Florida Culture for the Week of April 29 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Apr 29, 2013 /
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Florida Culture for the Week of April 29 by Josh Garrick

The Magical Month of May

Those of us “who live here” know that timing is key when it comes to having family and friends visit Orlando. May is one of the best months for travelers to get more out of their time here, because May means short lines for rides at the attractions, more time to relax, and some great weather. In addition, the Orlando Magicard, a free savings card offered by Visit Orlando, offers discounts on everything from theme parks to savings on cultural venues such as the Orlando Museum of Art. For details, click on VisitOrlando.com


Visit Orlando in May for Savings with Orlando Magicard


May 1 and 2 – Free Orlando Senior Expo

The Free admission/Free parking policy at the 17th Annual Orlando Senior Expo ensures an audience at Orlando’s Central Florida Fairgrounds on May 1 and 2.  From 9 am to 3 pm, Seniors are invited to learn about investments, discover travel opportunities, consider retirement choices, learn about health, recreation, fitness, and more. This year’s entertainment features K-9s in Flight!, a group of canine athletes who have appeared on Animal Planet and during half-time at NFL games. Attendees are also invited to sign up for a Royal Caribbean Cruise Giveaway. Call 866.466.6300 

May 2 and May 4 – Broomstick Pony Derby 

A fundraiser for Urban ReThink, the 2nd Annual Broomstick Pony Derby asks us to ‘build a pony’ (at a pony making workshop) on May 2, and then participate in Derby Day on May 4. In .131 mile and .262 mile races, all ages come together, galloping up and down Thornton Park's Central Avenue in a “Wild West” show of community spirit and support. Registration starts at 3 pm on Derby Day (May 4) and the races begin at 4 pm. Sponsorships and vendor spots are available. Contact Urban ReThink at 407.704.6895


Broomstick ponies


May 3 through June 30 – Paintings by Ellie Diez-Massaro

Ellie Diez-Massaro takes ordinary landscapes and turns them into magical dreamscapes in her new exhibit COLOR and LIGHT: Ellie Diez-Massaro at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art (LEMA). The Artist hand paints black-and-white infrared photographic prints, creating stunning evocations of color and mood. LEMA director Richard Colvin says, “Ellie’s photographs are beautifully colored in both bright and subtle shades that take the artist’s original infrared photographs and elevate them into a new realm of fantasy.” The Public is invited to the opening reception on May 3 from 6 to 8 pm with the exhibit continuing through June 30. LEMA is located in downtown Eustis at 1 West Orange Avenue. Call 352.483.2900 or visit lakeeustisartmuseum.org  


Idaho Cows, © Ellie Diez-Massaro

Idaho Cows, © Ellie Diez-Massaro.


May 4 -- United Way’s 21st Annual Chef's Gala

There are some BIG “food & wine events” in Central Florida, but none are as ‘truly fabulous’ as the Annual Chef’s Gala that benefits Heart of Florida United Way. Festivities begin May 4 at 6:45 pm as the sparkling wine begins to flow (along with a silent auction) at Epcot at Walt Disney World. Fine cuisine from 25 of Central Florida’s top restaurants provide funds to benefit health and human service programs vital to Central Floridians in need, and – with the contribution/purchase of a ticket to the Chef’s Gala – we can help. Call 407.429.2129 or visit hfuw.org.


Chef's Gala


May 5 – Cinco de Mayo in St. Petersburg

Latin America takes over waterfront Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg for a Latin American Celebration on May 5 from 11 am to 6 pm. The festival offers a large main stage to energize crowds with Latin music, featuring Son Salvaje, O Som Do Jazz, Orquesta INFINIDAD, Orquesta Sol Caribe and more while Tampa Bay’s best food trucks, area restaurants, and the Dos Equis Beer Garden offer food and beverages.

Group lessons in Salsa, Merengue and more will be offered all day long. Call 800.514.3849 or visit latinamericancelebration.com


May 8 – Historical Honors for Rita Bornstein

The nationally honored Rita Bornstein, President Emeritus of Rollins College, will receive the Historical Society of Central Florida's highest honor at the Annual John Young History Maker Celebration on May 8. The Award is given each year to a Floridian whose achievement has made an historic impact on the community.  The History Maker Celebration is the Society's largest fundraiser of the year, with funds raised from the event supporting educational programs that served more than 136,000 children last year alone. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call 407.836.8370.


Dr. Rita Bornstein


May 9 and 10 --  When You Wish … A Concert of Disney Favorites

The 250 voice Central Florida Community Choir invites the Public to When You Wish…, a concert filled with Disney favorites including songs from Beauty & The Beast, Little Mermaid, Newsies, The Lion King, and other childhood favorites. Directed by CFCArts Founder Joshua Vickery, and backed by a full orchestra, When You Wish… is the perfect family concert. Tickets are affordably priced at $10 with age 3 and under admitted for FREE. Concerts are May 9 and 10 at 7:30 pm at the 3100 seat Northland Church at 530 Dog Track Road in Longwood. Call Sarah Mattingly at 407-949-7170.


When you wish...


May 10 – Maitland’s Summer Concert Series Begins

The Art & History Museums – Maitland (A&H), in partnership with Performing Arts of Maitland, will present the first of their summer concerts on May 10 at 7 pm in the A&H’s Garden at 231 W. Packwood Avenue. These summer evenings under the stars kick off with The Hindu Cowboys, whose sound has been described as “rich with folk, traditional string band and organic corn-fed roots music.” Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket, and a bar is available. A&H’s Summer Concert Series takes place the 2nd Friday of each month (admission $3). The season includes June 14: Dan Jordan Quartet; July 12: Daniel Heitz & the Revelators; August 9: The Loria Brothers; and September 13: The Master Blasters. Call 407-539-2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org.


Hindu Cowboys


Hindu Cowboys



May 11 at 2 pm & 8 pm – How to Succeed … with the Orlando Philharmonic

Fresh from a huge success with their production of the Opera Madama Butterfly, the Orlando Philharmonic will take on the classic Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Christopher Wilkins will conduct and Frank McClain will direct the musical, in which ambitious window-washer J. Pierrepont Finch scratches his way to the top at the World Wide Wicket Company. This Frank Loesser musical won both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1962. Presented in two (highly recommended) performances at the Bob Carr PAC, reserve your tickets by calling 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org.


How to Succeed...


May 11 – The Science of WINE at the Orlando Science Center

The LARGEST collection of wines of any Orlando event comes to the Orlando Science Center on May 11 beginning at 7 pm. The Science of WINE is much more than a simple wine tasting; it’s an ‘oenological odyssey’ with presentations on multiple aspects of wine as well as the opportunity to sample more than 100 fine wines from the world’s great wine regions. This fundraiser for the Science Center, presented by Akerman Southern Wine & Spirits, will offer gourmet foods to accompany the wine selections; wine educator Luis Torres will present Life Beyond the 'Wine and Cheese' Cocktail Party; and Tim’s Wine Market will offer wine education stations. Call 407-514-2233 or visit osc.org/wine.


Wine Tasting


Science of Wine





Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators