Central Fair hits a high note

By Cindy Yurth
Tséyi' Bureau

WINDOW ROCK, August 15, 2013

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Q uick: What can be fast or slow, traditional or modern, upbeat or somber, is beloved by all generations, and always makes you feel good?

If you said "Music," you're right, and not only that, you've hit on the theme of the 28th annual Central Navajo Fair, scheduled Aug. 19-25.

"We're always thinking about our younger generation and our elderly," explained third-year Fair Board President Doris Davis. "What can we do for them?"

Someone said, "Why don't we focus on music?" and the more the board thought about it, the more they liked the idea.

"Music changes everything," Davis said. "It changes your mood, it eases your mind, it relaxes a person."

With that in mind, this year's theme is "Níhí Yíín dóó Sin (Our Songs) Heals the Mind, Body and Soul within your Tradition."

While nobody likes every kind of music, everybody likes some kind of music. So this year's fair will include as many kinds of music as it can squeeze in.

There will be the usual country-western dance, powwow and song-and-dance, but there will also be a heavy metal show, a gospel jamboree, even a rave with DJ Infamous Poe.

And who will be the grand marshals of the fair parade? Who else but the Navajo Nation Band?

"They're always there, marching in every parade," said Davis, "but nobody ever honors them."

That's about to change.

"We're really going to recognize them," Davis promised. "They're our grand marshals - all of them!"

Of course, there will be the usual stuff: rodeos from various associations, pageants for all ages, the carnival, vendors and such. And lest you're tempted to eat too much funnel cake, the IHS will be there with health information and screening booths.

Or you can run off that Navajo burger before the parade at the Sgt. Darrell Curley Charity Run. Curley, you will remember, is the Navajo Nation Police officer who was shot and killed in 2011 after responding to a domestic violence report in Kaibeto, Ariz.

Curley was originally from Chinle, and "we felt like we wanted to do something to honor him," Davis explained.

Fittingly, the proceeds from the 3.67-mile run will go to fight domestic violence.

If you're of a more traditional bent, check out the old-fashioned horse race in Three Turkeys Canyon Aug. 24.

Davis said enthusiasm for the fair is running high and people on all the committees have worked tirelessly.

"I'd like to thank all my workers," she said, "and all the vendors who are helping."

Because of Chinle's central location, "we attract people from all over," Davis said. "We do it for the people of the community, but we extend it out to people from all four directions. We hope people come and enjoy it."

For a complete schedule of events, go to http://central-navajo-fair.com/schedule.html. You can also follow Central Navajo Fair on Facebook and Twitter.