By Kathy L. Collins

Come out to historic Plant City on Saturday, November 11 for the 40th Annual Pioneer Heritage Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day long, free festival is held at the historic 1914 Plant City High School Community Center (PCHSCC) located at 605 N. Collins St. in Plant City.

This is the 40th year of this festival and this one will be momentous. “Mr. Henry Bradley Plant,” the gentleman entrepreneur railroad tycoon from Connecticut for whom Plant City was named, will arrive for the opening ceremonies in the East Hillsborough Historical Society’s 1931 Chevrolet car. Descendants of pioneering families who have lived in Eastern Hillsborough County for 100 or more years will be recognized by the Centennial Certificate program.

There will be food and craft vendors, pioneer exhibits and the display of homemade and historic quilts. There will also be live entertainment, bounce-houses, hay rides and face painting.

While at Pioneer Day, be sure to visit the 1914 PCHSCC Pioneer Heritage Museum, the Henry B. Plant Railroad Historical Society’s model train layout, museum exhibits and heritage demonstrations. Live entertainment will include NRG (Next Radical Generation) as well as clogging by Strawberry Express Cloggers and Sweet N Southern Cloggers, dancing by Dance Connection, singing by Jonathan Davis and other musical performers. Alumni from Turkey Creek High School will share with the community their archive collection of the school’s history.

The Plant City Garden Club will host their annual flower show. Guests will be invited to vote on their favorite design. The East Hillsborough Art Guild will demonstrate artists’ works in The Classroom Gallery. The Quintilla Geer Bruton Archives Center will host their annual Bake Sale, and used genealogy books will be for sale.

“The Annual Pioneer Heritage Day is a great opportunity for our community to come out and enjoy a free day of fun and entertainment, to visit the Pioneer Museum, Archives Center and Model Train Layouts and reminisce and learn about life in the early days of Plant City,” said Shelby Bender, Executive Director and President of the East Hillsborough Historical Society.

Application forms are available by contacting the East Hillsborough Historical Society at 757-9226 or visit

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