Panhandle Pioneer Settlement hosts first Winter Fest

Calhoun County

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement held it’s first ever winter event Saturday.

With this event, board chair Mavis Willis said the organization really wanted to cater to kids.

“To keep children out of trouble,” Willis said. “They’ve got to find some entertainment and like I said this is clean-cut entertainment. The parents like to bring them and let them learn games that they played way back when that you don’t really see today.”

And the kids were definitely excited to see what the Pioneer Settlement had to offer.

“I wanted to ride a pony. And I wanted to see her reaction because she likes animals,” said Brooklyn Carter, 9, Miss Junior Calhoun County, referring to her baby sister.

But the event wasn’t only for the kids.

“It’s to let people know how far we have come, how far we have advanced and how far we went and slid backwards,” said Willard Smith, Pioneer Settlement founder. “The kids can’t relate but the older people that come in can, and you can see them smiling and saying, ‘Oh, I can remember that, my dad had one of those, my grandparents had one of those.’ So, you know, it brings back pleasant memories and that’s what our life is about: being pleasant.”

Willis said although it was largely outside, they still took many COVID-19 precautions in preparation for the event.

“We like it when you’re in close quarters like the store that you wear a mask,” Willis said. “We have food at our concession stand which we prepare carefully and use gloves to serve.”

The Pioneer Settlement offers tours daily.

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