A brisk, clear Tuesday was the perfect Florida winter day to take in the sights and sounds of 2016’s Colonial Days at Paddock Square.
More than 20 different Villages clubs, residents, and organizations participated in the event, which seems to grow in popularity each year. A variety of vendor booths lined the streets, celebrating our country’s earliest years with demonstrations of old-time crafting, and offering for sale colonial period arts, crafts, and food.
Watch video of this year’s festivities here:
Occupying 3-4 booth-lengths, the Villages Quilting Guild provided a interesting peek at what cooperative quilting groups must have been like during colonial times. Guild members in detailed period costumes seated around their quilting table certainly looked the part. Guild member Cathy Stone mentioned that cooperative quilting remained a tradition in our country until about the 1970’s; she and her fellow guild members enjoyed using the day to show the crowds how it all began.
A variety of music filled the air throughout the afternoon. Bagpipers in costume roamed the brick streets while Marcile Wallis and Friends entertained on the Dog Trot Porch. From time to time, festival-goers squeezed in tightly around the center courtyard at Paddock Square, charmed by the performances of period dancing in authentic dress. Costumed dancers mixed country dances with the more formal dances of the time and made great use of colorful props like flowing ribbons and parasols.
Food trucks and booths offered a variety of treats for attendees to enjoy while strolling through streets during the festival. The favorite seemed to be the Rhode Island clam chowder and crab cakes food truck.
Familiar faces throughout the event made the day an interactive history lesson for some attendees. George and Martha Washington, with their friends James and Dolly Madison, seemed to enjoy the crowds as much as the crowds enjoyed them. In good humor, but with solid facts, they remained strictly in character when talking to passersby. To any child who could correctly identify him, George Washington offered a special treat – a piece of paper with his picture on it (otherwise known as a $1 bill.)