Autumn Dance Celebration
at Queens Farm
Queens County Farm Museum and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers present Autumn Dance Celebration on Saturday, November 7th and Sunday, November 8th, 2020 as a special admission program. Among many Native American tribes, it is a tradition to celebrate and give thanks for each season of the year. In autumn, the bountiful summer harvest is celebrated and thanks is given through song and dance reflecting with reverence and appreciation for the wonderful things we find in nature. This year it seems fitting to give thanks at Queens Farm with the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers.
This special admission program, Autumn Dance Celebration, celebrates American Indian Culture through music, dance, authentic Native-made jewelry, ceramics, textiles and other products and food. Eight Indian Nations will be represented including Hopi, Winnebago, Lenape, Choctaw, Mayan, Seneca, Santo Domingo and Chickahominy. The program includes over twenty different dances that will be presented outdoors over two days in front of a socially distanced audience. Crop circles will help mark where the audience can sit and face coverings are required. The audience is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and picnic blankets since seating will not be provided. This special admission program was created to reimagine the farm’s annual Thunderbird American Indian Powwow which was canceled this past July due to Covid-19 business closures. Queens Farm will dedicate 3 acres to the performers and the audience and limit capacity as per New York Forward Safety Guidelines.
A sample of the performances include:
- Smoke dance (Iroquois): During the winter months the people had to build fires in the longhouse to keep warm. On certain days there wasn’t enough wind that came in the doorways to help keep the fires burning. The people would get together and dance near the fires to create enough wind to stoke the fires, and they called this dance the Smoke dance.
- Grass dance (Sioux): Before a group would move into a new camping area to follow the buffalo herds they would first send out a group of dancers to go to the new camping area. The dancers would dance to crush down the tall grass that grows out on the Great Plains so when the other members of the tribe arrived they would have a smooth area to erect their teepees. They called this dance the Grass dance.
- Buffalo dance (Hopi): This is a winter dance the people perform to ask the creator to help them have a successful hunt. The movements of the dance copy the movements of the buffalo, looking for water, searching for grass, etc.
- Hoop dance (Toas): This dance was created to test the skills of the dancers – how well they handle the hoops, how well they keep in time with the music and how many hoops the dancer uses. They may use anywhere from 3 to 30 hoops!
The dancers will perform in full regalia and each dance will be explained to connect the public to the origins of each dance and these beautiful Native traditions to experience how the original inhabitants of this great land celebrate their legacy. The Autumn Dance Celebration will also host an outdoor food and craft market featuring Native American vendors. A large selection of authentic Native American art, crafts, jewelry and food will be available for sale. Social distancing and face coverings will be required at all vendors and activation points and when social distancing on the farm’s grounds is not possible.
The Autumn Dance Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 7th and Sunday, November 8th. Admission tickets are $15 ($10 for ages 4 -11) for each day for the dance performances. Tickets must be purchased in advance at queensfarm.org. There will be two performance times each day. The first performance is 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm and the repeat performance is scheduled for 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm to limit daily capacity in the pasture, but dance programming will be unique to each day so that visitors can enjoy the full scope of the dancers’ repertoire.
Visitors can enjoy the food and craft market from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm each day. General admission to the market and Queens Farm is free. There is free event parking, neighborhood parking and bicycle racks are available on-site.
NY Forward COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
The farm has staggered admission times for ticketed programming and reduced capacity to meet NY Forward’s Covid-19 Safety Guidelines. Face coverings are required when social distancing is not possible outdoors on the farm. The farm’s Covid-19 guidelines are posted at queensfarm.org and on-site at the farm.
About the Queens County Farm Museum
The Queens County Farm Museum is located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park, New York, 11004. Strollers are permitted on the farm grounds. Farm grounds and restrooms are accessible. For the safety of the farm animals and visitors, pets are not permitted. Service animals are permitted as described by the ADA. For more information about Queens County Farm Museum visit queensfarm.org.
The Queens County Farm Museum is one of the longest continually farmed sites in New York State dating back to 1697. The current site consists of a 47-acre tract of farmland that showcases the 300-year history of agriculture as a way of life in New York City. The Queens County Farm Museum is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Queens Farm offers free admission 354 days per year. It hosts a wide variety of acclaimed education programs and special events and serves as a vital resource connecting people to agriculture and the environment.