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Naples Indian Day


One of the earliest celebrations of Indian Day took place with Tribal members in Naples on Sept. 19. The small, close-knit community had a full lineup of competitions to participate in, plenty of food to eat, and a variety of entertainment to take in.

There was a surprise musical guest who made an appearance as well.

On a beautiful and hot Florida day at the Naples facility located at 3539 Plover Ave., families gathered to participate in a skillet toss and log peeling competition. Later in the day, after a specially prepared lunch, hoop dancers would perform.

Alligator wrestler Billy Walker performed a full outdoor demonstration after the skillet toss. He also weaved in stories about his family and Seminole history into his act.

The big surprise, kept secret by Naples staff, was a special visit by country music artist Joe Nichols, who performed a handful of songs at the Juanita Osceola Community Center. Nichols has released nine albums and still tours across the country. After his performance, he took pictures with anyone who asked.

The day was organized by Naples liaison Brian Zepeda, office manager Marlain Weeks and community outreach coordinator Sandy Osceola.

– Damon Scott

Martin Slavik takes part in the cast iron pan toss competition. (Photo Damon Scott)
Pedro Zepeda preps the log peeling area before a friendly competition. He’s pictured with his son, Colton DeLand-Zepeda. (Photo Damon Scott)
From left, country music artist Joe Nichols, Naples council liaison Brian Zepeda, two members of the band, and Hollywood Board Rep. Gordon Wareham. (Photo Damon Scott)
Erin Tiger prepares food for those who attended the festivities. (Photo Damon Scott)
Christina Billie tosses a cast iron pan during a competition at Naples’ Indian Day. (Photo Damon Scott)
Billy Walker gives an alligator wrestling demonstration while speaking about Seminole history and culture at Naples’ Indian Day on Sept. 19. (Photo Damon Scott)


Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at

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