‘Tis the season: City of Orlando releases holiday events calendar

ORLANDO, Fla. — The holiday season kicks off in Orlando this weekend.

Throughout November and December, the city is offering free, family-friendly holiday events and activities for all to enjoy.

See the schedule below:

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Friday, Nov. 12, to Friday, Dec. 17

11 a.m.-2 p.m. — Discover Downtown Pop-up

Finish or start holiday shopping at Discover Downtown, located at 201 S. Orange Ave. Throughout November and December, everyone is invited to stop by Discover Downtown’s pop-up shop every Friday from Nov. 12-Dec. 17 (except Nov. 26) and check out merchandise from local retailers not previously sold in the Discover Downtown retail store.

READ: Consumer watchdog report details biggest toy safety concerns for this holiday season

Tuesday, Nov. 16

12-2 p.m. — Media Window for Installation of the Lake Eola Wonderland Christmas tree

The Lake Eola Wonderland Christmas tree will begin to be installed at Lake Eola’s Park Washington Plaza, located at . This tree is adorned with 2,000 ornaments and 200 pounds of lights, which will musically sync with the lights on the Lake Eola fountain and will provide precise animation during the shows.

Saturday, Nov. 20

5-10 p.m. — Jingle Eve 2021

Ivanhoe Village Main Street is hosting their annual Jingle Eve in Gaston Edwards Park, featuring a children’s holiday village, live music, unique vendors, food trucks, an optional wine walk and more.

READ: Amazon jump-starts holiday shopping with ‘Black Friday-worthy’ deals nearly 2 months early

Sunday, Nov. 21

7:30 a.m. — Annual Jack Kazanzas Star Installation

An Orlando holiday tradition will occur with the raising of the Jack Kazanzas Star 50 feet over Orange Avenue at Central Boulevard. The more than 50-year tradition of raising the 600-pound golden star started in the 1950s. Since then, the Star has come to symbolize the start of the holiday season in downtown Orlando.

Saturday, Nov. 27

All day — Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday provides a unique holiday shopping experience and allows residents to support many of the independent, family-owned retailers and restaurants throughout the city of Orlando, including in Downtown and in Orlando’s 11 Main Street districts.

READ: Black Friday 2021: Best Buy, Target, others announce early holiday sales

Friday, Dec. 3

5 p.m. — Annual Tree Lighting Celebration

The City of Orlando will host their annual Tree Lighting Celebration for the first official lighting of the 64-foot Wonderland Christmas tree, located at Lake Eola’s Park Washington Plaza, 195 N. Rosalind Ave. The event will include holiday performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, food trucks, a holiday market, and an opportunity to meet Santa until 9 p.m. at the Eola House.

Saturday, Dec. 4, to Thursday, Jan. 6

Eola Wonderland Christmas Tree Show

Every night starting on Saturday, Dec. 4 through Thursday, Jan. 6 at 5:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., the Eola Wonderland 64-foot Christmas tree will come alive with a synchronized light and music show at Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park while the Lake Eola fountain displays red, green and gold lights.

READ: Black Friday 2021: Walmart’s first batch of holiday deals go on sale

Saturday, Dec. 4

2-5 p.m. — Curry Ford West Picture Perfect Holidays

For the second year in a row, Curry Ford West is back with Picture Perfect Holidays, featuring numerous interactive, imaginative holiday themed displays where families can take one-of-a-kind holiday photos at Curry Ford West Market Street District, 2507 Curry Ford Road.

7 p.m. — Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park — “Elf”

Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy “Elf.” This free, family-friendly event is a fun and safe way to enjoy the holidays at East Lawn at Lake Eola Park.

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Sunday, Dec. 5

2-6 p.m. — Light Up SoDo

SoDo District is back with their annual Light Up SoDo holiday event, featuring live music, food trucks, holiday vendors, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a kid’s zone and more. Light Up Sodo is not only family-friendly, but pet-friendly for those who wish to bring along their furry friends. It will take place at SoDo Plaza, South Orange Avenue between West Grant Street and West Crystal Lake Street.

Friday, Dec. 10

7 p.m. — Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park — “The Polar Express”

Pack your blankets, chairs, and snacks for the whole family to enjoy “The Polar Express” at the East Lawn at Lake Eola Park. This free, family-friendly event is a fun and safe way to enjoy the holidays.

READ: Universal’s Holiday Tour: What to expect from this year’s celebration

Saturday, Dec. 11

7 p.m. — Violectric Holiday Show

Rock in the holidays with the popular strings supergroup “Violectric” at the annual Violectric Holiday Show, presented by the City of Orlando Department of Families, Parks and Recreation at Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park. Free and open to the public, the concert features traditional holiday songs mashed up with classic rock tunes and modern hits. Donations for the Pet Alliance will be accepted during the event.

Friday, Dec. 17

7 p.m. — Holiday Movie at Lake Eola Park — “The Santa Claus”

Pack your blankets, chairs and snacks for the whole family to enjoy “The Santa Claus” at East Lawn at Lake Eola Park. This free, family-friendly event is a fun and safe way to enjoy the holidays.

READ: Give Kids The World seeking volunteers for annual holiday lights spectacular

Saturday, Dec. 18

7:30 p.m. — The Nutcracker by the Russian Ballet Orlando

The Russian Ballet Orlando presents a free performance of the traditional “The Nutcracker” at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park.

Sunday, Dec. 19

12-6 p.m. — Milk Mart Holiday Market

The Milk District has joined up with The Nook on Robinson to host their annual holiday Milk Mart, featuring more than 80 vendors, food trucks and more.

For further information on events, visit orlando.gov/Events or downtownorlando.com/Fun/Events.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.