Winter Park Boat Parade
As part of their commitment to share the love of Christmas, the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park offers four holiday shows this season. In the coming weekend – Dec. 12 to 14 – Breakthrough will present “The Very First Christmas” with a script by Artistic Director Wade Hair. In the play, a recently widowed grandfather tells the story of the first Christmas to his grandchildren, while vocalists illustrate the story through song. Showing the love in this production, the vocalists include author and director Wade Hair and Musical Director Justin Scarlat. Call 407-920-4034.
The Rotary Club of Winter Park, along with Southeast Marine Sales, presents the 10th annual Winter Park Boat Parade Festival of Lights and Ski Show on lakes Virginia and Osceola starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Winter Park Boat Parade and Festival of Lights is a fun, community-wide water parade with holiday-themed and lighted boats along the lakes’ shorelines. Limited onsite parking will begin at 3:30 p.m. for a $5 donation. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, friends and family to The Polasek to enjoy a Winter Park holiday tradition. Additional public viewing of the boat parade is available at Dinky Dock (off Fairbanks Avenue) beginning at sundown. WUCF will be on hand to emcee the festivities and play some great jazz music. For more information, call 407-647-6294.
Santa is coming to Baldwin Park, and he’s bringing snow with him! Winter Spark in Baldwin Park kicks off this Saturday, Dec. 13, beginning at 4 p.m. The courtyard at Prospect Avenue and New Broad Street will be transformed into Santa’s Village, with a snow play zone, free face painting, fun activities, giveaways, and of course, the chance to meet and get your picture taken with the big man himself, Santa! Get your fun in at Santa’s Village, then stroll down to the main stage at the top of Harbor Park where there will be live dance, gymnastics and musical performances until the parade comes through at 6 p.m. sharp! Stay after the parade for a holiday dance party at the main stage, or head back to Santa’s Village for another chance to tell Santa what’s on your list! For the parade route, schedule of events and so much more information, visit baldwinparkevents.com or facebook.com/WinterSparkBaldwinPark
Join McRae Art Studios for their annual Holiday Open House and Sale from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. There are always many wonderful things to see and some great holiday gifts. This year the artists are donating a portion of their sales to the charity Kids Beating Cancer. Refreshments and light snacks will be available. For more information, visit mcraeartstudios.com
A Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival is a true Winter Park Holiday tradition. On Dec. 13 and 14 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., the program will feature favorite Christmas works performed by the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Orchestra in the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. And this season, you can bring the Holiday spirit home with “All is Bright: A Choral Christmas,” the CD available for purchase on their website. Visit Bachfestivalflorida.org
The Performing Arts of Maitland announces the Maitland Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert “Holiday Traditions.” Join The Maitland Symphony Orchestra for an evening of joyful holiday music on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Maitland Presbyterian Church, located at 341 N. Orlando Ave. As the Christmas season draws near, the Maitland Symphony Orchestra has been busy preparing a holiday concert. In their program this year, they will explore long time favorites of the past by presenting fresh arrangements of traditional music such as “Little Drummer Boy,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and a “Fantasia on We Three Kings” The concert is free. For more information, call 407-339-5984, ext. 219, or visit pamaitland.org
Historical Humor Revisited, a humorous program by Gerald Schiffhorst and David Jordan, starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 15, at the University Club of Winter Park, located at 841 N. Park Ave. This program examines some of the unscripted statements of Americans in public life – from Lincoln, Mark Twain, Churchill and JFK – and provides an informative and amusing (sometimes hilarious) look at the human side of history. The presenters are two retired UCF professors: Gerald Schiffhorst, a professor emeritus of English, and David Jordan, American history teacher. This event is free to the public.
Locals can enjoy a culinary tasting with top chefs from Orlando’s finest restaurants at the fourth annual Greyt Plates event from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, located at 9939 Universal Blvd. in Orlando. All proceeds going to the Greyhound Pets of America/Greater Orlando Greyhounds. Tickets are $35 when purchased in advance and $40 at the door. Not only will there be delicious food and drink, but there will be silent and live auction items, including theme park tickets and signed sports and foodie memorabilia. This event will be loads of fun and truly a dog lovers delight! For more information, visit greyhoundpetsorlando.org
The Parks and Recreation Department of Winter Park will host a dedication ceremony for The Peacock Project in the Central Park Rose Garden, located near the corner of Park and New England avenues in downtown Winter Park, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18. The life-size peacock fountain is a limited edition design by Lloyd Le Blanc from England, who is known for his outdoor bronze sculptures. The fountain is the result of an Eagle Scout Service Project by John Michael Thomas, a sophomore at Bishop Moore Catholic High School, placed in memory of his late friend Elizabeth Buckley. For more information, call the city at 407-599-3399.
