Usha Mehta laughed with her son Sushant about their messy hands as the two rolled clay and slowly formed miniature pots.
“We were just looking for something interesting to do today instead of just going out to eat somewhere like always,” said Usha Mehta, of Merrick.
On Saturday, the Mehta family joined hundreds of other visitors at the 25th annual Native American Feast at Garvies Point and Preserve in Glen Cove.
“I didn’t even know something like this existed here,” Mehta said.” We will definitely be coming back.”
The event took place both in and out of the preserve and included pottery making, spear throwing, fire making and Native American foods. Tickets were $5 for adults and free for children under 5 years old. All of the proceeds for the event, which continued from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, go to the Friends of Garvies Museum and Preserve.
“This is our celebration of Native American culture and it gives people a sample of how they used to live,” said Veronica Natale, a seasonal employee of the museum who helped organize the event. “It’s important that everyone knows about history so this is a fun way for these kids to get educated.”
Families had the chance to explore the regular museum exhibit, as well as participate in activities throughout the day specific to the feast. Volunteers passed out blue, red and yellow popcorn to visitors as they passed a table full of Native American delicacies including corn, beans, squash and popcorn soup.
Children had the opportunity to get their face painted with shale, a hardened and solidified clay. Many young children gathered around volunteers to learn how Native Americans built fires with ancient pump tools.
Families also came together for pottery making in the basement of the museum. The clay for the pots comes from the Garvies beach on the preserve.
“Mine is much better than yours,” joked Russ Barbara to his 11-year-old son Dylan as they rolled clay in their hands.
Outside, children and adults alike threw spears toward a haystack in order to learn how Native Americans hunted for food.
“A lot of kids learn about this kind of stuff in school so it’s fun for them to actually come out and see the exhibits and do the actual activities and get them excited about Native American culture,” said Natale.
Above: Volunteers point out the variety of popcorn flavors at the annual Native American Feast at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove. (Nov. 17, 2012)