TEMECULA, Calif. - The 19th annual Pechanga Powwow will get underway today, drawing Indian dancers, drummers and singers from throughout the country to the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.
An estimated 75,000 visitors are expected for the free event, hosted by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians since 1995.
``The Powwow is one of the largest in the entire western United States and serves as an interactive and educational cultural event for all ages,'' said casino spokeswoman Ciara Green.
Festivities will continue through the weekend, wrapping up around 5 p.m. Sunday with an awards show.
``This is one of the best places on the West Coast where you can bring your family to experience the real traditions and customs of the indigenous American people,'' said Powwow Director Randy Pico. ``The Powwow brings us together to celebrate our heritage, and we're able to share it and teach people about it at the same time. It's very powerful.''
On Saturday, traditional dancing and singing are planned, along with a crafts fair and food court. At dusk, the casino will host a ``fireworks show rivaling any at the top amusement parks and sports stadiums,'' according to Green.
More ceremonial rituals and drum chants are scheduled Sunday, followed by a ceremony that recognizes participants.
The powwow grounds are about a block southeast of the casino, 45000 Pechanga Parkway.