Josh Garrick: Culture Worthy of Your Calendar

Of all the magical nights of our holiday season, today stands out with the Morse Museum's free Christmas in the Park event.

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  • | 9:51 a.m. December 4, 2013
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Today – Dec. 5 – Christmas in the Park – in Winter Park

Of all the magical nights of our holiday season, today stands out as the 35th time the Morse Museum will present its free Christmas in the Park event. Beginning at precisely 6:15 p.m., the Museum’s Tiffany windows are turned on as thousands of people gather in Central Park for a unique celebration of art and music. The Museum will exhibit nine illuminated Tiffany windows as the 160-voice Bach Festival Choir presents a joyous holiday concert. Highly recommended! Call 407-645-5311 or visit

Today – Dec. 5– Celebrate the ‘C-son’ with Casa Feliz

Make an evening of downtown Winter Park as Casa Feliz invites everyone to Christmas at the Casa from 6 to 8:30 p.m. before or after visiting the Morse Museum's splendid Christmas in the Park event. Casa Feliz will celebrate the five C's including Christmas Décor with the Casa decked out for the holidays; Carols with the "Belles & Bows" Quartet; Claus – Santa, that is – including the opportunity to have your portrait taken with the Jolly One; and Cookies & Cocoa! The festivities are made possible by Commerce National Bank.

Today – Dec. 5 – 1st Thursdays: Art under $200

‘Tis the Season at the Orlando Museum of Art where the 1st Thursday Art Party, under the leadership of arts patron Ed Herbst, introduces new art to ‘art-partiers’ who know they can find original art for bargain prices. That is especially true tonight when all of the art shown is priced under $200. Think holiday gifts, think original art, think support for the artists of Central Florida, and think how much sense that makes for everyone this holiday season. Call 407-896-4231 or visit

Now through Dec. 14 – ‘Crazy for Gershwin’ at the Winter Park Playhouse

The creatives at the Winter Park Playhouse have created several new musicals based on the work of a great composer or performer, and their newest effort is “Crazy for Gershwin – A Tribute to George & Ira Gershwin.” Running through Dec. 14, this tribute to the Gershwin brothers reminds us of the unbelievable number of songs created by this All-American duo. Call 407-645-0145 or visit

Dec. 6 to Jan. 5 – ‘The Light in the Piazza’ at Mad Cow Theater

Set in Rome in 1953, “The Light in the Piazza” is the story of a young American tourist, traveling with her mother, who meets and falls in love with a young Italian. The mother opposes the affair for reasons that become apparent as the musical unfolds. With music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, grandson of Richard Rodgers, “Light in the Piazza” won six Tony Awards in 2005. Presented by Mad Cow Theater from Dec. 6 to Jan. 5, visit or call 407-297-8788.

Dec. 6 – Winter Park Tree Lighting Ceremony

There is more holiday cheer on Dec. 6 at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Central Park in downtown Winter Park beginning at 5 p.m. The entire family is invited to this free event as Park Avenue becomes a winter wonderland with performances by St. Margaret Mary Catholic School Choir, Park Maitland Glee Club, New Warner Chapel, Winter Park High's Belle Chanson Choir, and Orlando Harmony. Afterwards we are invited for refreshments provided by local businesses along with visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus – all in Central Park in Winter Park.

Dec. 7 – Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast

The Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast has become a holiday tradition that turns pancake batter into a stack of dough! Proceeds from the breakfast benefit Winter Park elementary schools, assisting teachers with the purchase of necessary school supplies. Those who come early enjoy a delicious breakfast and get a great seat for the Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade (parade beginning at 9 a.m.). Breakfast begins Dec. 7 at 7 a.m. on the Central Park stage. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children, and include pancakes, sausage and refreshments.

Dec. 7 – Winter Park "Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade”

Held on the first Saturday in December for 61 years, (making this the longest-running holiday parade in Central Florida), the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce will host the Winter Park "Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade” on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. This year the parade will honor Grand Marshal and Orange County Public Schools Board Member Joie Cadle. The parade will travel down Park Avenue, from Cole Avenue south to Comstock Avenue. Floats, marching bands, police and fire departments, scout groups, local dignitaries and Santa will be part of the fun.

Dec. 9 – ‘Venetian Vespers’ with the Orlando Philharmonic

Maestro Christopher Wilkins will conduct a sizable chamber orchestra drawn from the Orlando Philharmonic, joined by the UCF Chamber Singers on Dec. 9 in a program called Venetian Vespers beginning at 7 p.m. St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice gave rise to a tradition of works for multiple choirs, including works by Monteverdi, Gabrieli, and Vivaldi, composers whose works will be highlighted in this highly recommended concert at the Shakespeare Center. For tickets call 407-770-0071 or visit

Current – All hail chef Chris Windus of the Alfond Inn

Two months ago I put on my Restaurant Reviewer’s hat and wrote to you about the culinary wonders being created by Executive Chef Chris Windus at Hamilton's Kitchen at The Alfond Inn. So it is no surprise that Orlando Life Magazine recently named Chef Chris as Best New Chef in their Silver Spoon Awards. Technically, Chef Chris is not a 'new' chef (he spent 10 years as Exec Chef of blue-zoo at the Disney Swan Hotel), but he is new to The Alfond. Call 407-998-8089 or visit, and tell them “Josh sent you.”


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