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Hackers to perform this weekend at Multicultural Indian Event

By Kristen Bishop 340-2443

OAKVILLE — This year's Multicultural Indian Event, held at Oakville Indian Mounds this weekend, features two headlining acts that promise to draw a crowd.

Brother and sister Nashville stars Zac and Angela Hacker will perform separately Saturday and Sunday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. Zac Hacker takes the stage Friday, followed by his sister's performance Saturday.

The country music celebrities follow a Thursday night performance by Chad Bradford, a Hatton native who released his first compact disc, "Dollar Short," in 2005 and a self-titled CD this year. He is best known for "Cornbread Fed," a song about growing up in the South.

But the annual four-day festival isn't just about the music, said Lawrence County School Indian Education Coordinator Butch Walker.

The festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, uses games, activities, music and demonstrations to teach people about their Native American ancestors, he said.

"This festival is different because it's not an event just to have fun," said Walker. "The whole emphasis is on education."

And what better place to learn about American Indian history than near one of the few remaining Indian burial mounds in the county?

The Oakville Indian Mounds, where the festival is held each year, is home to the Copena Burial Mound, a 2,000-year-old cemetery for both Native Americans and early settlers.

Less than a quarter of a mile away sits the Ceremonial Woodland Mound, a cultural center for the Copena Indians, which stands 27 feet high and covers about 1.5 acres.

The Lawrence County School's Indian Education Program holds the festival on nearly 50 acres of land surrounding the mounds and the Indian Education Center.

Last year, more than 30,000 people attended to watch Indian dance teams, learn basket weaving or soap making, and enjoy food from several vendors.

"Our crafts are all Indian-oriented. We have things like basket weaving, bead work, stone pots, silversmithing, blacksmithing — just a lot of educational activities," said Walker.

Walker said bluegrass and gospel bands and living historians will be performing each day.

There is no cost to attend the festival during the day, but tickets for the evening concerts are $10 for a single show or $25 for a three-evening pass.

Though adults are welcome to visit the festival any of the four days, Thursday and Friday are primarily designed for student field trips, he said.

The festival is open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.

For more information about the Multicultural Indian Event, contact the Indian Education Center at 905-2494.

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