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Brighton prepares for Field Day Festival and Rodeo

Brighton Field Day began in 1938 as a day of fun, athletic competition and camaraderie among Tribal members from every reservation. Since then the event has evolved into a major festival and rodeo that attracts thousands of Tribal members and the general public every year.

This year, the 80th annual Brighton Field Day Festival and Rodeo will take place at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena and grounds Feb. 16-18. Highlights of the weekend will include the PRCA Rodeo, professional bull riders, clothing contests, Native American arts and crafts and authentic Seminole food.

Tribal members will man the Seminole culture camp so visitors may get a taste – literally and figuratively – of the Tribe’s food and culture.

Entertainment will include a concert by Colt Ford, a country rapper, singer and songwriter. Ford recently released his sixth album “Love Hope Faith,” which includes the single “4 Lane Gone.”

Events during the three-day festival include Native American dance troupes, traditional Seminole storytelling, snake shows and alligator wrestling. The Florida State University marching band, accompanied by FSU’s mascot Osceola riding his horse Renegade, will make a special appearance.

For shoppers, the festival is a treasure trove of traditional Native American art, jewelry, clothing and crafts.

Field Day schedule

Friday, Feb. 16
9 a.m. Gates open
10 a.m. Activities begin
3 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

Saturday, Feb. 17
8:30 a.m. Gates open
9 a.m. Activities begin
10 a.m. Parade
3 p.m. PRCA Rodeo
7:30 p.m. Colt Ford concert

Sunday, Feb. 18
9 a.m. Gates open
10 a.m. Activities begin
3 p.m. Professional bull riders

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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