Commissioner Stuart – December 2021
December has arrived and that means days will be filled with bright lights, smells of pine tree-scented candles, and the joy of family and friends. There are many events happening around the City of Orlando to get residents into the holiday spirit. We hope you’ll join in on the holiday cheer.
Lake Eola serves as the hub for City-hosted events- check out their social media, @LakeEolaPark for information on light shows and holiday movies, along with performances by Violectric (December 11th at 7 p.m.) and The Nutcracker performed by Russian Ballet Orlando (December 18th at 7:30 p.m.).
Our commercial districts will also be hosting events throughout the season and have worked to add to the festive spirit by installing holiday decorations throughout their areas. Do a drive-around the community and check out the decorations in Albert Park, Gaston Edwards Park, the SoDo shopping Plaza, the Baldwin Park Village Center, Curry Ford West’s “Picture Perfect Holiday Photograph” settings, and so many more.
There are also many markets and opportunities to shop local this season, so you aren’t stressed about all of the talk regarding supply chain issues. The Milk District will host their holiday market on December 19th beginning at noon. And of course, our Audubon Park Garden District plays host to the community market every Monday evening. And our newest market is now happening every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. in the Packing District at the corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street.
These are just a few highlights, but I encourage you to stay up to date by following our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and email newsletters (sign-up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
‘Tis the season of holiday shopping in store and online. Online shopping is convenient. However, scammers are everywhere and they case neighborhoods looking for packages on porches. Here are some tips from Orlando Police Department to help you, family, and friends stay safe this holiday season.
- If you are ordering online, make arrangements for alternate drop-off if you won’t be home for a period of time.
- Have your packages sent to your workplace, or to a neighbor’s house where someone is at home.
- We offer an e-commerce exchange zone at Orlando Police Headquarters with two spots in our visitor parking lot set aside for e-commerce exchange. If you are buying or selling something online, please consider making the exchange there. Their lot is under video surveillance and is a well-lit and safe place to drop off or pick up goods. If someone doesn’t want to meet you at a police station for safe exchange, that should be a red flag.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right – trust your instincts.
- When shopping, call law enforcement or reach out to mall security immediately if you are in need, and we will respond.
- Carry your purses and wallets on the front of your body to make it harder for pickpockets.
- Our mantra is, “If you see something, say something.” We can’t tell you how many crimes have been thwarted by citizens who saw something suspicious and brought it to our attention.
- Always lock car doors. Try to park in well-lit areas and never be afraid to ask for an escort to your car if you need one.Make sure your packages are stored securely in the trunk of your vehicle or out of sight. If you are dropping off packages and you intend to continue shopping, consider moving your car to a different area of the lot.
- When you get home, please don’t use your car as a storage area for gifts since car break-ins can happen in a blink of an eye (unless you are one of those unicorns who can park in your garage).
If your New Year’s resolution is to get more involved with your city, the mayor’s State of Downtown Address will take place on December 13th at Exploria Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Registration for the event can be found at doporlando.com/stateofdowntown or can be viewed on our city’s You Tube Channel.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s in our Great City and with the people you love and admire. Thank you for working with us during this unprecedented year. I am truly proud to be a resident of Orlando and share space with each and every one of you who make this city a compassionate place to call home.by