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Native American Heritage Month kickoff celebration in Bangor

"Firefly" demos a performance ahead of a celebration Friday and Saturday
"Firefly" demos a performance ahead of a celebration Friday and Saturday(wabi)
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 5:27 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - November is Native American Heritage Month.

Downtown Bangor Partnership is preparing a kickoff celebration this Friday and Saturday with native artists and performers. It’s sponsored by Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness.

Jason Brown, better known as “Firefly” is a nationally recognized artist and member of the Penobscot Nation. Firefly is working with the Downtown Bangor Partnership to plan the celebration of native art and culture.

“To increase the visibility that they have in downtown because they’re certainly a huge part of our community.” says Downtown Bangor Partnership Executive Director Betsy Lundy.

“It’s a two day event and we’re kicking it off on Friday night with a Firefly performance at Bangor Arts Exchange.” says Firefly.

Firefly blends traditional and modern elements to create a unique experience for audiences.

“Our music is very healing and you know we can’t get enough healing in the world today.” says Firefly. “You don’t have to be Native American to enjoy it, it hits everybody.”

“And then on Saturday we have the art market, we have lots of vendors lined up, that’s going to be at 21 Main St.” says Lundy. “That’s the big modern building overlooking West Market Square.”

Chloe Sockbeson is one of many artists who will be at the market to display unique goods.

“I was actually so honored and tickled that I was even known enough to be asked to come to the event, and then I got asked to be on the news, so here we are!”

Chloe is a regalia maker, crafting native clothing with modern materials and fresh ideas, while still honoring traditions of the past. She says it’s something she needed to do.

“I started making regalia because they were finding up in Canada… the residential schools, they were searching the properties and they were finding a lot of native american children bodies in mass graves. So I kind of felt called to do something and kind of decolonize and find my way back to my culture for those who couldn’t.”

“It’s just going to be a beautiful time, so please come out and share your beautiful energy.” says Firefly.

Firefly is performing at the Bangor Arts Exchange at 193 Exchange St. this Friday from 7-9pm.

The art market runs Saturday from 10-4 at 21 Main St, just across the street from West Market Square in downtown Bangor.

Both events are free.

Find out more at www.downtownbangor.com

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