Civilian Conservation Corps Festival: Celebrate Florida History and Culture

Event Details
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Rd
Sebring, FL 33872
United States
Pricing/Ticket Info
The CCC Festival programs, musical entertainment, and activities are free and open to the public with the exception of the tram rides, pony rides and carriage rides. Park entry fees apply: $6 per vehicle (up to 8 people), $4 per single occupant vehicle, and $2 per bicyclist and pedestrian.
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Event Dates and Times
Time Zone (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Description
The CCC Festival showcases the park and celebrates history, art, nature and music, sharing traditions and skills across generations.
Join us at the CCC Festival to celebrate Florida history, culture, the legacy of the CCC and Highlands Hammock State Park, where wilderness and history are preserved.

The CCC Festival programs, musical entertainment, and activities are free and open to the public with the exception of the tram rides, pony rides and carriage rides. Park entry fees apply: $6 per vehicle (up to 8 people), $4 per single occupant vehicle, and $2 per bicyclist and pedestrian. For times and details, visit https://CCCfest2023.eventbrite.com.

Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther / Florida Author Craig Pittman will reveal the extraordinary tale of the battle to save the Florida panther from extinction and the array of heroes and villains who played a role in this epic saga.

Legacy of the CCC: CCC Museum curator David Smith will honor returning CCC boys and unveil a new program on WPA murals which have been preserved in New Deal Era post offices throughout the state, including Charles R. Knight’s 1942 mural of saber-toothed cats and mastodons in a Florida hammock.

Florida’s Fabulous WPA Murals / CCC Museum Curator David Schmidt

Prehistory of Indigenous Peoples of Central Florida and exhibit Native American artifacts / Archaeologist John Goss

The Sebring High Jazz and Concert Bands will keep things jumping with concerts of big band music from the 1930s and 1940s.

Silent Auction of Steel Alligator Sculpture by Blacksmiths Trez Cole & Tony Fenn. These two master blacksmiths from the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association will demonstrate the fine art of blacksmithing as they create a steel alligator sculpture silent auction item.

Guided, narrated 90-minute tram tours travel through the densely shaded hammock, a cypress swamp, open pinelands and a wetland of bay and cypress trees where alligators, turtles, herons, ibis, egrets and the occasional otter may be observed.

VIP Custom Carriage Ride / Karen Tyrrell and her Clydesdale mare Lorna Doone.

Florida Highwaymen artists from Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach will be exhibiting and selling their paintings.

Visitors may take a step back in time at the Cow Camp Reenactment by Lake Kissimmee State Park.

Antique Car Show highlights exhibitors firing up old engines and a vintage tractor.

Arts and crafts vendors and displays by government agencies and organizations concerned with local history or nature and the environment are ongoing. Exhibitors are many and varied and include:
• Heartland Beekeepers
• Country Girls Spinning
• Florida Trail Association
• The Nature Conservancy
• Highlands County Audubon Society
• Four historical societies from communities throughout the greater Heartland
• Heartland Cultural Alliance and Highlands County Art League
• Florida Forestry
• Greenways and Trails
• Peace River Wildlife Center wildlife rehabilitation
• Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission black bear education

Wool spinning, quilting and other heritage demonstrators are planned.

Food and refreshments are provided by the Hammock Inn Camp Store and onsite food vendors providing barbecue, tacos, hot dogs, kettle corn, roasted nuts, and snow cones.

Children and young people may participate in a number of activities in the Kids Corner. Engage in Highlands Hammock State Park and Archbold Biological Research Station nature exhibits including touching and holding a live pine snake. Learn about park habitats by observing photos of wildlife and finding the match of birds, butterflies, reptiles and mammals within the murals of four different habitats found in the park including Hammock, Cypress Swamp, Pine Flatwoods and Scrub. Play traditional games including cat’s cradle, hopscotch, jacks, tiddlywinks, pickup sticks, and marbles. Explore the nature and history of Highlands Hammock State Park by taking a CCC Festival Scavenger Hunt geared for families with children of all ages.

Pony rides: Children will be thrilled to take a ride on Bailey, a huge white draft horse, Catfish, the big bay or the tall brown mule named Mary Jane.

Enjoy Highlands Hammock State Park. With more rare and endemic species than any other Florida State Park; and, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Highlands Hammock is known for its magnificent hammock, the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and other New Deal Era structures. It is a place where wilderness and history are preserved -- where visitors may walk the trails where the Florida panther and black bear quietly pass beneath towering oaks, and where visitors to the CCC Museum experience the Great Depression.
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