Do you enjoy the smell of food trucks and antiques? Of course you do. How about flea markets and hit or miss engines? It’s the bees knees. How about you just sit under the live oaks and listen to bluegrass music. Welcome to the 49th Annual Pioneer Park Days in beautiful Zolfo Springs, Florida.
Descending on the small town of Zolfo Springs, FL from March 2nd thru March 4th 2017, is the 49th annual Pioneer Park Days. Pioneer It’s one of the largest oldest antique tractor, steam engine and farm equipment shows in the southeast. Some of the highlights include over 200 exhibits of tractors, hit and miss steam engines and antique farm equipment.
Pioneer Days Gas Engines
- Gilson: 1918 1-3/4 hp “Johnny-on-the-spot” “Goes like sixty” Diameter of flywheel 16″ Bore 3-3/4″ Stroke 4-1/2″ Weight 250 lbs Port Washington, Wisconsin $32.50
- Volvo: 1958 MD1 Marine Diesel 5 hp RPM 2000 1 Cylinder Weight 285 lbs World’s smallest direct injection 4 cycle diesel reverse gear engine. The most advanced marine engine system during this period of time. Compression ratio 5:1 Bore 3.125″ Stroke 3.54″
- Hercules E: 1914-1921 1-1/2 hp RPM 550 Engine 51318 225,000 built Bore and Stroke 3-1/4 x 5 Weight 221 lbs Evansville, Indiana Appeared in Sears 1915 Spring Catalog $41.85
- Monarch Model “N”: 1915 1-1/2 hp Hit and Miss Webster Low Tension Magneto Royal Engine Company Nelson Brothers Company Saginaw, Michigan
The flea market area has over 300 flea market booths that sell items from old tools to arts and crafts. Maybe you’re in the market for a new orchid or pitcher plant. Of course you are. Spaces are 20 x 20 for $75.00 for the length of the show. There are some great deals to be had and treasures to be found.
An artifact collection of the 1800’s can be seen at the Cracker Trail Museum. It includes an assortment of pioneer household goods, farming tools, photographs, articles about Florida cowboys and Indians, and many historical documents.
What kind of work did these steam engines do?
Work that took all day when done by hand, only took two hours when done with the new gas engines. they sawed wood, pumped water, ground grain, ran washing machines, churned butter, ran milking machines and cream separators. They powered shop line shafts to operate a drill press, lathe, grinding wheel, saws and many other farm or machine shop tools. They ran electric generators and cement mixers. Power lines did not arrive at many rural areas and farms until the mid 1940’s. Between 1900 and 1940 there were about 2000 trade name advertised engine builders selling new gas engines in the U.S.
Each day at 2:00 p.m. the antique tractors host a tractor parade around the perimeter of the park. In the Nickerson/Ullrich building daily entertainment is scheduled like country, bluegrass music, and cloggers just to name a few.
Admission is $5.00 daily or $10.00 for the weekly pass. If you only go to have the spicy pork skins, it would still be worth it. But wait, there’s also the homemade kettle corn. The greatest in the world. Time it right and you’ll be able to have soft ice cream when you come around the back bend.
Golf carts will be allowed during the show for a fee of $10.00 per day. Golf cart rentals are available at the Pioneer Park Days front office. You’ll need one to help haul off your loot.
Pioneer Park is located at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 17 and S.R. 64 in Zolfo Springs, Florida. Hours are from 7:00 a.m. to dusk. See yall there.