GLOBE — The 34th annual Apache Jii festival is in the history books and once again, it was an exciting day for downtown Globe streets. Several thousands of people turned out over the course of the day to see crown dancers, basket dancers and by the end of the day, many of the crowd were dancing in the streets. The Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce has put on the event for the past 34 years and this year was blessed with moderate temperatures, beautiful skies and light breezes.
The day was a sellout with more than 90 vendors, along with food vendors lining upper Oak Street. Everything from jewelry to carvings to quilts and burden baskets could be found at the various booths and to refuel for more shopping, we had everything from fry bread to acorn stew to tamales and hamburgers.
This year, Apache Jii featured three different crown dance groups and it was fascinating to see the distinct differences between the groups who came from San Carlos, Cibecue and Whiteriver, for the social dances they performed. There is no doubt these are crowd favorites. Rainbow dancers, basket dancers from Gila River and flute players from San Carlos rounded out the day’s entertainment. Like any large event, it doesn’t happen without a huge commitment of volunteers, sponsors and the public. Our sponsors this year included Apache Gold Casino and Resort, Resolution Copper, the City of Globe and APS. Volunteers manned the soda booth, helped with setup and breakdown and emptied garbage boxes and moved tables. We consider ourselves truly blessed with the caliber of volunteers found in Globe-Miami.
Normally we don’t like to single people out in print for thank you, it seems like it never fails that someone is overlooked, so in advance: our sincere apologies if your contribution is not mentioned here, believe me we appreciate each and every one of you. Some who have gone above and beyond include Tim Humphrey and Dream Pole Construction. Tim was a chamber board member and always a wonderful help on activities. When he ran for county supervisor, we thought we would have to find others to take his place when he resigned the board, but Dream Pole Construction continues to help with the moving of supplies and logistics for events. Supervisor Humphrey personally delivered and picked up our tables and chairs for Apache Jii and stayed on in the morning to participate in opening ceremonies.
The Gila County Historical Society has always been generous by lending tables and chairs for our food court. Copper State Sanitation donates a dumpster to help us keep up with garbage runs. John Ballard and Pepsi arranged for use of their soda trailer and they helped with much of the muscle in loading ice chests etc. to help us. Sheriff Adam Shepherd graciously has offered one of his reserve officers to bring trustees to help with setup and breakdown for many years.
The City of Globe public works crew is always absolutely phenomenal for this event, pure gold in fact. I fully believe without their help, Apache Jii would not happen, and this year was no exception.
Rebekah Miles’ stunning artwork made a beautiful poster, printed courtesy of our APS sponsor. Posters have traditionally become a collector’s item and this year is no different. Many individuals beyond the chamber staff and board members are instrumental as well, with a special shout out to long-time booth space marker Bob Zache; Justin Lawrence who had the height and muscle to be a tremendous help; young Bob Nock and his friends who volunteered all day long and were joined by family Christina and Jaz; Shelbi Lindesmith, VISTA worker, who ran her legs off Friday and Saturday; and Johnu at The White Porch who ran more than a few errands to help us out.
And of course, the vendors and the entertainment make the event. We were blessed this year to have a sellout on booths with a waiting list of artists. And the entertainment, what can I say? When you have people dancing in the streets to the drums and chants of the singers, you know all is good. Thank you again to all who helped make this chamber event the success it was.