Florida Culture to Welcome a New Year 2016 by Josh Garrick


Florida Culture to Welcome a New Year by Josh Garrick

Dec 30 at 11 am – The Citrus Parade – Orlando 
The Florida Citrus Parade is one of the largest parades in the nation, an annual event that occurs each year between the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl games. Broadcast in over 75% of the TV markets in the U.S., the Parade’s signature floats are made entirely of citrus fruit. The parade also features high school marching bands from throughout the nation, college marching bands, specialty units and live performers. Admission is Free, but ‘Reserve Seating’ is available via Ticketmaster.com. Visit floridacitrusparade.com 

The Citrus Parade – Orlando

NOW to Dec 31 – Snowing Nightly at Celebration Town Center 
There is Snowfall EVERY Night through December 31st (including New Year’s Eve) at 6, 7, 8 and 9 pm in this town of Celebration tradition!  Central Florida’s original ‘Snow’ event offers an ice rink, strolling Carolers, community performers, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and nightly snowfalls. The ice rink is open daily from 4 to 10 pm through January 3. Parking and admission is FREE. Call 407.566.4007 or visit celebrationtowncenter.com

 Snowing Nightly at Celebration Town Center

NOW to Dec 31 – A Festival of Lights in White Springs 
The Stephen Foster State Park creates its holiday celebration with more than five million lights. A Top 20 Event in the Southeastern United States, visitors enjoy majestic oaks decorated with thousands of lights, a Museum in full holiday splendor, gingerbread village, candy cane forest, and Santa’s workshop. Complimentary hot cocoa and popcorn are served nightly as the Square comes alive with craft demos, a bonfire, marshmallow roasting and holiday singing at US Hwy 41 in White Springs. Call 877.635.3655 or visit floridastateparks.org/park-events/Stephen-Foster

A Festival of Lights in White Springs

NOW to Jan 3 – Christmas at Gaylord Palms … with ICE!
Gaylord Palms, famous for its Holiday ICE! Show will create ‘The Night Before Christmas’ in 2 MILLION POUNDS of hand-carved ice. Accompanied by four ice slides, LIVE ice carving stations, and an adult-only Ice Bar, Gaylord Palms has Holiday offerings for every age. New this year is a 25-minute Cirque Dreams show for the entire family. Christmas at Gaylord Palms is open daily in Kissimmee. Visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com

Christmas at Gaylord Palms … with ICE!

NOW to Jan 3 – Harold GARDE: Mid-Century to This Century
Harold GARDE is a living legend. A brilliant ‘working’ Artist who still paints every day, Garde’s extraordinary career spans over 70 years. Graduating from Columbia University in 1951, Garde was immersed in the New York art world just as Abstract Expressionism brought the world’s attention to New York City.  The exhibit ‘Harold Garde: Mid-Century to this Century’ brings together 35 paintings that highlight the breadth of the painter’s career at the Orlando Museum of Art. Call 407.896.4231 or visit omart.org.  The exhibit will RE-Open in the beginning of February at the new Henao Contemporary Art Center with works for sale.  Visit henaocenter.com 

Harold GARDE: Mid-Century to This Century

NOW to Jan 3 – ‘Peter and the Star Catcher’ at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre
Young ‘star-catcher’ Molly Aster enlists the help of three orphan boys to return a trunk of precious ‘stuff’ to her father in this new play by Rick Elice. Pursued by a pirate captain and a giant crocodile, the children come face to face with the scariest enemy of all – adulthood. This ‘familiar’ story is the very funny and very theatrical story of the young orphan who would become … Peter Pan. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org 

‘Peter and the Star Catcher’ at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre

NOW to Jan 15 – History-Making Art Exhibit at Henao Center Gallery
Two years ago I had the unprecedented honor of making history as the first non-Greek Artist in the World to exhibit in the National Archaeological Museum of Greece.  The exhibit has returned from a two-year-tour of Europe to open the new Henao Contemporary Center in Orlando, and continues through January 15. Please consider this a personal invitation to visit the exhibit in its new home. Call 407.522.3906 or visit henaocenter.com

History-Making Art Exhibit at Henao Center Gallery

Photo Beauregarde von Hoffman

Saying Farewell to 2015 …

Great News – Orlando Ranked Number 1 City to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 
Wallethub, a website offering financial advice and resources, has ranked Orlando, Florida as the Number 1 Best City to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Based on comparisons of ticket prices, hotel prices, crime statistics, entertainment options, and “length of fireworks displays,” Orlando ranked first with San Francisco and Atlanta coming in at 2nd and 3rd place. 

