If Pelican Bay residents are looking for something to do this weekend, they can gawk at Spanish conquistadors, soldiers firing muskets or pioneers weaving pine needle baskets.
Visitors can get a taste of native life this Saturday and Sunday during the Old Florida Festival at the Collier County Museum. The event features more than 80 of the state’s best historical re-enactors, according to this article from the Fort Myers News-Press, who will don headdresses as Calusas and wield swords as they portray pirates.
“Don’t tell anyone, but we’re sneaking in a little bit of learning — in a fun, family way,” said Tim England, manager of the Museum of the Everglades and organizer of the festival. “It’s almost like having your own time machine.”
Children will enjoy archaeology activities, appearances by the 2nd Infantry Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, performances by Quadrilles et Polka, a historical dance group from Chantilly, France, and re-enactments of soldiers preparing for D-Day in honor of the 70th anniversary of the landings in Normandy, France.
Blacksmiths will be at work alongside cane syrup grinders, soap makers, telegraph operators and flintknappers who will carve stone tools, the News-Press article says.
Visitors will be able to sample kettle corn, old-fashioned candy and Southern barbecue.
Is your stomach growling just thinking about it? Because ours is!
From cattlemen to the Calusas, the Old Florida Festival will bring to life more than 10 centuries of Southwest Florida’s past.
“You ask your average person about Florida history and they go ‘Huh?’” England said. “‘It’s flat, it’s pink flamingos and Disney World.’ And I go ‘Come here, I have a story for you.’”
And you’ll just have to go to the Old Florida Festival to find out what that story is.
Let us know in the comment section if you go!