Experience the pioneer spirit and rich agricultural history of Florida’s heartland with a cattle drive and jamboree at the Immokalee Pioneer
Museum at Roberts Ranch.
The cattle drive starts along Main Street in Immokalee led by cattle boss Heather Cleckler, descendant of the Roberts family, and leads to Roberts Ranch, a former farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operated as a Collier County museum. Activities and entertainment kick off when the cows come home and include storytelling, roping and whip cracking demonstrations, traditional food demonstrations, music, craft and food vendors, and so much more. Bring the whole family to the Kids’ Korral with petting zoo, games, and crafts.
Our next Immokalee Cattle Drive and Jamboree is scheduled for March 9, 2024. Please take some time to appreciate our 2023 sponsors!
Previous years have included a petting zoo, face painter, whip maker, blacksmith, Seminole handcrafter, and more!
Food offerings have included fry bread, barbeque, ice cream, and more!
If you would like to become a food or craft vendor, please use the link below for more information.
Had you been on Roberts Ranch in March 1979, you might have remarked on it being unseasonably dry and cold. That month had temperatures dropping to the 30s in some parts of the Everglades and most of the rainfall came in the first week. It would have been a cool, dry morning then that that year’s cattle drive, the last one the Red Cattle Company would ever hold, brought the cows home.
Roberts Ranch began its life in 1914 when Robert Roberts, Jr. put a deposit down on the old Allen place and trekked his wife Sarah, their seven children, a few hogs, and 300 head of cattle the 100 miles from Ona to Immokalee over three days. Though the family house started as a log cabin, 1926 saw a new two-story home constructed, this one with room for a family that had added two more children. The property also grew to hold a bunkhouse for hired cowmen, a necessity as the ranch eventually swelled to include 5000 head of cattle and 150000 acres of owned and leased land.
For the first time since 1979, the cows came home again in the year 2000 as a fundraiser to support the restoration of many of the structures that had supported the Roberts family and their livelihood. Those structures and 4 acres of the property had been deeded to Collier County for preservation as a historic site in July 1996 and efforts had begun to transform the historic property into a museum that could remember the hard work and rough hands that built Immokalee into the community it is today.
The new millennium has seen many Immokalee Pioneer Museum cattle drives — expanding to include alligator wrestlers from the Seminole tribe and demonstrations of pioneer trades like whip-making and blacksmithing — and this year Roberts Ranch will again welcome the cows home after the hundred head of cattle parade down Main Street Immokalee with an honorary procession including dignitaries from the Seminole Tribe of Florida and descendants of one of Immokalee’s cattle ranching families. Roberts descendent Heather Cleckler will lead the ceremony as cattle boss.