National Indian Taco Championship returning Oct. 2 to Pawhuska

The National Indian Taco Championship in Pawhuska is back for 2021 and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2.

The day-long annual cooking competition and food sale event – featuring Indian tacos – typically draws hundreds of people to downtown Pawhuska each October and is returning after last year’s cancelation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year, cooks and their helpers from various tribal and culinary backgrounds come to Pawhuska for the competition opportunity, which includes four cash prize places for the top winners.

Hosted by the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, a NITC Facebook event reads: “We are very excited to see you all this fall! We are now accepting sponsors, NITC contestants and NITC non-food vendors. This event will be held on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

Participating NITC contest entrants set up food booths on the blocked-off Pawhuska streets where attendees eat, socialize, and watch a Native American dance competition in addition to visiting other vendor booths.

As of Aug. 24, the listed 2021 NITC contestant food booths are: Osage Sisters, Karen Maytubby, Strike Axe, Tim Miles, Ramona Horsechief and Rez Chicks.

The NITC contestants compete for cash prizes with the competition judged by attendees who sign up and pay a fee to be a judge. “Visitors can pay $5 to judge the Indian Taco two different ways, either as a Preliminary Judge or People's Choice Award Judge,” according to the NITC Facebook event.

The People’s Choice Award winning food booth receive $1,000 and contestants from the preliminary rounds will participate in the final round to win: $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

For more information on sponsorships, vendor spaces or to sign on as a contestant, email inquiries to

Follow the “National Indian Taco Championship – Pawhuska” on Facebook for any further updates. The Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce is at (918) 287-1208 also for event information and any other upcoming Chamber events.