The Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds was packed with residents from all over the country Saturday marking the return of the 39th annual Yuba-Sutter Pow Wow.

Last year, the event did not take place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, it returned this year and attracted tribal families from all over the nation.

Plummie Wright, a member of the Klamath tribe, traveled from Salem for the weekend pow wow. He has been participating in pow wows all over the country for the last decade, saying it marks a celebration for Native American tribes everywhere.

Wright’s dance tells a story of his tribe.

“It could be anything,” he said. “You’re dancing for your family.”

Wright said it will be judged by a panel later during the weekend.

One of his favorite attractions is the grand entry, which traditionally marks the beginning of the pow wow. Wright said the grand entry sees a line of dancers that begins with the veterans taking center stage for the audience. Royalty tribal members follow, while the elders, adults, team and juniors take their turns in that order on the stage, completing the grand entry.

Many first-timers made the trip to Yuba City this weekend to celebrate the return of social gatherings.

Tanya Ruiz came from Mendocino with her family to watch their goddaughter who was the head woman in one of the tribal dances.

“We came out to support her and be together,” Ruiz said. “We made it through a pandemic, so I am happy to be here.”

Just as he did during the Winter Pow Wow earlier this year, Val Shadowhawk performed the Master of Ceremonies duties for the crowd.

The pow wow continued on Sunday at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. The event was free and open to the public.

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