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Calusa Heritage Day
Location: 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, Florida


Mark your calendars and plan to spend Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Pineland. In recognition of the first recorded encounter between Juan Ponce de León and the Calusa people in 1513 -- 500 years ago -- "First Contact" is the theme for this year's event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Calusa Heritage Trail, 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, located on scenic, historic Pine Island. Admission is free for RRC members and children under 12, and for all others admission is $5.

Free water will be available throughout the grounds, and we encourage you to bring your own refillable water bottle, wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and plan to stay the day! Food will be on sale by local vendors.

The featured speaker this year is DR. JERALD T. MILANICH. His lecture will be entitled, "The Calusa Indians amid Latitudes of Controversy: Charting Juan Ponce de León’s 1513 Voyage to Florida" and will be held in the classroom at 3 p.m. Dr. Milanich will also present in the Speaker's Tent at 11 a.m.

Dr. Bill Marquardt, Director of the RRC, will speak at noon on “Calusa at Contact: Archaeological Understandings”. His talk will highlight the interdisciplinary, archaeological studies at Pineland that have yielded information on the fishing and tool technology of the Calusa.

Mr. Steve Koski, Archaeologist and Site Manager for the Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve, will speak at 1 p.m. Little Salt Spring contains some of the oldest cultural remains in the United States and produced the second-oldest artifact ever found in the southeast United States. His talk "First Arrivals, Florida's Paleoindians, How We Know What We Know" will describe these finds and highlight their importance in our understandings of the first Floridians.

Artist Merald Clark of the Florida Museum of Natural History will speak at 2 p.m. about his studies of masks and figureheads of the Calusa.

Popular Activities Return
Many events will reflect the theme “First Contact” with the “Calusa Tastings” and “Calusa Inspired Crafts for Children” areas returning. Site tours will be offered hourly and ethnobotany tours will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Ethnobotany Tent will feature native plants with information on their use by indigenous people and Dick Workman and Robin Brown will be on-hand to assist if you would like to try your hand at twining palm fibers or creating baskets. Native plants will also be available for sale by All Natives Nursery. The Florida Public Archaeology Network will help with your atlatl throwing skills and provide information about archaeological conservation and research in the SW Florida region. Artists and replicators will be on-hand with their wares and will include Felix Macaguani Rodriquez, Ancient Hands, Olde Tyme Crafts, Peter Sottong, and Werner Grabner. Among the area historic and environmental organizations providing information are Cape Coral Historical Society, Mound House, Friends of Cayo Costa State Park, Calusa Land Trust, and others. Food will be available from Mel Meo’s Mullet Wagon and Little Lilly's Island Deli.

New This Year
Throughout the day The Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office will provide on-going demonstrations of remote sensing equipment, including ground penetrating radar, and discuss their work on Seminole sites. A postmark commemorating Calusa Heritage Day 2013 will be available and Pineland Postmaster Gina Poppell will sell postage, cancel your cards or letters, and post your mail items. The postmark features the RRC logo, based on a small bone carving excavated at Pineland that dates to approximately 1100 A.D. Exhibits from the Florida Museum of Natural History will feature beads from Pineland’s contact era contributed by the family of David Taylor.

Come by Boat
Come by water to the event with Captiva Cruises from Captiva Island’s McCarthy Marina across Pine Island Sound to the docks at Tarpon Lodge. The boat will depart McCarthy Marina at 9 a.m. Passengers will get a narrated tour of the harbor and its fish shacks and then enjoy lunch at the Tarpon Lodge on Pineland before attending the festival. The lodge is across the street from the festival site. The boat will return passengers to Captiva after a three-hour stay on Pine Island. Fare for the boat ride is $45; lunch is not included, but admission to Calusa Heritage Day is included. Reservations required by calling Captiva Cruises at (239) 472-5300.

Learn by Boat
The Harbor History and Archaeology Tour, with Captiva Cruises and Randell Research Center, will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Calusa Heritage Day. You’ll board the 45-foot Santiva, one of Captiva Cruises’ touring vessels, at the dock at Tarpon Lodge, which is across the street from the event site, and enjoy a narrated cruise through Pine Island Sound. Tickets can be purchased at the event on March 9 but this popular event may sell out so advance purchase through Captiva Cruises (239) 472-3500 is recommended. It’s $25 for adults and $15 for students.

Call 239-283-2062 for updates or if you have any questions. See you at the Festival!


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