Lac du Flambeau is holding a festival celebrating wild rice…and the historic Indian Bowl.
The Wild Rice Festival is held every year during the rice harvesting season, which usually spans late August to early September.
As Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms explains, wild rice has been an important part of Ojibwe culture since the tribes first migrated to the area. A prophecy had foretold that the people should settle in a place where the food grows on the water.
Wisconsin’s wild rice season is getting a late start, thanks to this year’s long winter and cool summer.
Though Labor Day weekend often marks a key time for harvesting the traditional Ojibwe food staple, this year hardly any rice is mature and ready for picking. That’s according to Wildlife Biologist Peter David with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.
“I have heard very few reports of rice being ready at this point, there probably are a couple of odd riverbeds. But by and large, things are not ready to go.”
Wild rice season is set to begin in Northern Wisconsin. Manoomin, the traditional food of the Ojibwe nations, typically ripens around Labor Day. But harvesters may need extra patience this year.
Only three out of about 50 lakes regulated by state and tribal officials will open for ricing by this weekend. Manoomin biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Lisa David says Wisconsin’s late spring delayed ripening in some areas.