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A time of reunion at Grand Portage Rendezvous Days

The Grand Portage Rendezvous Days celebration powwow includes dancers of all ages! Photo by Rhonda Silence, 2011
The Grand Portage Rendezvous Days celebration powwow includes dancers of all ages! Photo by Rhonda Silence, 2011

The great Rendezvous starts in Grand Portage today, August 9, with events at the Grand Portage National Monument and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior PowWow grounds through Sunday, August 11. 

At the Grand Portage National Monument, there are dozens of historical re-enactors camped out on-site, offering a trip back in time to 1797 during a time of gathering for trade and socializing. The theme of this year’s event is “hats off to the Fur Trade,” with programs and workshops highlighting the iconic fashionable “must-haves” of the 1790s.

On the monument grounds, you will see the historic buildings, including the kitchen, which is in use throughout the weekend. There are guided historic tours, demonstrations, games, and crafts. There is no fee to enter the National Monument, but there are some materials fees for some craft projects.

Throughout the weekend, there will also be a Mackinaw boat under sail in Grand Portage Bay.

At the PowWow grounds, dancing at the Rendezvous Days Celebration PowWow begins with warm-ups at 7 p.m. on Friday. At that time, the Grand Portage Royalty Contest will also be held.

PowWow visitors should note that time change, the contest is being held earlier in PowWow this year, to give the young people chosen to represent Grand Portage have more time to take part as royalty in the 2019 PowWow. 

The Rendezvous Days Celebration PowWow continues through the weekend with Grand Entry being held at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. There are numerous special dance events being held throughout PowWow, as well as a hand drum contest at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

There is a wonderful mix of history and modern times at Grand Portage Rendezvous, as there is also a mixed softball tournament all weekend, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The 1- or 3-mile Run/Walk always sees an amazing turnout of community members. Registration opens at 9 a.m. for that.

There is also bingo, horseshoes, a turkey shoot, and raffle drawings. And of course, lots of visiting as Rendezvous is a time for many family reunions.

To see the schedule of events at Grand Portage National Monument and the Rendezvous Days PowWow, click here. 

To see the poster for the Grand Portage Celebration PowWow, click here. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence spoke with Mary Ann Gagnon of the Grand Portage Rendezvous Days Celebration PowWow Committee, to learn more. 

And, to learn more about activities at the Grand Portage National Monument, WTIP's Jana Berka spoke with Pam Neil, chief of interpretation at the monument. 

Click below to hear those interviews.