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Great Florida Cattle Drive of 2016

FL Cattle Drive 16 bannerThe Great Florida Cattle Drive of 2016 will run January 23rd through January 30th, 2016.  Yes, it is going to happen once again and registration for the event is now underway.  The event will begin at the historic Whaley ranch on Canoe Creek Road south of St Cloud and end at the new Silver Spurs Arena in Kenansville, Florida.

In 1995, to celebrate 150 years of statehood, a group of 600 cattlemen, historians, horse lovers and hearty adventurers drove 1,000 head of native cracker cattle across Florida.  The group also included wagon drivers, walkers, and artists along with local, state, and national media.

To celebrate previous drives and to salute the importance of Florida’s “cow culture”, organizers will once again be driving cattle, riding the trail, sleeping on the ground and living the life of our ancestors; even if only for a few days.  Florida Cattlemen have provided around 500 head of cattle and every participant, who wishes to, will be able to spend some time as a “cowhunter” helping to drive the cattle.  Camps will be primitive and dress should be as close to late 1800’s as possible.  There will be historic encampments each night along the trail depicting some important era in Florida’s history (Timucuan, Spanish Colonial, Civil War, Seminole, etc.) making the event even more of a ride through Florida’s past.

Saturday, January 30th, participants and the public will continue the celebration at trail’s end with an old fashioned “Frolic” which will include authors, singers, poets, storytellers, historians, re-enactors, and an art auction featuring CAAF (Cowboy Artists Association of Florida).  There will also be several prominent authors of Floridiana and Florida history on hand for those who wish to learn more about the rich heritage of the Sunshine State.

Dancers, singers, and historians from The Seminole Tribe of Florida will be there to make the event more colorful and to remind folks that the Seminoles were an important factor in this state’s development as a cattle power; and remain so to this day.  This part of the celebration will become an annual gathering to have fun and preserve the traditions of Florida’s cow culture.  Proceeds will be used to benefit the Florida Agricultural Museum in Flagler County.  We are proud to be sponsoring 10 of our wounded veteran heroes and up to 10 young cowhunters for the experience of a lifetime on the Drive of ’16.

Check the event website, and if you decide to join this historic undertaking, remember the motto of the event….”IT AIN’T FOR SISSIES!”

www.greatfloridacattledrive16.org 

 

FL Cattle Drive

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/01/16/great-florida-cattle-drive-of-2016/