Schemitzun Squashed

For 17 years, the Schemitzun celebration brought thousands of people to southeastern Connecticut for a four day festival featuring 500 Native American tribes.

But with the recession, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has decided not to host Schemitzun this year and that could have a trickle down to local businesses, like Mystic Pizza Two in North Stonington.

"We usually get people late at night, when Schemitzun was over they'd come in," said waitress Danielle Christie. "Usually big crowds, but we're hoping it won't effect us."

The cancellation means local hotels won't see their usual boost in business during Schemitzun.

Hilltop Inn and Suites General Manager Jay Wietlauf says the hotel is disappointed, but "we hold out hope that it will return at some point in the future."

The tribe says there is a possibility that it may bring Schemitzun back in a few years.

There are some that won't miss the annual Feast of Green Corn and Dance.

"It was very noisy," said Cathy Holdridge of North Stonington. "It was more of an annoyance than anything."

Holdridge lives across the street from the Schemitzun grounds.

While she'll enjoy the quiet this August, Holdridge admits there is a lot that Schemitzun had to offer.

"That part of it I think is unfortunate," Holdridge said. "That the cultural event won't occur."

"A lot of people from around here liked to go to it," Danielle Christie said. "Kids can go. There is always something to do there. I think it would be nice if they did bring it back because I think a lot of people would miss it.

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