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Morongo Thunder & Lightning Pow Wow Pride in the San Gorgonio Pass

Crowds, dancers and drummers increased for the Grand Entry Saturday afternoon at the 21st Annual Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow next to Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.

Crowds, dancers and drummers increased for the Grand Entry Saturday afternoon at the Morongo Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow next to the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa.

The three-day event, hosted by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, is a celebration of Native American dance, music and culture.

Each day features Color Guard Grand Entry parades, followed by flag ceremonies, then dance and drum contests.

Admission to the Morongo Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow is free.

"There are no 'spectators' at a Pow Wow," Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin and tribal council members said in a welcome statement. "All who attend are regarded as participants. Each of us has a place in the circle of people. Within this circle there is no beginning and no end. This coming together is at the heart of the traditional Pow Wow."

There were two Grand Entries about 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. The final Grand Entry for this year's Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow is scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Morongo Indian Market features Native vendors selling Indian tacos, tamales, Indian frybread, and lamb stew. Artisans are selling authentic Native arts and crafts, including one-of-a-kind jewelry, beadwork, pottery, clothing and basketry items.

Scheduled event hours so far have been 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday. The Thunder and Lightning Pow Wow continues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit 2011powwow.

Morongo Casino Resort & Spa is at 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon.

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