More commonly known as the ‘CCC Festival,’ the park’s signature event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will open with a ‘swinging beginning’ with the Sebring High Jazz Band playing big band music from the 1930s and 40s. Music will also include the Avon Park High Show Choir and the Heart of Highland Show Chorus.
Throughout the day, heritage exhibitors and artisans will demonstrate spinning, felting, palm weaving, pine needle basketry and other folk arts including a full day of blacksmithing which may be observed at the Panther Pavilion. Okeechobee blacksmiths, Frank and Scott Teele from the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association, have forged an impressive steel sculpture of a water lily and frog resting on a lily pad for their silent auction. One lucky bidder will be taking it home at the close of the festival. In addition to these traditional skills, area historical societies will reveal the history of ‘Old Florida.’
Visitors may take a step back in time at the Cow Camp Reenactment by Lake Kissimmee State Park. Arts and crafts vendors will be selling original artwork including jewelry, paintings, stained glass, prints, greeting cards, books and other items. Florida Highwaymen artists from Ft. Pierce will be exhibiting and selling their paintings.
Featured guest speaker, Florida author and historian Gary Mormino, will reveal the connections of Florida foods to Sunshine State history, culture and traditions in his program ‘Ten Foods That Define Florida: From Smoked Mullet to Key Lime Pie.’ CCC Museum curator David Schmidt will present a sweeping overview of CCC parks in all 48 states. Chances are that your favorite park was built by the CCC. Archaeologist John Goss will examine the ‘History of Indigenous Peoples of Central Florida’ and exhibit Native American artifacts. Government agencies and nonprofit agencies including the Florida Forest Service, the Florida Trail Association, Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County Audubon Society and others will be providing information on the Florida environment.
“Young people can learn about hay baling, combines, corn pickers and the evolution of tractors for harvesting wheat during the last century. This is wonderful opportunity to share skills and traditions across the generations. Our antique car show has greatly expanded to include cars, tractors and engines from the early 1900s through 1949,” she continued.
“We have a full festival planned, so we very much hope that people will come out and enjoy the day,” she concluded. For those spending the day, refreshments may be purchased at the Hammock Inn and food vendors will be providing BBQ, tacos, hot dogs, kettle corn, cotton candy, fresh-squeezed lemonade and snow cones.
All 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. Tram tickets are sold through the Hammock Inn concession, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket cost is $15 per adult and $10 for children six to 12 years old. Children aged five and younger are free. Tickets may be purchased on the day of the tour or one day in advance. Call the Hammock Inn at 863-402-0061.
Pony rides are $5 per ride and carriage rides are $10 per person. Park entry fees of $ 6 per vehicle (up to 8 people) and $4 per single occupant vehicle apply. Highlands Hammock State Park is located at 5931 Hammock Road in Sebring.
Music in the Park Stage and/or CCC Museum
10:00 am – 11:00 am / Sebring High Jazz Band / Music in the Park Stage
11:00 am – 11:30 am / Welcome & Introductions / Morgan Tyrone, Park Manager;
Carla Sherwin, Park Services Specialist; David Schmidt, CCC Museum Curator; Josh Vaughn, Sebring High Band Director; Joy Loomis, Avon Park High Choir Director / Music in the Park Stage
11:30 a.m. – noon / Avon Park High Show Choir / Music in the Park Stage
Noon – 1 p.m. / Ten Foods That Define Florida: From Smoked Mullet to Key Lime Pie!
Florida Author & Historian Dr. Gary Mormino / CCC Museum Stage
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. / Sebring High Jazz Band / Music in the Park Stage
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. / Built By the CCC: America’s Greatest Parks
CCC Museum Curator David Schmidt / CCC Museum Stage
2– 2:30 p.m. / Heart of Highland Show Chorus – Sweet Adelines
Music in the Park Stage
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. / Prehistory of Indigenous Peoples of Central Florida
Archaeologist John Goss / CCC Museum Stage
3 – 3:30 p.m. - / Heart of Highland Show Chorus – Sweet Adelines
Music in the Park Stage
3 – 4 p.m. Silent Auction: Steel Water Lily Table Sculpture
FABA Blacksmiths Scott Teele & Frank Teele