Pioneer Day in Imperial Valley
By Alfredo Guzman
The 2017 Pioneer Day event took place at the Pioneer Park/Museum, February 4th from 10AM to 3PM. Pioneer Day is organized by The Imperial County Historical Society, which is a non-profit organization that operates the Pioneer Museum with the help of donations and volunteers.
The goal of the Imperial County Historical Society is the preservation of important historical artifacts and the education of the public in regards to the history of the Imperial Valley.
School buses packed with school children eager to learn and caravans of groups from around the Imperial Valley and beyond attended this year’s Pioneer Day. Pioneer Day is open to the public and allows guests to visit the museum and grounds free of charge.
The Pioneer Museum houses a tremendous amount of artifacts and displays. Much of the bottom level of the Pioneer Museum is dedicated to giving credit to the various ethnic groups that first built the Imperial Valley. The grounds of Pioneer Park are home to various historically relevant buildings, machinery and vehicles for visitors to interact with.
Activities available to the public during the Pioneer Day event include children’s games, live music and interactive displays. The gem society allowed youngsters to pan for “gold” while blacksmiths demonstrated their craft to the public. The public could take a ride on an antique fire engine or enjoy the show and dessert presented by the World Famous Holtville Athletic Club Ice Cream Machine. Food (free hot dogs) and kettle corn was also available. A Garage Sale at the General Mercantile building was also open to the public during the event with proceeds going to the Pioneer Museum.
Pioneer Day is a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. The sheer amount of culture to take in warrants a repeat visit. Regular Pioneer Museum Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.
The museum will also be closing in June for Summer Break (reopens annually following Labor Day Holiday). Admission is Adults $6, Seniors (Over 65) $5, Children under 12 $2 and Children under 5 FREE.