News Releases

Pioneer Day Celebration is all fun and games

News Release

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426

In celebration of the spirited 19th-century adventurers who settled Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Chinsegut Nature Center in Brooksville will host its 15th annual Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 6.

The family-oriented celebration will be a festive exploration of Florida's cultural and historical past. Participants will see and learn how they can continue the conservation legacy of our ancestors by naturally recycling, composting and making the best use of native materials. And, better yet, it's all fun and games.

There will be a skillet-throwing contest, kids sack race and pie-eating and pioneer costume contests. Authentic re-creations of a Seminole camp and the Bishop Family living history demonstration will bring to life the spirit that was Florida in the 1800s. The festival will feature demonstrations of arts, crafts and other life skills developed by Florida's early settlers. Festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A suggested donation of $1 per person helps support Chinsegut programs, including Pioneer Day.

Visitors will experience the age-old sights, sounds and smells of early peninsular Florida existence while listening to live music of the period. They'll get to ride a horse-drawn wagon, see archery in action, participate in using two-man saws, and enjoy demonstrations of cow milking, quilting, spinning, rope making, medicinal remedies and other pioneer survival skills. They'll learn about cider making, soap making, basket weaving, butter churning and listen to an expert turkey caller work a homemade box call.

The festival also will feature hand-cranked ice cream, kettle corn and other period foods.

The Chinsegut Nature Center is on land once homesteaded by the Bishops, an honest-to-goodness pioneer family, the remnants of whose 19th-century dwelling still exist on the property.

Activities will occur throughout the day. Lunch and merchandise are available for purchase from exhibitors. In-service credit is available for teachers with county approval.

Free parking for the event will be available, with shuttles at the Withlacoochee Training Center, approximately one mile north of the intersection of U.S. 41 and C.R. 476. On-site parking will be available for disabled people.

For more information about Pioneer Day, visit or contact the Chinsegut Nature Center at 352-754-6722.

FWC Facts:
The world's whooping crane population has gradually increased from a low of 22 birds in 1941 to 503 birds in 2009.

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