Things to Do in Goldenrod
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In the outdoor mall, tables and stages stand in a ring under the open sky or beneath white tents. People drift around the circle, clutching cocktails in plastic cups and eye-catching Vietnamese sandwiches on their paper plates as they spy more must-grab food-and-drink samples from the area's best hotels. Though it started 26 years ago, Bacchus Bash hasn't drifted from its original aim to let the populace revel in the offerings of local hospitality establishments while funding high-school and university students studying in the industry. Since its inception, the festival has grown from 20 vendor booths with one entertainment stage to encompass 100 booths helmed by upscale local restaurants and bars alongside six entertainment stages.
Among the must-experience flavors of the fest is the tongue-wilting bananas foster by Chef Jean Louis of the Royal Plaza Hotel, which has won Best Dessert at the fest for the past 10 years. Other restaurants' teams showcase flavors such as American and Vietnamese barbecue, which are up for fest awards such as Best Original Drink and Most Interactive Booth. Live music from talents that include local barefoot folk singer Alan Byrd and country-western rock quintet Think Big streams from the entertainment stages, as well as the dueling ivories of two pianists from Howl at the Moon. The organizing party, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Foundation, further immerses guests in its services with a travel, tourism, and dining silent auction, offering up more than 200 prizes to further raise funds for its students.
8200 Vineland Ave.
Light pours through the windows of Sip & Knit and bounces off the bundles of multihued yarns that are tucked into ordered bookshelves along one of the walls. Inside this cozy space, during classes or open knitting time, knitters of all levels immerse themselves in projects such as forming baby socks or a sweater for a warm-blooded pet goldfish. Visitors can peruse an inventory of supplies from renowned brands, such as Elizabeth Austen, Swedish Yarn, and the Alpaca Yarn Company, all while contemplating new designs with Tucker, the store’s resident dog.
150 North Swoope Avenue
Steve Yanni first felt the inexorable pull of photography more than 20 years ago, when he picked up a camera and started snapping photos as a hobby. Since then, Steve has ceded to his artistic calling, dedicating his career to capturing special events, family portraits, and sensual boudoir shots, as well as imparting his knowledge upon fledgling shutterbugs during instructive workshops. The bridal specialist enlists a team of talented photogs to help him at events, ensuring that no special moment goes undocumented, from the cutting of the cake to the swallowing of the ceremonial flaming sword.
912 Bradshaw Terrace
Eight potters' wheels whirl next to shelves stacked with bisque pieces, worktables spotted with glaze, and walls hung with abstract art. The eclecticism of the space is one of owner and artist Tracy Wilmes's favorite things about his pottery studio, Cup O' Pottery—that, and the opportunity to inspire his students by leaping on a chair in his typical ebullient, and sometimes downright zany, teaching style. As a former high school art teacher, he loves educating students of any age, leading both family-oriented studio classes and open pottery paint and design sessions. The studio also includes a small retail area, where Tracy sells his own pottery and hands out mock detentions to disobedient clay.:
2867 Stonewall Place #101
When French native Joel Martin was young, his family moved to Africa. While there, Joel learned to stalk many jungle creatures including crocodiles with the help of his Malgache friends. Years later, in 1995, Martin packed up his own family and moved them to Florida, where the heat and humidity reminded him of his beloved childhood in Africa. Today he owns and operates Black Hammock Adventures and charters picturesque airboat rides on the gator-infested waters of Lake Jesup. His boat, equipped with Goliath's desk fan, skims earplugged riders past alligators and other lake fauna at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. During rides, experienced guides pilot the vessel safely through narrow creeks and shallow wetlands, and help tourists to spot sunning reptiles. After zooming by a congregation of gators, guests can stop by Black Hammock's wildlife exhibit, enjoy a lively libation at the Lazy Gator Bar, or hand over their cameras as they pose for pictures with Black Hammock's 12-foot-long alligator, Hammy, at his dockside cage or barter for an autograph with hunks of raw meat.
2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd.
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