With the holiday season upon us, the City of Winter Park has modified a number of events in the annual holiday lineup to allow for safe and socially distant experiences.
On Friday, November 27, the Holiday Window Contest will commence. During this event, members of the public can vote for their favorite holiday storefront window display from a pool of several participating businesses along Park Avenue, in Hannibal Square, and from other surrounding areas. The voting period will last through Thursday, December 31. Votes can be submitted by either scanning a QR code, which will be displayed in the windows of participating businesses, or visiting the online page directly. The City will announce the winners during the week of January 4, 2021.
In partnership with The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, the City will present “Memories of Christmas in the Park” on Thursday, December 3, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk Central Park and enjoy prerecorded sounds of the Bach Festival Choir. Separately, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will host a free three-day holiday celebration starting Tuesday, December 22, through Thursday, December 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live music will be played from noon to 3 p.m. Attendees are required to make an appointment in advance online.
To continue the holiday lineup, on Friday, December 4, from 5 to 9 p.m., the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winter Park will host “Winter on the Avenue” presented by Massey Services, Inc. and supported by Fannie Hillman + Associates. Activities for this holiday street gathering include the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Central Park, an appearance by Santa Clause, live music, and “Popcorn Flicks in the Park” presented by Winter Park CRA and produced by Enzian Theater. “Popcorn Flicks in the Park” will feature Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and The Polar Express starting at 7 p.m. in Central Park. To reserve a 10′ x 10′ socially distant movie pod, attendees must register on the Parks & Recreation Eventbrite one week prior to the event. Groups may include up to six people.
Beginning Saturday, December 5, Park Avenue will host the 68th annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade, presented by Grafton Wealth Management and hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. The parade will feature holiday-themed floats and appearances fromSanta Claus and several well-known local figures as it travels from Park Avenue to the Winter Park Community Center. Attendees must register on the Chamber of Commerce website to reserve a socially distant parade pod. The event will also be live streamed on the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and WUCF-TV will present a prerecorded performance by the 175-voice Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Orchestra on Saturday, December 5. The performance, led by Dr. John V. Sinclair, will be presented on the big screen in Central Park at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. On Sunday, December 6, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will perform “Holiday Pops” in Central Park at 5 p.m. This performance is free of charge and made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. Attendees for both performances must register one week prior to the event on the Parks & Recreation Eventbrite to reserve a 10′ x 10′ socially distant pod. Groups may include up to six people.
To make holiday shopping more enjoyable, The Park Avenue District will host Park Avenue Holiday Market on Friday, December 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This market will be held in Central Park West Meadow, where attendees can enjoy festive music while shopping and meet with Santa Clause from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees are asked to make a reservation online.
Central Park will also be hosting a tradition that has been around since 1933. On Saturday, December 12, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., the Rollins College Department of Music will perform its annual Rollins Christmas Vespers on the Central Park main stage. Attendees must register one week prior to the event on the Parks & Recreation Eventbrite to reserve a 10′ x 10′ socially distant pod. Groups may include up to six people.
Taking festivities from the streets to Winter Park’s famous waterways, the Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade, sponsored by the Winter Park Rotary Club, will set sail on Saturday, December 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Attendees are invited to gather at Dinky Dock Park to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors. Residents of Lake Virgina can gather in their backyards to view the parade.
To conclude the lineup, the City of Winter Park, in collaboration with the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Recovery Task Force, will continue Music in the Park in Central Park. Live musical performances from local artists will take place on the following Fridays and Saturdays:
- December 11
- December 18
- December 19
- December 26
- January 2
All mentioned events will have strict guidelines in place to keep attendees and local businesses safe. Guests will be reminded to maintain social distance and encouraged to wear masks. These events also provide an opportunity for attendees to partake in the Curbside To-Go Initiative.