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By Tom Paulson
City Editor 

Pioneer Days Happening October 23 and 24

Annual Festival Will Draw Thousands to Lake Wailes Park

 

Last updated 10/13/2021 at 7:48am

Lake Wales 45th Annual Pioneer Days festival is expected to draw some 10,000 visitors to Lake Wailes Park over two days later this month, and staff at the Lake Wales History Museum is ready for the big days.

"We are so excited for the return of this community event, and we promise to do everything we can to make it safe," D'hollander said.

The ever-popular event will see many changes this year, but will include the traditional favorite Heritage education activities including historic architecture tours of downtown Lake Wales, canoe carving, wood working & turning, weaving, knitting, spinning, basket weaving and pine needle basket making, blacksmithing, candle making and dipping, cast-iron, camp fire cooking, pioneer camps, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame with Miss Florida Citrus and citrus labels, a 1861 cracker chuck wagon, along with the Florida Flywheelers antique tractor, engine exhibits, antique car show, and the museum's own 1985 fire truck.

Live entertainment offerings will include the Lake Wales High School Highlander Band, Sandy Back Porch, PT Mortimer Medicine & Magic Show, Grateful Alive, Studio 6 Academy of Dance, Jimi Pappas, Mountain Brew Trio, and Bryan Rivers.

A dozen food trucks, a beer and wine garden will also be included.

As part of the Pioneer Days, forty craft market vendors will offer a range of handmade items, including gemstone and silver jewelry, home goods, kitchen items, gourds woven with natural materials, essential oils, organic & natural clothing & hats, handmade holiday home décor items & candles, organic health products, nail polish, fiber art & crocheted home goods, hand spun & dyed yarn, reclaimed and recycled art, wood décor, home goods, hair accessories, Teddy bears, photography artwork, bath & body care products, greeting cards, children's items, repurposed furniture, gourmet and homemade culinary & food gifts.

The Pumpkin Patch family friendly activity area will offer all sizes of pumpkins for sale, to paint and decorate, along with fall crafts, a corn crib, old-fashioned games, a hay pit, face painting, relay races, and a live animal petting zoo. Other activities will include a kids' costume contest and a dog parade.

Community organizations will be onsite to share information about how you can get involved in community social services and civic clubs in and around Lake Wales including Fellowship of Christian Farmers, Daughters of the American Revolution, Lake Wales Literacy Academy, Trinity Baptist Church, Lake Wales Heritage, Lincoln Community Redevelopment, Circle of Friends, Women's Club of Lake Wales, Removing the Barriers, and Rotary on the Ridge.

Food concessionaires include the return of local favorites and new offerings, including, WTF Concessions, Little Joe's, Rodney's Funtime Concessions, Cuppa Joe, Topsy's, Tony's Italian Ice, Fresh Lemonade, The Sweet Spot, Old-Fashioned Soda Wagon, Taco Riendo, Weekend Catering, and Tallulah's by the Sea. Food for sale includes Coffee, Smoothies, Funnel Cakes, Hot Dogs, Polish Sausage, Corn Dogs, French Fries, Philly Cheesesteaks, Hamburgers, Fresh Lemonade, Slushies, Hoagies, Chicken Tenders, Po Boys, Fish & Shrimp Platter, Wings, Italian ice, Tacos, Conch Fritters, Salads, Fried Crab, Rib Platter & More!

The Pioneer Beer & Wine Garden will feature a selection of beers and wines for sale from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, where guests may enjoy a selection of beers, hard seltzers, and wine while listening to the live entertainment along the shores of Lake Wailes. The Garden is hosted by Rotary on the Ridge. Visitors are invited to purchase a 45th anniversary commemorative, custom-made Pioneer Day glass for $10 to receive one free drink.

For the health and safety of participants, the event will be held entirely outdoors, and mask requirements and physical distancing will be implemented in accordance with regulations and guidance from the state of Florida, City of Lake Wales, and the CDC.

 

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