For the first time since 1991, there will be no Hesperia Native American Pow-Wow at Hesperia Lake Park this year.


The event's coordinator since the beginning, Gary Yellowhorse, made the announcement in a letter to area newspapers.


"I couldn't tell you what happened. I don't know," Yellowhorse said on Friday. "We did that, I think, for 17 years, without any problems at all."


He estimated the annual event, which takes place the first weekend in May, attracted 8 to 10,000 attendees over the course of two days.


"It was self-supporting, it always made money."


According to Steve Hamm, the Development Director for the park district, the cancellation of this year's pow-wow began with the elderly Yellowhorse beginning to shift his coordinating responsibility onto a younger successor.


"They kind of split the position. Then, this year, mid-February, she ended up tendering her resignation," said Hamm. "The district extended him the opportunity to continue on."


With the clock ticking, the two sides disagreed on how much work was left to be done before the May event.


"It was all put together; it was ready to go. The park district, they wanted to change the contracts that we use, to be more specific," said Yellowhorse. "Then they didn't give me enough time. That's not something you can just blink your eyes and do."


Both sides hope to have a pow-wow in 2010, whether jointly or separately.


"At this point in time, we're looking at all our different options," said Hamm. A 2009 pow-wow "is definitely out. We could probably do it ourselves, but with them pulling out this late in the game, it's difficult to piece it all together."


"This pow-wow belongs to the people, as they all do," said Yellowhorse. "It's kind of a healing, spiritual process, not only entertainment value. Where can you go for three or four dollars and spend the whole day?"


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.