On a very bright and sunny Saturday, a family arrives to take part in the Miccosukee heritage day festival. They find themselves walking a convenient path to the rides and activities, but a constant humming sound is in the air. Suddenly they see that a very large airboat is making all the noise, and it’s headed right for them. The vehicle comes as close as possible, makes a sharp turn and sprays the family with a large mist of water. Surprised, but laughing, the family hastily runs past the cool gust; this was their unexpected welcome into the Miccosukee resort and gaming casino heritage day.
The heritage day draws many visitors to the resort. Over the years the resort has changed its image to that of a more hip and modern hotel. Although certainly still present, casino games are no longer the only attraction. There are also many family friendly events. On this special occasion, it’s the culture behind the casino that takes center stage.
It feels like a fair in many ways, but there is plenty of culture to view and witness of the Miccosukee tribe. The merchant tents have some of the most visible items as dozens of tables are adorned with the multicolored crafts and outfits of the tribe. The food vendors offer tons of different meals including “Indian burgers”. One of the other special events include live alligator wrestling, although it’s worth noting that many of these wrestlers also talk about the animals to the audience to encourage preservation of culture and the environment.
When anybody feels the need to rest and relax away from all the fair activities, the resort happily opens it doors to anyone wanting a cool breather. The building itself is very well adorned and beautiful; many walls have an homage to the Miccosukee history. However, the feeling and fun of excitement never leaves as the neon lighted casino games are in full view. But as mentioned, the resort has multiple events on hand which includes a beauty spa, a video arcade, a large ball room for children, and an upstairs smoke lounge for anyone who wants to catch a game or try the buffet.
With all the activities and events going on, the most influential part of the day is about the people. Parking lots are packed to capacity, but the crowds keep coming in. It’s amazing to see so many families come out and join together at one resort in the middle of the everglades. Perhaps that is the resort’s best treasure of the day: to share culture, memories and smiles to the entire community.