LABELLE, FL, -- LaBelle Heritage Museum and LaBelle High School will present three programs in January, February, and March made possible by a FLORIDA TALKS grant from Florida Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities coupled with additional financial support from state, area, and local organizations including but not limited to the Hendry County Cattlemen's Association and the Florida Cattlemen's Foundation in securing the services of three powerful and knowledgeable speakers and making their presentations free of charge. Each speaker will present a morning program for students only at LaBelle High School with LaBelle Middle School and West Glades School also expected. The evening programs, all scheduled for 7 o'clock, will be open to the public free of charge; however, advance reservations are strongly suggested particularly for those not living in LaBelle and its immediate area.
The first of these programs will be noted Florida folklorist Bob Stone presenting "Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition" on Tuesday, January 14, exploring and celebrating the history and traditions of the oldest cattle ranching state dating back to Ponce de Leon's second and ill-fated colonization voyage to Florida in 1521 down to the present day with Cracker cowboys, cow whips, unique ranch gate designs, cowboy churches and Cracker cowboy funerals, Seminole ranching dating back to the early 1700's and continuing to the present day, occupational skills such as roping and branding, the vibrant rodeo culture, and much more. The second program on Thursday, February 13, is "Ten Foods That Define Florida" by award winning Florida Historian Gary Mormino, PhD that asks what foods define the Sunshine State -- gazpacho or black bean soup? Key Lime or sweet potato pie? the Cuban sandwich, invented in Tampa but perfected in Miami, or the grouper sandwich? Does Florida have its own barbecue heritage or did we simply import barbecue from Texas, Georgia and the the Carolinas? All these questions and more form the basis of a lively discussion on Florida Foodways? The third and final program of this season's FLORIDA TALKS will be "The African Roots of Southern Cooking" presented by 5th generation Charlotte Harbor resident Martha Bireda, PhD., and director of Punta Gorda's Blanchard House Museum of African History and Heritage. Learn now African foods and food preparation influence what Floridians eat today.
While there is no admission fee for these programs, advance reservations and FREE tickets are strongly suggested and advised to make certain those coming from LaBelle's neighboring communities do have seats available when they arrive. Please call (863)674-0034 for information on advance tickets.