Seminole Tribune - Pulse of the Tribe

Volume XXX, Number 11
November 27, 2009

Community Attends Inaugural Fall Festival

BY NAJI TOBIAS - Staff Reporter

FT. PIERCE — The Ft. Pierce Tribal community’s fi rst-ever Fall Festival, held on Oct. 24 at Chupco’s Landing, featured an early Halloween theme that served as the primary focus for the weekend.

There were a slew of activities at the event, including a hayride, dunk tank, haunted house and costume contest.

On Oct. 23, the day before the festival, community members and employees also partook in a four-game bowling tournament, held at the SuperPlay USA bowling alley.

Ft. Pierce Liaison Sally R. Tommie said the weekend event, which was primarily fun, peaceful and serene, was assembled so Tribal families could spend time together.

“This is something that Ft. Pierce has wanted to do,” Liaison Tommie said. “In almost every setting, we talk about family involvement in the community.”

With the Fall Festival set to get the Tribal citizens out of their new homes in the gated Chupco’s Landing community, all things were set up for an experience to remember. And the event certainly lived up to that, with participants reveling in the many activities.

reveling in the many activities. In addition to the Halloween-themed activities, festival attendees could make donations with the proceeds benefitting U.S. troops overseas. The money raised was used to purchase items such as toiletries and non-perishable foods.

With the supplies slated to be sent to countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, proceeds will also go to the America’s Moms for Soldiers nonprofi t organization, according to Liaison Tommie.

“We didn’t want to wait until Veterans Day to show our appreciation for the soldiers out in war right now,” she said. “It’s a good way to show our gratitude for the men and women fi ghting for our freedom.”

In addition to the aforementioned activities, there was a bobbing for apples contest, in which blindfolded participants picked up a smiley-faced apple from a large water-fi lled bucket. A face-painting activity was popular with the younger Tribal youth, while a set of carnival rides like the slide and the rodeo ambush kept those involved busy.

Ke’Yhara Tommie, 10, was one of the scores of people who enjoyed the carnival-style rides the Ft. Pierce Fall Festival had to offer. “It was so fun and so fast,” Tommie said shortly after getting off the rodeo ambush ride. “I had a great time.”

And so did 25-year-old Tribal citizen Antonio Timothy, who said safety at an event is the key to having a great time.

“It was a good idea for us to have something positive to do,” Timothy said. “Here at the Fall Festival, if you come here, you know you’re going to feel comfortable and safe. You don’t have to worry about anybody harming you and everyone knows each other. It’s like family.”

All that played a major role in how everything turned out, especially when it came down to the haunted house and costume contest.

Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Mitchell Cypress offered his assessment of the Fall Festival and the events that came with it. “It was fantastic,” Chairman Cypress said, “It surprised me that the Tribal citizens from Immokalee, Hollywood, Big Cypress and Brighton showed up to participate in this event. Ft. Pierce is a great place to be when it comes to festivals or any activities. People came out here to enjoy themselves.”