9 things to do: NASA attempts to fly small helicopter on Mars, New COVID-19 vaccine locations open & more

Here’s what is happening in Central Florida from April 9 to April 16.

1. NASA to attempt to fly small helicopter on Mars

NASA is targeting Sunday, April 11 for Ingenuity Mars helicopter’s first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

NASA said the small but mighty helicopter arrived on Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover.

Photos: Mars images from Perseverance

As Ingenuity makes its historic flights, it also carries with it a piece of history from Earth: a piece of the original Wright Brothers plane, NASA said.

If you want to make your own Mars helicopter, click here.

Photos: NASA rover Perseverance lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life

2. New COVID-19 vaccine locations in Central Florida

There are a few pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites opening this week.

In Lake County, a pop-up site will open at the Lake Square Mall.

Appointments are required for the site. Anyone who goes to the site will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The site is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

READ: Orange County Convention Center vaccine site to close at the end of May, focus shifts to mobile pods

To schedule an appointment, click here or call 866-201-6909.

A mobile COVID-19 vaccination site will be opening at Barber Park in Orlando on Monday.

The site will be open from April 12 to April 16.

Those with appointments will arrive at the site between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The site is allowing walk ups from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. if extra doses are available.

READ: Here’s where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in your county

To make an appointment, click here. ocfl.net/Vaccine.

University of Central Florida and Valencia College Downtown are offering COVID-19 vaccinations at no cost at their location in downtown Orlando on Wednesday.

The site is only allowing walk ups. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents can park at the UCF Parramore Parking Garage, located at 323 N Parramore Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

3. City of Tavares hosts 13th annual Planes, Tunes & BBQ

The city of Tavares is hosting its 13th annual Planes, Tunes & BBQ this weekend.

The event will be held from April 9 to April 11 in Wooton Park.

It features live music, a twilight airshow, seaplane competitions, BBQ, vendors, family fun zone, and more.

Click here to learn more.

4. Superhero Weekend at Orlando Science Center

This weekend, the Orlando Science Center is hosting its Superhero Weekend.

It will celebrate legends of comic books, movies and TV, and also spotlighting everyday heroes in our community.

Superhero Weekend is included with daily general admission to Orlando Science Center.

To learn more, click here.

5. Orlando Pride’s first home game of the season

Orlando Pride’s first home game will be Wednesday.

The Pride will face off against Sky Blue FC at Exploria Stadium.

Attendance will be limited but the game will be on tv.

It starts at 7 p.m.

Click here to learn more.

6. Orlando Magic 5k and Kids’ Run

The Orlando Magic is teaming up with Track Shack to host the inaugural 5K and Kids’ Run presented by AdventHealth to benefit the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation on Saturday.

Runners, walkers and Magic fans of all ages can participate virtually.

Anyone interested in participating can click here to register.

Those who register will receive a bib number, custom medal and souvenir shirt.

Click here to learn more.

7. Orlando hiring event

There is a hiring event happening at Outback Steakhouse this weekend.

Outback is hosting a hiring event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To schedule an interview, click here.

8. Florida Film Festival continues this week

The Florida Film Festival is celebrating its 30th year. The festival runs April 9 through the 22 at the Enzian in Maitland, in Winter Park and online.

READ: Florida Film Festival announces lineup for 30th year

This year, the festival will screen 164 films that represent 31 countries. Of those, 151 will be premieres including 23 of them being world premieres.

To learn more, click here.

9. Gopher Tortoise Day

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is celebrating Gopher Tortoise Day on April 10.

FWC is encouraging residents to celebrate gopher tortoises by making your yard tortoise friendly and participating in their new recognition program.

The purpose of the Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard Recognition Program is to recognize and encourage landowners to enhance habitat quality and take steps to protect gopher tortoises and their burrows, the FWC said.

Landowners who the take steps to protect gopher tortoises and their burrows will be recognized with a sign for their property and a certificate.

To apply for recognition, you must sign the Acknowledgement Form, provide contact and property information, and complete the Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard checklist, according to the FWC.

Click here to learn more.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.