The last time Mount Dora made it to the big screen was 1981. The campy film “Honky Tonk Freeway” featured a water-skiing elephant and a downtown painted pink.
December 3 brings the premiere of the next film shot on location in Mount Dora, “Crocodylus.” The horror flick takes its name from the genus of large reptiles commonly known as crocodiles.
The public premiere is at the Mount Dora Community Building. Seventy percent of the night's sales will go to Friends of the Community Building and thirty percent will benefit Friends of the Donnelly House, according to Mayor Nick Girone.
The film’s producer Michael McLaren fell in love with Mount Dora and had the idea to write a fictional screenplay about a deadly, giant crocodile. Lake Dora is known for its share of large alligators, but this is something much more ominous. Shooting began in November of last year and wrapped earlier in 2017.
Mount Dora Community Building is located at Baker Street and East 6th Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with the film’s actors and director Myles Erfurth in the building’s lobby. Tickets are $10.
The day after Thanksgiving is much more than Black Friday. In Eustis, it’s the night of its big Light Up celebration
This year marks the 30th year for the downtown light-up ceremony. The free event will include tons of snow with a 75-foot snow slide, live music and entertainment, as well as food trucks, vendors and a visit by Santa, Mrs. Claus and Dancer the reindeer.
The family-friendly evening begins when The Bay Street Players’ Young People’s Theatre performs on the center stage in downtown at 5:30 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. the public is invited to join Mayor Morin, members of the City Commission, and winners from the Miss Eustis pageant in a countdown ceremony to watch approximately 400,000 LED holiday lights come to life across downtown and Ferran Park.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a fire truck and children are invited to take a free photo with the famous couple. Kids can also decorate a personalized keepsake photo frame with Lake Eustis Museum of Art.
Santa’s arrival will be followed by holiday music by Grand Island Baptist Church, a reading of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and fire dancing by Phantasmagoria at downtown’s center stage. Singer Suzanne Reynolds will perform at Alexander Park, and pianist Barbara Gomulka will play in Ferran Park.
Light Up Eustis is followed by Light Up Mount Dora on Saturday, November 25. Get the list of local holiday events here.
Kids and train enthusiasts are in for a treat in Tavares this holiday season. The Polar Express, a train experience modeled after the popular holiday book and movie, will begin taking passengers from Tavares to the North Pole beginning on November 15 and continuing through December 30.
During the hour-long ride passengers will have their golden ticket punched by the conductor, experience dancing chefs who will serve cocoa and a treat, interact with movie characters, and listen to a reading of The Polar Express, a classic children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa Claus and his elves will climb aboard to visit passengers.
The ride is presented by Orlando and Northwestern Railway LLC which also operates Royal Palm Railway.
Tickets range from $48 to $182 depending on the class of ticket. Children under the age of two can sit on parents lap to ride for free. Most dates in November are sold out, however there are plenty of dates available in December when the train will run twice on weekday evenings and three times on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets can be purchased at the Tavares train station located at 305 Ruby Street in downtown or by calling 352-742-7200.
This is just one of many holiday events in the area hosted in November and December. For the list of holiday events, click here.
Bring on the kilts. Mount Dora’s Scottish Highland Festival comes to Gilbert Park on Saturday, November 18. The free festival celebrates Scottish culture with special events, food, and even a re-enactment camp.
Saturday’s family-friendly events begin at 10:00 a.m at Gilbert Park. Throughout the day there will be athletic games, dancing, sheep herding demonstrations with border collies, bagpipes, and traditional Scottish food and vendors with Scottish merchandise. The Tartan parade begins at noon on Liberty Street.
A Friday night concert, Night of the Tartan, will be held on the waterfront at Evans Park. North America’s premiere Celtic band, the Tartan Terrors, will be featured, as well asMount Dora’s Pipes and Drums. The free concert is from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Mount Dora will play host again to Central Florida's massive and eclectic shopping experience November 17-19. Three times a year Renningers Antique Center organizes the Antique Extravaganza, the motherlode of vintage and antique shopping, set in the rambling hills under majestic oaks. Make no mistake. There is antique shopping and then there is the ‘Extravo’ antique shopping. That’s the term seasoned buyers and ‘pickers’ use for the event that boasts over 800 dealers during its 3-day run spread on a scenic portion of a 130-acre property.
Dealers from across the U.S. descend on Mount Dora to offer a tremendous variety of vintage finds and fine antiques at every price.
Extravos only happen the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday of November, January and February. Shoppers and the curious can roam the hills from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday admittance costs more, however eager shoppers get first dibs on hard-to-find treasures. Sunday shoppers get better bargains, but some vendors do pack up early.
Parking is free. Admission is $10 on Friday, $6 on Saturday, and only $4 on Sunday. A three-day pass is $15. Renninger’s Antique Center is located at 20651 US Hwy 441. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, download the area's free mobile app. Free subscriptions to the monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.
Somewhere in its bold two-hundred foot expanse, onlookers are guaranteed at least one smile.
That’s an easy feat for the boldly colored mural depicting comic and animated characters that span generations. Whether it’s Angry Birds, Minions or Spy vs. Spy, there is something to catch everyone’s eye, no matter their age.
What began as a welcoming mural on the ground at the entrance to Every Nook + Cranny (ENC) artist collective, eventually grew to include the wall on the side alley. Artist and muralist Tim Parker started work on the mural in July.
Parker, a Mount Dora native, was eager to do the project, because it was the first time in his career he was given carte blanche to paint whatever he chose. ENC’s curator, Kaitlyn Zill, put her trust in Parker, and it paid off in spades The once boring entrance to the building now features bold characters and colors that draw customers and the curious right to her door.
The artist chose comic characters as his subject matter to represent his childhood and bridge the gap between older and younger generations. To date, the mural has taken over 300 hours and is not done yet. Zill and Parker are now considering continuing the artwork on the back of the building.
This isn’t the first large mural for Parker, who finds inspiration in the works of Basquiat and Lichtenstein, among others. He’s part of a team that painted large murals for 28 Tijuana Flats across the country.
The artist has several paintings depicting various subject matter for sale inside the large artists’ collective and is also commissioned to create murals for clients.
A few months ago, after Parker began his mural, another local mural drew the attention of Mount Dora’s code enforcement and resulted in a citation. The critical difference is that Parker’s mural is not in a residential area. The controversial Starry Night mural was created on private property in a residential neighborhood and was declared graffiti and later illegal signage by the city’s code enforcement officer.
This weekend begins four days of Renaissance fun in Tavares spread across two weekends.
The Lady of the Lake Renaissance Faire began in 2002, offering visitors an opportunity to step back in time to a magical, enchanting fantasy land created to represent an authentic European village.
Artisans fill the village, working in mediums such as pottery, leather work, sculpture, and candle making. The crafts and entertainment combine with thematic games and foods to create a glimpse of marketplace celebrations of life in the 16th century.
The Faire is a member of a National Renaissance Faire circuit and features over 100 performers, representing various entertainments of the time – Knights in armor, gypsies, fire-eaters, pirates, dancers, merchants, peasants, historical characters and a variety of musicians. This year features a performance by Fighting Arms produced by Medieval Times.
Every dollar raised from the fair goes to the teachers and students of Lake County Public Schools.
Lady of the Lake Renaissance Faire runs November 4-5 and November 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 12835 County Landfill Road in Tavares next to Lake Idamere Park. Adult tickets are $13, tickets for children over three years of age are $7 and under three are free.