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Parade theme honors troops
1 June 2006

BISMARCK (UTN) - When the United Tribes "Parade of Champions" rolls around in September, the focus will be on men and women of the military.

      "Supporting our Troops - Honoring Our Warriors" is the theme selected for the 2006 "Parade of Champions."

      The event is set for Saturday, September 9 as part of the United Tribes International Powwow.

      "During this powwow, and many others, we have always honored our veterans, said Karen Paetz, Parade Coordinator. "These are the warriors who protect and defend our freedom. We owe a great debt to the men and women of all cultures who serve in the military."

      The theme allows participants to offer a parade entry that honors current warriors or those from the past, Paetz said.

      The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce joined forces with UTTC in 2004 to help present the event.

      "We're proud once again to partner with United Tribes," said Kelvin Hullet, President of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber. "The 'Parade of Champions' combines cultures by celebrating diversity and cooperation. It's a great tradition for our community."

      Thousands of people from the area line the parade route from the State Capitol down Sixth and Fifth Streets, ending at the Kirkwood Mall parking lot.

      Entries include American Indian dancers and singers from the powwow, tribal leaders and royalty, horse groups from the state's Tribal Nations, and entries from Bismarck-Mandan and surrounding communities, including school marching bands, classic cars, floats carrying social and ethnic groups, and public officials and dignitaries.

      The international powwow begins September 7 on the campus of United Tribes Technical College. It attracts over 10,000 visitors to the community for the weekend and is recognized as one of the nation's premier cultural events. Special honorings for veterans are planned for the powwow.

      "As it happens, this year's powwow and parade take place near the time of the fifth anniversary of the tragic events in New York City on September 11," said UTTC President David M. Gipp. "Of course this brings some added significance to the theme."

      Because American Indians serve in the military in the highest percentages of any group in the population, we share a basic human value that can be celebrated by expressing our support for the troops, Gipp said.

      Parade entry forms are available from United Tribes Technical College and the Chamber beginning June 17. As in previous years, about 150 entries are expected and entry costs will remain the same. Forms will be mailed to last year's participants in early June.

      For more information contact Karen Paetz 701-255-3285 x 1426, kpaetz@uttc.edu.


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