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Yesteryear Village
The Riddle House, reportedly built by Henry Flagler in 1905,
which time became known as the Gatekeeper’s Cottage

Palm Beach County has a new year-round attraction that will be enjoyed by both tourists and residents. Yesteryear Village, located at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., is now a living history park and is open year-round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. To celebrate this achievement, the media and public are invited to attend the special ribbon cutting event of “Yesteryear Village — a Living History Park” on Fri., April 15. The gates open at 10 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will include interpreters from pre-1940 presenting their stories, old-fashioned refreshments, various dignitaries speaking about the importance of the new attraction, and a ribbon cutting to officially mark the beginning of Yesteryear Village as a year-round feature.

Yesteryear Village, nestled on nine acres, has long been a part of the fairgrounds with various events held there but it has now been transformed into a year-round living history park. The new attraction will feature first person interpreters, dressed in full period costume, who will portray a character from the pre-1940s; third person interpreters also will be in period dress and provide historical facts; and Yesteryear Village volunteers will assist with questions.

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“This is a unique opportunity to interact with town residents as they portray a character of early Florida living from more than 75 years ago,” said Yesteryear Village Manager Paige Poole.

Old-fashioned children’s games will be offered and special events relating to Palm Beach County’s history also will be scheduled at Yesteryear Village throughout the year. The living history park showcases buildings and artifacts from 1895 to 1940. Three prominent historic buildings — The Red Level Baptist Church, The Bink Glisson Museum and the Riddle House — have been painted and restored. A boardwalk has been constructed on Lake Brantley in Yesteryear Village that extends from the Bait and Tackle exhibit north to the Corbett Shack exhibit. Pavers covering some 14,000 square feet have been installed for walkways throughout the Village.

While these improvements have upgraded Yesteryear Village, guests will still be transported to a time when schools were located in one small building, houses did not have running water and life was much simpler compared to today. The large collection of early, original and replicated buildings includes an old school, a farm, a blacksmith shop, a general store, and several houses. There also is the Sally Bennett Big Band Hall of Fame Museum — the only big band museum in the United States.

Admission during the ribbon cutting ceremony weekend (April 14-16) will be free for the first hour (from 10 to 11 a.m.). Regular admission for adults 12 and older is $10; seniors 60 and up and children ages 5 to 11, $7; and kids 5 and younger are free. Parking also is free. Enter through the Archway gate via gate 3.

Group and school guided tours are available by request. Call (561) 795-3110 to schedule a tour. Special events, photo shoots, weddings, and corporate events also are available. Call (561) 790-4908 for additional information and to reserve the facility. For more information, visit www.southfloridafair.com.

Don’t miss the upcoming WPB Magazine, available April 1st (Digital edition) and April 7th (Print edition) where there will be a feature story about what to expect and do when you visit South Florida Fairground’s Yesteryear Village.