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.


2013 Pioneer of the Year Clinton Horne

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.

2019 Pioneer of the Year Nomination Form




Saturday, October 26

11 - 11:30 AM - Lake Wales High School Highlander Band

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM - Mountain Brew Trio

12 PM - Antique Car Parade

1:30 - 2 PM - Talako Indian Dancers

2 - 5 PM - Adam Duss Duo

3 PM - Studio 6 Dancers

Sunday, October 27

9 - 11 AM - Jason Hobert

11:30 AM - 1 PM - Bryan Rivers

1 - 2 PM - Hank's Cracker Storytelling

2 - 5 PM - Craig Singleton & the Big City Band

3 PM - Kid's Costume Contest & Parade


Shop and discovery homemade, artisanal, kitschy, old-fashioned, handcrafted arts and heritage craft vendors with goods for sale.


Learn and explore about the past with activities for the whole family.  Historical demonstrators will include a Civil War Camp, Talako Indian Dancers, Blacksmith, Weavers, Seminole Indian Canoe Carving, Woodturning and more to come.  Family activities will include a petting zoo, old-fashioned games, facepainting, hay & pumpkin patch & photo station.  Learn about the architectural history of Lake Wales on a guided tour around the lake.  See dozens of antique cars and tractors on display.


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




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.

Heritage Artisan & Craft Vendor Application

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.

Community Vendor Application

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.

Historical Demonstration Vendor Application

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.

Food & Beverage Vendor Information


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.

Sponsorship Packet

Sponsor & Business Vendor Information Sheet



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).

Volunteer Application Form



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 page.



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.

Map to Lake Wailes Park