By Michelle Chance
December marks a yearly celebration for the Ak-Chin Indian Community, where Maricopa’s longtime neighbors welcome the public to partake in various free events over two weekends.
The Masik Tas celebration, now in its 11th year, is known for its headlining concert acts, the crowd-drawing carnival, electric light parade, cultural dances and rodeos.
The events celebrate the formal recognition of the Ak-Chin Indian Community and its government.
“This is our early birthday present and Christmas gift to the public, so come out and participate with us and have some fun,” said Robert Miguel, chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
Cultural entertainment, sporting events and a parade return to Masik Tas with a lineup that spans a weekend filled with music, dance and fair ride thrills.
Maricopa resident Elena Reinhardt looks forward every year to hearing Ak-Chin’s announcement of their next musical act.
“Gin Blossoms is one of my favorites, so I will definitely be there,” Reinhardt said.
Vertical Horizon will open the free Gin Blossoms show Dec. 14 at Ak-Chin Circle, and it will conclude with fireworks. The end-of-year celebration is boasted by the community’s chairman as one with a welcoming, family atmosphere.
“You’re a part of our family that weekend,” Miguel said. “Our house is your house.”
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 All-Indian Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament
Dec. 1, 1 to 3 p.m. Miss and Junior Miss Ak-Chin Pageant at St. Francis Feast House
Dec. 7 Elder Chair Volleyball
Dec. 9 Toka/Songivu’l Traditional Games
Dec. 10, 10 a.m. Masik Tas Golf Tournament at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Masik Tas Celebration Light Parade on Farrell Road (To participate, visit MasikTas.ak-chin.nsn.us.)
Dec. 14, 6 p.m. gates open, 10 p.m. fireworks Gin Blossoms headline free concert at Ak-Chin Circle
Dec. 14-16 Free, family-friendly carnival with fun zone and petting zoo at Ak-Chin Circle
Dec. 15-16, noon to 5 p.m. Traditional performances and cultural demonstrations performed at Ak-Chin Field
Dec. 15, 6 p.m. Vaila Dance
Dec. 15, 9 a.m. Junior Rodeo, riding events and roping events, including a bull bash and wild horse race
This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.