Every year Santa and Mrs. Claus visit Mount Dora neighborhoods with a few of their local friends. This year, Santa will tour neighborhoods on three evenings: December 1, 2, and 3.
Santa covers a lot of ground touring the city, so he relies on the generous help of Mount Dora's Police and Fire Departments. The sound of loud sirens will fill the evening air as Santa and his festive motorcade travel throughout the city from approximately 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each of the three nights. Residents shouldn’t be alarmed when they hear the prolonged sound of emergency vehicles on those three evenings and just understand it’s Santa spreading some local cheer. This year, Mount Dora Police Officers will be wearing masks and those handing out candy will also be wearing gloves.
One of Santa’s stops is always right in the heart of downtown Mount Dora among its millions of twinkling lights. The Central Florida town has earned a reputation as the best little Christmas town in Florida.
Mrs. Claus reports Santa loves Christmas in Mount Dora, so his 2020 tour schedule covers a lot of the city and rotates a lot of neighborhoods every year. Residents of neighborhoods not on this year's tour can see Santa at Donnelly Park, Target or Walmart at one of the times below.
Santa exact arrival times can be unpredictable due to traffic and unforeseen delays, but his elves assured Mount Dora Buzz that it's always well worth any wait that might occur.
Normandy Drive, Overlook Drive, Dogwood Mountain, Downtown Mount Dora, Hammock Oaks Apartments, Eudora Chase Subdivision, Spring Harbor Apartments, Village Grove Subdivision, Tri-Cities Shopping Plaza, Walmart, Target
Northeast Community, Downtown Mount Dora, Southeast Community, Cobble Hill Subdivision, Dorset Subdivision, Overlook Subdivision, Chautauqua Subdivision, Donnelly Park
Bristol Lakes Apartments, Country Club of Mount Dora, Loch Leven Subdivision, Lancaster at Loch Leven Subdivision, Summer View Subdivision, Summerbrooke Subdivision, Elevate 155 Apartments
Santa's route is subject to change according to Mount Dora Police Department. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online event calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.
Dust off your kilt! This season's new event will have its Celtic Christmas celebration in downtown Mount Dora on December 11. Plaid in the Park is a free monthly event featuring Celtic and Scottish style music, including the City of Mount Dora Pipes and Drums band, and The O'Possums, plus street vendors set up along 4th Avenue selling food and drinks. Event organizers offered varying entertainment each of the three months the free event will be held in Sunset Park. Plaid in the Park began in October and this month marks the final scheduled event. The Scottish festivities were organized by Mount Dora Sister Cities Association (MDSCA) along with the City of Mount Dora, and Mount Dora Pipes and Drums Band to celebrate the culture and traditions of Scotland and to provide the public an opportunity to learn about Forres, Scotland, Mount Dora’s Sister City. Scottish Clans, kinship groups among the Scottish people that are identified by their own tartan plaid patterns, can socialize at a Gathering of the Clans Booth.
Julie Campbell, Vice President of MDSCA described the Plaid in the Park as “a night for everyone to be Scottish, no matter where you’re from. Most people don’t need a reason to wear a kilt, but this is definitely a good one.”
Social distancing and mask reminders will be placed throughout the outdoor venue and a hand sanitizer station will be available. Vendor booths will be spaced apart to aid in the social distancing.
Once again, Santa has taken note that historic Mount Dora is arguably the best little Christmas town in Florida. Like last year, elves have quietly delivered an official mailbox just for letters to Santa in front of Linda and Jeanette Bokland’s cheerfully-painted historic home. RELATED:Holiday Event Guide for Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis Kids can now drop their well-wishes, questions and requests to Santa in the bright red mailbox between November 21 and December 20. Last year, just over 500 letters were dropped in the box, so this year, 30 local elves will help process the letters. SInce Saint Nick is busy supervising his mischievous elves before Christmas, Mrs. Claus will be personally replying to the letters that include a return address. The mailbox is located at 201 W. 11th Avenue and no postage is necessary.
Separately, Mount Dora Post Office on Old U.S. 441 has its red Santa letter box out again this year, and there is another scarlet box for Santa letters on the corner of Donnelly at 8th. Once again, Santa and Mount Dora have shown why it's the best little Christmas town in Florida.
Be sure to check out the city's impressive holiday lights at Mount Dora Marina and downtown's Donnelly Park. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Download the free Mount Dora Buzz mobile app here and follow theMount Dora Buzz Facebook page.
ABOVE: Antique Extravaganza at Renningers in Mount Dora. (Mount Dora Buzz file photo)
Vintage lovers and treasure hunters are getting giddy. Once again, Mount Dora will play host to Central Florida's massive and eclectic shopping experience this weekend. 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” shopping. That’s the term seasoned buyers and “pickers” use for the event that boasts over 800 dealers during its three-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. Eager collectors, decorators and vintage shoppers from across Florida show up in droves to uncover treasures and find the best deals. 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, but 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, visit the area's website and download the area's free mobile app.
ABOVE: Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair in Donnelly Park (Mount Dora Buzz file photo)
Gardeners and green thumbs will descend into Mount Dora for the 26th annual Mount Dora Plant and Garden Fair on November 14 and 15.
Once again the event will be held under the oaks at Donnelly Park in the heart of the city’s historic downtown.
The free festival features native and exotic nurseries from across Florida, as well as vendors selling garden decor and nature-inspired items. Gardeners can expect to find blooming orchids, flowering shrubs, fruit trees, and camellias, as well as succulents, bamboo, bromeliads, bonzai and other specialty plant vendors. There will also be vintage garden items and statuary for sale to enhance outdoor space. Gardeners can also seek advice from experts on plant care and other related topics.