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77th Annual American Indian Exposition

ANADARKO_Fourteen different tribes are in Anadarko this week, together celebrating and sharing their individual cultures.  It's all part of the 77th annual American Indian Exposition.

The Caddo County Fairgrounds hosts a plethora of events this week, with nightly talent shows, dance contests, and there's a pageant featuring an honorary princess from each tribe.

There's also an arts and crafts center with plenty for sale, and there's even a carnival this year.It's an opportunity to learn about cultures, but those involved want to make sure it's not only educational, but also fun for generations to enjoy.

Many of the people at the Expo started coming when they were children.

"The campers have dropped off a lot," said Scott Walker, a worker monitoring the parking lots.  "When i was a kid, three were three, four times this amount of campers out here, and I hate to see it drop off."

Walker says he has great memories from going to the Expos when he was a kid.  He wants to see attendance grow, and that's what organizers are trying to do.

"We encourage our children to get involved," said Lois Swift, the president of the American Indian Exposition.  "You raise them, teach them your culture and your tribal traditions."

Swift says the Expo brings everyone together like a big family, with all the different tribes camping out together.

"A lot of people think native americans are just all the same but we are different in our culture, in our dancing, in our language," Swift said.

The carnival operators came from Waco, Texas, and they're taking time to learn about the different cultures too.

"All the dancing, and all the arts and crafts, and everything is really something to see," said Daisy Edwards, the manager of the carnival.  "I think people should come out to try to participate in it."

Walker said it's important to continually pass on these traditions and knowledge of the cultures to the younger generations.

"It's kind of sad because it's going to die out and as you can see it's already starting to die out," Walker said.  "When it's gone, I think it's going to be something that's very sad for the indian people around here."

There are afternoon and evening events every day this week.

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