Chalo Nitka Parade in Moore Haven
The Seminole contingent at the Chalo Nitka Parade in 2008

Glades County is located in south central Florida, on the western side of Lake Okeechobee. Glades County was officially formed on April 23, 1925 and now contains 774 square miles of land area and 213 square miles of water surface. The county seat is Moore Haven.

Pre-historic Native Americans lived in this area for thousands of years before the European invasion began with the arrival of the Spanish. The Europeans brought many diseases with them and these diseases served to almost totally depopulate the area. While still under Spanish rule, many Creek and folks from other tribes migrated south from Georgia to escape the disaster being perpetrated there by the English (Georgia was first being settled as a British penal colony). A number of Africans who'd been bound for slave auctions but had been saved by virtue of being shipwrecked also came to Florida in those days. Quite a few escaped slaves were also heading south to escape their owners in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. These groups banded together, the Native Americans becoming the Seminole Nation and those of African descent becoming the "Black Seminole." When the United States took over Florida from the Spanish after 1820, pressure on these groups increased and the Seminole Wars broke out. By 1855, many of them had been either killed or captured and the captured ones were all transported to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). However, some Seminole escaped and hid out in the swamps for years, leaving enough people to force the government to grant them several reservations in south Florida. The Brighton Seminole Reservation in Glades County is one of those.

Every year since 1949, Moore Haven has celebrated local history and culture with the Chalo Nitka Festival and Frontier Days, on the first Saturday of March.