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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK March 2012

 March is always busy in Central FL and here’s a quick list of things you might enjoy doing that are less than standard fare…

There’s plenty to visit from the annual events to this year’s one-off attractions, you’ll see how much fun can be had! We hope that whatever you choose to do you have a wonderful time and please remember to let us know of any great discoveries of your own so that we can let others know.

March 1st – 11th: Central Florida Fair at Central Florida Fairgrounds.

March 1st and every day: Meet the Characters at Universal Studios.
Photo opportunity to get seen with your favorite characters; "Oh yes, Spiderman is a good friend of mine. Here's a photo of us on vacation...."

March 1st – 11th: Florida Strawberry Festival at Plant City
An annual celebration of this glorious fruit. Country Fayre, rides, livestock exhibits and strawberries every which way including loose...

March 1st – 13th: Florida Renaissance Fair at Deerfield Park
If you feel like a drive to Deerfield Beach then this is the festival for you. Craft villages, period performers, valiant knights, birds of prey and food.

March 2nd – 4th: Thundering Spirit Family Native American Pow-Wow at Mount Dora

March 3rd: The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala, FL

March 3rd: 3rd Annual Orlando Chili Cook-Off at Baldwin Park

March 3rd and 4th: Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld
Last two dates: Country stars Sara Evans and Scotty McCreery play one date each!

March 3rd – 11th: Bok Tower Gardens’ International Carillon Festival at Bok Tower

March 4th: 33rd Annual Winter Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Central Park, Winter Park

March 4th: Harlem Globetrotters at UCF Arena

March 7th – May 20th: EPCOT® International Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT

March 8th – March 10th: FIRST Robotics Regional Competition at UCF Arena. $Free!
64 teams of students from around the world were given six weeks to design, build and test a basketball playing robot. Here’s the playoffs!

March 9th & 10th: Pig On The Pond BBQ Festival/Competition at Waterfront Park, Clermont, FL

March 9th – 18th: Bike Week Motorbike Festival at Daytona Beach

March 10th – 11th: 16th Annual Indiafest at Wickham Pavilion, Melbourne, FL

March 19th – 25th: Arnold Palmer Signature Of Champions Golf Tournament at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando FL

March 20th: UCF Opera: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Resurrection Catholic Church, Winter Garden. 7pm.

March 23rd – 25th: 4th Annual Wine & Seafood Festival at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont FL

March 23rd – 25th: Honda Grand Prix at St Petersburg

March 23rd – 24th: UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival at UCF Auditorium

March 24th – 25th: Mount Dora Annual Spring Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts Show at Downtown Mount Dora
200 booth vendors displaying treasures on the downtown streets of Mount Dora.

March 24th – 25th: Jack Hanna Weekend at SeaWorld
Renowned wildlife expert Jack Hanna returns to his base camp at SeaWorld for a special limited-time series, accompanied by his amazing animal ambassadors.

March 25th – 27th: Festival of Reading at W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora

March 25th – 31st: Peak Bloom at Bok Tower

March 31st – April 1st: 50th Annual Sail Boat Regatta at Mount Dora Yacht Club

Film Venues

Take blankets, picnics and have a great time watching films under the stars. Venue will change if it rains.

Enzian Theater & The City of Winter Park present "The Popcorn Flicks" every 2nd Thursday in the month Park Avenue, Winter Park.

Donnelly Park Mount Dora 2nd Friday of the month at dusk February Film - The Goonies

Centenial Park, Sanford 3rd Friday of the month at 7 pm. Cinema in the Park

Great Places to Visit - Guest Recommendations

Parkesdale Farm Market at 3702 W. Baker Street, Plant City. This was an unique, countrified, local farm market that is a huge tourist attraction amoung "older" folks. You might want to look it up on the internet. There were literally hundreds of cars there in the middle of a Friday afternoon with people lined out the door for their strawberry sundaes, shortcakes, milkshakes, ant other strawberry products. It also is a large fresh produce and plant center. It was very quaint; however, do not dress in anything fancy to go there.

