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Lake Wales
Friday, April 12, 2024

More Than 2,500 Attended the 42nd Annual Lake Wales Pioneer Days

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by James Coulter

A blacksmith hammers away at a glowing red metal bar pulled straight from the forge. A spinster spins away at a spinning wheel under the shade of an oak tree. And a woodsman whittles away at a new rifle handle.

These sights could have happened hundreds of years ago. However, most of them occurred only a few days ago at the annual Lake Wales Pioneer Days, hosted at Lake Wailes Park.

Several historical reenactors showcased their traditional crafts and skills during the event, which also included other festivities including live music, arts and craft vendors, and food trucks.

Children’s activities like pumpkin painting, bounce houses, and pony rides were also hosted in the children’s area. Even the Cypress Gardens Ski Team performed a free ski show on the lake.

For the past 42 years, the Lake Wales History Museum has been hosting the annual event to celebrate the city’s history and heritage.

More than 2,500 to 3,000 attendees turn out each year, and the event is expected to continue growing to up to 7,000 annual visitors, said museum curator Anderson Hanna.

“We keep getting bigger and better every year,” he said. It always exceeds expectations. “We hope to get anywhere between, we shoot low to 2,500 to 3,000 per day. It feels like we have reached that amount so far.”

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