Blasts of canons will travel through the hills of Mount Dora this during this weekend's Civil War Festival and Battle of Townsend’s Plantation re-enactment.
In addition to live battle re-enactments, the educational festival will also feature living history exhibits, folk music, weaponry demonstrations, authentic camps and sutlers, full scale artillery, cavalry and soldiers in time-period uniforms, weaponry, plus a Civil War Ball complete with period costumes.
The three-day event starts with 'School Day' on Friday with students from various schools attending. Special accommodations can be made for groups of students interested in lectures and demonstrations by calling 407-701-8700.
Saturday and Sunday the public is invited to attend the many festivities and re-enactments set under the oaks in the sprawling hills.
The festival is from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Renninger’s Antique Center located at 20651 U.S. 441. Admission is $4 for children under 12 and $6 for adults.
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Combine the Victorian era and innovative technology with a heaping spoonful of fantasy.
That's the recipe for steampunk and the results fall somewhere between Albert Einstein, the Wild West and Mad Max without Thunder Dome.
In this fantastical world, machines are re-imagined and Victorian wardrobes are laced with non-conformity. Leather, brass and industrial gadgets are turned into unorthodox essentials of time-travelers in what is often a post-apocalyptic era.
So how did this retro-futuristic genre get its name? 'Steampunk', first coined in 1987, refers to the Victorian age of steam-powered machines melded with the 'punk' attitude of non-conformity, creativity and unrestrained individuality. This science-fiction genre is present in art, music, fashion, film and especially literature. The term now post-dates to include the works Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others.
Since its modest inaugural event in 2012, Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show show has grown to what is arguably the largest festival of its kind in the Southeast. The event is set under the oak trees of Mount Dora and features over 150 vendors with top steampunk entertainers and arguably some of the most acclaimed Steampunk artists east of Texas. Due to the success of the show Renningers began hosting the event twice a year in January and October.
Now in its fifth year, the show quickly formed its own traditions with the Splendid Teapot Race, a high tea, plus steampunk horse and carriage rides. The entertainment throughout the weekend also reflects the hybrid nature of steampunk with acts ranging from magic and belly dancing to music by some of the best bands in the genre. This year also brings something new to the festivities, a Steampunk Ball on Saturday evening.
The next Steampunk Industrial Show is this weekend, January 23 & 24 from 9am-5pm at Renningers Antique Center, 20651 US 441, Mount Dora. Parking and admission are free. Tickets for the Steampunk Ball are $15, for reservations call 352-383-8393.
Puzzle solved? Two sleuthy entrepreneurs may hold the key to bringing more festive entertainment to the area.
Mount Dora natives, Kara Hymel and Kristen McLain, have joined creative forces to start Mount Dora Explorers, an local entertainment company offering differently themed scavenger hunts for adults.
"We love Mount Dora so much. We truly think we have the best town with the best bars, restaurants, history, and scenery. We wanted to expose both tourists and locals alike to everything our great town has to offer in a fun, unique way." said Hymel.
First, Mount Dora Explorers will offer a Booze Clues Easy Pub Crawl. This quest takes you into 10 local pubs and restaurants for a fun night out. It is part Amazing Race, part Pub Crawl, and part treasure hunt, accordingly to Hymel. This game asks hunters to solve riddles and clues that will lead them to bars around town.
Once inside, they will decipher another clue to find something inside of the establishment, and then answer a question about it. Participants rack up points for correct answers, as well as bonus points for taking photos along the way in different poses or enjoying libations. Yes, by pub #10 the pictures could get very interesting!
For the cerebral types that enjoy imbibing, the Booze Clues Challenging Pub Crawl provides more of a mental workout. Of course, competitive sleuths will enjoy the night's pub crawl, however this game requires hunters to solve more complex ciphers, cryptograms, and puzzles in order to determine their destinations.
For history buffs and sightseers, there is the Mount Dora Explorer Photo Hunt. This option provides sleuths a similar format as the the Booze Clues Pub Crawl, but takes place outdoors throughout downtown's Historic District.
Lastly, there is The Eye Spy Mount Dora Photo Hunt. Thisfast-paced timed hunt asks hunters to find a list of random items at local businesses. They are given the list of items to find, their possible locations, and set off on a race against time. The fastest team to find all of the items and take pictures with them every month gets a fun prize.
Best friends since their days at Mount Dora High School, Hymel and McLain are both working mothers of toddlers. Hymel is an English teacher at Mount Dora High School and Kirsten is a field consultant for Kumon.
"We also love puzzles and hunts. We've been making them for each other for years. Our interests naturally combined to form this idea," said Hymel.
