Annual Battle of Okeechobee Re-enactment is this weekend

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
A soldier and Seminole Indians, participants in the Battle of Okeechobee re-enactment from a prior year, are pictured here.

OKEECHOBEE — The Battle of Okeechobee of the Second Seminole War will be re-enacted in Okeechobee County on Saturday, Feb. 22, and Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park, 3500 S.E. 38th Ave. (Treasure Island) in Okeechobee.

The Osceola Warrior Legacy team will participate for the first time at this event. This presentation is an in-depth look into the culture of the Seminole fighter at the time of the Second Seminole War. This includes talks about the weapons, culture and mindset of a warrior on the battlefield.

Come and experience living history, music and native animal displays. There will also be raffle drawings for Seminole clothing donated by Moses Osceola, owner of Seminole Boutique.

The Okeechobee Battlefield Friends Inc. are coordinating the upcoming event. Gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and the battle re-enactments will be held both days at 2 p.m. Admission is $10 per car. Seating is limited; it is recommended to bring your own chair.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
The Battle of Okeechobee Re-enactment honors the soldiers and Seminoles who fought on Christmas Day 1837.

This historic battle, fought on Christmas Day in 1837, was the largest and fiercest battle of the Second Seminole War. A talented cast of reenactors will portray fierce Indian warriors such as the great Indian war leaders Abiaca, Coacoochee, Halleck-Tustenuggee and Alligator. Some of these great warriors are portrayed by their descendants. As the drama unfolds, it depicts how the Seminoles, greatly outnumbered, battled the massive militia and U.S. Army troops led by Col. Zachary Taylor and Col. Richard Gentry of the Missouri Volunteers. The dramatic battle will be narrated by author and historian John Missall.

Once again, experience Seminole and other artisans, Seminole clothing raffles, period vendors and exhibits, Seminole Indian food, living history, cannon demonstrations, alligator demonstrations, children’s horse rides, music, fun, food and more.

The schedule (for both days) is:
• 10 a.m.: Gates open.
• 10:40 to 11:10 a.m.: Alligator demonstration;
• 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: Osceola Warrior Legacy Demonstration;
• 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.: Alligator demonstration;
• 12:30 to 1 p.m.: Music by Ricky Pittman;
• 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Presentation of colors, narration of the Battle of Okeechobee;
• 2 p.m.: Battle of Okeechobee re-enactment;
• 2:30 to 2:40 p.m.: Cannon demonstration;
• 2:40 to 3:10 p.m. Music by Ricky Pittman;
• All day: Children’s horse rides, Seminole food and crafts, barbecue, sutlers and vendors.
(Note: A sutler, or victualer, is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army in the field, in camp, or in quarters. Sutlers sold wares from the back of a wagon or a temporary tent, traveling with an army or to remote military outposts.)

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Seminole Indians plan their next attack.

On Sunday only, church services will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the stage.

Okeechobee Battlefield Friends will host a drawing for Seminole clothing on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. Tickets will be available both days at the Okeechobee Battlefield Friends booth. You do not need to be present to win! This event is sponsored by many agencies, organizations and individuals. Please call 863-610-2333 or 863-763-8667 for further information or visit okeechobeebattlefield.com or Facebook: Battle of Okeechobee.

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