Mount Dora's annual Independence Day Parade, sponsored by Lake County Rotary, is this Saturday, July 4th. The procession starts at 10 a.m. and proceeds to downtown (see route map at right).
Attendees are encouraged to bring canned food donations for Lake Cares Food Pantry, the non-profit that benefits local families in need. The food pantry has a downtown drop-off location along the parade route on the corner of 4th and Alexander Street. All donations made will be matched by Main Street Leasing as part of the Local Love Food Drive.
For more local 4th of July celebrations and fireworks information click here.
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EUSTIS - After weeks of construction, a greatly improved playground is ready to open tomorrow. The ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm will feature hot dogs and slushies for the kids while supplies last.
The new playground was part of phase one of the planned Ferran Park improvements which also included replacing sidewalks, installing new irrigation and landscaping. Phase two improvements are set to begin later this year and will include beautification of Park gateway entrances, additional parking, landscaping and signage.
The Ferran Park Master Plan aims to revive the park to allow for maximum public use. Some ideas suggested by the public for future improvements include expansion of the pool deck, inclusion of a water feature, such as a splash pad or water park, connectivity to the existing Lake Walk and possibly, a skateboard park. Ferran Park is the first public park constructed in Eustis. It is named after the city's pioneer and local businessman, Edgar L. Ferran. The Park began with the purchase of land between Clifford Avenue and Orange Avenue in 1913. It is also home to the Alice B. McClelland Bandshell, built in 1926, which is located on the north end of the Park. The Bandshell was refurbished in 1992 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
EUSTIS – The city will be celebrating Independence Day with a Hometown Celebration during its day-long event in Ferran Park, downtown. . The Hometown Celebration begins Saturday, July 4, 2015 at noon and includes free live music, a free kid zone, games, sailboat rides, vendors, food and a spectacular fireworks finale over Lake Eustis at 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment on the bandshell will include:Jerico, the Jeff Howell Blues Band, the Smoking Torpedoes, Paragon Color Guard and Bay Street Theatre.
Kids will love the free Kid Zone where they can experience the new playground structure in Ferran Park, show off their dance moves at Studio 19’s hip-hop dance party and play life-size lawn games including KerPlunk, Jenga and Twister. Other free Kid Zone activities include an obstacle course, bounce house, face painter and balloon animals.
The Eustis Aquatic Center, located in Ferran Park, will be open for a free, open-swim from noon through 4 p.m. The Lake Eustis Sailing Club will be providing sailboat rides and demonstrations on the shores of Lake Eustis in the Park from 5 – 7 p.m.
The public is invited to support our troops overseas with Operation Interdependence. Visit the Day of Service area to create a card and survival bracelet then fill a package with items to be sent to the troops. Before leaving, snap a picture of thanks at the photo booth to include in the package.
“There will be something for everyone to enjoy at this fun-filled family event,” said Erin Bailey, the City’s Event Coordinator. ”We invite attendees to come early and enjoy some great food, games, vendors and music, prior to the fireworks.”
The night will be capped off at 9:30 p.m. with an explosion of fireworks over Lake Eustis. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
Hurricane season has arrived and Lake County Emergency Management officials recently announced all nine of the county’s emergency shelters are now pet-friendly.
“We are aware of how important pets are to many of our citizens, so we are thrilled to have worked with the Lake County Sheriff and the School Board to ensure people can bring their pets with them during emergencies,” said Tommy Carpenter, Manager of Lake County Emergency Management.
“It is important to know that all pets arriving to county shelters will need to be crated and owners must bring their animal’s vaccination records along with food and water", Carpenter pointed out.
Shelter locations include Astatula Elementary, Leesburg Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Mascotte Elementary, Round Lake Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Treadway Elementary, Umatilla Elementary and The Villages Elementary.
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A continuum of lakes amid rolling hills with gorgeous sunsets is reason enough to live in Mount Dora. The inviting topography combined with friendly locals, a rich history, and the absence of congestion make the area a haven for professionals seeking a slower, family-friendly place to build their dream home.
Some enjoy a sliver of inland paradise, while those a bit more fortunate have a wider slice of heaven. Indicative of the area's renewed appeal is this year's Parade of Homes winner for the Greater Orlando Builders Association which sits perched upon a hilltop in a secluded Mount Dora neighborhood. Among almost 100 entries that represent the finest in home building and design, the Lake Dora custom home won the Grand Award for Best Overall Custom Home, as well as the first place award for its price category, beating out the other impressive entries from Orange and Seminole Counties..
