The City of Winter Park is once again preparing to welcome a string of festive events this holiday season. Gather with friends, family and loved ones to experience these annual holiday traditions in Winter Park, the “City of Culture and Heritage.”

The season begins with “Winter in the Park” holiday ice skating rink in Central Park West Meadow from Friday, November 14, 2014, through Sunday, January 11, 2015. “Winter in the Park” will include a full calendar of joyful events including holiday music, games, family nights, youth nights, carolers and so much more. The rink will be open Monday through Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, please call 407-599-3203.

A special Holiday Pops concert performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will take place Sunday, November 30, at 4 p.m., in beautiful Central Park. Bring a blanket and a picnic for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season. Conductor Paul Hostetter  will lead the Philharmonic and guest soloist Marina Jurica. This free concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. For more information, please call 407-770-0071.

On Friday, December 5, at 5 p.m., the festivities continue in Central Park with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Stroll hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and presented by the University of Central Florida. The night will begin with carols from several local ensembles, followed by the award ceremony for the 2014 Holiday Card Competition winners, and finally, the lighting of the tree with WFTV’s Bob Opsahl. Central Park will come to life with beautiful bright lights and Santa & Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance. For more information, please call 407-644-8281.

In conjunction with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Stroll Friday, December 11, the City of Winter Park will present Popcorn Flicks in Central Park featuring “Jingle all the Way” at 7 p.m. For more information, please call 407-629-0054.

On Saturday, December 6, Park Avenue comes to life at 9 a.m. with the 62th annual Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade, hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and presented by Bright House® Networks. This family-friendly occasion showcases holiday-themed floats, Santa Claus and well-known local figures as they make their way down the avenue. For more information, please call 407-644-8281. 

Before and after the Christmas parade Saturday, December 6, Leadership Winter Park Class 23 will host the 16th annual Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast, presented by Fannie Hillman + Associates and Vanson Constructors, at the Central Park main stage from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Enjoy hot pancakes, sausage and beverages for just $6 per adult and $4 per child, with proceeds benefiting Winter Park area elementary schools. For more information, please call 407-644-8281.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art continues their holiday tradition with the 36th annual Christmas in the Park Celebration Thursday, December 4. Central Park creates the beautiful backdrop for the lighting of nine turn-of-the-century Tiffany windows as the Bach Festival Choir performs in concert on the main stage. The two-hour program begins at 6:15 p.m. For more information, please call 407-645-5311.

To complement the annual “Christmas in the Park Celebration,” Friends of Casa Feliz will present Christmas at the Casa, sponsored by Commerce National Bank and Trust, Thursday, December 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Casa Feliz located at 656 North Park Avenue. Santa Claus will be on hand to greet everyone, the house will be decorated for the season, and costumed carolers will lead attendees in holiday favorites. For more information, please call 407-628-8200.

On Saturday, December 8, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens will become the official judging and viewing site for the 9th annual Winter Park Boat Parade & Festival of Lights including a water ski show on Lake Virginia near Rollins College. This free event will begin at dusk and parking fees will apply. For more information, please call 407-647-6294.

Chabad of Greater Orlando will present Chanukah in the Park Sunday, December 9, at 5 p.m., in Central Park. The evening will include singing performances, live music, dancers, face painting, jugglers and food. For more information, please call 407-644-2500.

The city’s 125th anniversary will be celebrated at the Winter Park Historical Association’s Holiday Open House Thursday, December 13, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Winter Park Country Club.

Friday, December 14 will be a special evening in downtown Winter Park as local businesses open their doors for the Park Avenue Merchants Holiday Open House from 5 – 8 p.m.  Luminaries will light up Park Avenue and shoppers can enjoy extended store hours and light refreshments at their favorite shops.  Participating merchants will also donate a portion of their sales that day to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Enjoy the rich sounds of Christmas as tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone players of all ages gather to perform a FREE concert from the main stage in Central Park beginning at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 15. Winter Park’s 17th annual Merry Tuba Christmas has become a must-see on the holiday list of things to do. Registration for musicians begins at 9:30 a.m., with rehearsal running from 10:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call 407-599-3463.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will hold a FREE Holiday Weekend Open House Saturday, December 22, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, December 23, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call 407-645-5311.

To wrap up the holiday season with a bright red bow on top, the City of Winter Park will proudly host the 6th annual Russell Athletic Bowl® Parade of Bands Friday, December 28, at 11 a.m. As a prelude to the Russell Athletic Bowl® game on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl, school bands from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big East championship teams will march through downtown Winter Park and perform a “Bandastic Game Day Preview” in Central Park. For more information, please call 407-599-3463.