The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is busily preparing for the Pioneer Day Festival, hosted at the Chesser Island Homestead along the refuge’s Swamp Island Drive. Come join them on Saturday November 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a fun-filled day of crafts, demonstrations, and bluegrass music.

Take a walk into history and relive the ways of the old “swampers”. Learn how settlers made soap, brooms, butter, quilts, and other everyday items. Watch how settlers washed clothes, smoked meat, and survived in and around the Okefenokee. See chickens, mules and other farm animals and take a horse cart trail ride. Listen to the soothing sounds of bluegrass music and authentic four-note singing.  Watch as a vat of sugar cane juice is boiled down to produce authentic pure cane syrup. Sample homemade biscuits, smoked sausage, and other items cooked on the homestead’s wood-burning stove, and enjoy traditional games including musical chairs and more!

While on the refuge for Pioneer Day, be sure to stop by the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center to learn more about the Okefenokee habitats and wildlife and to watch the new film. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the picnic area, take a boat tour offered by the concession operation, Okefenokee Adventures, and walk some of the refuge’s hiking trails. Be sure to spend the day enjoying this beautiful season in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.