The owners played a significant role in the design and collaborated with the designer, Matt Murrell, for 15 months. The sprawling retreat took 16 months to build and is a Mediteranean entertaining mecca for adults and children alike. The family home boasts 24' tall expansive views of Lake Dora, an abundance of natural light, plus stunning details and amenities to rival any resort.
The aesthetic, yet functional, centerpiece of the home is the large climate-controlled wine room. Its over-sized glass windows and cascading wine display momentarily transport visitors to the tasting rooms of Napa Valley. This warm focal point successfully ties together the living room, dining room and kitchen areas.
Of course, the lake is the magnet for the outdoor space which features a stacked stone summer kitchen, inviting angled fireplace and plenty of multi-level decking for staying in or out of the sun. The free-form stone pool, by Southern Pool Designs, has an elevated spa, a stone waterfall, and a wide wading shelf. The final details are the marble cocktail table and seating inside the pool. To add to the exterior's evening ambiance there are two elevated gas fire bowls at the lakefront edge of the pool.
The perfectionism of the home's builder, Beck Custom Homes, is evident in the craftsmanship of the home and its details including two sweeping staircases with subtle mosaic risers, wrought iron railings, Mediterranean Ivory travertine, various textures of Crema Marfil marble and a handful of inlays of Emperador Dark marble. Most of the rich cabinetry is crafted from maple with different stains and glazes.
The home also features a large sauna, sprawling gourmet kitchen with built-in wine dispenser, enviable man cave with home theater and full bar, master bedroom espresso bar and enough garages to start a collection of European classics.
The friendly homeowners, originally from Sweden and Texas, lived in nearby Eustis before stumbling upon their lakefront dream lot in Mount Dora. Their finished retreat is the product of its stunning natural surroundings and the successful collaboration between themselves, the designer and the builder.
EUSTIS - At the City Commission meeting held yesterday, the commission formally elected Acting Mayor Michael Holland as mayor and Commissioner Karen LeHeup-Smith as vice mayor for the City of Eustis. Holland and LeHeup will serve through January 2016. The City currently has an opening for an Interim Commissioner for Seat #5 and applications are currently being accepted through June 24, 2015. The temporary Commission term will be from June 30 through Sept. 3. Applications are available at Eustis City Hall.
Applicants for Interim Commissioner must be registered voters of the City of Eustis who have resided within the city for at least two years. The deadline for the completed, hard copy application's delivery to the city clerk is by 5:00 p.m. on June 24. Applicants will need to provide their voter registration card and Florida photo identification.
A special commission meeting, open to the public, will be held on June 30, 2015 at City Hall for selection of the appointee. Applicants can provide a three-minute presentation to the commission, after which the Commission will be given three minutes to ask questions of each applicant. Following the presentations, the commission will nominate and appoint the Interim Commissioner.
A special election for City Commission Seat #5 for a partial term will be held on August. 25 at the Eustis Community Center. A letter informing voters of the temporary polling location change and a sample ballot will be mailed the first week of August to all registered voters in the City of Eustis.
The special election's qualifying period will begin at 12:00 p.m. on July 6 and will end at 12:00 p.m. on July 10.
The partial term for Commission Seat #5 is from Sept. 3 through Dec. 31, 2016. Seat #5 will be up for reelection for a full term in the November 2016 regular election.
Monday, June 22, the intersection of 4th Avenue and Baker Street will be closed for utility connection work which will continue through Friday, June 26. Traffic at this intersection will be detoured at Tremain Street. Drivers are encouraged to use caution, and follow detour signs when traveling through downtown Mount Dora.
By Sharon G. Nichols, senior writer Where can you take your children or grandchildren and see top movies; educational programs; family story time; live performances and it does not cost you--one single cent? It is the W.T. Bland Library and it is completely funded by the Friends of the Library.
"Starting on June 22nd our summer program starts at 2:00 p.m. with our Monday Movies," said Lynn Gonzales the Youth Services Librarian. "We've been doing this for every summer and we fill each day of the week with different programs. All fun and with the family in mind, we try and reach all the age groups at different times." This summer's program is titled "Every Hero Has a Story".
