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.
2019 PIONEER OF THE YEAR
Each year since 1977, the Lake Wales History Museum has recognized a resident of Lake Wales who has made an outstanding contribution to the quality of life and community of Lake Wales, and we are now accepting nominations. If you know someone who has lived in Lake Wales and made a significant contribution to our community, please consider submitting a nomination.
FESTIVAL FUN & FOOD
Live entertainment and music will take place on the main stage from 9 AM - 5 PM each day. Stay tuned for our schedule of events coming soon.
SHOP & DISCOVER
Over 100 heritage artisan and craft art vendors will be showcasing handmade goods for sale.
LEARN & EXPLORE
Activities for the whole family will include a petting zoo, old-fashioned games, facepainting, hay & pumpkin patch & photo station. Historical and heritage activities will include a Civil War camp, Talako Indian Dancers, Architectural Tours of Lake Wales, Antique car & tractor display, Fiber Arts demonstrations & more to come!
EAT & DRINK
Eat Fresh - Enjoy freshly prepared and grilled options all day long made by our festival food vendors! Menu options will include Pork or Chicken Kebabs, Fresh Garden & Greek Salad Bar, Mediterranean Rice, Falafels, Gyros, Pizza, Hamburgers, Corn Dogs, French Fries, Philly Cheese Steaks, Bratwurst, Italian & Polish Sausages, Funnel Cakes, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade & more to come! $4 - 14
Good Drinks - Craft & Domestic Beer Favorites, Wine, Sodas, Water & more to come! $3 - 5
BECOME A VENDOR
Categories: Heritage Art & Craft Vendor, Community Vendor, Historical Demonstrations & Re-enactors, Food Vendor
Heritage Art & Craft 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.
Small Town, Big Heart Community Vendor
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.
Food & Beverage Vendor
All food offerings will be handled by Little Joe’s Events. All food vendors interested in participating in the festival must contact Little Joe’s directly.
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