Commentary: Old Florida Festival offers a glimpse into area's history – Naples Daily News
Jacob Winge President Friends of the Collier County Museums(Photo: Daily News file)
History comes to life once every year at the Collier County Museums’ Old Florida Festival.
This year, it’s Nov. 18-19, Saturday and Sunday. For more than 30 years, living historians from around the state have converged on the government center’s museum grounds to represent over 10,000 years of Florida and Collier County history.
From the Calusa, some of Florida’s first people, to GIs who were stationed in the Naples Airdrome during World War II, nearly 100 re-enactors will portray various periods in Florida’s dynamic history and culture.
Also present will be dozens of local crafters and demonstrators with various displays along with food vendors and entertainment from local musicians, dancers, storytellers and more. Kids of all ages will enjoy several free craft tent activities presented by museum staff and volunteers as well as experience some of the best educational opportunities offered outside our local schools.
Both days will feature full schedules, including live music performances, weapons demonstrations, a historical timeline, a daily battle, flag-raising ceremonies, a Civil War hospital demonstration and much more.
The event’s main sponsor, the Friends of the Collier County Museums, will contribute funds to pay for re-enactors, entertainment and other expenses of the festival to support the mission of the Collier County Museums.
The Southwest Florida Archaeology Society will also be present with interpretations and demonstrations located on the museum’s 5-acre grounds. The Daughters of the American Revolution and other local community groups will also be there, so come by and check out these great groups.
New this year, we will feature the Men of Menéndez, named for the founder of the first permanent settlement in the United States, a re-enactment organization committed to the preservation of Florida’s history. Members present