The Annual Pioneer Days Festival is synonymous with Lake Wales’ history and culture, and will celebrate the heritage of the greater Polk County community. The two-day event in late October features free admission along the shores of Lake Wailes Lake with over 100 heritage, artisan, craft and community vendors, heritage arts demonstrations and reenactors, antique car and tractor display, live music and entertainment, festival food & beverages, along with a Pioneer Beer Garden, children and family activities. The Pioneer Days Festival highlights and honors pioneers from the past and presents an annual recognition award to a notable resident of historical contributions to the community during the festival. The event draws a diverse audience of visitors and residents to the area, and greatly contributes to the cultural backdrop of Lake Wales and the greater Polk County region.
2020 PIONEER OF THE YEAR
CELEBRATION - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24 FROM 10 - 11 AM
ABOUT PIONEER DAYS FESTIVAL 2020
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE - TBA
COMMUNITY & CRAFT MARKET 2020
Shop and discovery homemade, artisanal, kitschy, old-fashioned, handcrafted arts and heritage craft vendors with goods for sale.
More than 35 handmade & craft market vendors will have a range of be selling at our showcase a range of goods & services including handmade, gemstone and silver jewelry, home goods, kitchen items, gourds woven with natural materials, essential oils, organic & natural clothing & hats, handmade holiday home décor items & candles, organic health products, nail polish, handcrafted Native American flutes, pet supplies and treats, fiber art & crocheted home goods, hand spun & dyed yarn, reclaimed and recycled art and wood décor and home goods, hair accessories, Teddy bears, photography artwork, bath & body care products, greeting cards, children’s items, repurposed furniture, gourmet and homemade culinary & food gifts
Community and business vendors will have information about local real estate, churches, social & service clubs, health products, home services, financial planning, child health and safety.
HISTORICAL DEMONSTRATIONS, HERITAGE EDUCATION & FAMILY ACTIVITIES 2020
Heritage education activities offered throughout the weekend celebration include historic architecture tours of downtown Lake Wales, canoe carving, Polk County Wood turners, SWEAT – Early American Trades, The Country Boutique – candle making, Thomas Geer Artisan - blacksmith, Civil War Camp – reenactors & cooking, Florida Citrus Hall of Fame with Miss Florida Citrus and citrus labels, Talako Indian Dancers, Lake Aurora Archery, Polk County Fiber Guild, a 1861 Cracker Chuck Wagon & Pioneer Camp, Funerary & Historic Cemetery Display, Pine Needle Baskets antique car show and parade at 12 PM on Saturday, October 26, Flywheelers antique tractor, engine exhibits, and the museum’s own 1985 fire truck.
Family friendly activities offered include our Pumpkin Patch full of pumpkins for sale, fall crafts, a corn crib, old-fashioned games, hay pit, face painting, and live animal petting zoo.
Kids Costume Contest will be on Sunday, October 25, 2019 at 3 PM. Children ages 3-12 are invited to dress up and enter for a chance to win prizes for the following categories: Cutest Costume, Most Spooky, Most Original, and Best Overall.
EAT & DRINK 2020
Eat Fresh - Enjoy freshly prepared and grilled options all day long made by our festival food vendors! Menu options TBA
Good Drinks - Craft & Domestic Beer Favorites, Wine, Sodas, Water
BECOME A VENDOR 2020 - REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Categories: CRAFT FAIR, COMMUNITY, HISTORICAL AND FOOD VENDORS
CRAFT FAIR VENDOR
This year’s Pioneer Days Festival aims to enhance the variety and presence of artisan and craft vendors. We are looking for heritage arts, handmade crafts including handmade/blown glass, homemade and organic bath and body products, baskets, candles, prepared culinary gifts, clothing and accessories, kitchen accessories, home goods, and holiday décor, decorative painting and folk arts, sculpture, woodcraft, metalwork, pottery, outdoor & garden accessories, furniture, gourds, jewelry, leather goods, quilts & textile items.
Heritage art and craft vendors are welcome to display and sell products, and are provided a 10’ x 10’ space for a $100 vendor fee. Vendors are responsible for collecting sales tax.
This year’s Pioneer Days Festival aims to enhance the variety and presence of our fellow community organizations, non-profits, churches, charities, and service clubs. Community vendors are welcome to display information about their organization, and are provided a complimentary 10’ x 10’ space. Community vendors are not permitted to sell any major food items. Political and religious groups are welcome to participate, but are not permitted to solicit to visitors outside of the booth space.
Activities and ideas for your space include:
Share general and membership information about your organization
Sell drawing opportunities for special prizes or 50/50 drawing
Selling baked goods
Conduct children and family activities that enhance the Pioneer Days heritage festival theme, within the booth space.
HISTORICAL DEMONSTRATIONS & RE-ENACTORS
This year’s Pioneer Days Festival aims to enhance the variety and presence of authentic, historical and educational demonstrations. We are looking for historical re-enactors and heritage artisans who will offer learning and sharing experiences combined with the unique artistry of objects crafted as they were in the past. Demonstration vendors provided a complimentary space to demonstration an authentic art or craft of their heritage art throughout each day of the festival. Vendors are welcome to sell merchandise related to these products, and are responsible for collecting sales tax.
The size and scope of the demonstration area will be determined by the type of demonstration.
Contact the museum for more information about becoming a historical demonstrator.
This year’s Pioneer Days Festival will have new food vendor opportunities for fair food vendors of all types.
SUPPORT THE FESTIVAL
Become a sponsor and support local heritage.
Sponsorship funds allow us to offer the best vendors, music and more for our community festival. All funds raised from the Pioneer Days Festival directly support the event and the Lake Wales History Museum’s ongoing historic preservation, educational programming, and museum exhibits.
Donations are tax-deductible, allow opportunities to showcase your products and services to the community and benefits include your name or logo in our media promotions which includes a $25,000 marketing campaign. The event is promoted from Tampa to Orlando and throughout Polk County online, through social media, on local radio and newspaper media, as well as through posters and flyers.
We would love to count you among our contributors and donors.
Sponsors and business partners receive a complimentary 10’ x 10’ space at the festival to promote your business. Business vendors are welcome to display and sell products, and give out information about their business. Vendors welcome to sell merchandise related to these products, and are responsible for collecting sales tax. This category includes for-profit, direct sales and all local community businesses.
VOLUNTEER AT THE FESTIVAL
We are looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of the festival. We need help with planning, coordinating vendors, greeting visitors, parking cars and more, and would love to have your help! Volunteers receive a complimentary festival shirt and a $10 food voucher good towards for festival food (no cash value).
SHOP, STAY & PLAY LOCAL
Check out great places to stay overnight, dine, shops and see while you’re in the Lake Wales for the weekend!
Click here for our Visiting Lake Wales Opens a New Window. page.
LOCATION & PARKING
Pioneer Days Festival takes place in Lake Wailes Park located at 33 North Lakeshore Blvd in Lake Wales, Florida. Parking is free, and located next to the festival areas at Lake Wailes Park. Accessible parking and complimentary shuttles for persons with disabilities will be available.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS