Loachapoka hosts Annual Pioneer Day

Loachapoka hosts Annual Pioneer Day

LOACHAPOKA, AL (WTVM) – Families from all across Alabama came together in Loachapoka on Saturday for the annual Pioneer Day.

The event, formerly known as the Syrup Sopping Festival, was hosted by the Historical Society and the City of Loachapoka and drew large crowds to the historic Pioneer Park along Highway 14.

 Many people like Diane Brooks, wanted to show their families what their childhood was like.

"We grew up drawing water from the well, they didn't, but they get to see it," Brooks said. "They have an outhouse out here. They have never used an outhouse. so it is a good experience."

"They don't know anything about this past," echos Zonia Watson. "This is history for them. It makes you think about how things used to be versus how they are now, that is unique."

Saturday's festival also featured hundreds of vendors selling homemade games, soaps and house decorations. Food vendors also lined the street, and there was even spot where festival-goers could squeeze sugar cane on a cane mill.

For one person, the event meant much more than a look into the past and shopping.

"There was a young man that came in today with an eye patch on his right eye. He wanted a metal eye patch made, so one of our blacksmiths sketched it out," said James Witte. "He smoothed it out, shaped it, and fitted it to the guy's face. Now he has a contoured metal eye patch."

Witte says while it was an unusual request, they were happy to help.

"To me it is extraordinary," Witte said. "It is the idea of taking this old skill and applying it in a very modern way."

The Historical Society opens Pioneer Park the second Saturday of each month to teach skills such as blacksmithing, butter churning, and music. 

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