Two Exciting New Events Take Place this Week Along with the 31st Annual Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration


Artwork from Bobby C. Martin is on display at the McEachern Art Center through mid-November (Photographer Nate Weeks)

CORRECTION: The Firestarters Film Festival takes place Thursday through Saturday, not Sunday

The Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration is back again this weekend and a few new, related events are taking place in Downtown Macon as well.

The Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration is scheduled to take place from Saturday, September 16th through Sunday, September 17th from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. this year. Entry and parking is free this year and large crowds are expected to attend.

Winners of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Pageant were at last year's Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival features Native American performers, interpreters, artists, and more along with Muscogee Creek Nation citizens. 

The event will also include traditional dances (some of which the crowd will be invited to take part in), storytelling, live music, crafts, and food, according to the Ocmulgee Mounds Historical Park

Last year's Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival featured several recreations of traditional lodging, household items, and more (Photographer Nate Weeks)

Parking for the event this year will still be at the Macon Bibb County Health Plaza (171 Emery Highway) located down the highway from the park with free shuttles traveling back and forth every 15 minutes starting at 9:15 a.m. each day. Entry to the Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration will also be free this year.

Vendors at the Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration sale a variety of items, such as jewelry, clothing, art, tools, and toys (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The inaugural Fire Starters Film Festival will also be taking place this week from Thursday through Saturday.

The Fire Starters Film Festival will present five films made by Indigenous peoples at The Grand Opera House ("Bad Press" (2023), "Dead Bird Hearts" (2022), "The Journey of Tiak Hikiya Ohoyo" (2021), "Fancy Dance" (2023), and "This May Be the Last Time" (2014)) with special guests appearing at most of the screenings.

The films will be screened at the historic The Grand Opera House during the Firestarters Film Festival (Photographer Nate Weeks)

One special part of the Fire Starters Film Festival is the Ignite the Night concert which will include a performance by the Indigo Girls (whose song "Closer to Fire" appeared in the recent hit movie "Barbie") at the Grand Opera House on Saturday, September 16th.  

Ignite the Night is a benefit concert for the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative. Grammy nominated blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jontavious Willis will be the opener for the Indigo Girls.

Single screen passes to the Fire Starters Film Festival cost $10, a $30 pass includes entry to all the films, and a $150 VIP pass allows entry to all the films, includes a VIP reception, and a ticket to the Indigo Girls concert. All tickets for the Fire Starters Film Festival can be purchased on

Also new this year, there will be a special art exhibit at Mercer University's McEachern Art Center in Downtown Macon. 

Mercer's McEachern Art Gallery is located on Second Street in Downtown Macon (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The McEachern Art Center's "From Ocmulgee to Okmulgee" is full of expressive artwork from Bobby C. Martin (Muscogee) as well as artwork from multidisciplinary artist Randy Kemp (Euchre, Muscogee, and Choctaw).

Randy Kemp is a painter, printmaker, award nominated Native American flute player (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The opening reception for "From Ocmulgee to Okmulgee" took place on Thursday, September 14th and the impressive artwork on display will be at the McEachern Art Center through November 18th. 

Bobby C. Martin is an artist, educator, facilitator, and musician who lives in Oklahoma (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The McEachern Art Center is free to visit and open to the public each week Thursdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m.

The McEachern Art Center's brightly colored walls make the artwork displayed there stand out (Photographer Nate Weeks)
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