HOLLISTER — Many came out to the fifth annual Haliwa-Saponi Winter Pow Wow Saturday.

Alphonso Richardson, of Hollister, said he attends all of them including the big one in April.

“I just enjoy the culture,” he said. “I’m glad to see us maintaining our culture. A lot of cultures don’t do this.”

The event featured special contests such as trick dance, one man hand drum and two step.

Richardson said he tells people who have never attended a pow wow to come to one. “We encourage people to come regardless of their ethnicity and enjoy the culture,” he said. “It’s really nice.”

Ms. Haliwa-Saponi 2009-10 Morgan Copeland explained why the pow wow is held. “It’s mostly about our people coming together and sharing our culture,” she said.

Copeland added April 16-18 is the 45th annual Pow Wow by the Haliwa-Saponi. It is a celebration of American Indian dancing, singing, arts and food with different tribes attending.

She said she hopes people will come out to the pow wow. “It is a chance for them to come and see our culture and our history,” Copeland said.

A lot of people don’t realize American Indians exist, she added.

As one of the junior head dancers leading the grand entry, she said she has danced since she started walking. “It’s second nature,” she said.

Copeland is a senior at the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School. After graduation, she plans to attend a community college and transfer to a four year college. “I want to major in criminal justice,” she said.

For more information about the upcoming pow wow, call 252-586-4017 or visit http://www.haliwa-saponi.com">www.haliwa-saponi.com.

Copeland said she has enjoyed her reign as Ms. Haliwa-Saponi. “It has been good and I have enjoyed it,” she said. “I have been to a lot of different places representing my tribe.”

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I checked out the link and didn't see anything on big event in April. Is there another link we could check?