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20th Annual Pioneer Day This Saturday

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Arcadia, Florida – In honor of the rich heritage and history of the Arcadia Tourist Camp, the DeSoto County Historical Society proudly announces the 20th Annual Pioneer Day, set to take place on March 23, 2024, at the Turner Agri-Civic Center located at 2250 NE Roan St., Arcadia. This year’s event promises to be a vibrant celebration of the region’s pioneer spirit, featuring an array of activities and attractions for all ages.

Sponsored by the Arcadia American Legion, the highlight of the event will be the Antique Tractor and Hit & Miss Engine Show & BBQ, showcasing vintage machinery that played a vital role in the agricultural development of the area. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to marvel at these historical artifacts while enjoying delicious barbecue offerings and traditional Florida foods, including the famed Bodacious BB2 and Luscious Strawberry Shortcake.

One of the notable figures being commemorated during this event is James Mitchell “Acrefost” Johnson (1850-1922). Acrefost, as he was affectionately known, stood nearly seven feet tall and weighed 250 pounds. He earned his moniker due to his size 14 shoe and his legendary feat of walking 130 miles round-trip to deliver mail from Fort Ogden to Fort Meade.

Attendees can also look forward to a variety of demonstrations and exhibits showcasing time-honored skills, including a Classic Firetruck and Fire Hose Demo, Florida Cracker Cow Camp with Whip Crackers, and a Hands-On History Area featuring a Fossil Dig and Old-Time Games. Additionally, Florida Authors and Artists will be on hand to showcase their work, adding a cultural dimension to the festivities.

Musical entertainment will further enliven the atmosphere, providing a backdrop of lively tunes as visitors explore the exhibits and activities on offer. With legendary characters and interactive experiences, Pioneer Day promises a memorable journey into the past for all who attend.

Parking for the event is available at $5.00 per vehicle. For further information and updates, visitors are encouraged to follow the DeSoto County Historical Society on Facebook or visit their website at www.historicdesoto.org.

As the community gathers to celebrate its pioneer heritage, Pioneer Day serves as a testament to the enduring spirit and legacy of Arcadia and its people. Mark your calendars and join in the festivities on March 23rd for a day of nostalgia, education, and fun for the whole family.