Orlando is the city beautiful. That’s our motto and it becomes even more so when the cities are draped in patriotic colors of red, white and blue. The fantastic displays in the parks are something to be seen.
You could say the parks are experts in pyrotechnics as they have firework displays every day of the year. Special holidays like the 4th of July and New Year’s Day means viewers are in for a feast of the senses as these parks put on displays rarely seen around the world.
Taking a page from the parks incredible displays, places such as Lake Eola delight with their not-to-be-missed firework spectaculars!
Fireworks not your style? There’s also FREE admission to the beautiful the Morse Museum in Winter Park where another kind color explosion happens in the form of a stunning display of Tiffany glass.
The wonderful folks at visitorlando.com have gathered this list for you and we’re happy to share it with you! We hope you enjoy it and have a very
Happy 4th of July!
Nighttime fireworks shows at three of Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks will get Fourth of July makeovers in honor of the holiday. Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky will take place at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4 at Magic Kingdom® Park. On July 4 only, Independence Day fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. at Epcot®, and 9:30 p.m. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. All three are included with regular admission to their respective parks.
Learn more: Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World Resort
Celebrate America’s birthday with one of Orlando’s most incredible fireworks displays at SeaWorld Orlando’s 4th of July Celebration. Consisting of a patriotic finale to the park’s regular end-of-day spectacle, Ignite, the event will light up the sky with fireworks, lasers and pyrotechnics. It’s all included with regular park admission and can best be viewed at SeaWorld’s Bayside Stadium.
Learn more: Discount Tickets to SeaWorld Orlando
On July 4-6, LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Red, White & Boom! event will culminate with a fireworks gala where special viewing glasses will make it appear as if giant LEGO® bricks are exploding in the sky. The day’s festivities will also include a DJ dance party, a patriotic competition build, and the chance to help build an enormous LEGO U.S. flag. The festivities are included with regular park admission.
Learn more: Discount Tickets to LEGOLAND Florida Resort
The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, about an hour from downtown Orlando, has been an Independence Day weekend tradition for nearly five decades. Held on July 6, this year’s 160-lap, 400-mile event will feature all of the fast action fans have come to expect, followed by one of the Southeast’s largest fireworks shows. Admission prices vary.
Running from 6-11 p.m., this free, annual event kicks off with a festival in Village Center of Baldwin Park, about 15 minutes from downtown Orlando. At 9:15 p.m., enjoy a spectacular, choreographed fireworks show over Lake Baldwin.
Celebrate U.S. independence with a free fireworks display and laser show at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. Beginning at 4 p.m., the event will feature live music, a beer garden, a kids’ play area, and food and beverages available for purchase, culminating with evening fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Held at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs, about 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando, this free event offers live performances, mouthwatering food and beverages, and a synchronized fireworks display. It runs from 4-11 p.m., with the fireworks scheduled for 9:30.
Head to Wall St. Plaza in downtown Orlando for two nights of patriotic block parties with great food, outdoor games, tons of giveaways, live music and more. All of Wall St. Plaza’s member bars will be participating, including Cantina, The Hen House, Hooch, The Monkey Bar, Shine, Sideshow and Waitiki.
Now in its 24th year, this annual celebration takes place in Winter Park’s Central Park, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando. Running from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the event will feature live music, a Family Fun Program Kids Zone, and free hot dogs, watermelon and water for all while supplies last.
Start your Independence Day the right way with a 5K around the city of Winter Park, just 20 minutes from downtown Orlando. The race starts at 7 a.m. and benefits the Track Shack Foundation, a local 501c(3) organization that promotes health and fitness with an emphasis on youth programs. Entry costs $30 through June 22, $35 from June 23 – July 3, and $40 on race day. Through July 3, a $10 discount is available for military and anyone age 17 and under or 65 and over.
On Independence Day, enjoy free admission at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando. The museum hosts the world’s largest collection of works by famed artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Check out festivals and events in March across the state.
This list is organized by region.
Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)
Through March 10: Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City. Strawberry celebration dating back to 1930. Features daily entertainment, agriculture shows, livestock and the Midway with more than 60 rides. This year headliners include The Oak Ridge Boys, Willie Nelson, Kool & The Gang, Martina McBride and so many more. Gate admission ranges $4 to $8, and headliner’s tickets begin at $20. At Plant City Festival Grounds. Admission required. 813-752-9194. flstrawberryfestival.com
Through April 4: Universal Studios Mardi Gras, Orlando. A New Orleans party atmosphere is mixed up with a lineup of big-name concerts for another year of Mardi Gras at the Orlando theme park. The event which takes place for 64 straight nights features Cajun and Creole cuisine, a Mardi Gras parade, street performers, lots of bead tossing and Zydeco bands direct from Louisiana. On 13 select nights, major label musicians will perform. Included with Universal Studios ticket or annual pass. 407-363-8000. www.universalorlando.com
Through May 5: SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival, Orlando. Held on Saturday and Sunday with concerts on each day. Discover unique Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and North Atlantic dishes throughout the park and feature a wide array of wine, specialty cocktails, and local and international craft brews. Seven Seas is included with regular park admission beginning at $59.99. For more on the menu and other details, go to: https://seaworld.com/orlando/events/seven-seas-food-festival/
March 2: First Saturday Workshops & Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement music workshops and a free open music jam. Workshops begin at 10 am and jam sessions begin at 1 pm in the auditorium. Admission is free for members. 1776 Lightfoot Lane, 32105 386-749-2959. pioneersettlement.org
March 2: Brevard County 4-H Family 5K, Melbourne. All Brevard County 4-H members and their families are welcome to participate as we run, walk, bike, or scooter to the finish line. Registration is $6 per child, and must be paid upon check-in at the event. Parents are able to participate in the event at no cost. The run will begin at 4:00 PM, but please plan to arrive by 3:30 PM to check in. The race will start and end at the Wickham Park Community Garden, adjacent to the Fantastic 4-H Farm in the horse stables. Healthy snacks will be available at the finish line. More Information: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/brevard/4-h-and-youth/4-h-youth/
March 2-3: Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the Arts, Lake Mary. This is the 32nd Annual Art Fair. View fine art and craft exhibits and enjoy live entertainment. Local food trucks offer great local food. Free. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to p.m. At Oval Park, 900 International Pkwy; 407-323-1142 or: lakemaryheathrowarts.com
March 2-3: Floral City Strawberry Festival, Floral City. The Citrus County Chamber of Commerce hosts the 32nd Annual Floral City Strawberry Festival, with more than 200 arts and craft booths. Special features include an antique car show, pony rides, rock climbing wall, pie eating contest, Strawberry Princess pageants, and continuous children’s activities. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At Floral Park. A shuttle bus will be available. 352-795-3149. gostrawberryfest.com
March 2-3: The Grant Seafood Festival, Grant. This is the 53rd year of the infamous Grant Seafood Festival. In addition to delicacies from the sea, the festival features entertainment and crafts exhibits from more than 100 artists at 4580 First Street. Festival hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free. For information, visit grantseafoodfestival.com
You’ve done it. You’ve made the commitment to downsizing. That was hard enough to do but what comes next can be downright daunting. You have to actually do the downsizing.
While this part can become overwhelming quickly and get the best of you, there are strategies that can help you overcome downsizing dilemmas and achieve your goal of living a less cluttered and happier life.
There you stand in your garage, attic or in front of the door of that closet so overstuffed you’re scared to open it and you just feel lost.
This is where you begin to feel overwhelmed, but now is definitely not the time to give up. Just take a breath and apply this tip.
Start small. Choose one closet or one drawer. Sort, clean and immediately remove unwanted items from your home.
Do one smaller space, such as a drawer, each day and one bigger space, such as a closet, each weekend. When you’re consistent with this, you’ll make great progress.
The key here is to continuously remove the items you don’t want or you will build up scattered piles of junk around your home, and we certainly don’t want that.
Make a habit of bringing a bag of removable items with you every time you leave the house. You can bring those books you wish to donate to your local library with you when you have to return borrowed books or are going to be in the area of your library. You can bring clothing to local drop-offs for shelters, thrift stores or VA organizations when you know you have the time to make the extra trip.
When you repeat these actions regularly you’ll form great habits for yourself. This will not only help with your project of decluttering your home but will make keeping your home clutter-free second nature for you. That’s called a win-win!
You love it, but you don’t use it. But you love it. But you don’t use it.
