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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ This weekend, April 23- 24, High Springs celebrates its beginnings as a rough and tumble railroad and mining town with gunfight reenactments and a Heritage Village that beckons back to the town’s early days.

The High Springs Chamber of Commerce will present the traditional 45th Annual High Springs Pioneer Days. This two-day festival focuses on the life and times in the 1880s to early 1900s. Over the years the event has expanded to a much bigger festival with food vendors, music, historical displays, petting zoo and arts and crafts featuring 110 vendors.

“We are very excited about this year’s event. We have twice the number of vendors as previous years and a lot of activities,” said Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Decker. “The event was canceled due to Covid the past two years, so it’s great to see it come back so strong.”

The two-day event will feature numerous activities besides the art and craft vendors. The High Springs Historical Society and Museum will feature a large display of miniature model trains and a continuing show dedicated to the railroading history of High Springs. The show is designed for children of all ages; for modelers, collectors and enthusiasts, and for the simply curious. Each show features tables of trains, scale models and collectibles as well as the museum's other displays on the history of High Springs. The display will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Keeping with the historical theme there will also be reenactors portraying lifestyles and occupations at the Heritage Village located adjacent to the museum. One of the big attractions at all the Pioneer Days has been the western cowboy gunfight between lawmen and bank robbers with shows throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday

Musical entertainment will be provided by The Shepherd Family Band on Saturday from 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. The Shepherd Family Band plays bluegrass, gospel, old-time, and traditional country music. Other bands including Snaky Woods and Whistler's Bluegrass, which will be performing Saturday and Sunday.

As in the past, there will be bounce houses, a petting zoo and pony rides for the children and a number of food vendors to offer a variety of meals and deserts. An added attraction this year will be a group of Border Collie dogs playing soccer.

The weekend starts on Saturday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and concludes Sunday from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. The action takes place in downtown High Springs near the sink hole, museum and police station.

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