About Cherokee National Holiday
The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution on September 6th 1839, which reestablished the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast.
Traditionally, the Cherokee National Holiday draws more than 100,000 visitors from both Oklahoma and out of state on Labor Day weekend.
The Cherokee Nation is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States.
The Growth of the Cherokee National Holiday
According to a past Cherokee National Holiday guide, the holiday began in 1953 and marked the first time since statehood in 1907 that a “large official gathering of Cherokees was organized.” That “large” crowd was estimated between 1,000 and 3,000 Cherokees. The event has since grown into one of the largest festivals in Oklahoma, normally attracting about 100,000 people annually.
Events were added as the holiday continued annually. The cornstalk shoot made its first appearance in 1954. According to a past holiday guide the intertribal powwow began in 1971, and Cherokee marbles debuted in 1988.Find out more