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2019 Alligator Warrior Festival

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Join us for the 26th Annual Alligator Warrior Festival on October 18-20, 2019 in High Springs, Florida at O’Leno State Park. Celebrate the Alligator Warrior Festival with us, in memory of the years between 1800 and 1859, when High Springs, Florida was still called Alligator, Florida, and in memory of its most famous resident, the Seminole commander, Alligator Warrior. Don’t miss the reenactment of the 1836 Battle of San Felasco Hammock. In addition to the reenactment, the event is a festival that celebrates Native American and immigrant American cultures with music and dancing, living-history camps, demonstrators of historic skills, traders, craftspeople, and food vendors.

Alligator Warrior Festival

The Alligator Warrior Festival is a great family event in which children and adults alike can experience and learn about our history hands on. With activities such as: A living Native American village, soldier’s encampment, Drumming, Dancing, Flute Playing, Storytelling as well as other artisans set up at our festival to educate people. Friday is a school day and children get in for free.

Public Welcome – Park Fees Apply

Hours: Saturday & Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 5 5 p.m.

Admission: State Park Entrance Fees Apply
Free Entry for School Groups.
$5.00 per vehicle holding 2-8 people.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, and additional passengers.

Schedule:
All Day Long: Living History in the Spanish Camp, Seminole Camp, Military & Militia Camps, Settlers Camp Dancing, Drum & Flute Music at the Dance Circle, Artisans & Blanket Traders in the Demonstrators Area, Traders Near the Dance Circle & Lodge, Food & Beverage Vendors Along the Road, Story Telling, Fundraising in Support of the Event

Friday-Sunday:
9:00AM – Video Presentaion: The Unconquered Seminoles
11:00AM – WGCU Public Media, Untold Stories Event
1:00PM – In the O’leno Lodge, the large building of the riverbank

Saturday Only: 11:00AM – Proclomation from the office of the Mayor of Lake City, Florida restoring the city’s name to Alligator Warrior for the week.

Saturday & Sunday:
2:00PM – Military weapons demonstration on the battlefield
2:15PM – Battle reenactment
After the Battle – Charitable fundraising auction at the Dance Circle

Sunday Only:
4:30PM – Charitable Drawing for Chance at the Dance Circle

Alligator Warrior Festival Mini-Gallery

Living History Reenactor Camps:
The annual event, which is in memory of the years between 1800 and 1859, features living-history camps and demonstrators of historic skills as well as a reenactment of the 1836 Battle of San Felasco Hammock. Take some time to visit with participants in their camps on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and learn about life in Frontier Florida and the various ‘nations’ vying for control.

  • Seminole Reenactors’ Camp
  • Soldier Reenactors’ Camp
  • Militia Reenactors’ Camp
  • Gamble’s Light Artillery Cannon Crew
  • Pioneer / Settler Reenactors’ Camp
  • Spanish Reenactors’ Camp
  • Drum Arbor and Dance Circle

Accomodations:
Participants: Provided cabin space
Visitors: Primitive camping as well as RV spaces are available. However, RV reservations have to be made in advance.

Reenactment of the Battle of San Felasco Hammock
Saturdday & Sunday @ 2:15 p.m. – Don’t miss the exciting reenactment presented by participating living historians from the various ‘reenactor camps’.

Read about the Battle of San Felasco Hammock
On the 17th of September, 1836, a cart laden with corn and attended by three white men and two black men was on the Picolata road returning to the town of Newnansville (now part of Alachua, FL). They were about a mile from the town when they were fired upon by Seminoles. The 5 men left the cart in the hands of the Seminoles and escaped to Newnansville and reported the event at Fort Gillelaud.

30 armed men were sent out to assess the situation and heavy rain started to fall. Although they did not find the Seminole warriors, they did find the cart and were able to return to the fort with it. The Seminoles had attempted to burn it but the rain had extinguished the fire. Military spies were sent during the night to discover the location and strength of the Seminole warriors but they did not find them.

Convinced that the Seminole Warriors must be hiding in the San Felasco Hammock, Colonel John Warren marched out at the head of 150 men the following morning, September 18th, at 6:00 AM to engage the Seminole warriors. His forces consisted of 100 mounted militia men, 25 former militia, and 25 United States regualrs with the fort’s 24 pound canno