Dade City museum hopes to ‘raise cane’ over the weekend

If you want to raise a little cane this weekend, the Pioneer Museum in Dade City invites you to join them.

Mind you, the spelling of the word "cane" is important as they celebrate the "Raising Cane" Festival to honor the sugar cane. 

The museum is allowing visitors to travel back in time to old Florida and learn how sugar cane was raised and harvested for cane syrup 100 years ago. 

"It's so important to keep this heritage alive because 100 years ago, sugar cane from the South was the main sweetener," said Steve Melton from the Museum. "It was on the table at all times."

Over the years, people have used the syrup, but have never stopped to think about where it came from or the process to make it. 

Melton is among several volunteers who will be demonstrating how to harvest and cook sugar cane into syrup. 

"We'll be in the syrup barn around a cast-iron kettle of about 80 gallons," he shared. "We will process it down to about 10 gallons of syrup."

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Melton said it’s important to keep this process alive because it’s an important part of Florida's history. That freshly processed syrup will be available for sale all during the festival.

"It's an actual working event," he stated. "We are trying to preserve the heritage of sugar cane syrup." 

The festival will feature other items of interest including live demonstrations in a working blacksmith shop, a WWII reenactment of the ‘Raid on Renault’, live music, vendors, and more. 

The Pioneer Florida Museum is located at 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City. The event runs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and there is a $5 entrance fee. Learn more here or by calling 352-567-0262.


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