Of all the months in the year, few are more festive than October.
Within the 31 days of the month, you have the German folk festival of Oktoberfest, Halloween, the beginning of the Day of the Dead and the monthlong celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Although that’s a lot going on within a short amount of time, one organization is looking to combine them all in a fun and unique way.
Organized by local nonprofit Never Stand Alone, the aptly titled OktoberFiesta will be a daylong celebration of German and Hispanic culture that offers up a festive flair to cap off the month.
“It’s a fusion event — we wanted to bring the two influences together,” said Aliza Silver, the event’s planner and a volunteer with Never Stand Alone. “We’re having gourmet food trucks — German and Latin American food. We’re having all different kinds of tequilas and World of Beer is bringing some beers from Germany and South America.”
From 1 p.m. to 7 Sunday, Oct. 28, on the West Meadow in Central Park, locals will be able to enjoy that assortment of food and drinks, as well as other festivities. The event will feature live musical performances, including Grammy nominated polka musician Alex Meixner, a mariachi band and a Brazilian Samba group straight from Rio de Janeiro.
The festival is a chance for locals to step out of their comfort zone and try out new things, Silver said.
“It’s basically a day party to learn about all different music, all different culture and eat things you’re not always use to; that’s kind of what we want — to try something new,” Silver said. “And I really appreciate that we are allowed to be in the city of Winter Park, because it’s the city of arts and culture, and it’s our home. I’m proud that we can have it here.”
Not only will the event give folks an opportunity to learn about others, but also it will be a chance for them to give back to a good cause. The money raised by ticket sales — which will range from $20 for general admission, to $60-$200 for access to the VIP lounge — will benefit Never Stand Alone. The Orlando-based organization — created by a sexual-abuse survivor and former UCF student — focuses on raising awareness on the issue of violence and sexual assault affecting students grades K through college.
Silver, alongside her mother, have been with the nonprofit for about three years.
“It’s not a political issue; it’s a human issue, and the destruction is equal — it doesn’t discriminate where you are in life,” Silver said. “At this moment, we are trying to reach the coaches and the guidance counselors and try and work with the different districts — Orange, Seminole, etc. — to be able to just let parents know about resources.”