 


Great Place for a Picnic apart from our glorious Florida beaches of course...

Bok Tower, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida (863) 676 1408

The Bok tower was built for Mr. Edward William Bok around the 1920’s. It is surrounded by magnificent tranquil gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jnr., the son of the landscape designer of Central Park, New York.Events including musical evenings are held throughout the year. The perfect place for a picnic for those who wish for a day of more leisurely pursuits.

 

Of course there's much, much more going on in the area this month, so much so that we couldn't possibly cover it all! If you see something you think we should include let us know and we'll post it!

Universal Mardi Gras

On Select Nights from February 11 to April 14

Visit Universal for the atmosphere of Mardi Gras as you watch the flamboyance of the parade as it makes it way through the park with spectacular floats, rainbow costumes, stilt walkers, street entertainers and dancers to delight all the family. Catch the beads, drink in the heady music and indulge in the best of Cajun cooking with Jambalaya, Adoulille Sausage, Shrimp Gumbo to challenge your taste buds.

Then if that is not enough go to CityWalk for the Mardi Gras After Party and carry on well into the early hours.

The Parade Time-table:

February 11, 18: 7:30pm
February 19, 25: 8:00pm
March 3, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30: 8:00pm
March 31 & April 7: 9:00pm
April 14: 9:00pm

Bands featured in this year's Mardi Gras:

Saturday, February 11 - The B-52s
Saturday, February 18 - Kelly Clarkson
Sunday, February 19 - Boyz II Men
Saturday, February 25 - Diana Ross

Saturday, March 3 - TBA
Saturday, March 10 - Big Time Rush
Friday, March 16 - J. Cole
Saturday, March 17 - Jill Scott
Friday, March 23 - Hot Chelle Rae
Saturday, March 24 - B.o.B
Friday, March 30 - Plain White T's
Satuarday, March 31 - Prince Royce

Saturday, April 7 - Cyndi Lauper
Saturday, April 14 - KC & the Sunshine Band

The Bands playing in the French Quarter include:

February 11 Daddy Mack Blues Band
February 18 Lil Malcolm & The House Rockers
February 19 Lil Malcolm & The House Rockers
February 25 John Lisi & Delta Funk
March 3 Beth McKee & The Sliders
March 10 Gravy
March 16 Lil' Brian & The Zydeco Travelers
March 17 Lil' Brian & The Zydeco Travelers
March 23 J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts
March 24 J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts
March 30 Soul Project
March 31 Soul Project
April 7 Rockin' Jake
April 14 Big Al & The Heavyweights

Contact us now for great prices on tickets to Universal & Islands of Adventure

 

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

 March 7 to May 20 2012

If you want to see the best there is in garden design, topiaries and the finest flowers then this is a must for any avid gardener.

With the usual Disney World style there is plenty to delight the young and young at heart with displays, events, children's play areas and special exhibits including:

Bambi's Butterfly House, Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, rock band concerts and guest appearances of some of your favorite HGTV's celebrity garden personalities. Get specialist advice from the Disney horticulturists who will give you the best in gardening tips in the Festival Center where you can also shop for your festival momentos and goods.

The Flower Power Concerts held throughout the festival include:

March 9-11 - Jose Feliciano
March 16-18 - Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
March 23-25 - The Guess Who
March 30-April 1 - The Spinners
April 6-8 - Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
April 13-15 - Paul Revere & The Raiders
April 20-22 - The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
April 27-29 - Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night)
May 4-6 - The Orchestra (featuring fomer members of Elo and Elo Part II)
May 11-13 - Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone

Special Weekend Highlights

March 23-25 - Art in the Garden
April 27-29 - Florida Federation of Garden Clubs meeting
May 4-6 - Fresh from Florida Farmer's Market

This is definitely the place to go and be inspired to turn your own garden into a haven of peace and tranquility when you get back home.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK = MAY 2011

We have more great things to do in May including a host of festivals, festivities and fun for us all to enjoy.

