DeSoto County Florida | Economic Development Office | 201 E. Oak Street | Suite 201 | Arcadia, FL 34266 | Phone: 863-993-4800 | Fax: 863-993-4808


Pioneer Day & BBQ Rib Cook Off

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Admission is $2 for adults; children under 12 and parking are free

Pioneer Day has been an official Florida Heritage Month event and has included teams of emergency service personnel competing in a barbecued rib cook-off.

Pioneer Day offers family fun of all kinds. Special and traditional Florida foods--such as swamp cabbage and strawberry shortcake--are available. A “Discover History” hands-on area is FREE for children and includes old-fashioned toys and games, cane pole fishin’, washing with a a scrub board and wash pot, a pitcher pump, writing with a dip pen, orange juicin’, and more. Demonstrators show off their skills in basket-weaving, black-smithing, butter-churning, candledipping, quilting, soap-making, spinning, woodworking, and other crafts.

Clubs, churches, and other organizations display their history. The Suncoast Dulcimers--a hammered dulcimer group; the Fiddle Crabs--an old-time string band; Barney and Penny Meese; and Lee James entertain along with legendary characters Arcadia Albritton Coker and James Mitchell “Acrefoot” Johnson--plus a frontier shoot-out at noon. Animals, antique engines, vintage automobiles, a classic fire truck, Florida authors and artists--all showcase Florida’s unique heritage and history.

The Society welcomes everyone to join in the fun--as a demonstrator, participant, vendor, or volunteer!

Vendor Application

Volunteer Application

Participant Letter

Sponsorship Letter


For More Information, call 855-REAL FLA
Calendar of Events

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