Festivals in Goldenrod

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Spun sugar crystals float by spinning horses and pools of docile magnetic sharks beneath the glittering midway lights of Carol Stream Amusements' lively traveling carnival. The nearly 110-year-old fair company's third-generation of stewards bring rides, games, and snacks to states such as Florida, North Carolina, and New York, where it operates the state fair in Syracuse. A 65-foot century wheel soars above the bustle of the music-filled midway, where LED lights twinkle in patterns of white, green, blue, and red around its gondola cars. A merry-go-round sends fantastical steeds cantering around in a stately circle, while bumper cars careen around their nearby enclosure. Carnival games such as squirt-gun races and fishing for magnetized sharks yield prizes such as stuffed animals and inflatable Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob, and Henry VIII dolls, while flurries of corn dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and taffy apples fall constantly on hungry fair-goers.

6405 South US Highway 17-92
Fern Park,
FL
US

Fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero shows, movies, and comics gather to celebrate their shared interests at CONjure. For three days, costumed guests mingle with new friends and old pals, shop for paintings and drawings from professional artists, and play tabletop, board, and console games for hours on end. Panel discussions and seminars from experts such as Space Ghost: Coast to Coast's George Lowe and The Legend of Neil director and writer Sandeep Parikh inform visitors of new trends in costuming, special effects, and media. Attendees can also compare their posters and life-size cardboard cutouts to the real-life forms of stars such as Mark Sheppard from Firefly and Supernatural, Kelly Hu from Arrow and X-Men 2, and Joel Hodgson from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

4250 Alafaya Trail, Suite 212-187
Oviedo,
FL
US

Dedicated to exposing local audiences to diverse stories told by artists from around the globe, the Orlando Film Festival attracts film-industry insiders, actors, and audiences for five packed days of movie-centric events. Filmmakers attend many of the festival's screenings to give audience members new perspectives on features or to challenge them to a round of "Trivial Pursuit: Stanley Kubrick Edition." Complimentary drinks and appetizers fuel the energy reserves of VIP-pass holders throughout the festival, but attendees can also find food and drink specials at nearby restaurants and bars.

155 South Orange Avenue
Orlando,
FL
US

The Global Peace Film Festival celebrates and furthers messages of peace and environmentalism with 40 films screened at venues across Orlando. Documentaries, narrative full lengths, and short films from around the globe spare cinephiles from direct sunlight while filmmakers, special guests, and local activists educate attendees about the power of the medium in special panel discussions. The peace it champions as a whole goes beyond anti-war, often touching on a more personal well-being that's reflected in the lives of individuals and communities.

1000 Universal Studios Plz
Orlando,
FL
US

S.T.A.R.S was organized to coordinate community donations of back-to-school supplies for a few hundred elementary school students in need in 2003. Then middle and high schools were included, adding thousands to the list of recipients. Today it is well over 14,000 students receiving supplies.

9600 West Colonial Drive
Ocoee,
FL
US

Situated on the scenic shores of Lake Eola, Jammin Food and Rum Fest brings together delectable snacks paired with rum drinks from all over the world. As guests take sips at rum tastings, they also drink in the sounds of live DJs and radio personalities conducting meet-and-greets across the park's grassy expanses. Other festive activities include contests, giveaways, and interactive games, such as pin the tail on the rum cask.

PO Box 134
Gotha,
FL
US