A powwow held this weekend at the Franklin County Fairgrounds will honor and celebrate veterans.

A powwow held this weekend at the Franklin County Fairgrounds will honor and celebrate veterans.

According to the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, which sponsors the powwow, war veterans traditionally open the event by leading dancers into the center of an arena to start each day with prayer and a flag-raising.

The powwow will include drum groups, dancing in regalia, contests, arts and crafts, and food such as fry bread.

Ross Davidson will be one of the participants in the powwow. Davidson, 73, lives in Plain City and has served in the U.S. Navy and a police chief. He is also a maker of dance regalia, an expert at beading and quilting who has been accepted into the Native American community.

"Modern-day powwows as we know them began just before or shortly after World War II in Oklahoma," Davidson said, "then they spread like wildfire." Veterans are honored, he said, because Native Americans have a long history of serving in the United States military, and they have a high rate of volunteers.

"It's a family event," Davidson said of the powwow. "We get to see people we haven't seen for a while, and meet new ones. That's what it's about - a celebration of life."

The 29th annual Selma Walker Memorial Powwow will be held Saturday-Monday, May 28-30. The gates open at 11 a.m., with dancers entering at 1 and 7 p.m. (1 p.m. Monday). Admission is $7, or $3 senior citizens and students; or $15 for a weekend pass. Children age 5 and under are admitted free. Bringing a chair is recommended. The powwow will end at 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 5 p.m. Monday.