Photo by Sydney Cromwell
Whispers from the Past
The Medicine Tail Dancers and Singers demonstrate traditional dancing at Whispers from the Past.
Aldridge Gardens hopes rain won’t keep visitors away from Whispers from the Past this fall.
In 2015, the annual Native American festival was rained out, and Aldridge Education Director Audrey Wilson said the rain date only drew about 1,000 people. This year, sunny skies on the event date of Oct. 2 could bring closer to 2,000 people to the gardens.
Whispers from the Past will include its most recognizable event: dancing demonstrations by the Medicine Tail Dancers and Singers representing a variety of Southeastern Native American tribes. There also will be demonstrations of flintknapping, basket making, fishing and lacrosse.
Wilson said this year marks the return of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s artifacts collection, which includes pottery, baskets and projectile points such as knives and scrapers found in the area.
Anthropology students will be on hand to talk about the collection, Wilson said.
Children can participate in several activities, including loom beading, leaf pounding, gourd painting, lacrosse, corn grinding and fishing. Wilson said last year’s fishing, done with old-fashioned cane rods, was popular, and the gardens will have more fishermen this year so more kids can learn.
“The fishing was too much of a big hit,” Wilson said.
Other presentations will include Native American story telling, a puppet show and demonstration of traditional hunting tools. Vendors will be selling food, jewelry and other items throughout the day.
Whispers from the Past will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2. Oct. 9 is the rain date.
Wilson said her favorite part of the event is the morning, when they build a fire and bless the day’s event.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 2 to 18, children younger than 2 are free. Children’s tickets include take-home crafts while supplies last. Off-site parking and a shuttle will be available at the Bed, Bath and Beyond location on Lorna Road, and Wilson recommended purchasing tickets at the Aldridge Gardens gate.
For more information, go to aldridgegardens.com.