Several days full of rich Choctaw Indian tradition kicked off Wednesday in Choctaw Miss., with the annual Princess Pageant.
The 2009-2010 Choctaw Indian Princess is Famie Cheyenne Willis. First alternate was Mahli Jaynae Bell, and second alternate was Hillary Meagan Vaughn. Famie won the Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, and Talent show categories.
The festival features Choctaw art, music, dance and sports, but isn't just for local residents. People from across the region travel to the area to get a glimpse into this community.
Participants say keeping the Choctaw traditions and culture alive is important.
"If it's not kept up, you lose it, just like with anything else," said Shirley Berg. "And I think it's important for the young folks, as well as the old, to enjoy it and enjoy life with it."
Newscenter 11 broadcasts live from the Choctaw Indian Fair Thursday night. Country music legends Connie Smith and Marty Stuart are slated to perform. The fair continues through Saturday.