Indian Festival

Every year, my hometown, Tionesta, PA, has its annual Indian Festival.

Indian Princess and Prince Indian festival heads

It’s long been a tradition for folks who grew up there to come back “home” for the Saturday parade and have a good time eating too much food and catching up. We attended this year and I saw a few folks I grew up with and I definitely ate too much. The festival is a week-long celebration.

Bad day at the office!

Initially, the festival highlighted Tionesta’s Native American roots, though it is only nominally related to that history now. Still, it is a small-town festival including a carnival, a parade, and lots of bad-for-you good food. We saw tons of firetrucks and a few politicians. To be a successful parade entrant, you must throw candy! My kids said so. Anyhow, it was a good time.

Buffalo soldiers

One thing I look forward to each year is the Vision Quest Buffalo Soldiers . These guys put on a pretty awesome march routine and are very fun to watch.

Hammer museum
I was also amused by the advertisement for the local Hammer Museum on one parade float. I have no idea what was on display but I will try to visit the next time I am in town!

8 thoughts on “Indian Festival

  1. Ha! I love the Hammer Museum ad… I’d be curious to go too. 🙂

    Mel and Abby love going to parades. I survive them, and look forward to helping Abby eat the flavored Tootsie Rolls she harvests.

    I love the larger-than-life Indian costumes. Looks like a fun festival!


  2. There is some history about the large heads. I can’t find info on it right now but apparently they were used in a parade in Washington DC (or NYC?) 30 or 40 years ago (how’s all that for a lack of details!) and were donated to the town in recognition of the Native American heritage (which is much less a part of the celebration now). I wish I knew a lot more about them but I can’t seem to find any information. Anyhow, I am afraid that they could be viewed as politically incorrect but their history/age makes them pretty interesting I think. Anyhow, it is a fun time in a beautiful area.

  3. I can tell you the first Indian Festival was held in 1964, the year I graduated from high school. It was started by the local Red and White grocery store to promote the area for tourism. The owner of the store’s daughter and my friend was the first Indian princess. It has grown each year. At it’s prime it drew a lot of bands, twirling groups, fire trucks, etc. and the parade lasted 2 hours. It’s cut back the last couple years to only 1 hour. Still a lot of fun for residents as well as tourists. It’s always held the third Saturday in August. It starts the Satruday before with a gems and junk town sale. Simple things go on all week such as a lawn tractor race, pet parade, princess contest, and the best hot sausage at the Methodist Church. Come see all the festivities.

  4. awe i’ve been to this! my granparents live in tionesta. haha that festival always holds alot of memories for me!

  5. The Indian Heads were at one time used in the Macy parade. I was told that floats from the Macy parade are usually distroyed and never sold, but many years ago the folks in charge of our festival were able to purchase these beautiful heads. They were restored about 5 years ago and look like new. They really are something to see coming down the parade route! The Indian Festival is a great event for our small town. If you get a chance come and join us the 3rd Sat. in Aug. for the parade!

  6. The hammer museum is a collection of hundreds of hammers that belonged to a businessman in East Hickory. The museum was started by his widow in honor of her husband and his love for his collection. She wanted to share his collection with others in his honor. They are great people, stop in and visit the museum if you get a chance!

  7. HAHA OMG I remember this it is something to see thats for sure I grew up there and graduated their many a years ago in fact I am headed back there for my 20th class reunion this year. maybe I will c you there

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