The holiday season has begun and residents, visitors and businesses are gearing up for the citywide celebration. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 30, family friendly festivities will feature parades, concerts, and plenty of community spirit.
Events are presented by several local organizations including the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, City of Winter Park, Rotary Club of Winter Park, Chabad of Greater Orlando, Equity Council Corp. and the Morse Museum. See the listings, below, for the full schedule and links to more information.
• 45th Annual Christmas in the Park: Thursday, Nov. 30, 6:15-8:30 p.m. in Central Park
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art continues its holiday tradition, started by museum benefactors Hugh and Jeannette McKean. Turn-of-the-century Tiffany windows are lighted as the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble performs on the new Central Park Main Stage. For more information, see the event page on the Morse Museum website.
The Morse Museum also hosts Holiday Friday Nights in November and Deceber. Guests can enjoy free museum admission from 4-8 p.m., and live music from 5-8 p.m. For more information, please access morsemuseum.org.
• Winter on the Avenue: Friday, Dec. 1, 5-9 p.m. at Central Park and Park Avenue
Presented by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the City of Winter Park, Park Avenue Merchants Association and Enzian Theater, the yearly event transforms downtown Winter Park into a winter wonderland. Enjoy the annual tree-lighting and a menorah-lighting ceremony, strolling carolers Popcorn Flicks in the Park and a visit from Santa. For additional information, please call 407-644-8281 or check winterpark.org.
• 71st Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade: Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-noon on Park Avenue
Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas parade will usher in the season as it decks the halls – and the streets – for its 71st edition. The parade is the oldest continuous holiday parade in Central Florida and includes more than 80 organizations participating with marching bands, floats, and Santa Claus himself.
The parade is preceded by the 24th Annual Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. by the Central Park Stage. Pancakes, sausage, and a toppings bar are included with a choice of beverage for $7 per person. Tickets are available on site or in advance at winterpark.org. Proceeds benefit adult and youth leadership development programs, and school supply donations. Click here for ticket purchases.
• Holiday Pops Concert: Sunday, Dec. 3, 5-7 p.m. at Central Park Main Stage
A program of holiday favorites will be presented at a free concert, presented by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic, and get into the spirit while enjoying the December weather. For more information, please call 407-599-3342.
• Light Up Hannibal Square: Friday, Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m. at Hannibal Square Heritage Center, 642 W New England Ave.
Head to Hannibal Square Heritage Center for the 4th installment of the popular community event. Santa Claus will be available for free photos, a Cupcake Challenge will be sponsored by Dress for Success Greater Orlando, a mini-market will offer holiday gifts by local artisans, and a holiday lights countdown will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade: Saturday, Dec. 9, 6-8:30 p.m. on Lake Virginia
Presented by the Rotary Club of Winter Park, the yearly event showcases the creativity of the local boating community. Decorated vessels circle the shore to allow lakefront residents to watch from their backyards while spectators can catch everything from Dinky Dock Park. For more information, visit winterparkrotary.com or call 407-256-6369.
• Chanukah on the Park: Sunday, Dec. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Central Park
Chabad of Greater Orlando will present an evening of celebration featuring live music, food, and a grand menorah lighting. Kids’ activities include face painting, crafts, and a gelt drop. For more information and event registration, please access chabadorlando.org.
• Wreaths Across America: Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at noon at Palm Cemetery, 1005 N New York Ave., and at Pineywood Cemetery, 1900 S Lakemont Ave.
Wreaths Across America will honor the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of the fallen. The public can participate in person or sponsor a wreath by Friday, Dec. 1. Click here to access volunteer and sponsorship information for Palm Cemetery, or here for Pineywood Cemetery.
• Merry TubaChristmas: Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at 1 p.m. at Central Park Main Stage
Baritone players of all ages will perform a free concert of holiday favorites in the impressive register of tubas, euphoniums, and sousaphones. Musician registration begins at 9 a.m., the fee per musician is $10 with rehearsal from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Performers must bring a folding chair and music stand. For more information, email email@example.com or call 407-599-3463.
• Orlando Big Band Christmas Concert: Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Central Park Main Stage
Enjoy a free concert of seasonal standards when Orlando Big Band returns to Central Park for its second Christmas Favorites concert. More than 25 professional musicians and singers will present a showcase of holiday music from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and the modern era. For more information, access orlandobigband.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 407-599-3342.
• Kwanzaa Celebration: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 5-9 p.m. at Winter Park Community Center, 721 W New England Ave.
Equity Council Corp., in cooperation with the Parks & Recreation Department, will present its annual Kwanzaa Celebration. The event will include food vendors, dance and musical performances. Attendees can support black-owned businesses by shopping the SOKO Marketplace. The celebration will commence with the lighting of the Black Candle and focus on the Kwanzaa principle of Umoja (Unity). For more information on tickets and upcoming special guest announcements, please access equitycouncilcorp.org.
• Pop-Tarts Bowl Parade of Bands: Thursday, Dec. 28, beginning 11 a.m. on Park Avenue
College bands will march through downtown and perform a game day preview concert in Central Park before the 5:45 p.m. debut of the Pop-Tarts Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Plan your visit by accessing the City of Winter Park parking page, and navigate event road closures on the closures & construction page. Check the City of Winter Park event page and poptartsbowl.com for information and updates.