Kickoff Your Holiday Season

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winter Park are proud to host Winter on the Avenue, a kickoff to the holiday season presented by Westminster Winter Park, on Friday, December 4, 2015. The holiday street party will include a flurry of activities from 5 to 10 p.m. along Park Avenue and in Central Park.

“The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is excited to collaborate with the city, local merchants and community arts groups to create a new holiday tradition for the community,” explained Patrick Chapin, President/CEO for the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. “Winter on the Avenue will be a chance to experience the best of downtown Winter Park this holiday season.”

The evening begins with the 26th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Central Park just north of the Rose Garden. Local children’s choirs will perform beginning at 5 p.m., including St. Margaret Mary Catholic School Choir, Park Maitland “Singing Eagles” Glee Club and Winter Park High School’s Belle Chanson Choir. Winners of the Holiday Art Competition will also be recognized and WFTV Channel 9 news anchor Bob Opsahl will join the crowd for the lighting of the tree live on the evening newscast. Complimentary refreshments from local merchants will also be available.

Following the tree lighting, Central Florida Community Arts will lead children and families in a caroling procession along Park Avenue to Central Park, just north of Morse Boulevard. A special guest from the North Pole will arrive at 6:30 p.m., thanks to the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for visits and photos until 7:30 p.m., along with complimentary refreshments from local merchants.

After the procession, members of Legacy!, Central Florida Community Arts’ professional choir, will perform acapella carols at the Central Park Main Stage as a prelude to the free Popcorn Flicks in the Park, presented by Enzian Theater and the Community Redevelopment Agency. The animated classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the feature film, “Home Alone.”

Diners and shoppers along Park Avenue will enjoy the smooth sounds of holiday jazz featuring Johnny Mag Sax and a trio from Blue Bamboo Music from 7 – 10 p.m. Snowflake stilt walkers will also stroll the avenue to spread festive cheer.

The Park Avenue Merchants Association will host its annual holiday open house from 5 to 8 p.m., or later, at participating locations. Shoppers can stroll along Park Avenue and area side streets to admire the globes of light, enjoy festive refreshments, shop with local merchants and vote in the Winter in the Park Holiday Window Contest through a simple text-to-vote system.

Throughout the evening, the city’s “Winter in the Park” holiday ice skating rink will be open for skaters of all ages to whirl and twirl for $12 per skater (skate rental included). A special showing of “Miracle on 34th Street” will begin at 7 p.m. inside the rink, located at the corner of Morse Boulevard and New York Avenue. Details here.

Visitors can also enjoy free admission to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art during Friday Nights at the Morse beginning at 4 p.m., as well as live music featuring harpist Victoria Lynn Schultz from 5 to 8 p.m. A special curator tour of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall begins at 7 p.m. Details here.

Special thanks to supporting sponsors including, Birchmore Group, Inc., Centennial Bank, Central Florida Community Arts, Citizens Bank of Florida, CNLBank,  Enzian Theater, Massey Services, Orlando Family Magazine, Park Avenue Merchants Association, Seacoast National Bank, The Park Press, WFTV Channel 9, Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Winter Park Magazine, WMMO 98.9 FM and WUCF 89.9 FM.

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