Winter Park to host socially distant Mother’s Day shopping, dining experience on Park Avenue

Winter Park to host socially distant Mother’s Day shopping, dining experience on Park Avenue

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Since March, the usually bustling Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park has been nearly shut down other than restaurants providing food to go or residents taking a socially distant stroll. This weekend, that changes.

With the state of Florida allowing restaurants and retail stores to reopen with limited capacity as of Monday, the city of Winter Park is providing a way for area businesses to better serve the community by shutting the Park Avenue down to cars and opening it up for expanded, socially distant outdoor dining for Mother’s Day weekend.

“As we continue to take methodical steps to reopen the city following the state’s guidelines, we are hosting this special weekend to not only help our business community but to also give the public a chance to support our local businesses, celebrate Mother’s Day, and practice social distancing to make this a safe and enjoyable success,” said Assistant City Manager Michelle Neuner said in a news release.

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City officials said any restaurants in the city limits that would like to extend their services outdoors during Mother’s Day weekend must fill out an application by Wednesday. Retail businesses are restricted to having only one table or one rack outdoors and do not need to apply.

Officials said tables will be placed 6 feet apart, and restaurants and retail businesses must stick to the 25% capacity requirement indoors as outlined by the state.

To make room for the special weekend event, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. through Sunday at 11 p.m., the following streets will be closed:

  • Park Avenue (south of Swoope Avenue to Fairbanks Avenue)
  • New England Avenue (between Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues)
  • Morse Boulevard (between Center Street and New York Avenue)

Clarissa Howard, communications director for the city of Winter Park, said businesses and restaurants will be responsible for monitoring customers to make sure they adhere to social distancing recommendations.

“We truly expect our community to be respectful of the safe social distance from each other not only this weekend, but every time they are in the public areas,” she said. “It’s the new norm that we all have to be accustomed to.”