Backtrack was playing classic rock on the Tracy Park stage. And on the other end of the park, a Native American drum corp was paying homage to its 86-year-old elder, Ben Craft.
“This is great,” he said. “I'm old enough.”
Craft, whose Cherokee name is Ota, said an elder gives advice to others and helps teach Native American traditions.
“He can't get around anymore, so we came to him,” Tami Colley, aka Spirit Bird, said.
The corp was comprised of about 10 members from the area, and called itself Ani Tsalagi. Colley said that means “many Cherokees.”
The group spent much of the afternoon pounding out Native American drum rhythms.
“The drum represents the heartbeat of the earth,” Colley said. “When we drum, we dance to this. It's like a connection to the earth.”
She said the group gets together as often as possible.
“We like to keep our ceremonies alive and our drumming alive,” Colley said. “And it's important to teach the children to keep it alive for the future generation.”
The group was not connected with Crop Walk. It was supposed meet a couple weeks ago, but bad weather prevented that.
“But it's kind of in sync with each other,” Colley said. “Because the way it used to be in the days of ancestors, not just one went hungry. If one went hungry, they all went hungry. They all helped each other and they all worked together as a whole to provide for everybody.”
That is the point of the annual Crop Walk.
Shannon Lawson of Crop Walk said the goal was to raise $40,000 through donations. Donations came from businesses and from those who walked. Walkers also were asked to donate money and they had to bring a can a food for a local food pantry.
Of the total money raised, 25 percent stays in Scioto County to help the pantries.
The rest goes worldwide to help with hunger and disaster relief.
“Like when Katrina hit or the tornado in Indiana hit,” Mary Gordon of Crop Walk said. “When people get displaced by war, it helps build medical centers, schools or irrigation so they don't have to drink dirty sewer water. It goes on and on.”
Lawson said she hoped to have 600 walkers, but didn't yet know how many participated. Those who did participate walked a course through the city to help raise awareness of hunger.
For more information on Crop Walk, log onto ww.churchworld.com.
Those who donate money online can specify where they want it to go.