Festivals in Orlando - 12 Festivals to Create Glorious Memories

With over thirty renowned year-long festivals in Orlando, you can attend numerous food festivals, beverage tasting events, film festivals, art shows and many more. The theme parks like Disney and Winter Park host multiple events throughout the year, especially during Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, Easter etc. Following social distancing and taking necessary precautions to avoid Covid contamination, you can experience Orlando’s Magical Dining during August or Fireworks at the Fountain on 4th July from 9:15 PM at Lake Eola Park.

The month-long Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities from 7th to 31st January celebrates dominant women contributions on African-American art and culture in the Renaissance Era. The Orlando Caribbean Festival on 13th march from 3 PM till 11:59 PM hosts Mardi Gras, brunch, Dollarama party and more. The Orlando Indie Comedy Festival from 1st to 4th March brings three headliners and twenty showcases by 40+ touring and national stand-up comedians.   

12 Amazing Festivals in Orlando

1. Night Of A Million Lights

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Starting from 13th November, the Night of a Million Nights continues till 3rd January every year from 5 PM till 10 PM where you can traverse through the enchanting Village adorned with Christmas lights. The Avenue of Angels is decorated with over 3 million lights while the streets are lined with stalls of sweet treats. The accessible rides and the glowing 150 feet tunnel leading to over 50 holiday-themed larger-than-life wireframe displays, 45 residential villas, incandescent gingerbread gate, Henri’s Starlite Scoops and astro-themed décor around the Village centerpiece.
Cost: Standard, Peak and Holiday Night tickets are available at USD 25, 35 and 40 for adults and USD 15, 18 and 20 for kids respectively. Rides, hot cocoa and ice-cream are complimentary.    

2. Orlando Pottery Festival

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Held every year during late November and May, the 2-day Orlando Pottery Festival with one-day art market in spring pays tribute to nearly forty local artists, mid-career and professional potters who run successful exhibitions across the South, hobbyists, emerging and younger ceramic artists. You can find unique collectibles with distinctive and signature contemporary    designs, as well as ceramic jewelry, daily dishware, handmade sculptures and figurines representing the biodiversity of Florida, practical and whimsical garden and home décor.

3. Light Up UCF

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One of the popular festivals in Orlando, Light Up UCF during the Christmas holiday seasons lets you enjoy ice-skating in the rink or catch a basketball match at the Addition Financial Arena of the University of Central Florida. The entire campus gets a vibrant look with the Christmas lights. You can enjoy carnival rides from Dreamland Amusements, such as the Dream Wheel that offers a panoramic vista of the campus, the Light Up Express, Carvana Carousel and Winter Whirl. 

4. Now Snowing Celebrations Winter Wonderland

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From 28th November to 31st December, the Celebration Town Center organizes the family-friendly Now Snowing –Celebration’s Winter Wonderland from 6 PM till 9 PM, in association with Lexin Capital. In favorable weather, Nightly Snowfall with condensed snowflakes occurs all-night in rotating times unannounced. From 5 PM onwards, ride on Celebration Express Train at USD 6 and the Sleigh car at USD 35 for 4, carriage at USD 65 for 4 and wagons. Admission and parking is free.

5. Central Florida Scottish Highland Games

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Among the historic festivals in Orlando, the Scottish Highland Games has everything from archery to axe throwing, food to entertainment. To be held on 16th January 2021, there will be virtual whiskey tasting, Facebook live streaming and traditional Gaelic athletics. Enjoy RV camping at any of the thirty designated spots by prior reservation. Visit the Scottish Heritage tent to know about the Scottish roots and watch the standing stones and display gallery.  

6. Bach Festival And Indie FolkFest

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Winter Park’s Bach Festival Society ensures a mesmerizing evening with the Christmas Album played by the orchestra, youth choir and the Back Festival Choir conducted by John Sinclair. The pet-friendly and family-friendly Indie FolkFest of Mennello Museum of American Art will take place from 12 noon till 5 PM in February where admission is free and you can enjoy performing arts and display run by local artists, alongside several food stalls.

7. Florida Strawberry Festival

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The 11-day long Florida Strawberry Festival is among the most significant country festivals in Orlando that celebrates the harvest of strawberries in Eastern Hillsborough County with over 500,000 visitors each year. Belle City Midway, New York Yankees Kiddie Korral and Youth Livestock shows along with headline entertainment, Neighborhood Village with stalls of jewelry, baked items, preserved food, home décor and a whole lot of strawberry delicacies like shortcakes and puddings make the festival exciting. Free entertainments include eating contests, Smithfield Strawberry tent, Publix Showcase tent and so on. 

8. Florida Film Festival

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From 9th to 18th April, the Oscar-qualifying Florida Film Festival brings over 180 current, international and independent films from 35 countries with over twenty premieres around the globe. Enjoy events and meet celebrities and filmmakers at Enzian Theatre and have crafted cocktails at Eden Bar.

9. Orlando International Fringe –The Longest Running Theatre Festival In The Country

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One of the oldest running festivals in Orlando, the 2-week long festival organizes over a hundred shows of different genres across the globe. The mini-winter festival runs from 7th to 10th January, Christmas Carol from 18-19 December and theatre festival from 18th to 31st May. The free kids’ festival, annual festivals showcasing performing arts and visual fringe with art exhibitions are also noteworthy.  

10. Taste Of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

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Celebrating the cuisines from the six continents, Taste of Epcot in Walt Disney World will take place from 9th January till 22nd February. Visit the World Showcase and Future World to discover culinary arts through wine and food tasting. Captivating entertainment options including the visual art gallery at Animation Academy, artsy activities for all ages, 3D photo ops and galleries showcasing displays from established artists will make your visit worthwhile. International Flower & Garden Festival and Festival of the Holidays are also held here.

11. IMMERSE –Creative City Project

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Visit the Leu Gardens for the IMMERSE holiday light festivals in Orlando where you can get the Downtown Orlando vibe from over a thousand performers bringing the public spaces and streets alive. Awe-inspiring holiday light decorations, snow installations and live entertainments at night will keep you enchanted while the kids can explore the interactive installations.

12. Fall And Spring Fiesta In The Park

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The 32nd annual spring Fiesta will take place in Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park where you can get everything from food to entertainment and craft installations on 3rd and 4th April from 10 AM till 5 PM. While promoting urban development, the Fall and Spring Fiesta are family and pet-friendly events where over 300 juried exhibitors showcase their work.  

Apart from these, Otronicon in January, Weekend of the Arts in February, Central Florida Fair in March, Come Out with Pride in October and Festival of the Trees with Light Up Mount Dora in November are also popular. Can you think of other festivals in Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.

This post was published by Rachana Jain

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