- April 7, 2016
Winter Garden’s celebration of music and heritage Saturday, Feb. 11, will include a few nationally known names — children’s entertainer Blippi; and two “American Idol” contestants, rockers Constantine Maroulis, who was the sixth-place finalist in Season 4, and Bo Bice, who was runner-up to Carrie Underwood that same season.
The city of Winter Garden — established in 1903 — is commemorating its 120-year history with the Winter Garden Heritage & Music Festival. The free, all-day event will include more than 30 musical acts on six stages, strolling performers and many opportunities to learn about the city’s rich past through exhibitions and tours.
In addition, 120th anniversary tote bags will be given to the first 120 guests at the Winter Garden Farmers Market’s information booth starting at 8 a.m. A Valentine’s Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to noon includes live music, family-friend games and craft making at the KidZone tent at the parking garage plaza.
WINTER GARDEN HISTORY
There are several opportunities to learn about the city of Winter Garden’s 120-year history and its placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Walking tours will give a history of downtown’s buildings, monuments and trees; and downtown’s free museums and art gallery have exhibitions, artifacts and memorabilia depicting Winter Garden and West Orange County’s history.
• Guided history walking tour — The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation will host the downtown walks at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. The tour will go along Plant Street from Woodland Avenue to Lakeview Avenue. Meet at the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation Visitors' Center, 21 E. Plant St.
• Self-guided heritage trees walking tour — A map is available at City Hall and the Winter Garden Heritage Visitors’ Center for this two-mile tour that highlights 56 trees, many of which have labels with QR codes sharing historic information. This tour is presented by the Bloom & Grow Garden Society.
• West Orange Times & Observer booth — The community newspaper has been reporting news of Winter Garden and West Orange County for 118 years. It was started Sept. 13, 1905, as Winter Garden Ricochet by the city’s first mayor, A.B. Newton. The booth will showcase original pages through the decades.
• Outdoor architectural heritage exhibit — Historical architectural images from the archives of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation will be displayed along Plant and Main streets. The displays will showcase former images of select historical buildings.
• “School Bells are Ringing: A History of Lakeview and Drew High Schools” — This exhibition at the Winter Garden Heritage Museum, 1 N. Main St., presents artifacts and photographs of the two Winter Garden high schools dating back almost a century.
• Farming and Citrus Culture — Historic farm equipment through the ages will be on display at Heller Hall at the Winter Garden Heritage Research & Visitors’ Center, 21 E. Plant St.
• “Reflection in Time: Tribute to Local African-American Artists” — The exhibition, in the Art in Public Places Gallery at City Hall, 300 W. Plant St., explores the journey of black artists from the local community and surrounding areas.
• “Railroads of Winter Garden” — Presentations at 10 and 11 a.m., noon, and 1 and 2 p.m. will provide highlights of the history of railroads that served Winter Garden. It takes place at the Central Florida Railroad Museum, 101 S. Boyd St. The museum features an abundance of railroad artifacts and memorabilia.
• “History Preserved: New Images of Winter Garden’s Architectural Legacy” — Photographs highlighting many of the local architectural treasures documented in a 2021 survey of Winter Garden's commercial and residential historic districts are on display at the SoBo Art Gallery, 127 S. Boyd St. The photographs are from the archives of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation.
Enjoy the classic rock songs of the ’80s at the Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., in “Rock of Ages.” The live production pays tribute to that era in this energetic tribute that features favorite rock anthems and power ballads. Among the performers is Bice of “Idol” fame.
Performances are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/3lfDeHO.
More than 30 performers — including a number of local artists — will share their musical talents on six stages throughout downtown Winter Garden.
Amanda Breivogel, of Amanda and Steve Music, lives in nearby Oakland Park and is thrilled to perform in her own city.
“Winter Garden just does a really good job of putting on these communal events, so we’re just excited to be part of one,” she said. “We like going as attendees, so it will be cool to actually be performers this time.”
The other half of this acoustic duo is Steve Peshek, Breivogel’s boyfriend and musical partner. The pair met at Universal Studios Florida when they shared a cubicle. Peshek comes from a musical family and was a music major in college. He primarily plays drums. Breivogel minored in theater at the University of Central Florida and has her undergraduate and master’s degrees in hospitality management.
“My passion has always been in performing and musical theater,” Breivogel said. “When Garden Theatre did ‘Beauty and the Beast’ last April, I was in that. I was a villager/napkin/wolf. I wore many hats.”
The couple works in the talent development field by day and creates music together in the evenings. They also play at the Clermont Farmers Market on Sunday mornings.