At the Dr. Phillips Center – Dec 31 at 10 pm  What better way to bring in the New Year than to join Glinda the Good Witch as she ‘shares’ her goodness at the Dr. Phillips Center. Kristin Chenoweth is the Emmy and Tony Award winning actress who created the role of Glinda in Broadway’s smash hit Wicked. Joining Ms. Chenoweth is actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson. Your ticket includes: Show, Champagne, After-Party Entertainment, Desserts, and 2 Drink Tickets. Doors open at 8 pm; Show time is 10 pm; and the after party runs until 2 am. Tickets start at $110.00

Kristin Chenoweth at the Dr. Phillips Center

In Downtown Orlando – The party on Church Street is where thousands of revelers take over a downtown city block for Church Street’s New Year’s Eve Party including Antigua, Latitudes, Rok Room, Big Belly and Chillers opening their doors at 8 pm. Come out for fireworks, a video wall, and the famous midnight ‘count-down’ to the Orange Drop.

New Year's Eve in Orlando

In Daytona Beach – Main Street is the place to be for a Family Friendly New Year's Eve that is guaranteed fun for the whole family. From 6 pm on December 31 to 2 am on January 1, the whole family is invited to multiple stages of entertainment, street performers, festival food, attractions for kids, fireworks over the ocean, and a ball drop ceremony at midnight. 

New Year's Eve in Daytona Beach

In St. Augustine – December 31 is called Beach Blast Off at St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, and it’s a full-day New Year's extravaganza with live music, food and drinks, a kids' zone with nine inflatables, a pirate magician, and a dunk-tank. The Adult ‘Comfort Zone’ offers 30 food vendors and a beer and wine tent with LIVE music and two 50-inch TV's to keep everyone up-to-the-minute with festivities around the world. Fireworks to music takes place at 8:30 pm. Admission is FREE. Call 904.669.5670.

Beach Blast off in St. Augustine

Jan 2 & 3 from 10 am to 5 pm – The 20th Annual Naples New Year’s Art Fair 
The City of Naples cordons off historic Fifth Avenue for this vibrant outdoor art bazaar which drew 15,000 art lovers last year. Part of the attraction to festival-goers is the ability to wander through booths and tents, meeting artists in person on this famous thoroughfare. Last year, 190 artists displayed works valued at nearly $15 million in categories ranging from original oils on canvas, to watercolors on paper, mixed media, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, jewelry and more. There’s art for every taste and pocketbook, and admission is free. Visit artswfl.com

The 20th Annual Naples New Year’s Art Fair

Jan 2 & 3 – St. Augustine’s Olde Town Art Show
“Real Art by Real Artists” is the motto of St. Augustine’s Holiday Art Show. Bringing Artists together with people who appreciate fine art, the show is held – rain or shine – on Jan 2 from 10 am to 5 pm and Jan 3 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Francis Events Field at 25 W. Castillo Drive. Offering everything from exquisite jewelry to abstract sculpture, photography, paintings, wood carvings and more, the Old Town Art Show makes "buying American" easy as visitors meet and support the artisans who create the work they exhibit. Visit holidayartshows.com

 St. Augustine’s Olde Town Art Show

Jan 5 to 10 – The Sound of Music at the Dr. Phillips Center 
50 years after the film version of this musical made it one of the most beloved musicals of all time, a brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to the Dr. Phillips Center. Directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, the musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award winning score. Audiences in Central Florida will be among the first to see this all new production. Call 800.448.6322 or visit OrlandoBroadway.com 

 The Sound of Music at the Dr. Phillips Center

Jan 5 to June 5 – Behind Closed Doors: The Collection Revisited
The Maitland Historical Society was founded in 1970 as a result of a Women’s Club initiative to preserve Maitland’s history. Early members of the Society collected stories and artifacts from local pioneer families and in 1977, the Maitland Historical Museum opened its doors. As the Society grew, it opened three additional museums to better serve its goal of bringing Florida history to life. See some of the rarely displayed pieces when the A&H’s Maitland Historical Museum opens an exhibit filled with historical treasures. Call 407.539.2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org 

Behind Closed Doors: The Collection Revisited. Maitland Historical Society

Jan 6 to Feb 7 – ‘Dancing Lessons’ at Orlando Shakespeare
When a socially awkward professor is forced to attend an event with dancing, he seeks an injured Broadway performer for help. As their ‘relationship’ grows, both loners are caught off guard by the discoveries they make about one another. Presented at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Mark St. Germain’s very contemporary odd couple tells a love story mixed with the reality of human disabilities. Note: Dancing Lessons contains strong adult language. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org 

‘Dancing Lessons’ at Orlando Shakespeare

Jan 6 to 10 – The Disney Marathon – 26.2 Magical Miles 
The Disney Marathon is the most magical 26.2 miles on Earth. The course takes runners through all four Disney World Theme Parks, starting at Epcot, continuing on to the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the Hollywood Studios before a Disney finish with an all-new Mickey finisher medal. In addition, the weekend offers a variety of races and training sessions. Registration is open; visit rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon

Disney Marathon

Disney Marathon



Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators