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News Story
Updated: 03/13/2014 08:00:02AM

History comes alive at 10th annual Pioneer Day

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The Fiddle Crabs of Punta Gorda is an old-time string band

sponsored by the Williamson Group Realty. They play music popular in country towns of the 19th and 20th century. Other musical groups include the Anderson Brothers, the Gulf Coast

Cloggers, Lee James, Barney and Nancy Meese, Johnny Shannon, and the Suncoast Dulcimers.


Children and adults enjoy a 1922 Model T Ford and other classic automobiles, including a LaFrance fire truck. The “hit-and-miss” engine seen in the background is one of many working antiques on display during the event.


Evelyn and Leon Arthur, in period dress, offer information about the Confederate Cow Cavalry, Camp #2181, Sons of Confederate Veterans. This year, reenactors will be offering Confederate weapons demonstrations.


The team from DeSoto County Volunteer Fire and Rescue

won first place in the BBQ Rib Cook-off last year. They will compete against the “Boca Boys” from the Boca Grande Fire Department; the “Cracked Rib” team from Lee County Medical

Services; the “Hambone BBQ” team from North Fort Myers Fire and Rescue; and the “Bottoms Up” team from Tice Fire and Rescue for unique first-, second-, and third-place trophies.


Children can find fossils to take home in the Fossil Dig sponsored by the Mosaic Company. Many other free hands-on activities are available in the Discover History children’s

area, including old-fashioned toys and games. Pony rides will be available.


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Where can you learn about when Arcadia was named, how to churn butter or weave baskets, and enjoy the best barbecue ever?

The DeSoto County Historical Society and Mosaic invite everyone to the 10th Annual Pioneer Day and Barbecued Rib Cook-off. The family-fun festival is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 15, at DeSoto Veterans Park, on State Road 70 just west of Arcadia. This event — held in honor of its founder Harold McLeod (1926-2013) — celebrates the history and heritage of southwest Florida.

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