The pair may be on to something. In December, the city's first annual Tipsy Elf Pub Crawl, organized by performer David Oliver Willis, was a tremendous success. The event attracted droves of a coveted demographic that doesn't typically frequent downtown.
In the beginning, the company will offer the hunts on the last Saturday each month and will begin at Norm's Palette at 303 N. Baker Street. There are plans to expand with more dates as word spreads and demand develops. Each hunt can be done with a group or individual. January 30th will be the opening hunt with tickets priced at $10 a person
For tickets, times or more info go to www.mtdoraexplorers.com. Prizes will be awarded for those who successfully complete the hunt.
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Above:Kirsten McLain (left) and Kara Hymel (right) of Mount Dora Explorers
It's a tough choice. The poster selection for the Mount Dora Art Festival is a difficult annual task for Mount Dora Center for the Arts.
The year's 41st annual festival poster features a piece by Central Florida artist Tim Dardis, known for an extraordinary ability to carry color, composition and detail in his minds eye.
Dardis is currently creating “Vintage Art Made Daily”, a body of work using a proprietary new technique employed over a wide array of subject matter.
The original art will be on display at the Mount Dora Art Festival on February 6th and 7th in historic downtown Mount Dora. Posters will also be for sale at the event.
Dardis has always had an artistic eye. As a member of the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet Combat Camera Group, Dardis participated in a Presidential inauguration, war games, NATO Conferences, Cold War surveillance and a host of photojournalist and motion picture assignments across the globe.
Mount Dora will play host again to Central Florida's most massive and unique shopping experience. Renningers Antique Center celebrates their 32nd anniversary this weekend with an Antique Extravaganza, the motherload of vintage and antique shopping held under the oaks in the rambling hills of Mount Dora.
Make no mistake. There is shopping and then there is the ‘Extravo’ shopping. That’s the term seasoned antique buyers and ‘pickers’ use for the event that boasts over 800 dealers. Its 3-day run is spread on a scenic portion of a 130-acre property every January, February and November.
Dealers from across the U.S. descend on Mount Dora to offer a tremendous variety vintage finds and fine antiques at every price. Last November the Extravo hit two impressive milestones by growing by over 100 vendors, as well as attaining record-breaking attendance on the Saturday of the show.
Extravos only happen three times a year: November, January and February. Shopper and the curious can check it out this Friday through Sunday, 8AM – 5PM. Parking is free, admission is Friday $10.00, Saturday $6.00 and Sunday $4.00 or you can purchase a three-day pass for $15.00. Renninger’s Antique Center is located at 20651 US Hwy 441 Mt Dora, Florida 32757
Mount Dora will transform into a sea of tents on February 6th and 7th, as some of the best fine artists from around the country show their works at the 41st annual Mount Dora Art Festival.
The juried festival, organized by Mount Dora Center for the Arts, offers the opportunity to shop for fine arts, handmade fine crafts, jewelry and pottery. Art is not the only attraction. Live music will take place on the entertainment stage, as well as children’s activities in the kid’s area.
Patrons, who arrive early, maybe able to find parking within walking distance. There are also shuttle buses available at the following places: Triangle Shopping Center on Rt. 19, Christian Home and Bible on Donnelly Street and Mount Dora High School on Highland.
The shuttles are a great alternative, with the convenience of drop-off and pick-up at the festival. When you arrive at the festival, pick up an event guide, and enjoy a day of art and music.
Although the festival is free, donation booths will be set-up near the festival entrances. Donations help support the Mount Dora Center for the Arts Summer Camp, Kids Outreach Programs, Art Strolls, Gallery Exhibits, among other project. If everyone gave a single dollar it would greatly impact the programs. Get all the latest Mount Dora eventshere...
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After four and a half years, Bowersock Gallery will be closing it's doors and "Moving On."
The fine art gallery's final Mount Dora opening reception, featuring Pastel Artist Lynn Libby, is scheduled for Friday, January 8th, 6 to 8pm and run through January 13th. Beginning January 6, the gallery will offer a one week only "Moving On Sale" with 20% to 40% off selected paintings, jewelry, ceramics and sculptures. After careful consideration, the gallery's owners have decided to close the Mount Dora location to focus on its flag ship gallery in Provincetown, MA. and other projects. The growth of the Massachusetts location and the demand for the art of owner/curator Steven Bowersock is a key factor in the decision. Steve Bowersock, who also exhibits with the Woodman \ Shimko Gallery in Palm Springs, CA and at White Porch Gallery in Miami, FL. is currently in talks with other venues. "We're still there, just a click away," Gallery Manager Michael Senger says. "We've decided that Steve's career requires more hours in the studio and the Provincetown location, more attention and hours. The only thing that changes is we're running one less storefront so we can concentrate on advancing our online profile." Get more news for Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here