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As you might expect, Orland events run the gamut as a vacation capital of the world. Whether its concerts, clubs, the arts, museums, fairs or festivals, the year round warm Florida climate makes for a full calendar for events at any time of year. Of course Disney World does a great job of providing events for everyone during all seasons, including the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in October and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for holiday fun.
Of course Orlando provides the great escape for northerners seeking to put snow and cold and shivering behind for a while, and the winter events in Orlando are a great way to do just that. The holiday fun is exciting and warm, with events like Celebrate Grinchmas™ at Universal Orlando. The Epcot Theme Park hosts a wonderful December event called Holidays Around The World—Candlelight Processional held in the American Gardens Theatre. Universal Resort’s CityWalk is a great venue for celebrating New Years in Orlando.
For a unique, colorful and delightful holiday event be sure and catch the Annual St. Johns River Christmas Boat Parade, best viewed from Ed Stone Park of Lake Beresford, where the lights of the boats reflect beautifully in the waters of the St. Johns River. The Halifax River Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade is another local favorite, viewed best from the Seabreeze Bridge. For art lovers and art festival-goers, don’t miss the Mount Dora Art Festival. On the sports side is the classic Florida Citrus Bowl, home of football season’s Tangerine Bowl and Capital One Bowl.
Gay Days at Disney World is a loosely organized and wonderful way to celebrate togetherness at one of the biggest gay pride events in the world, where over 150,000 LGBT individuals and their families and friends converge on this great resort annually during the first week in June. The Anime Festival Orlando is another great summer getaway where Japanese Animation is held every summer for everything Otaku!, Power Rangers, Kaiju and Japanese Superheroes.
Although you would have guessed right about many of Orlando’s events moving indoors for the hot summers, many fun events are held in the parks and other public places outdoors and in the cooler evenings, like the Sounds of Summer in the Narry P. Leu Gardens and the Lake Eola Picnic in the Park held every July. Bring your lawn chairs for a free concert every 4th of July in Orlando for a free concert by the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. For pure sports entertainment the Celebrety Mascot Games are held during the last weekend in July at the Amway Arena, hosting over 30 professional team mascots.
Before it gets too hot to enjoy a lot of time outdoors, the Orlando Downtown Food & Wine Fest is a great way to celebrate the best of the culinary delights offered by the best of Orlando’s restaurants. Held in Lake Eola Park toward the end of March when the weather is a bit more accommodating, this high energy, fun and flirty gathering features lunch and dinner dishes, and specializes in American and locally favored Puerto Rican samples ‘de jour.
Orlando Carnival is also home to the biggest Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans at Universal Orlando. Complete with Cajun food, parades, beads, the Mardi Gras is an event for the whole family, and admission is included in your Resort Admission or Annual Pass. Held Saturdays and select nights from February through mid-April, it’s a party scene that is a great way to enjoy the spirit of springtime. Don’t miss the Ron Jon Easter Surf Festival in the first week of April.
Fall is another great season to enjoy Orlando, including the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival held in September, staged on Flagler Avenue, including a wine tasting and fashion show. August is the time for the Miracle Mile, a 15k run that attracts elite runners from around the U.S. The Stoneybrook Golf Club East is the venue for the Alcon / Heart of Florida United Way Golf Classic, benefiting the Florida United Way, including a raffle and buffet lunch. Kicked off during Thanksgiving every year, the Space Coast Art Festival draws artists from throughout the country. Starting with a 5K Turkey Trot, everyone attending gets the chance to win an autographed poster from the award winning Festival T-Shirt contest. Supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank, Downtown Orlando’s Oktoberfest is another great way to vacation in this fun getaway.