Step back into Osceola history at Pioneer Day

Kissimmee’s Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek will come alive Saturday, Nov. 9, for the free 28th Annual Pioneer Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The family-friendly event is part of the Osceola County Historical Society’s 70th anniversary celebration. More than 3,000 people are expected at the event to celebrate the pioneering spirit of the late 19th Century.

Pioneer Village features a permanent collection of authentic structures which were scattered throughout the county. They were relocated to the village to help preserve them and show people what life was like before modern times.

The village, 2491 Babb Road, includes a general store and post office, schoolhouse, church, train depot, homesteads from Osceola settlers, Seminole settlement, a cow camp and working structures such as a blacksmith shop, citrus packing plant, cane grinder and barn.

“The last 120 years has brought many changes to the community and how we live, work and play, and it’s amazing,” said Kim Murray, historical society’s executive director.

Visitors will get to experience pony rides, blacksmithing, whip cracking, rope making and weaving.

“There will be a number of demonstrations,” Murray noted. “And this is an opportunity to see 16 historical structures.”

The family event will also feature live music throughout the day from Sandy Back Porch, a local bluegrass band featuring banjos and fiddles. There will also be a kid’s craft zone, food trucks and a Florida market. The fourth annual Pioneer Market showcases Florida artisans. There will be 12 to 15 vendors, said Lisa Liu, board member of the historical society.

“We want to showcase the talents of people who make their own products and focus on the pioneer spirit,” she said. “We are trying to focus on people who live in the Sunshine State.”

Visitors will see people who sell many different items, like plants and jellies, and feature trades such as quilting, crocheting and crafting. There will also be fun holiday items for sale.

“There is an assortment of talent and something for everybody,” Liu said.

She and Murray say when you step foot in Pioneer Village, you get an important look at Osceola’s history.

“You build such an appreciation for the past and present. When people are now moving in by the thousands, they like to learn about history and experience it. It helps you be more vested in your community,”

said Liu.