Commissioner Stuart’s Message
I love fall in Florida. As all the memes have highlighted, maybe the definition of autumn is a little different here in the Sunshine State than in much of the country, but I’ll take 80 degrees and low humidity, thank you very much! As we celebrate all things haunted this month, there are many opportunities around our great city to enjoy your best outdoor life.
To start of the spooky month, head over to the Audubon Park Garden District on Saturday, October 5th from 5-10 p.m. for what has become a can’t miss October event, the Night Market + Zombietoberfest. If you haven’t been, add this to your event bucket list as it has something for everyone including live music, unique and amazing local shopping, a costume contest, Kidstoberfest and a free outdoor showing of the classic movie Little Shop of Horrors. Visit audubonparkgardens.com for all the fun details.
The fear factor continues this month at Leu Gardens when they host Haunting Tales taking place on October 11th at 7:30 p.m. Beware that this event is probably not suitable for the little ears in your group and after the intermission, things will get even scarier. Bring your chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner, although food will be available for purchase. Visit leugardens.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
Another way to get into the Halloween spirit, is to join local historian Don Price on Friday, October 25th at 8 p.m. for a moonlight stroll through Greenwood Cemetery. The tour is a great way to learn about the history of Orlando by visiting the final resting places of many of the members of our City’s founding families. The event is free, but requires registration, which opens for this tour on October 11th. For more information, please visit www.greenwood-cemetery.net.
In keeping with the Halloween theme, the Mennello Museum is hosting the third annual Howl O’Woof presented by local restaurant favorite Pig Floyd’s on October 27th from 3-5 p.m. for our resident dog lovers. This family friendly event offers a chance to dress up your pet for the holiday and trick or treat through the museum’s sculpture garden. Visit Mennellomuseum.org for information about this and many other events taking place all month long.
And speaking of Halloween, just a friendly reminder to review with your family the list of Halloween Safety tips created by the Orlando Police Department to encourage safety on this busy night. While this holiday provides family and community camaraderie, it is also a time when we all need to be extra cautious, especially in neighborhoods like Baldwin Park and College Park that are fast becoming some of the best trick-or-treating spots around!
- Know your children’s route
- Take a flashlight
- Be sure costumes, shoes, and treat bags don’t pose any risks or hazards.
- Remind kids not to enter strangers’ homes or cars.
- Be sure to inspect all treats before allowing kids to eat them.
- Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk.
- Never cross the street between parked cars.
- Watch open flames from jack-o-lanterns as they can catch costumes and long wigs on fire.
- Make sure that fake knives and swords are made from cardboard or other flexible materials to avoid accidental injury or worse having them mistaken for the real thing!
It is also important to ensure that your home is safe and accessible to trick-or-treaters. As adults, there are some very simple things we can do to make the evening safe for everyone.
- Turn on your porch light.
- Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch where kids get bunched up when trick-or-treating in groups.
- Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard.
- Drive slowly all evening as you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police (non-emergency number, 321-235-5300).
- Keep in mind the effect that all of the visitors might have on your family pets and keep them away from the front door if they seem overwhelmed.
Once again, thank you for your support and for taking the time to do your part in helping keep our community safe and healthy. Happy Halloween and Happy Fall to you and your family!