Winter Springs Festival of the Arts

With the weather finally cooling down to a comfortable temperature in central Florida, October is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and festivals. For an event that the whole family will enjoy, head to the annual Winter Springs Festival of the Arts, just north of Orlando. This family-friendly weekend festival celebrates fine art, food, wine, and music—presenting the best of Central Florida’s creative personalities in a way that is inviting and engaging.

In its fifth year running, The Winter Springs Festival of the Arts will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM on October 20th and 21st, 2012. The open air festival runs along picturesque Blumberg Blvd, behind the Winter Springs Town Center. Presented by the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the City of Winter Springs, the Festival is free and open to the public. Free parking is also available in the Winter Spring High School lot, though donations are accepted and are given to the High School’s Athletic Boosters.

Free admission and parking? That’s what we call inexpensive family entertainment. For a preview of what to expect at the festival, one of the best things to do in Orlando in winter, read on!

The Art

orlando attractions

“London Street” is a painting by last year’s Best in Show Winner, Charles Gatewood

Fine art from 125 juried and invited artists will be on display for you and your family to admire. These talented artists represent a diverse array of mediums and fields, including painting, drawing, sculpture and clay, graphic design, pastels, jewelry, crafts, mixed media, photography, digital media, and even performing arts. Several awards (and cash prizes) will be handed out to the artists with the best work, so you can expect art of the highest quality. A map of the festival, including each artist’s location and focus, is available to download online.

The 2011 Best of Show winner, representational oil painter Charles Gatewood, will be back at this year’s festival, and his painting,London Street, is featured on the Fifth Anniversay collector poster—a great souvenir to take home.

A Kids’ Activities Booth for kids to make their own arts and crafts projects will be open near Doran Drive, across from the special Student Art exhibit.

The Music

winter springs festival of the arts

Artists will be set up in booths all along Blumberg Blvd.

Throughout the weekend, a line-up of more than 10 dynamic performers will provide entertainment on the Main Stage. Although jazz music is the Festival’s forte, comedians, vocalists, and a few well-known emcees will round out the production.

A few highlights for the weekend include France Neil and Matt “The Saxman” Festa, a duo with incredible chemistry that has been inspiring audiences for nearly half a century (collectively); Smooth Jazz musician Ian Vidal, who is highly influence by Caribbean music and culture; Makeshift, a barbershop-quartet-turned-doo-wop group with gospel and pop influences; and thirteen-year-old Alexa Neilen, winner of just about every talent and voice competition in Central Florida.

A Children’s Entertainment Stage will also be set up by the Kids’ Activities Booth.

The Food & Wine

Ah, it’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the refreshments! A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at booths along the street. For the 21+ crowd, artisan wines and beers can be bought at two separate booths on either end of Blumberg Bvld.

More Family-Friendly Fall Attractions

This area boasts a plethora of things to do in Orlando that will entertain the whole family. October and November are two of the best months to visit the big theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando, when the crowds and prices are down and the weather is ideal for being outdoors. If you just don’t feel like hitting a big theme park, try a smaller-scale amusement park like Fun Spot Orlando Action Park, or avoid the parks all together in favor of world-class attractions like the Daytona International Speedway or the Kennedy Space Center.

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