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Fort Pierce Hosts 7th Annual Highwaymen Heritage Trail Festival & Art Show

City of Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce - Friday January 26, 2024: The City of Fort Pierce is hosting the 7th Annual Highwaymen Heritage Trail Festival & Art Show, paying tribute to the renowned Florida Highwaymen Artists and their significant contribution to the cultural history of Fort Pierce.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Moore’s Creek Linear Park (435 N 7th Street), situated at the corner of Avenue D and 7th Street.

Moore’s Creek Linear Park, located in the heart of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, is where the Highwaymen artists, credited with initiating the "Last Great American Art Movement of the 20th Century," began their journey. The free event will showcase 'Original' and 2nd Generation Highwaymen Artists displaying and selling their art. Tribute booths for several deceased artists, displays from regional artists and arts organizations, live jazz music, food, novelty vendors, and a Kid’s Zone will also be featured.

Free guided tours of the award-winning Highwaymen Heritage Trail can be reserved by registering on the city's website. The trail, marked with colorful indicators, public art, and an informative website, narrates the story of African American artists from the 1950s to their induction into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame in 2004. The new Highwaymen Museum will be open to the public during the festival, offering a sneak peek at vintage Highwaymen paintings as part of the Highwaymen Heritage Trail.

For more information about the event, or if you are interested in participating as an artist vendor, food vendor, or volunteer, contact 772-467-3161 or visit Highwaymen Heritage Trail Festival | Fort Pierce, FL - Official Website (

About the Highwaymen

If you traveled Florida Route 1 in the 1960s, you may have encountered young African American artists selling beautifully painted Florida landscapes from the trunks of their cars along the side of the road. Jim Crowe segregation prevented the painters from entering galleries – so they sold their works at motels, businesses, and to tourists – for $15-$25 a piece. It is estimated that they created and sold more than 200,000 paintings by the end of the 20th century.

Many of the young painters were inspired and mentored by Fort Pierce’s world-renowned landscape artist Albert Earnest “Bean” Backus, creator of richly detailed depictions of “Old Florida” scenery. Encouragement from Backus, Lincoln Park Academy art teacher Zanobia Jefferson, and each other helped propel the young entrepreneurs to paint their way out of picking citrus and tomatoes, using wallboard as their canvas and crown molding for frames.

The loosely associated group of twenty-five men and one woman came to be known as The Highwaymen. Mostly from Fort Pierce, the artists were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.

We hope you will join us for our next Highwaymen Heritage Trail Art Show/Sale and Festival to celebrate the world-renown Highwaymen artists and enjoy the rich cultural history of Fort Pierce, one of the oldest cities on Florida’s east coast. Visit About the Highwaymen Heritage Trail for information on the award-winning Highwaymen Heritage Trail.