April 28 - May 7 Orlando Restaurant Week Try a range of fabulous foods at fixed prices at participating restaurants during this week. Four price points of $10, $15, $25 or $35 allow everyone to get a taste of what is on offer. More information: http://www.orlandorestaurantweek.com/

May 1 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lake Eola Playground Arts & Music festival featuring live music, storytellers, fire dancers, puppet shows and so much more. Free admission.

May 2 Storytelling at Leu Gardens on the first Monday of each month. Have a chance to visit these beautiful gardens and have a story too!
Three different times to let different age groups enjoy a good tale.
10:00 am - 10:15 am Infant Time (up to 18 months)
10:20 am - 10:35 am Toddler Time (18 months to 2 year olds)
10:40 am - 11:00 am Preschool Time (3 to 5 year olds)

May 14 - 15 The 37th Annual Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival. Come and enjoy a combination of family fun and entertainment at this two day event. More information: http://www.zellwoodcornfestival.com/html/about.html

May 15 Israel Independence Day Celebration Community event celebrating Israel's 62 birthday. Held at Eddie Rose Amphitheater at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. Carnival games, childrens games, rock climbing wall and a great chance to try some wonderful Middle Eastern food.

 

May 18 to May 30 Orlando Fringe Festival

Tickets are available for this showcase of talented and skilled performers of the arts. Following on in the true tradition of the fringe festivals this 20th year in Orlando will delight audiences with uncensored entertainment every night. Please go to: http://orlandofringe.org/ for more information.

May 18 and May 22 only. Disney on Ice Toystory 3 at St Pete Times Forum at Tampa More info here: http://www.sptimesforum.com/event_details.asp?id=304

 

May 21 Kids Fringe Festival Superhero Day!

Welcome to KIDS FRINGE!!! KIDS FRINGE exposes kids of all ages to many types of creative expression through dance, music, puppets, visual art, performance art, story telling, hands on activities, crafts and workshops. Come see performances, participate in workshops, take lessons, make some cool stuff, blow some bubbles and have way too much fun!!! Just like "Big Kids Fringe" - the more forms of artistic, creative expression the better! KIDS FRINGE is FREE to all participants. KIDS FRINGE is imaginative, inspirational and most of all FUN! KIDS FRINGE is 10 am to 4 pm on the Saturdays and Sundays of the Fringe Festival under the KIDS FRINGE Tent on The Green in Loch Haven Park.

May 22 Kids Fringe Festival Multicultural Day

May 22 Taste of Mount Dora Local restaurants provide an array of culinary delicacies to delight you from 5 - 8 p.m.

may 28 Kids Fringe Festival Pirate and Fairy Day

May 28 5 - 9 p.m. Celery City Cruisers Car Show New Riverwalk in Sandford on the Marina. Oldest Car Club in Florida showcase cars and also have flame throwing, muffler rapping and the best hot dogs in town! Held every last Saturday in the month.

May 28 11 a.m. Memorial Day and Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony: Bill Breeze Park at Starke Lake, 125 N. Lakeshore Drive, Ocoee. The City of Ocoee will honor fallen troops at its annual Memorial Day Ceremony. In a special tribute to the men and women who gave their lives for freedom, a Peace Pole Dedication will be held during the ceremony. The keynote speaker will be Lt. Colonel Sharon A. Branch, who served 26 years on active duty as an information management and personnel officer in various command and staff positions in Europe and the United States. Refreshments will be served. 407-905-3100, Ext. 9-1530.

May 29 Kids Fringe Festival Recycle Day

 

May 29 Orlando Caribbean Style Carnival Festival Field, Florida Citrus Bowl Live shows until midnight, ethnic food, arts, crafts and lots of fun.


May 30 Memorial Day

May 30 3 p.m. Memorial Day Salute The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, 8300 Vineland Ave., Orlando. The Basilica Choir will perform a concert titled "A Salute to the Fallen: A Celebration of Memorial Day." $10 for adults, free for children 12 or younger. 407-239-6600, Ext. 317.
 

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