Winter Park Holiday Events Guide 2012

By Ken Storey

The City of Winter Park (407-599-3399) is kicking off its annual holiday calendar, always stuffed with many holiday eventseach seemingly more classy than the last:

Ongoing Through Sunday, January 6th, 2013

The annual ice skating rink set up on the west lawn in Central Park. We mentioned the ice breaking ceremony, a new tradition that signals the kick-off of the ice skating season for Winter Park. Did you go?

Sunday, November 25 | 4PM 
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will be hosting a Holiday Pops concert in Central Park with special guest conductor Albert-George Schram. Make sure bring a blanket and a non-perishable canned good to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Friday, November 30th | 5pm

The 23rd annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by University of Central Florida takes place in Central Park. The event features performances by local children’s choirs, including St. Margaret Mary Catholic School Choir, New Warner Chapel, Colby Center for Dance and Performing Arts, Park Maitland “Singing Eagles” Glee Club and Orlando Harmony. Winners of the Holiday Card Competition will also be recognized and Bob Opsahl will join the crowd for the lighting of the tree live on WFTV Channel 9. Afterwards families can enjoy refreshments provided by local businesses, plus face painting, caricatures and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Saturday December 1 | 7am - 10:30am
Wake up bright and early the next morning and help turn pancake batter into a stack of "dough" at the 14th annual Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast. Join presenting sponsors Fannie Hillman + Associates and Vanson Constructors, plus Leadership Winter Park graduates for a traditional pancake breakfast complete with sausage, coffee, juice and an array of toppings at the Central Park stage. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children and can be purchased in advance online, at the Winter Park Welcome Center or at the event. Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit six Winter Park area elementary schools to help purchase much-needed supplies for the classroom. Pancakes are served from 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Come early, enjoy a hearty breakfast and grab a great seat for the parade.

Saturday December 1 | 9am
The 60th annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade presented by Bright House Networks has been held on the first Saturday in December for sixty years, making it the longest-running parade in Central Florida. In 2012 the parade will be under the direction of honorary grand marshal, U.S. Congressman John Mica, and will travel down Park Avenue, starting at Cole Avenue and proceeding south to Comstock Avenue. More than 100 units will participate including bands, local police and fire departments, marching bands, scouting groups, local dignitaries, and, of course, Santa Claus.

Thursday, December 6th | 6:15pm
The 34th Annual Christmas in the Park Celebration is the must see event: nine of the leaded-glass Tiffany windows from the Morse Museum just down the avenue will light up Central Park.  Also, a free outdoor concert of seasonal favorites by the 150-voice Bach Festival Choir, one of America’s premier oratorio ensembles, provides the evening's entertainment.  The event is by far one of the most popular holiday events of the year and the park fills up fast so make sure to show up early.  Some choose to sit across the street at Prato and have dinner during the concert.

Out of the nine windows featured for the event eight of the windows are memorials with religious themes produced by Tiffany Studios for the chapel constructed in 1908 for the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females in New York.

Thursday, December 6th | 6:30-8:30pm
Casa Feliz will be hosting their annual 'Christmas at the Casa' which will feature costumed carolers and Santa Claus may stop by. 

Friday, December 7th | 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Winter Park’s Hannibal Square Merchants Association will present Hannibal Square Holiday (admission $30) featuring area restaurants Armando’s, Chez VincentDexter’s, Mi Tomatina, Tollas and live musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic. It will all on New England Avenue, between Virginia Ave and Pennsylvania Ave in Winter Park.

Saturday, December 8th | Dusk
The 9th Annual Winter Park Boat Parade and Festival of Lights will feature a live water ski show on the shores of Rollins College.  The Albin Polesk Museum and Sculpture Gardens is the official viewing site and features the judging booth for the boat parade.  The event begins at dusk and please be aware that some sites will charge for parking.
Sunday December 9th | 5pm
The city will host it's annual Chanukah in the Park celebration in Central Park.  The event will feature a number of musicians, performers, and food booths.

Saturday December 15th | 1pm
The 17th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas concert is free open t to the public. It will feature tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone players.

Saturday, December 15 | 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16 | 2:00pm
The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park presents its annual Christmas program, A Classic Christmas, featuring the Bach Festival Choir, Orchestra, and Youth Choir, and conducted by John V. Sinclair. In addition to classic holiday favorites, such as “Joy to the World” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” this year’s program also includes orchestra performances of “Carol of the Bells” and other seasonal treats. It will take place at Knowles Memorial Chapel, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Saturday, December 22nd | 9:30pm-4:00pm
Sunday, December 23rd | 1:00pm-4:00pm
The Morse Museum will feature its annual Holiday Weekend Open House.  This is the perfect time to stop by the museum and check out all the great additions that have been added over the past few years. on Facebook on Pinterest on twitter on Instagram