This vicious circle can drag you down. You own something that is either truly sentimental or maybe reminds you of a special time in your life or that special someone who isn’t here anymore, but you don’t use it.
Really, it just sits there, taking up space and it’s such a wonderful thing that someone could put to good use. The hard part is deciding who that someone could be and if it’s expensive, whether to sell it or gift it away.
Try this as a solution: Give the things you care about the most to the people you care about the most. When they use them (and they will) they’ll always think of you. It’s part of how you carry on traditions or even create your own legacy.
Let’s say though that the item is very expensive and not that sentimental. You also don’t want it to go to just one person. You have a few people in mind for this item or even items. What do you do?
Sell it and split the profits how you see fit among the people you wish to give it to. Depending on how much money is involved, you may need to get a lawyer or accountant or Realtor involved to help you handle the sale and the best way to divide the monies you gain from the sale.
Oh boy, this one takes forethought and a bit of common sense to conquer.
That shirt you know you’re going to fit in again. Those bright colored pants that will come back into style, someday. The roadmaps of all the states that will come in handy when you finally take that cross country RV trip. Those five toasters sitting in your garage…because, well, you know, toast.
Look, we’re all guilty of it. We keep thing we don’t really need in the hopes that we’ll get good use out of them one day. This makes us feel like we’re prepared for that someday.
The truth is, they’re just taking up space. That shirt you want so desperately to fit in someday would be put to better use in a thrift store whose proceeds goes to help the homeless get back to work. Those bright colored pants were never really in style. Sorry, about that one, but it’s nearly always 100% true. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and message us a photo to prove us wrong. We’d love to see them.
There’s a Netflix show that’s brimming with popularity right now called, ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’. Mari Kondo, an organizer from Japan, goes to different homes to help people organize and declutter their lives. She speaks of holding an item to see if it ‘sparks joy’ in your life. Any item that sparks joy you keep. Any item that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ goes into one of two piles, trash or donate.
It’s a very simple method, but oh so effective. Another great tip; watch an episode or two of the show before you begin your downsizing. It’s amazing and if you like her bright, pleasant personality, like the tens of millions of her devotees, you too will be going around your home seeing what ‘sparks joy’ and what doesn’t as soon as you finish watching.
Remember, the reason you’re downsizing is more important than the reason you’re keeping these items in the first place. Maybe it’s creating space in your home. Maybe you’re moving to a smaller home. Maybe you’ve bought that RV and you are going to travel the continental US on that trip you’ve always said you’d make.
Whatever the reason, the other side of downsizing is a side that is less cluttered, more organized and cleaner looking home than what you’re staring with right now. Take it easy, go step by step and apply these tips to overcome any downsizing dilemmas that may cross your path along the way.
Charles and Wendy Snellgrove of Clearwater shared their first-hand experiences with Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse related to repair work on their homes when they testified before the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee yesterday. The Snellgroves encouraged lawmakers to pass AOB reform legislation this session.
The Snellgroves signed an AOB to repair a leak under their kitchen sink. They thought they were authorizing repair work to start but, in fact, were signing over control of their insurance policy to the restoration company. The company proceeded to gut their kitchen and charge their insurance company $26,000 for considerably more work than was necessary.
It turned out the leak was minor and did not justify removing the kitchen but, by then, it was too late. The Snellgroves tried to rescind the contract, but the water remediation company refused and sued them for breach of contract. In the end, it took the Snellgroves more than a year and a half to get their kitchen restored.
“It angers us tremendously that repair companies are using AOB to take advantage of people,’’ Charles Snellgrove said. “No one should have to go through what we did.’’
The consumers’ testimony was part of a workshop spread out over two full committee meetings to discuss AOB as it related to property and auto glass claims. Senator Doug Broxson, Chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, has introduced legislation – SB 122 – to address the awarding of attorney fees under insurance policies and contracts, which is fueling AOB abuse. AOB abuse has become a cottage industry for trial attorneys working in cahoots with shady vendors, including home restoration organizations, looking to make a quick buck.
The Consumer Protection Coalition, which is spearheaded by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, applauds Broxson and the Senate for their attention to this issue so early in the session and for recognizing the problem.
THREE WAYS YOU CAN HELP
This post is a di
Consumer Protection Coalition
Florida Chamber of Commerce
136 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301