th anniversary of the U.S. government’s Civilian Conservation Corps and
Company 588, which camped on-site and began project work at Camp Fort
Ancient in 1933. The Civilian Conservation Corp was established during the
Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal work program.
        Company 588 consisted of more than 200 African American men from
Ohio, who completed 56 projects at the camp before Company 588 was
dismantled in 1935. Projects included a stone shelter house, tree plantings,
overlook construction and grill shelters, all still visible today.


Boy Scout Support
        Throughout April, more than 400 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will camp at
the site for two days to perform community service by helping clear portions of
the earthworks and hillsides of vegetation and to clean the winter’s accumulation
of logs, branches and fallen trees.
        Blosser estimates that the park has hosted more than 14,000 Boy Scouts
over the last 18 years who have contributed some 42,000 hours of labor-
intensive community service at the park. An additional 85 Eagle Scout Projects
have been accomplished at the site with an additional 12,750 hours of
community service.


        Warren County is Ohio’s Largest Playground! World-class attractions
and unique events make tourism the county's leading industry, with 6.4
million annual visitors. With easy access from Interstates 71 and 75, Warren
County is the perfect hub-and-spoke destination, where visitors can enjoy a
greater possibility of activities within a 30-mile radius, than anywhere else in
Ohio.
        For additional information, visit www.ohioslargestplayground.com or call
800-433-1072.
                 Warren County is Ohio’s Largest Playground!®
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