Free History Festival takes place
tomorrow in downtown Fort Pierce

Marshall Adams of the A.E. Backus Museum
Marshall Adams of the A.E. Backus Museum will moderate the session recalling the life of landscape artist A.E. "Bean'' Backus.

A.E. Backus
A.E. Backus

FORT PIERCE — The lineup for this weekend’s Treasure Coast History Festival has been announced, with separate sessions on the native Ais culture and the life of landscape artist A.E. “Bean’’ Backus headlining the event.

The free festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sat., Jan. 11) in downtown Fort Pierce and features historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry.

Paranormal investigator Larry Lawson leads ghost tours
Paranormal investigator Larry Lawson leads ghost tours during the annual History Festival.

historical re-enactment
The Treasure Coast History Festival on Jan. 11 features historical re-enactments throughout the day.

This is the fourth year of the festival, which highlights the history of the Treasure Coast. Free and open to the public, the festival is produced by Indian River Magazine Inc. in association with Main Street Fort Pierce, Sunrise Ford/Volkswagen, the St. Lucie County Historical Society, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery and the Sunrise Theatre. It is held on Second Street in front of the Sunrise Theatre between Orange Avenue and Depot Drive.

“We hope people attending will learn more about the rich history of the Treasure Coast,'' said Gregory Enns, publisher of Indian River Magazine and chairman of the History Festival. ‘’It’s a great way to interact with people knowledgeable about the history of the region.''

This is the day’s lineup. Sessions in the Sunrise Theatre Black Box are on a first come, first served basis. Except for the fish fry and historical trolley tours, all events are free:

9 a.m. — History Festival opens at 117 S. Second St., Fort Pierce

9:30 a.m. — Social media personality Billy Johnson recalls his free-wheeling childhood growing up in Fort Pierce, Sunrise Theatre Black Box

10:30 a.m. — Dress inspection at Seminole War re-enactment camp

11 a.m. — “The Ais Natives of the Treasure Coast’’ presented by archaeologist Alan Brech, Sunrise Theatre Black Box

11 a.m. — Summerlin Family Fish Fry opens, $12 plate featuring fish, cole slaw and hush puppies

Archaeologist Alan Brech
Archaeologist Alan Brech will talk about the Ais natives of the Treasure Coast during the annual History Festival.

11:15 a.m. — Military Dress Parade produced by Seminole War re-enactors

12:45 p.m. — Military dress parade by Seminole War re-enactors

12:45 p.m. — Seminole War re-enactor posing as Lt. William Tecumseh Sherman, based at Fort Pierce and newly out of West Point, attempts to negotiate the surrender of Seminole Chief Wildcat

1 p.m. — Family, friends and students recall the life of Fort Pierce landscape artist A.E. “Bean’’ Backus, one of Florida’s first landscape painters and one of the inspirations for the Highwaymen art movement, Sunrise Theatre Black Box

1 p.m. — Historical Trolley Tour, $10, call 772.466.3880 for required reservations.

1:30 p.m. — Seminole War soldiers re-enact officers' call

2:30 p.m. — Historical Trolley Tour, $10, call 772.466.3880 for required reservations

Free historical ghost tours led by paranormal investigator Larry Lawson will also be held throughout the day. Registration for those tours are taken on the day of the festival.

Authors of books on the history of the Treasure Coast will also be featured in the festival’s Authors Alley. The alley will give visitors a chance to purchase locally written books and to talk to the authors.

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