MOUNDVILLE, AL. — Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Alabama announced this week that its 32nd annual Moundville Native American Festival at Moundville Archaeological Park will be held online this year from Oct. 5-10.
The virtual festival will take place on the 2020 festival website, according to the university, with some of the video content and livestreams being offered free to the public. There will also be exclusive content only available to ticketholders who purchase admission, which is priced at $10.
UA says park staff developed a virtual experience that will include Native American performers, demonstrators and living history teachers. Online content will teach and celebrate Native American culture through interactive experiences, livestreams and prerecorded videos.
The Park's Education Outreach Coordinator Lindsey Gordon said organizers believe the virtual event will be able to reach more people and encourage them to explore southeastern Native American heritage and culture
“Even though we are going on the web, we will still have the same great performances and demonstrations as well as some new components, such as park-focused lectures and video series," Gordon said.
As part of the virtual festival, visitors can enter various online portals that include dozens of experiences and activities.
According to UA, the performance portal will include stomp dancers, storytelling and hoop dancer extraordinaire Lyndon Alec. Demonstrators will also teach traditional pottery firing, weaving, bead work and other crafts.
Vendors will sell traditional Native American items throughout the festival. Visitors can also purchase items from the park’s Knotted-Bird gift shop, including a 2020 festival T-shirt.
UA says educators wanting to conduct a virtual field trip can pay $35 to access the exclusive educator’s portal.
All content will also be available from Oct. 5 through June 1, 2021 and educators can purchase prepackaged materials for how-to videos for an additional $5 per student. These packages also come with materials that can be incorporated into lesson plans.