FARMINGTON — A two-day powwow this weekend in Farmington offers a cultural experience.

The seventh annual San Juan College Contest Powwow starts at 5 p.m. today at McGee Park Memorial Coliseum on the San Juan County Fairgrounds.

Michele Peterson, the college's Native American Center director, said the event was once called the Apple Blossom Powwow, but, seven years ago, the name changed because there were no longer apple blossoms in the area.

This year's powwow has several special guests.

"We are inviting this awesome group from Frog Lake, Canada," Peterson said.

She described the musical group, Young Spirit, as a mix of contemporary and traditional.

"They are probably the next up-and-coming superstar," she said.

Peterson said one of the things she likes about the group is it encourages people to get involved. If someone wants to learn their songs, the members help them, she said.

In addition to the musical group, Ruben Little Head of Lame Deer, Mont., will travel to Farmington to serve as the powwow's master of ceremonies.

Peterson said Little Head is a comedian and speaks the Northern Cheyenne language.

Erny Zah, The Daily Times business editor, will act as master of ceremonies for the Gourd Dance, which is a special dance honoring veterans.

The powwow also includes arts, crafts and food.

Peterson said the powwow is an important cultural experience for both native and non-native people.

She said it can be educational for non-natives and allows people of all races to participate.

IF YOU GO

What: San Juan College Contest Powwow

When: 5 to 11 p.m. today at 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday

Where: McGee Park Memorial Coliseum on the San Juan County Fairgrounds, 41 Road 5568, Farmington.

Tickets: General admission is $6. Children 5 years old or younger and people older than 60 get in free. 

More info: 505-566-3321 or www.sanjuancollege.edu/nac.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.