Enjoy the rich sounds of Christmas as tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone players of all ages gather in Winter Park’s Central Park to perform a free concert from the main stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20. Winter Park’s 19th annual Merry Tuba Christmas is a free one-hour concert that has become a staple on the holiday list of things to do. Take a break from shopping on the Avenue and relax with loved ones to enjoy this annual event. Registration is $10 for musicians and begins at 9 a.m. with rehearsal running from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, please call 407-599-3463.
Come on out to Central Park at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21, for a Chanukah family festival featuring a Grand Menorah Lighting. The night will include singing performance’s by children from the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Academy, live Jewish Rock music, dreidels, chocolate Chanukah gelt, Chassidic dancers, clowns, face painting, jugglers and a $1,000 grand raffle drawing. Food items will include hot dogs, donuts, chips and drinks. For more information, call 407-644-2500.
Visitors to the Morse Museum receive free admission to the galleries all day during their Christmas Eve Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music by the Raintree Chamber Players will run from 1 to 4 p.m. The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. For more information, call 407-645-5311.
The city of Winter Park is proud to announce the 14th annual Dinner on the Avenue will be held Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 6 to 10 p.m. Hosted by the city, this unique, fun-filled dining experience has become the social event of the year. Tables will go on sale Monday, Jan. 5, at 8 a.m. at the Winter Park Community Center, located at 721 W. New England Ave. Gather a table of friends, family, co-workers or neighbors to dine under the stars on beautiful Park Avenue. Tables of eight are available for just $125 each. Only the table, white linen tablecloth and chairs are provided – everything else is up to you. Get creative with table set-up and let your appetites decide whether you bring your own potluck dinner or hire a local caterer to satisfy your palate. Creativity is encouraged and each group is challenged to develop its own unique look and individual décor. Awards will be presented to winners in various categories including most colorful, most elegant, most original, best TV/movie-themed and honorable mentions. The judging will begin at 7 p.m. sharp, and awards will be presented once the judges have decided on the winners. For more information regarding this unique dining experience, please visit cityofwinterpark.org or call 407-643-1613.
The Holiday season is upon us! Children’s Home Society of Florida is hosting its annual Holiday Toy Drive to ensure the children in its care experience a happy holiday season they can hold in their hearts forever. The Central Florida Division’s goal is to collect 8,000 toys for more than 2,000 children throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
The community is invited to donate toys for children aged 0-18, with the greatest needs revolving around infants and teenagers. Unwrapped gift donations can be delivered to the Children’s Home Society of Florida’s main office at 1485 South Semoran Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32792 between 9 a.m-5p.m. from November 17-December 15.
Winter Park will welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to Winter Park at multiple locations throughout the month. Young and young-at-heart will have the chance to mingle with Old St. Nick himself as he rides his sleigh through Winter Park neighborhoods. On Thursday, Dec. 11, he will visit Briarwood Drive at 6:45 p.m., Harland Park on Blueridge Road at 7:30 p.m., and Chelton Circle at 8 p.m. For a list of locations and times over the coming weeks, visit events calendar on cityofwinterpark.org or call 407-599-3223.
This holiday season the city of Winter Park is hosting its sixth annual Winter in the Park Holiday Ice Skating Rink in Central Park now through Jan. 11. There’s a little bit of winter inside the tent – no matter the temperature outside. Join the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Park Avenue Merchants Association as they spread holiday cheer to skaters and spectators starting this Friday. Visit winterpark.org or call 407-644-8281.
“A Christmas Story the Musical” is the classic account of Ralphie’s hilarious quest to ensure that the most perfect gift ends up under his Christmas tree: a Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB Gun! All the cherished moments are here – the Old Man’s leg lamp, the tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole, the bunny suit are all there – on-stage for us to enjoy as a Tony-nominated Best Musical. Presented through Dec. 28 at Orlando Rep, call 407-896-7365 or visit orlandorep.com for tickets.