December kicks off with the 30th annualChristmas Walkon December 1 throughout the streets of downtown Mount Dora. In addition to the impressive holiday lights and 40-foot musical Christmas tree, there will be holiday-themed stilt walkers, traditional Christmas carolers, juggling shows, a mime, live musical performances and a photo op withSanta in Sunset Park. Many of the downtown stores will be open for a festive holiday shopping experience.
Next up are the Christmas Paradesin Mount Dora and Tavares on December 2. Mount Dora starts at 10 a.m. on Donnelly Street heading into downtown.Tavares Christmas Parade follows at 5:30 p.m. starting on Ruby Street and Main Street downtown. Tavares Hometown Christmas Celebration will follow the parade with visits from Santa, "ice" skating, stilt walkers, snow flurries, living angels, and food available for purchase.
The last parade of the day isMount Dora's Lighted Christmas Boat Parade that departs near the lighthouse and heads up Lake Dora's eastern edge from 7 to 9 p.m. on December 2. The best vantage points are Evans Park, the public 4th Avenue docks, and Lakeside Inn's beach area.
Also on December 2, head to Donnelly Park asStetson University Symphony Orchestraperforms a concert of holiday classics in the heart of downtown Mount Dora from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Don't panic when you hear loud sirens on December 4, 6 and 7. It's just the annual Mount Dora Santa Tour when Santa, along with his motorcade of Mount Dora's police and fire personnel, will visit neighborhoods inside Mount Dora's city limits from 6-8 p.m. each night. Find other local places to spot Santahere.
Yes, it really does snow in Florida! The forecast in Mount Dora calls for Snow in the Parkon December 9. The annual event, which features sledding for kids and other fun seasonal activities, has previously been held in downtown's Donnelly Park, but this year it will be in lakefront Evans Park at the southern end of Donnelly Street. You can find more information in this year's Local Holiday Event Guidehere.
A big shout-out to Mount Dora teen Sadie Pruett who led a group of caring friends to create thoughtful “Gifts of Gratitude” for 104 local families in need by providing them with holiday meals. Way to go, Sadie and crew! Your kindness, empathy and initiative make the world a better place.
A book signing by a familiar local author will take place in downtown Mount Dora on December 9. "No Average Jo" (Seahill Press) was penned by none other than Marc Crail, who also happens to be Mount Dora's vice mayor. The book signing will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Barrel of Books & Games on Donnelly Street. The novel is Crail's fifth published book. Learn more about it and its inspiration here.
Industrious elves knocked it out of the park again at Mount Dora Marina with their impressive holiday lights display. This year their annual Toys for Totsdrive will be a magical two-night event on Dec. 1 and 2. Admission inside the gate is one new, unwrapped toy or a cash donation to benefit the toy drive. If you can’t attend, but would still like to donate to Toys for Tots, you can drop off your donation at Mount Dora Fire Department until December 6.
Ramen lovers are thrilled Mount Dora now has an authentic Japanese ramen house. Hokkaido Ramen and Sushi bar opened last month on U.S. 441 to rave reviews. Read more
At long last, LongHorn Steakhouse in Mount Dora is in its final stages of construction on U.S. Highway 441. The national chain even announced its upcoming opening date. Read more
Also, watch for the new Miller's Ale House location in Mount Dora to open in front of Target in January, providing there are no unforeseen delays. Watch Mount Dora Buzz's Facebookpage for that opening date.
Michael Asian Cuisine, serving up a variety of pho and teriyaki dishes opened last month in Tavares in the former space of Thai Jasmine House at 1010 E. Alfred Street.
The management atMonterey Mushrooms LLC announced in November that the company will permanently close its nearby farm at 5949 Sadler Road in Zellwood in January 2024.
Recently, Edge Coffee in downtown Mount Dora closed its doors permanently, but the Third Avenue location will soon be the new home of The Salted Fry, the gluten-free eatery currently located less than a block away on Dora Drawdy.
Scroll down for this month's featured events, hot local government topics, stellar local businesses, new development buzz, and local resources.
Last month six new public pickleball courts opened at Summerview Park in eastern Mount Dora. Lighting for the courts will be done in a second phase.
Mount Dora residents Rich Hurley and Ken Groves, along with Mount Dora City Council member Doug Bryant, are working with City staff on a plan to further protect Wolf Branch Basin, a 5.25 square- mile drainage area that includes Wolf Creek and Wolf Branch Sink Preserve owned by Lake County Water Authority. The basin is a significant ecological area because any polluted runoff water in this area ends up in the Florida Aquifer, the source of drinking water. The group is hoping that Mount Dora and Lake County will form a partnership to further protect this unique ecological system.
Be sure to check Mount Dora Buzz's government pageregularly to find out what's happening at Mount Dora City Hall. Scroll down for the 'Buzz' about new development.
The approval process for new developments depends on the type of project proposed. Check out the current list of local commercial and residential development projects here. As projects advance through the multi-step approval process, watch Mount Dora Buzz's website for more in-depth articles on some of the newsworthy developments.