Join the Celebration: Brooksville Native American Festival

By Diane Bedard Posted on January 12, 2017

Learn to build fire the primitive way. Listen to traditional Native American  music. Watch ancient traditional Polynesian dancers. Visit an actual teepee. Shop for authentic handmade native arts and crafts and much more!

The Fourth Annual Brooksville Native American Festival is on the horizon, taking place at beautiful Florida Classic Park on February 4 and 5, 2017.

The family-friendly event will feature a full roster of non-stop entertainment acts both Saturday and Sunday that include music, dance, primitive skills demonstrations and more!

“The Brooksville Native American Festival was just awarded a Top Twenty Events Winner by the Southeast Tourism Society! Our mission to provide hands-on education and entertainment for all ages, as well as authentic programs and vendors to keep our visitors engaged. We want the entire family to be caught up in Native culture from start to finish,” explains Mary Kirkonnell, one of the festivals creators.

Paul Deluna, co-creator and owner of Deluca Arts, added, “There is nothing like this festival here. People seem interested any time we tell them what we do. They said they wanted something like this, so we decided to step up and put it on. There is a need for this type of event here.”

This festival features a combination of dancing and music, artists and craftsmen from around the country, and the people who make the Native foods like fry bread and buffalo burgers, making it truly unique. People have attended from as far away as Puerto Rico.

“Bringing awareness of true Native culture really is what this is all about. People have so many ideas about what the culture is. The Navajo people have pride in their arts and crafts. It provides a purpose for our festival. It is my hope that people will develop such an interest that they will start helping their own people out,” Mary explains passionately.

Iron Horse Dancers and Drummers, a multi-tribal group will offer educational performances in many different traditional native dance styles.

New for 2017 is the Na Ka Oi Polynesion Dancers!  These graceful dancers share the history, culture and stories of the Polynesian people from the islands of old and new Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand and the Island of Samoa. Their captivating show concludes with a riveting high energy fire knife dance!

Shelley Morningsong (Cheyenne) will be will be the featured singer. She performs with her husband, Fabian Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha), who adds a breathtakingly beautiful element to their performance with his traditional northern plains style dancing, storytelling and drumming. Fabian is an original member of the American Indian Dance Theater.

This dynamic couple perform all over the world and will be sure to delight the crowd!

 “Our favorite part of the festival is seeing people so engaged at the event – people come into Peace Tree Trading Post throughout the year sharing how much they loved the festival and are looking forward to the next year. It has changed our perspective to be one of giving to the community. People tell me they are constantly learning something new, which brings out the value of the educational focus,” Mary and Paul shared.


This event has been well-received by the public and the Native community. Mary and Paul field calls from all over the country from Native arts and crafts people wanting to be a part of the Brooksville Native American Festival. Earlier this year, Mary received a call from a newspaper in Rapids City, SD, who wanted to make sure they had this event in their paper. Calls come in from New Mexico, Arizona, New York, and all over.

To keep things fresh, the duo seek to change this festival every year. “From my perspective, it can be boring to go the same event with the same displays year after year. There are over 500 nations with that many languages, so there is no reason to provide new and exciting programs every time. Just imagine how many cultures can be represented,” Mary shared.

Now you are invited. All of this is included in the admission price of only $8/adults and $4/kids. Under age 5 is free. “Once you’re inside, everything but the food and drink is included,” Paul explained.

RV and tent camping are available on-site at the Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Rd. Brooksville FL 34602. Primitive camping is $10/night and RV sites are $25-30/night. Both require weekend passes. Public restrooms are part of the 52-acre park now.

Please call 352-238-7308 or visit for more information.



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