Once again, Mount Dora will play host to Central Florida's massive and eclectic shopping experience this month. Three times a year Renningers Antique Center organizes the much-anticipated Antique Extravaganza, the mother lode 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 on the eastern edge of the city.
Dealers from across the U.S. descend on Mount Dora to offer an endless 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, find the best deals and practice their haggling. Extravos only happen the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday of November, January and February. Loyal shoppers and the curious can roam the hills from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday admission 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.
Gardeners and green thumbs will descend upon Mount Dora for the 28th annual Mount Dora Plant and Garden Fair on November 12 and 13.
The outdoor event is held under the tree canopy at Donnelly Park in the heart of the city’s historic downtown.
The free festival features native and exotic plants from nurseries across Florida, as well as vendors selling garden decor and nature-inspired gifts. Gardeners can expect to find blooming orchids, flowering shrubs, fruit trees, and camellias, as well as succulents, bamboo, bromeliads, herbs, bonzai and other specialty plant vendors. There will also be vintage garden items and statuary for sale to enhance outdoor spaces. Experts will be on hand to offer advice on plant care and gardening-related topics.
From its quaint holiday charm, beautiful decorations and festive seasonal events, there are many reasons Mount Dora is the best little Christmas Town in Florida. Perhaps best known during the holidays for its millions of twinkling lights that glisten throughout its downtown, this year Mount Dora is putting a new spin on its long-held tradition of Light Up Mount Dora.
On Saturday, November 26, Light Up Mount Dora will be held at downtown’s waterfront at Elizabeth Evans Park. Previously, the event was held in Donnelly Park across from City Hall. This year’s festivities of music and activities will begin at 3 p.m. and culminate with a fireworks show over Lake Dora after dark. At some point, Santa will arrive at the park via boat and the mayor will read “The Night Before Christmas”. Guests will be able to enjoy the impressive lights in the park, as well as the marina, plus stroll into downtown to take in even more festive holiday decorations.
Most of the historic downtown’s quaint shops will be open late, so guests can get a jump on their holiday shopping. The area’s many diverse restaurants and bars will also be open late to accommodate the throngs of visitors. Guests wishing to imbibe can pop into most local bars, order drinks to go and enjoy them while strolling among the Christmas lights on the waterfront. Elizabeth Evans park is located at the southern end of Donnelly Street at 100 N. Donnelly Street. Residents and visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to the park as seating is very limited.