The 37th Annual Pioneer Days Festival Pays Tribute to Lake Wales Founders
Posted on October 26th, 2012 by Rebecca Thompson
Join the celebration of community history and early pioneer settlers of Lake Wales at the Pioneer Days Festival Saturday and Sunday. Held on the shores of Lake Wailes Lake and hosted by the Lake Wales Society, this event is held annually to honor the history of the city, pay tribute to the city’s founders and recognize a living contributor to the city’s heritage. The festival that first began as an event held on the last Saturday in October or the first Saturday in November is now in its 37th year.
A resident of Lake Wales or a visitor, it makes no difference because all are invited to the celebration. Don’t be surprised to discover blacksmiths, wood workers, demonstrators and crafters at this three day event as well as plenty of food vendors and entertainment including performers, carriage tours, antique car parades, rides, canoe races and more. Visitors will also find free parking and free admission.
As annual tradition, Lake Wales will pay tribute to past Pioneers at 10:00 a.m. Saturday during Pioneer Hour with the naming of “Pioneer of the Year” and the mention of previous award winners. Find a list of past recipients here. Mimi Reid Hardman, Executive Director of the Depot Museum and founder of the Historic Lake Wales Society, will be the host of the Hour. According to CityofLakeWales.com, the recognition has been given annually since 1978 to an individual who has been employed in an occupation or engaged in civic pursuits that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the greater Lake Wales community.
The Pioneer Days Festival begins Saturday, October 26 from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. and continues Sunday, October 27 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
In addition to the lakeshore events, the Lake Wales Depot Museum will feature a quilt display at 4:00 p.m. Friday, and there will be a special reception Friday night as well as Saturday afternoon. Other historic buildings on the CSX Historic Corridor will be open to the public over the weekend also.