Chickasaws from across the country will come to celebrate the 2013 Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival, Sept. 27-Oct. 5.

The theme for the 2013 Annual Meeting and Festival is "Coming Home: Sharing Our Stories."

"Chickasaws travel hundreds of miles to join in the annual meeting and festival each year to renew their connection to the Chickasaw Nation," said Governor Bill Anoatubby. "While Chickasaw people have always had a close connection to the land, the Chickasaw Nation is comprised of people who are bound together by culture and heritage. This year, we will celebrate the inspirational stories of all those who call the Chickasaw Nation home."

This year marks the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation and the 25th Chickasaw Festival.

Activities begin Sept. 27 and culminate Oct. 5.

Numerous events are planned for the week-long homecoming that celebrates Chickasaw heritage, culture and spirit.

Annual Meeting, State of the Nation, Oct. 5

The 53rd Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation is highlighted by Gov. Anoatubby's State of the Nation Address. The address begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 5 at Fletcher Auditorium on the campus of Murray State College.

Following Gov. Anoatubby's State of the Nation Address, Tishomingo's Main Street will be the scene of the festival parade at 11:45 a.m.

A wide variety of exciting events and activities will take place throughout Tishomingo October 5, at the historic Chickasaw Capitol, Pennington Park, Murray State College campus, Johnston County Sports Complex and other venues.

The Southeastern Art Show and Market will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol grounds. Chickasaw Press book signings, stickball, dance troupe and cultural demonstrations will be conducted from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the same location.

A traditional Chickasaw meal will be served at 11:45 a.m. on the Murray State College lawn. A health fair will coincide with the lunch.

A petting zoo, kids' activities and a "make and take tent" will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Pennington Park.

Horseshoe tournament registration and live entertainment will begin at noon at Pennington Park. Arts and crafts and food vendors will be located at the park from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Chickasaw White House in Emet, the Chickasaw Bank Museum in Tishomingo, and the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, will also be open for tours Oct. 5.

Saturday concludes with a stickball exhibition match at 4 p.m. at the Johnston County Sports Complex. The Johnston County Riding Club Rodeo begins at 8 p.m.

Stomp Dance

A traditional stomp dance from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m., Sept. 27 at Kullihoma opens the week-long festivities.

Corn Stalk Shoot, Junior Olympics, Softball Tournament, Fun Run

A traditional corn stalk shoot will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 at Kullihoma.

Junior Olympics, a co-ed softball tournament, a golf tournament and a 5K Run/Walk will be Saturday, Sept. 28 in Tishomingo.

The four-person scramble golf tournament registration is 7:30 a.m. at the Tishomingo Golf Course. Play begins at 9 a.m.

Junior Olympics begin at 10 a.m. at the Tishomingo High School football field and a co-ed softball tournament begins at 9 a.m. at the Johnston County Sports Complex. New this year, a 5K Fun Run/Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28.

The Chickasaw Princess Pageant will be at 6 p.m., Sept. 30 at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center in Ada.

The movie "Brave" will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 on the Chickasaw Capitol lawn.

Chickasaw elders will compete in the annual Senior Olympics from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Johnston County Sports Complex.

Cultural Evening, Arts and Culture Awards

The Cultural Evening will begin at 4 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. This event will be followed by the Chickasaw Nation Arts and Culture Awards at 6:30 p.m.

The Southeastern Art Show and Market opens at 9 a.m. Oct. 4, on the Capitol grounds.

Cultural tours for area schools, tours of local museums and children's activities will be available in Tishomingo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Tours of the Chickasaw White House in Emet, and the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur will also be available during the week.

A full schedule of events and vendor applications, are available at or by calling (580) 371-2040 or (800) 593-3356.

The annual meeting and festival event schedule is subject to change. Please visit often for the latest event updates.