A powwow is a celebration of American Indian culture in which people from diverse indigenous nations gather to dance, sing, reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and honor the traditions of their ancestors. The powwow came to Pittsville’s Riverside Park in 1925, where it became an annual 3-4 day event. Native Americans found the natural amphitheater in the park (now a baseball field often referred to locally as ‘the pit’) a perfect setting for traditional dances and ceremonies. It was hoped that powwows would bring Native Americans and area people to a better understanding of each other. Up to 500 Native Americans from throughout Wisconsin as well as from states like Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, the Dakotas and Idaho participated. Tents and shelters were erected and fry bread, baskets and bead work were sold. Spectators, including non-Native Americans, could number anywhere from 5,000-10,000. Activities would also include dances with live bands, baseball games, and carnivals with rides, carnival games, concessions, food and more. Powwows continued in Riverside Park until 1968 when it was moved to another location on Native American land. The powwow was invited back in 1987 as part of Pittsville’s Centennial celebration.

Powwow Booth at Riverside Park Entrance
Powwow Booth at its original location at the entrance to Riverside Park
Closeup of Powwow Display
A closeup of some of the powwow memorabilia on display.
Powwow Booth - Inside
Exhibits on display inside the Powwow Booth include photos & memorabilia related to Native American Powwows, Riverside Park events and activities, & the early Pittsville City Band.
Powwow Booth
Powwow Booth Today