This is the last weekend to check out the 2014 Bands, Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld Orlando. This weekend, Hank Williams Jr. (3/8) and Alabama (3/9) will be performing at 4:00 p.m. at the park's Bayside Stadium. Grab some delicious BBQ, sip on ice-cold craft beer and enjoy the show.
Also this weekend, Daddy Yankee (3/8) and Steve Miller Band (3/9) will playing at the Bands, Brew & BBQ Event at Busch Gardens. Visit the website for information on buying tickets, VIP passes and wristbands.
If you prefer to visit the parks during the week (shorter lines!), SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens are offering $50 weekday tickets through May 5, 2014. If that isn't good enough, the tickets are good for all of spring break!
And, in other SeaWorld news, Discovery Cove is offering all-inclusive Dolphin Swim Day Resort Packages starting at $219 plus tax. For that price, you can swim with dolphins, tropical fish and rays, and all resort packages include continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages, as well as dolphin-safe sunscreen, snorkel equipment, lockers, wetsuits and towels. You'll also receive unlimited admission to SeaWorld Aquatica for 14 consecutive days around the date of your reservation. For more information, visit the Discovery Cove website.
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando
I hope you're leaving some time open for the Flower & Garden Festival this year!
Here's a few more photos. I'll post another batch tomorrow, but after that you'll need to visit Epcot to continue enjoying the impressive work the Disney team has created.
Here's your first sneak peek of the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
I'll post some more photos tomorrow and Friday, so check back if you like the ones below.
This year's event is incredible and combines the wonderful topiaries from last year PLUS some new displays!
This year's Mighty St. Patrick's Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is sure to be the most authentic and fun in Central Florida.
The festival begins this Friday, March 7 and runs through St. Patrick's Day.
If you're craving traditional Irish food, you'll have the option of ordering from Raglan Road's popular lunch, dinner and bar menus, and the Irish dish of loin of bacon and cabbage is available all day Sunday. Cooke's of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer fish and chips, battered sausages, deep-fried candy bars and other favorites throughout the event.
We Banjo Three, a quartet from Galway, Ireland, will be performing March 8-10 and 14-17, and Elevation, the popular U2 tribute band, is playing March 15 and 17. Other performers include The West Coast Trio, Goitse, 3 Dollar Band, The Raglan Rebels, The Willis Clan, The Brayzen Heads and the Raglan Road house band Creel.
Ronan McCormack, renowned Irish choreographer and dancer, will also be back this year to lead Irish dance workshops. Bring the family and enjoy face painting, stilt walkers, children's activities and other fun stuff throughout the festival.
The festival is free through March 16. There's a $10 cover charge for those over 18 inside Raglan Road on March 17.
Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney.
For a complete schedule and other information, visit raglanroad.com.
Photo © KMD Creations/Raglan Road
Over the next couple of months, I'll be updating the monthly calendar pages. You can view January here.
If you know of any major events worth including, please comment or send me an email. I'd like the pages to be comprehensive, but I only have space to include larger events that are open to the public.
Feel free to contact me with events in any month of the year.
I'm in the process of creating/updating neighborhood profiles on the site. The most recent addition is MetroWest. Next on the list is Ivanhoe Village, which happens to be one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. I think I'll wait until some of the construction projects are complete before covering any neighborhoods in the downtown area, although Mills/50 will be profiled next month.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood you'd like to see added to the site? If so, leave a comment and let me know. My list is long and growing.
Photo © Sandra Ketcham
Today is the 3rd annual Chili for Charity event at the Winter Park Farmers' Market. The event, which is hosted by the Rotary Club of Winter Park and presented by Mayflower Retirement Community, features delicious chili by more than a dozen area restaurants and caters.
"Chili for Charity is a unique event that brings the community together for a great cause," explains Matthew Bartolomei, president-elect for the Rotary Club of Winter Park. "All of the event proceeds benefit our foundation, which in turn provides grants to support the charities that play an essential role in our community."
Guests are cautioned to eat with extraordinary care - a play on Winter Park's infamous traffic signs. The chili dishes will be evaluated by a panel of judges consisting of food experts and local elected officials. Each dish will also compete for the "Peoples' Choice Award."
Also at the event this year, The Papa Jack Express will be providing live entertainment, and attendees can participate in a live auction.
Ticket are available for $25 each online or for $30 at the door. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the Chili for Charity Facebook page.
Excited about the new additions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal?
If so, book an escape for four, valid for two-night stays at Orlando World Center Marriott June 1 through September 30, starting at just $1,299!
Orlando World Center Marriott is located just minutes from the Universal parks.
Guests will receive:
Two-day park admission for Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure
Round-trip "Hogwarts Express" car service to and from park
Complimentary Harry Potter movies on-demand
$200 "magical feast" food & beverage credit
Jellybeans and tea turndown
Plus, you'll get to experience both parks and explore the new Harry Potter attractions, including Diagon Alley, new shops and restaurants, and the Escape from Gringotts ride!
For reservations call 800-380-7931 or visit worldcentermarriott.com. The Promo code for this package is: FOO
Photo Courtesy of the Zimmerman Agency
I finally visited Fort Christmas Historical Park last weekend. Amazing! I cannot believe I didn't go sooner, especially since it is free.
If you're interested in history or just want a unique place to wander around for a few hours, hop on 50 and check it out. There's even a playground for the little ones.
Sadly, I went on a weekend and the gift shop was closed. A friend said they sell some neat gifts and Native American jewelry.
Have you been to Fort Christmas?
Tomorrow is National Margarita Day at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritavilla.
February 22 is National Margarita Day, and fans of the delicious drink can celebrate the holiday with a complimentary Margarita-making class at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at CityWalk from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Following the free class at Margaritaville University, guests can join in the National Margaritaville Toast at 5:00 p.m.
Later on Saturday, Cocina 214 in Winter Park is hosting its annual Margarita Madness recipe contest at 6:30 p.m. The winner will receive a $100 Cocina 214 gift card and have their recipe featured on the drink menu. Complimentary samples of competing drinks will be available from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Judges include Katie Farmand of Edible Orlando, Travis Joiner of Central Florida's Bartender's Guild, Lauren Johnson of FOX 35, Allison Walker of Central Florida News 13 and Kaitlin McGavock of Daughters & Co.
Cocina 214 is located at 151 E. Welbourne Ave. Winter Park, FL