BLACK TIE: Spruce up your social calendar for spring

Spring has officially sprung, and so have an abundance of extraordinary galas and fun, philanthropic fundraisers to put on your calendar.

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  • | 8:57 p.m. April 5, 2018
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Spring has officially sprung, and so have an abundance of extraordinary galas and fun, philanthropic fundraisers to put on your calendar.

We’re in the height of our springtime Black Tie season, and that means there is no shortage of wonderful events — hosted by various organizations worthy of your support — to attend. 

Our top five picks for April will bring you into “Old Florida,” tease your taste buds with the best food and beverages in Central Florida and have you partying the night away for a great cause.


1. Orlando Cattle Baron’s Ball

6 p.m. Saturday, April 14. Whether you’re a Florida native or have made the state your home in recent years, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to get a glimpse of “Old Florida” while simultaneously contributing to pediatric cancer research. The Orlando Cattle Baron’s Ball is an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, and this year the organization will turn part of the Rosen Shingle Creek into a setting featuring the state’s humble beginnings. Guests will enjoy music from three-piece band Florida Cracker Boys and from Hot Property, tricks from “Old Florida” musicians, visits with cowboys and stilt walkers, games, dinner and a live auction. Individual tickets cost $250 and can be purchased at


2. Taste of Winter Park

5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 18. Exercise your taste buds and dabble in some of Central Florida’s best dishes and beverages during the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd annual Taste of Winter Park event. Presented by Corkcicle, the event showcases more than 40 chefs, bakers and other restaurateurs at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. Taste of Winter Park is a fundraiser for the WPCC, a nonprofit that serves the local business community throughout the year and hosts several community events. This event is for those 21 years of age and older. Tickets start at $50 for WPCC members in advance and are $65 for non-members and everyone at the door. VIP guests receive access to a private tent, seated tables, Corkcicle stemless keepsake cup, VIP parking spots and more. Purchase tickets at


3. Hamlin & Associates Wishmaker’s Ball

6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 21. Did you know that you can help make wishes come true without having to work at Walt Disney World? The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Wishmaker’s Ball, held at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, is the perfect way to do so. The signature gala is the largest event for Make-A-Wish’s Central and Northern Florida chapter, and in 2017 raised more than $1 million. The estimated 1,200 attendees get to enjoy a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions and an after party. Additionally, they’ll hear from “wish children” whose lives have been impacted by a wish. Tickets begin at $400 each and can be purchased at


4. Town of Oakland Wine & Dine for the Arts

5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21. If relaxing with a glass of wine while the sweet sounds of jazz music surround you, Wine & Dine for the Arts is the place to be. Held at the Oakland Town Center, the event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the HapCo Music Foundation, which creates programs and funds projects that assist youth aspiring for a career in the arts. Chef Anthony Fothergill will cater the event, and both the Vincent Gardner quartet and Thomas Milovac are set to perform. Funds raised will go toward HapCo’s arts programs, which include jazz band summer camp, arts and music programs for both children and seniors, music clinics at local schools and the monthly Jazz in the Park event. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at


5. 19th Annual Down To Party and Auction

7 p.m. Friday, April 27. Start preparing now to get your party on for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida’s high-energy fundraiser. Held at The Pines at Windermere, the party encourages guests to come out and enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing and an open bar. This year’s theme is “White Party,” so come dressed in your best white outfit as you enjoy an evening on Lake Down for Down syndrome. DSACF owns a home in Winter Park that enriches the lives of local people with Down syndrome and their families; proceeds will go toward hosting summer classes, mom-and-me play groups, holiday parties and more. Tickets are $50 until April 15, $60 April 16 through the day of the event and $75 for a VIP ticket. Purchase yours at


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