Commissioner Stuart’s December Message
I love the holidays in Orlando. There are so many ways to spend time with family and friends. If you haven’t been downtown recently, December is a great month to visit one of our City jewels, Lake Eola, for many great events.
Enjoy the Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show December 6th through the 22nd at 5:45 p.m.; 6:45 p.m.; 7:45 p.m.; 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. The Eola Wonderland 72-foot Christmas tree will come alive with a synchronized light and music show while the Lake Eola fountain displays red, green and gold lights. Santa Claus will also be at the Eola House taking visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 – 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 5-8 p.m.
Also at Lake Eola, enjoy holiday-themed movies, on Friday, December 13th; Friday, December 20th; and Saturday, December 27th. Also at Lake Eola, enjoy the annual Violetric Holiday Show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 14th ; and “The Nutcracker” performed by the Russian Ballet Orlando on Saturday, December 21st at 7 p.m. at Lake Eola’s Walt Disney Amphitheater.
In College Park, enjoy the annual Holiday on the Drive event taking place this year on Thursday, December 12th at 5 p.m. This event is the College Park Main Street’s gift to the community and is free and open to the public. This year activities include a snow slide, rock climbing wall, train and horse drawn wagon rides, arts and crafts. Santa will be hanging out in the Albert Park gazebo and the local shops and restaurants along Edgewater Drive will be set up on the street along with over artisans for local eating and shopping.
On Saturday, December 14th, enjoy the Winter Spark in Baldwin Park festival and parade in the Village Center near Harbor Park. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with performances and photos with Santa with the event culminating with the parade starting at 7 p.m.
For our sports aficionados, join us after the holidays at Camping World Stadium for the Camping World Bowl on December 28th at noon, which pits the ACC vs. the Big 12; and the VRBO Citrus Bowl game on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. The seventh-oldest bowl game in the country, the Citrus Bowl was first played in 1947. Originally called the Tangerine Bowl, the initial game sponsors, members of Elks Lodge #1079 of Orlando, each put up $100 to fund initial expenses. The game moved to the New Year’s Day date in 1987 and since 1993 has hosted a matchup between the SEC and the Big Ten.
Lastly, while this is a special time of year, it is also a time when many of us are very busy and can forget to focus on easy crime prevention techniques, whether at home, in our car, or shopping for that perfect holiday gift. When shopping, avoid overloading yourself with packages and secure all bags and items in the trunk or other concealed area so they are not visible in your vehicle. If you are going out of town, ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and/or newspaper and leave a light or two on inside and outside your home so that the house looks occupied. And when putting your trash curbside after the holidays, break down any boxes from high-end items so as not to advertise what type of property is in your home.
Our OPD North Patrol officers have also made me aware that many of our District 3 residents have a tendency to leave their cars unlocked. While I certainly understand the belief that you shouldn’t have to lock your cars, it is unfortunately the world in which we currently live. There is evidence that the bad guys go back to areas where they know there are a lot of cars in a small vicinity where they can make a quick grab. Please help us make it harder on criminals by locking your vehicles and securing your valuables especially when you have extra items at holiday time.
As we are poised to ring in the New Year and a new decade, let me express my personal thanks for your support of our District 3 staff, our city professionals, and our local neighborhood and homeowner groups. Merry Christmas and best wishes to you and your family for a prosperous 2020.by