NEW ULM - Dakota Commemorative March participants will pass through New Ulm Thursday, Nov. 8, spend the night at the National Guard Armory and continue their march on Friday, Nov. 9.
The public is invited to attend and bring a pot-luck item to share for a supper beginning at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at the United Church of Christ (UCC), 301 S. Minnesota St., according to a church press release.
The public is invited to join the march at the Armory at 7 a.m. and accompany marchers to the edge of New Ulm.
The 150-mile march commemorates the forced exile of Dakota men, women and children from the Lower Sioux Reservation to camps at Mankato and Fort Snelling in November 1862.
The march begins at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Lower Sioux Agency Interpretive Center, on Redwood County Road 2 and ends around noon, Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Fort Snelling Interpretive Center in Minneapolis.
The Dakota March Committee provides marchers a place to sleep each night on foam mattresses on a first-come basis. A sanitation unit will follow marchers. Three meals will be provided each day, many hosted by groups in small towns along the route.
Marchers will follow the KC Road into New Ulm, on North Broadway, north of Highway 14, before following Minnesota Street to downtown New Ulm, then west of the Armory.
"Anyone can participate as long as they want to. We plan to stay off busier highways as much as we can," said march co-organizer Samantha Odegard of the Upper Sioux Reservation near Granite Falls. "I've heard there may be new marchers this year."
The march is the culmination of five bi-annual marches over the past decade commemorating the forced march of 1862.
"The marches have been a life-changing thing for lots of marchers," Odegard said. "During past marches, I've build strong relationships with other marchers. I consider them family and have strong memories of past marches. We'll probably continue to commemorate the 1862 events in some way if we don't march in the future."
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/DakotaCommemorativeMarch
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).