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franklin county times

Country stars rock Choctaw Indian Fair

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
July 11, 2003
Now in its 54th year, the Choctaw Indian Fair has a rich tradition including concerts by some of the best country music stars around.
Headlining tonight's entertainment will be Montgomery Gentry the popular duo of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry.
Montgomery and Gentry played together in Kentucky clubs for more than 10 years, went their separate ways for four years, then rejoined forces.
They released "Tattoos &Scars" on Columbia Records in 1999. Their rowdy, honky-tonk sound caught on, and in 2000, they dethroned Brooks &Dunn as the Country Music Association's Duo of the Year.
Entertaining crowds Saturday will be up-and-coming country stars Blake Shelton, who performs at 7 p.m., and Clay Walker, who takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets to all concerts are $10 and can be purchased at the gate.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians traces the beginning of its annual fair all the way back to 1949.
The fair actually had several starts. You can go back a few centuries to find the "New Corn Ceremony," a festival celebration once held by the tribe each year at the ripening of the first corn.
Nowadays, the Choctaw Indian Fair consists of exhibits from all the Choctaw communities including field crops, garden and truck crops, canning, cooking, clothing, wood work and weaving.
In the 1950s, softball was a regular event. It gradually disappeared, as stickball became popular during the next three decades.
Now, there are three full series of stickball during the fair adult or World Championship and two youth categories. Games are presented each afternoon and each night at 10 p.m.