A demonstrator at Cracker Country using a spinning wheel.

Step back in time at the Cracker Country museum located on the Florida State Fairgrounds, which is Tampa’s only outdoor living history museum to get a glimpse of Florida’s pioneer past. On Saturday, February 20 at 10 a.m., individuals will get an opportunity to stroll through the museum grounds and learn about some of the practical craft skills that would have been familiar to those who settled here at the turn of the 20th century.

Cracker Country museum’s director of museum operations, Cindy Horton, explained more about what guests could expect.

“During practical crafts, our demonstrators and historical educators will be dressed in clothing of the period while interacting with guests to share their knowledge and skills,” Horton said.

Cracker Country consists of a collection of 13 original buildings, which are from 1870-1912, that were relocated from across this state. A well-known building that can be found here would be the Okahumpka Train Depot. It was established with a purpose to preserve Florida’s rural heritage. In addition, Cracker Country focuses on providing educational field trips for Florida elementary students.

Practical crafts will feature an array of special demonstrations and displays, such as quilting, candle making, blacksmithing, leather craft and much more. COVID-19 health and safety measures will be abided. Horton wants guests to not only have fun, but also feel safe and comfortable while at Cracker Country.

In order to gain access, advanced ticket purchase is required. For seniors and children ages 6-11, tickets cost $8. For adults, tickets cost $10. Children 5 and under are free. To park, it will cost $8 per vehicle and $14 per RV or bus. Guests must enter the Florida State Fairgrounds through the U.S. Hwy. 301 entrance.

“All in all, as Florida becomes more developed, our physical links to the past are disappearing fast, so the tangible pieces of our history that are preserved at museums like Cracker Country become more dear each day,” Horton said.

For more information, visit http://www.crackercountry.org/index.php/come-visit/when-to-visit/practical-crafts. It is located at 4800 N. U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa. Call 627-4225.

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.