Yavapai-Apache host annual Exodus-Return Commemoration

The Yavapai-Apache Nation will host its annual Exodus Day Commemoration Event, Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Nation's Veteran's Memorial Park located below the Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde just off Interstate 17 at Exit 289.

The event commemorates the forced removal of the Yavapai and Apache People from their homeland in 1876 and the subsequent return of approximately 200 members to their homeland beginning in the early 1900s.

The day-long event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 a.m. with a traditional blessing at Boynton Canyon in Sedona. The blessing ceremony is open to the general public.

This year's event will include a 178-mile commemorative run by Yavapai-Apache Nation community members from San Carlos to Camp Verde.

The group of runners will depart from the Apache Gold Casino at 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, and will run continuously in relay fashion back to Camp Verde, arriving at approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Yavapai-Apache Nation Cultural Building.

The runners will be met by a traditional medicine man and Yavapai-Apache Nation community members, who will escort the runners to the Nation's Veteran's Memorial Park in remembrance of those Yavapai and Apaches who returned to their homelands in Camp Verde.

The event will kick-off immediately upon the group's arrival at the Veteran's Memorial Park and will include a free luncheon and traditional dance groups throughout the day.

Food/Arts & Crafts booth spaces are available. Booth spaces are $50 for the general public.

To reserve a booth space, contact the Office of Public Relations at (928)567-1071 or (928) 567-1006.

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