Update: 2020 Pioneer Picnic cancelled
The Pioneer Picnic that was originally scheduled for April 25 at the Lee County Civic Center has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Below is the original release announcing the date for this year’s event.
The Pioneer Club of Lee County is celebrating the 71st anniversary of its founding in 1949 by R.A. Henderson Jr. The Pioneer Club was formed to honor those living persons who had been residents of old Lee County for 50 or more years. The initial meeting was held in 1950 at the Lions Park on Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers. The Pioneer Picnic is a social organization comprised of many of the old families of Lee County who get together annually to catch up on one another’s lives and to have lunch together. The Pioneer Picnic traditionally is held the last Saturday in April of each year.
This year’s annual picnic will take place Saturday, April 25, at the Lee County Civic Center Tinsley Pavilion, which is located off Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers. Registration and visiting begin at 10 a.m., lunch will be served at noon followed by presentations and a raffle at 1 p.m.
The classes of 1970 from Alva High School, Bishop Verot High School, Cypress Lakes High School, Dunbar High School, Fort Myers High School and North Fort Myers High School will be recognized at the picnic as celebrating their 50th class reunions. Also recognized at the picnic will be the eldest pioneer man and woman born in Lee County; the couple married the longest (both spouses need to be in attendance); pioneer who traveled the longest distance to the picnic; and the eldest person in attendance.
Approximately 1,200 invitations are mailed out for the picnic of which two-thirds are sent to local residents and the remainder to those people who live out of the area. There are normally 600-700 people in attendance. Barbecue chicken or pork, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls, chocolate chip cookies and iced tea or lemonade are available to the attendees for $10 per plate.
The eligibility requirement for membership is that the person was a resident of Lee County prior to 1970. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive registration information or you may register the day of the picnic. There are no membership dues.
Through the generosity of the city of Fort Myers, free admission on that weekend is given to the members of the Pioneer Club by presenting their membership card to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates (general admission) on Thursday, April 23, Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25; and the Burroughs Home and Garden Tour only on Thursday, April 23, at 11 a.m. RSVP 239-337-9505 for the Burroughs Home tour. An invitation has also been extended to the members of the Pioneer Club to visit The IMAG History & Science Center (general admission) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 23-26.