Their music is a healthy mix of acoustic covers of performers the likes of Dave Matthews and John Mayer, as well as some jazz. The two are training for the New York Marathon in November and proceeds from Saturday’s event will go toward Fred’s Team.
The country cover band Hayfire includes two local residents: Takara Speagle of Winter Garden and Brooks Vaughan of Minneola.
“It’s always good to stay local,” Speagle said. “Most of our band members are all over the place, so it’s nice to have a place close to home. I think our demographic loves live music, no matter the genre. We’re going to bring some great live music and some great country music to the mix.
“I’m just excited to be in my backyard and do what I love to do,” she said. “It will be a great day of music from a bunch of different local artists, and that’s really exciting.”
Speagle, a graduate of the University of Central Florida, was born into a musical family. Her father was a pianist at Walt Disney World, and her mother was a singer; Speagle and her sister sing and play piano and guitar.
She said her permanent gig with Hayfire fell into her lap when the original lead singer was ill and the band needed a singer for one evening. A year later, the lead singer decided to part ways with the band and Speagle became the full-time lead vocalist.
Speagle said Hayfire plays a lot of Brooks and Dunn, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Underwood Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• City Hall Stage: Paul Q-pek & Jeremy Birdsall (rock)
• Lakeview Stage: Flight Scene (a cappella group, country, top hits)
• Main Street Stage: Garden Music School (various music)
1 to 2 p.m.
• Loop Stage: Freightliners (bluegrass)
• Centennial Plaza Gazebo: Dominic Gaudious (worldly original music, Australian Didgeridoo, drums/guitar/vocals)
2 to 3 p.m.
• City Hall Stage: L & G Live Duo (pop, soft rock, ’90s hits)
• Lakeview Stage: Hayfire (country)
• Main Street Stage: Brown Bag Brass Band (brass and funk)
3 to 4 p.m.
• Loop Stage: Shamanic Rootz (reggae)
• Centennial Plaza Gazebo: The Absent Trio (pop, soft rock, ’90s hits)
• Butterfly Sculpture Garden: Amanda Breivogel & Steve Peshek (acoustic duo)
4 to 5 p.m.
• City Hall Stage: Twojay Duo (rhythm and blues, jazz and soul)
• Lakeview Stage: Annika Chambers & Paul Deslauries (blues and soul)
• Main Street Stage: Bryce Mauldin (country)
5 to 6 p.m.
• Loop Stage: Selwyn Birchwood (blues band)
• Centennial Plaza Gazebo: Blewayle Duo (classics, Top 40)
• Butterfly Sculpture Garden: Chris Scalco Duo (Top 40, rhythm and blues)
5 to 7 p.m.
• Main Street Stage: We Flip Entertainment (variety show)
6 to 7:30 p.m.
• Lakeview Stage: Marlow Rosado & Orchestra (salsa & Latin)
6 to 8 p.m.
• City Hall Stage: We Flip Entertainment (breakdancers)
7 to 8 p.m.
• Main Street Stage: Spazmatics (’80s hits)
8 to 9 p.m.
• Centennial Plaza Gazebo: Big Ron Betts (Blues, rhythm and blues, funk, soul)
• Butterfly Sculpture Garden: John Beck (rock and Caribbean, steel drums)
8 to 9:30 p.m.
• Loop Stage: Foreigners Journey featuring Constantine Maroulis (rock ’n’ roll)
9 to 10 p.m.
• City Hall Stage: Jose of Phenom Duo (sax soloist)
• Lakeview Stage: We Flip Entertainment (LED jumpropers)
• Main Street Stage: Michael Andrew & Swingerhead (jazz)
Butterfly Sculpture Garden, 240 W. Plant St.
Centennial Plaza Gazebo, 101 W. Plant St.
City Hall Stage, 300 W. Plant St.
Lakeview Stage, 104 S. Lakeview Ave.
Loop Stage, 427 W. Plant St.
Main Street Stage, 1 N. Main St.
First Baptist Church of Winter Garden is hosting the Kids' Zone and Back to the Future Entertainment. The church, located at 125 E. Plant St., is celebrating its 135th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the old sanctuary building.
The schedule includes a visit from Blippi at 10 a.m.; the Back to the Future Band at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; a “Back to the Future” nostalgic stage show with Doc, Marty and a DeLorean at noon and 2 p.m.; Foundation Academy’s Steel Drum Band at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Children’s train rides also will be part of the festivities.
In addition, 15 vintage cars from 1920 will be on display, and the church will give tours of its old sanctuary and have historical displays.
Food vendors will be selling hot dogs, popcorn, cakes and pretzels at rolled-back prices.