The Seminole Tribe of Florida will present a reenactment of the Second Seminole War at the Big Cypress Shootout at Billie Swamp Safari on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1-2.
The battle reenactments honor the Seminoles’ struggle and sacrifice to remain in their homeland and will feature authentic weapons, soldier and warrior attire and tactics typical of the Second Seminole War.
The three-day event will also include music, Seminole food, Seminole and pioneer artisans, tomahawk throws, primitive archery competition, authentic Seminole and soldier camps, venomous snake shows and alligator wrestling. “Period settlers” from around the country will hew wood, iron and silver crafts and depict trading techniques from the Seminole war era.
It was noted that events on Friday, Jan. 31 are open to school children only. The students will learn about Seminole history and culture. Saturday and Sunday events are open to the public. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. those days. The battle reenactments will take place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
In the 1830’s, the United States was attempting to enforce its policy of Indian removal. The Seminoles were facing the loss of their homeland and their freedom. After broken treaties and failed peace parleys, the Seminoles took up arms against removal. The U.S. Government thought it could quickly overpower the Seminoles and waged the fiercest of all wars ever waged between the government and Native Peoples.
Soldiers burned settlements and captured, killed and scattered many Seminole families. This seven year war cost more than the American Revolution and involved 52,000 soldiers fighting against fewer than 2,000 warriors. The Seminoles fought with courage and determination and had a unique knowledge of the land. Although many Seminoles were killed or removed to present-day Oklahoma, they were never defeated, and to this day their 3500 descendants are known as “The Unconquered” Seminole of Tribe of Florida.
Admission for the Big Cypress Shootout is $10 for adults and $6 for children. Tickets are by cash only, no checks or credit or debit cards will be accepted.
Billie Swamp Safari is located between Fort Lauderdale and Naples on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation just north of I-75 (Alligator Alley) at Exit 49.
For more information, call: 800-GO-SAFARI, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bigcypressshootout.com.