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News Story
Updated: 11/21/2017 12:50:03PM

CCC Festival: Celebration of Florida’s past and present

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KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

The Burger family enjoyed pony rides at the CCC Festival.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Chuck Oshaben from the Desoto National Memorial demonstrated how an atlatl was used for hunting large mammals.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Former CCC boys honored at the 2017 CCC Festival, from left; Herbert Bryd, Norman Welch, Henry Culima and Walter Atwood.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

The CCC Festival provided a Kid's Corner with pony rides and free games.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

David Stackpole and Meredith Brown are members of AmeriCorps, an offshoot of the CCC. These AmeriCorps members provided disaster relief for hurricane victims.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Pat Talbott, volunteer at Archbold Biological Service, held Poser, a Florida pine snake.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

FWC contractor Lisa Ostberg gave free whistles to visitors to scare away bears.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Tram rides provided visitors with a tour of Highlands Hammock State Park.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Bill Parken, coordinator for the Ridge Rangers program, provides opportunities for volunteers to restore Florida's natural habitat.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Lantana Turner, lover of history and vintage crafts, attended the CCC festival.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

APHIS, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, provided visitors with information about the giant African snail that carries the bacteria that causes meningitis. APHIS encouraged residents to call 863-784-3292 if they had strange bugs harming their yards.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Father and son team, Roy McLendon Jr. and Sr., sold their artwork at the CCC Festival.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Tony Tapia, owner of Lucid Heart Callery in downtown Sebring, sold sterling silver jewelry at the festival.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Missionary Joann Harder Wijk sold cloth water bottle holders and dresses to support her missionary work in Alaska.

KEVIN MAIN/CORRESPONDENT

Back Porch Revival, a local old-time string band, played at the CCC Festival.

By MELISSA MAIN

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The music of Florida folk bands and the smell of buttery popcorn and mouth-watering barbeque wafted through the air as vendors representing Florida’s past and present entertained hundreds at the 32nd annual CCC Festival, held at Highlands Hammock State Park. The festival, closely resembling a historical amusement park, offered tram rides, pony rides and a ride into Florida’s past, highlighting the Civilian Conservation Corps, an organization that offered young men an opportunity to support themselves and their families while building state parks and conserving America’s natural resources.

The CCC, part of President FDR’s New Deal, promised hope for America’s environment and unemployed young men. During the 1930s, approximately 25 percent of America’s population was unemployed and hungry. Young men flocked to join the CCC for jobs. According to Norman Welch, who served from 1939-1940, “The CCC fed me, gave me a place to eat and sleep, and helped me feed my family. I got $5 a month and $25 was sent home to my family.”

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