Watch History Come to Life

Gun smoke hangs in the air as blue-clad reenactors fire their muskets while crouched in the palmettos.

We call them living historians.

That’s because the dozens of dedicated reenactors who come together at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park each year to recreate Dade’s Battle of 1835 breathe life into long-ago events that can feel sterile and distant when experienced only through the written word.

Seminoles on horseback, soldiers clad in sky blue, the rattle of musketry and crash of cannon fire evoke a truer understanding of the violent clash that unfolded here on December 28, 1835.

Major Dade leads the troops at Dade Battlefield

The story of Dade’s Battle is an evocative one of courage, sacrifice and loss -- on both sides – and its reenactment on the first full weekend in January each year parallels as closely as possible the course of action on the actual day of battle.

Nearly 2,000 park visitors attend the reenactment each year. In addition to witnessing the battle recreation, they can spend the day touring authentic period soldier and Seminole camps, watching pioneer craft demonstrations, or sampling the fare of a variety of food vendors. Arrayed in a long rows of canvas tents, period vendors called “sutlers” offer an array of period wares.

Although our reenactment is just one of the many events and programs offered at Dade Battlefield throughout the year, it is the park’s signature event, and the largest Seminole Wars reenactment offered anywhere.

We invite you to come join us in commemorating the history of a battle that changed the course of Florida and American history.