PEMBROKE — The final days of the Lumbee Homecoming will include fitness, fireworks and remarks from the tribal chairman.
The 48th annual event began on Friday and concludes on Saturday. More than 30,000 Lumbees were expected to attend the eight-day celebration.
Today’s festivities include the Lumbee Book Talk at 2 p.m. at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke bookstore, featuring authors Joan Blackwell, Patricia Chavis and JoJo Brooks Shiflett; the Lumbee Games tennis tournament at 5 p.m. on the UNCP varsity tennis courts; and a free Summer Jam concert in the Milton R. Hunt Memorial Park from 7 to 10 p.m.
Friday, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will open the doors of its headquarters for a cookout and open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin will deliver his State of the Tribe Address at noon. The tribal headquarters, known as The Turtle, is located on N.C. 711.
Saturday brings the grand finale.
The events kick off at 7:15 a.m. with the 35th annual Lumbee Homecoming 5K Run and Fun Walk, sponsored by the Pembroke Kiwanis Club. The race starts at the Southeastern Fitness Center on West Third Street and will honor former Congressman Mike McIntyre.
Mitch Lowry, president of the Pembroke Kiwanis Club, says McIntyre fought for the tribe during his 18 years in office. McIntyre is a Robeson County native who represented the county when it was part of the 7th District in the U.S. House.
“We wanted to recognize him for his tireless efforts in seeking federal recognition for Lumbee people,” Lowry said.
Participants can take a leisurely stroll as part of the free Fun Walk, or compete for prizes in the 5K Run. Registration for the run is $25 and can be completed from 5:30 to 6:45 the morning of the race.
Each 5K participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt. The top runners in their respective age groups will take home trophies.
Following the race, a ceremony will be held honoring McIntyre at 1 p.m. in the Annex Building at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The public is welcome to the free event.
Attendees on Saturday can also take in the always-popular Homecoming parade beginning at 10 a.m. and head to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke for a bevy of vendors and a powwow beginning at noon. The celebration closes out with an outdoor gospel concert beginning at 6 p.m. at the LRDA office complex, followed by a fireworks show at 9 p.m.