Tag Archives: South Florida attraction

Seminole Museum Hosts 21st Annual American Indian Arts Celebration (AIAC) in Big Cypress November 2-3

The Seminole Tribe of Florida Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is pleased to announce the highly anticipated annual American Indian Arts Celebration (AIAC) November 2 – 3, 2018.  Now in its 21st year, the AIAC is one of the top festivals in the Southeast.  Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in the heart of the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation!

The event will feature an exciting array of arts, crafts, food, hands-on activities, musical performances, dance demonstrations, and wildlife presentations. The Indian market, featuring 50 vendors, will showcase some of the finest native craftsmen, including prize-winning Seminole artisans. Daily performances will include an opening ceremony by Seminole Tribal elder Bobby Henry and his team of dancers; Nakotah LaRance— six-time world championship hoop dancer; and Native Pride Dancers from Minnesota—an internationally known high-energy show featuring an innovative blend of modern and traditional Native American dance styles.  Wildlife shows will be provided by Billie Swamp Safari and alligator wrestling by Billy Walker, who has been wrestling alligators since the 1980s.   Be sure to check out live demonstrations, including wood carving by Daniel Tommie, swamp cabbage cooking (with samples) by Billy Walker, Seminole food samples by Geraldine Osceola, and archery by Jake Osceola.

Modern Seminole musicians will light up the stage!  Friday’s musician RC North gives us a taste of alternative rock, and on Saturday hear the soulful tunes of Kowako Billie, followed later in the day by rappers Aye Five, featuring Carradine and DC.  Saturday’s line-up will additionally include a fashion show highlighting Seminole clothing throughout the years.

Our headliner for this year’s AIAC will be John and Kenn Little, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who will be presenting their documentary, More Than a Word at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.  The film traces how the word “r*dskin” evolved from being a term of racist derision and slander to being embraced as the name of one of the NFL’s most beloved franchises. It also draws on the voices of Native American activists and scholars to place this controversy within the wider context of Native American history and racial stereotyping, more generally.  A panel discussion with the directors will follow.

The event will take place outdoors at the festival grounds across from the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation.

Admission is $10 for adults; $7.50 for seniors and students (5-18 years, or with a college ID). Tribal members, children four years and under, and Museum members are free. Admission includes entrance to the event and the Museum. Parking is ample and free.


For more information on the 21st Annual AIAC, please visit www.ahtahthiki.com/events or contact Carrie Dilley at 863-902-1113 extension 12211 or carriedilley@semtribe.com.


Must-See Attraction in South Florida: Billy Swap Safari

img_1854-e1534795829331.jpg Billy Swap Safari Entrance

Looking for a great outdoor adventure? Well, Billie Swamp Safari is one of the must-see attractions here in South Florida. Located in Clewiston on the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation, the Billie Swamp Safari offers both an authentic swamp and tribal experience. It is famous for its swamp buggies and also alligator wrestling. Check out some of the highlights below from my recent visit.

Right before the entrance is a set up for the petting zoo which is actually free of charge. Yes, I said free! This site is family friendly and welcomes you to interact with the animals in this section. The zoo in its entirety has over “20 different creatures that walk, swim, crawl and fly” (at least that’s what the brochure says) including bears, tigers, and owls.

petting zooKids at the Petting zoo playing with a Pony

There are both day and night packages that include rides and shows. This attraction is open 24/7, 7 days a week so you can pop in at any time. The paid activities include a Critter show, Snake show, Swamp Buggy rides, and Airboat Rides. I must say the Critter show was surprisingly enjoyable, interactive and informative. The hosts are very polite and will even take pictures of you and the critters.

IMG_1958Critter Show Host

As far as the rides go, you get your money’s worth with the 55 minutes long Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour that usually runs hourly from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will see all kinds of animals out in the wild with the driver/guide educating you about the animals, plants, and Seminole tribe. It’s a very nostalgic experience that opens your eyes to a very different world and time.

billie-swamp-safari-swamp-buggy-e1534798384627.pngSwam Buggy Eco-Tour
Photo by Billie Swamp Safari

It’s as fun as it seems, believe me! On the other hand, Airboat rides are faster with views of migratory birds, fish, snakes, turtles, alligators and more in their natural habitat. Boat rides run every half hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, the alligator presentation is complimentary with all packages.

I can’t forget to mention the great features of the night time activities such as campfire storytelling or being able to sleep overnight in authentic Seminole Chickee huts or dorms. At night, swamp buggy rides get a little more interesting with the dark atmosphere.

What’s even more impressive? VIP tours are available that provides a personal guide to take you on a private, 90-minute Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, extended airboat ride, animal encounter, all-access shows, a Swamp Platter Sampler, refreshments and “Survivor” memento.

Speaking about food, there is a Swamp Water Cafe. It’s not exactly what it sounds like. The restaurant does offer Native American delicacies such as frybread (sweet), frog legs, and gator tail nuggets but also serve traditional American classics like burgers and fries. I dare you to try the gator tail nuggets, but all jokes aside, I really enjoyed the frybread which comes complimentary with every meal. The Swamp cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.