Contest Powwow slated for Aug. 18-20

07.31.2023 Dean Rhodes Powwows
Tribal member Auburn Logan participates in a grand entry at the 2022 Grand Ronde Contest Powwow at Uyxat Powwow Grounds last August. (Smoke Signals file photo)

If you go

Grand Ronde Contest Powwow

When: Grand entries at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18; 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19; and 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20.

Where: uyxat Powwow Grounds, 9600 S.W. Hebo Road.

Cost: Camping, $5 with parking and opens Wednesday; parking, $1 a day or weekend passes, $3.

More information: 503-879-2037

By Dean Rhodes

Publications coordinator

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tribe’s biggest powwow attracted 290 registered dancers and eight drum groups in 2022.

Now the 38-year-old August Contest Powwow is pretty much back to normal as the memories and protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic era are fading into bad memories.

Powwow weekend will kick off with the Grand Ronde Royalty Pageant at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at the Tribal Governance Center. The 2023-24 Royalty Court officially will be crowned later in the day at 5 p.m. at uyxat Powwow Grounds.  

More than $22,000 in prize money will be danced for and prizes range from $100 for a consolation prize to $1,000 for first place.

Specials will include the Saturday Night Best Dressed Drum Group with a top prize of $800, a Prairie Chicken/Round Bustle committee special with a top prize of $700, a Women’s Jingle Contemporary vs. Old Style special also with a top prize of $700, a Squetimkin & Hernandez Family Junior Jingle Special and an honoring special for outgoing Junior Miss Grand Ronde 2022-23 Marie Quenelle.

Head staff for this year’s powwow include master of ceremonies Howie Thomson (Assiniboine), arena director Anthony Quenelle (Grand Ronde), head dance judge Douglas Schofield (Wintun) and head drum judge Derrick Keeswood (Onion Lake Cree Nation).

Bullhorn and Indian Hill will be the host drum and drums will compete for $30,000 in prize money, with the best drum taking home a $10,000 prize.

The powwow, as always, is a drug-, alcohol- and weapon-free event, and attendees should allow enough time for parking and finding a seat in the often-crowded arena.

In addition, Recreation Coordinator Leo Ayala is looking for teams to play in the 3-On-3 Contest Powwow Basketball Tournament, which will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and continue until a champion is crowned.

Games will be played between co-ed, middle and high school teams, as well as men’s and women’s teams. Teams will consist of four players and all teams must have an adult coach. There also will be a three-point shooting contest with prizes for first through third place.

Games will be played at uyxat Powwow Grounds. Free registration will be held through 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at or by calling 503-879-1369.