Western Navajo Fair hits 50

Navajo Times | Krista Allen
Western Navajo Fair co-grand marshals Kee Yazzie Goldtooth, 78, left, and Jimmie T. Barlow, 81, laugh and tell jokes outside Tónaneesidizí Chapter. The old friends will be showcasing their parade float next week during the Western Fair parade down Edgewater Drive and Main Street.

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times

TÓNANEESDIZÍ

Country singer George Jones had passed out in Gray Mountain, Arizona, just before his show at the inaugural Western Navajo Fair in 1968. “Áadi sitii hanoo, (he passed out) in Dzil Libéí,” said Jimmie Barlow, 81, who along with nine men, started the first-ever Western naa’ahóóhai in 1967.

“We went and got him while his fans were waiting for him in Tuba City.” Even though Jones staggered to his feet and swayed a little, he performed for a large, screaming crowd. After his show, Jones spent the night at the home of former Navajo Nation Council Delegate Frank W. Bradley. Barlow and the nine men, all who belonged to Navajo Century Enterprises Inc., also invited Waylon Jennings the same year Jones performed.

“Waylon éí he went out with everybody!” exclaimed Kee Yazzie Goldtooth, 78, who was also part of the enterprise. “He said the Navajo Nation made him famous. He’d always say that.”

Eddy Raven and a list of other country music singers visited the Western Navajo Fair throughout the years. But Jennings and Jones both visited more than once.


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Categories: Community