Culture Worthy of your Calendar

Festival of Trees 25th event, "Hip Holidays!", begins Friday, Nov. 11.

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  • | 6:39 a.m. November 9, 2011
Festival of Trees
Festival of Trees
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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This season’s Festival of Trees is the 25th anniversary of this much-anticipated holiday event, and the Orlando Museum of Arts’ Council of 101 has chosen Hip Holidays! — including cool ’60s retro design — as the theme for the event’s entertainment, décor and activities. The “modness” begins Friday, Nov. 11, with the Mad Mod Gala, a black tie party that opens the 2011 Festival of Trees and “Pop Art and Pop Culture in Contemporary Prints,” an exhibit of selected works from the OMA’s permanent collection. The always-elegant opening evening promises food and drinks (vintage cocktails) and “Frank Sinotra” in the Lava Lounge. The Buzzcatz begin the night with music from the ’60s and progress through hits of each following decade. Other events include the family-oriented Reindeer Romp (Wednesday, Nov. 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m.), and the Holiday Stroll (Friday, Nov. 18, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.). For 25 years, The Festival of Trees has showcased magical displays of designer trees, wreaths and gingerbread creations, a gift boutique, the Toyland Town activity area, a Holiday Garden and a Festival Café complete with daily entertainment. The entire family can enjoy this holiday tradition from Saturday, Nov. 12, to Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Orlando Museum of Art. It’s open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For tickets, call 407-896-4231 extension 254, or purchase them at the door. The OMA is located in Loch Haven Park at 2416 N. Mills Ave. in Orlando. Visit

Rock Orlando-style

It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but we like it! A major new, star-packed music festival is set to rock your world Saturday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13, celebrating American music with headliners Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Kid Rock, the Doobie Brothers and The Killers. The Orlando Calling music festival, at the Citrus Bowl park in Orlando, features five stages of all-American, platinum-selling marquee acts with one of the stages dedicated to acts from Orlando. With more than 40 acts signed, and more added every day, if you like your music live, this is your rock music fantasy weekend! Visit

A Winter Park welcome

Gary Sain, president of Visit Orlando, the organization that spreads the “good word” about visiting Central Florida around the world, is the speaker at the next Winter Park Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast program set for Friday, Nov. 11. We are invited for a complimentary continental breakfast beginning at 7:45 a.m. with the program to follow at 8:15 a.m. There is no more informed person to give us the latest on tourism in Central Florida … and the news is good! Spoiler alert: We set records last year, and we are on-track to top those record-breaking numbers this year. The event is free at the Winter Park Welcome Center, home of the Chamber of Commerce at 151 W. Lyman Ave. in Winter Park.

Velasquez in Maitland

In a manner similar to adding lyrics to a melody, artist Camilo Velasquez combines written text with sophisticated images. He says, “I like to tell stories. I enjoy taking pictures. If I had to label my work, I would call it ‘confidential narrative.’ The word narrative implies a story, and confidential has connotations of trust, intimacy or confession; it’s the distillation and untangling of life’s experiences for the purpose of making sense of it all.” An artist of exquisite sensitivity, Velasquez will “make sense of it all” as the next featured artist to be exhibited at the Maitland Art Center. His opening is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., with the exhibit running through Jan. 22. The Maitland Art Center is at 231 W. Packwood Ave. in Maitland. Call 407-539-2181 or visit

And not to be missed …

American Voices, an epic concert that has taken more than two years to create, will have its one-night-only performance at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. This collaborative evening features the Orlando Philharmonic in a night of American music honoring the legacy of Florida author Zora Neale Hurston. Visit or call 407-770-0071.


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