Tuesday mornings is Activity Hour for grades K-5 in the Children's Program Room. Open to the first 50 children, the first program on the 23rd is called Maker and STEM. This fascinating, engaging hands on program teaches the children teamwork and presentation skills by using Strawbees. It is a little engineering and education construction kit with connectors.
" Science and basic physics, tossed in with construction," Gonzales said. "I cannot wait to see the kids. And then on the following Tuesday the program will be on bees. Each Tuesday is a different program, the kids love it."
Family Story Time is on Wednesday. From June 24-July 29 at 10:30 a.m. toddlers and preschoolers can hear stories read aloud to them. Wednesday is a packed day for the library. At 3:30 p.m. the Lego club meets and all children are welcome to come. Its only being offered on June 24th, July 8th and July 22nd this summer. The weeks in between on Wednesday's is PAWS Therapy Dogs. This is where licensed therapy dogs visit the library and the kids can read to the dogs.
"Kids love this program," she said. "Its where kids can read to a dog and the dog just sits there and both animal and child bond--over a book no less."
But it's the Thursday live performances at 2:00 p.m. held at the Mount Dora Community Building which draws the biggest crowds. All ages are welcome but you must come a little early to get a seat. House attendance is anywhere from 250-450 children and adults.
"The shows are amazing," Gonzales said. "Several of the performers have been coming and putting on their show at the library for more than 20 years. John Storms and His World of Reptiles plus Jiggleman. We've got 6 other phenomenal shows lined up this year."
Gonzales started a new story time hour on Fridays back in April. Held on the 3rd Friday of each month at 10:30 its called Sensory Story Time. Its participants are children ages 3-5 years old who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This special opportunity for parents and children must be pre-registered because space is limited. Only 8 children and their parents can attend.
"None of these programs would be possible if it wasn't for our Friends of the Library," she said. "They buy all of our supplies, video's, computers. Everything. They are amazing."
The Friends of the Library needs more members. Annual membership starts at $10 and work up to the Benefactor rate of $100. All membership money, goes to fund the needs of the library, in addition to the funds generated from book sales at the Book Nook and the annual Used Book Sale.
W.T. Bland Public Library located at 1995 N. Donnelly Street. Phone 352-735-7180. Hours: M,Th,Fr 9-6 Tu&Wed 9-8 Sat 9-2. For the entire schedule of special children's programs at the community center, visit the calendar page at www.MountDoraBuzz.com
First it was the thirty day sugar detox. Now it's the garage version. The Lake County Solid Waste Division is encouraging Mount Dora residents to dispose of toxic materials in a safe and environmentally sensitive way at an upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection event. The Waste Mobile Unit will be on site from 9 a.m. until noon on Thursday, June 25 at the Walmart parking lot, located at 17030 U.S. Highway 441 in Mount Dora.
The collection event is open to Lake County residents with proper identification only. Representatives will be on-hand to collect small quantities of unused or unwanted waste products such as lawn and gardening materials, photo and swimming pool chemicals, paint and related products, cleaning solutions, motor oil and used gas, batteries, fluorescent lamps, light bulbs and small propane tanks.
The staff at the event will be offering convenient drive-thru disposal of items so residents won’t have to leave their vehicles. Materials such as infectious waste, solvents, chemical laboratory waste and radioactive waste are prohibited.
Excessive amounts of hazardous materials will not be accepted due to limited space in the mobile unit. If residents have large quantities of items to dispose of, a special drop-off day may be scheduled at the Central Solid Waste Facility, located at 13130 County Landfill Road in Tavares. To schedule a drop-off, call 352-343-3776.
Christmas has come and gone. Spring flowers have bloomed and faded. At long last, summer will be the magic season for anxious local bargain hunters.
The area's newest discount chain store, Ross Dress for Less, is opening 17th and then has a grand opening on July 18.
The new 26,000 square foot store will be in the location of the former K-Mart on US 441 in Mount Dora. The store will be the same average size as the chain's other new stores.
"Every new Ross store is unique with the merchandise assortment it carries. We’re excited about our new Mount Dora location and encourage customers to come visit the new location to see what new and exciting bargains Ross has to offer soon", said the company spokesperson.
In addition to its discounted apparel, home decor, jewelry and linens, the store also expects to add fifty new full-time and part-time jobs. People interested in applying for positions at the new store should visit http://corp.rossstores.com/careers