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Food and fun make a happy Big Cypress New Year

Field Day01BIG CYPRESS — Tribal members and staff welcomed 2013 like a huge, happy family – with lots of laughs, food and fun on Jan. 3 under the big chickee on the Junior Cypress Rodeo grounds.

“Today is about community appreciation,” Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger said. “It’s a fun way to thank everyone for the great work they do and to start off a good New Year.”

Nearly 200 people gathered for a barbecue lunch of pork ribs, beef slices, macaroni and cheese, corned bread and more, courtesy of the Big Cypress Council Office.

Children from the Boys & Girls Club competed in outdoor competitions like tug of war and sack races.

Tribal seniors played bingo under the shade of the chickee while other adults, including many employees, put an extended lunch break to good use by pitching horseshoes in the orange clay of the rodeo arena.

Joe Osceola won the horseshoe game against Lonnie Billie – but Billie did not mind.

“I was the loser, but we all had a good time,” Billie said. “We appreciate the event. Good food, good people. It’s Happy New Year for all of us.”

Other field games included Frisbee, pass the orange, musical chairs and egg toss.

Before the meal, Big Cypress Board Rep. Joe Frank welcomed the community of workers and residents into 2013 with a prayer and best wishes for the year.

“As we enter a new year, let’s be careful out there, let’s do our jobs well, let’s have a good year,” Rep. Frank said.