The Parramore community, consisting of three separate neighborhoods: Lake Dot, Callahan and Holden/Parramore, was established in the 1880s by Orlando’s fourth mayor, James B. Parramore as a place to “house the blacks employed in the households of white Orlandoans.”
The area was bordered to the east by Division Street, a street that marked the line where African-Americans were not allowed to cross after sundown during the Jim Crow era and currently divides some of the city’s most prosperous areas from its lower-income neighborhoods.
For 60 years, it grew into a thriving black community with 18,000 residents and streets lined with vibrant schools, theaters, local shops, family-owned restaurants and hotels. Residents were civically engaged and invested.
Between the 1950s and 1960s, with a civil unrest permeating throughout the nation, a change was occurring in Orlando as well. The city was growing, new roadways were needed; Interstate 4 was built, cutting Parramore off further from the rest of Central Florida and causing the community to crumble. Long-time locals moved. It quickly became one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in metropolitan Orlando.
Folks called for change. In 2000, Mayor Glenda Hood pushed residents to get behind efforts to resuscitate the Parramore neighborhood. She proposed supporting suggested green spaces and redevelopment and promised that Parramore’s black heritage could be preserved even in light of these new developments. Some residents rallied behind the renewed interest in the neighborhood, but most were worried the community would again fall victim to empty promises and prosperity benefiting others.
In 2015, Orlando’s city council approved the Ten Big ideas plan, an initiative to cut crime, add jobs, create healthier food options and focus on education. Of these “Big Ten” ideas, several have been completed or are in the works.
One year removed from the Big Ten plan’s approval, Orlando City Soccer Stadium construction was completed in the Parramore community. Mayor Buddy Dyer held a community meeting prior to the stadium’s completion, promising residents that the stadium would improve Parramore. By allowing the estimated 150 residents to ask questions and voice their concerns, the mayor’s transparency and cooperative approach led to an Opening Day match on Feb. 24, 2017.
Just last year, in 2017, the first community school in over 40 years opened in the neighborhood and not unlike any new venture, its first year has been full of turbulence but the new principal is hoping to work out the kinks and really ACE their next review.
The Parramore Farmers Market — home to Black Bee Honey, local artists and artisans, and local produce — is set to reopen on Jan. 5, 2019. And as of yesterday, the city council approved plans to build 415 affordable housing units in the area.
While Parramore has yet to be restored to its former glory days, a plan is in place and ideas are being implemented; much like a plant needs water and sunlight to grow, communities need time, love and attention too.
Follow along this week as we continue our conversations on the arrival of the UCF and Valencia College downtown campus and talk to a few key stakeholders about what significant changes this has on the local community of Parramore.
Degrees on Disney’s dime. A new program at Walt Disney Co. offers free tuition to hourly workers, but it comes with a catch: The offer is limited to schools that participate in the company’s Disney Aspire program. As of now, that list doesn’t include UCF — Florida’s largest university — but officials say the initiative will grow and expand with time. (Orlando Sentinel)
Ganja on the go. Curaleaf, a medical marijuana retailer, is taking cannabis convenience to a new level Central Florida. The region’s first drive-through dispensary is now open in East Orlando, offering medical products to patients who call ahead or order online. (Orlando Sentinel)
A berry good lineup. The 11-day Florida Strawberry Festival returns to Hillsborough County in February, and the entertainment lineup is packed with big-name stars (Willie Nelson, Alabama, Steven Tyler) — and throwback favorites (Kool and the Gang, Keith Sweat, The Drifters). Tickets go on sale Dec. 6 (Fox 35)
Treat yourself on Turkey Day. Family holidays are stressful enough as it is — why not let someone else do the cooking? Orlando Weekly’s list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner covers everything from traditional turkey buffets to a BYOB (bring your own bird) to-go option. (Orlando Weekly)
On second thought… Maybe staying in for Thanksgiving is the best option after all. AAA says Orlando is the top visitor destination for next week’s holiday, meaning our roadways are about to get a whole lot cozier. The total number of travelers across the U.S. and in Florida is expected to be roughly 5 percent higher than it was last year. (Tampa Bay Times)
🎙 FRIDAY, NOV. 16: Catch pianist Adam Golka’s performance in conjunction with the Timucua Arts Foundation (SoDo)
Want to partner with us? Here’s how that works.
🍷 Learn how to pair the perfect vino with Thanksgiving dinner (Ivanhoe)
🥂 Or pair bubbles with BBQ (College Park)
🗣 Calling all women who are “educated and broke” (Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Ladies, let’s yoga and socialize in Camping World Stadium (Parramore)
❓ It’s trivia night at Brass Tap (Mills Park)
🚂 Step back in time at this open house (Winter Garden)
🛍 Shop, sip and stroll along Park Avenue (Winter Park)
🍷 Does there exist a better trio than wine, chocolate and cheese (Mills 50)
🎟 Attend this networking event at the new Modera space (Downtown)
🍩 Get in line for these doughnut ice cream sandwiches (SoDo)
🗣 Be a part of the conversation on hate crimes (College Park)
FRIDAY – HAMILTON TIX GO ON SALE
🎈 Through Sunday Check out this cool hot air balloon show (Baldwin Park) 🆕
🍁 Through Sunday Cooler temps make this fall festival even better (Longwood)
🎟 Through Sunday Got a crazy idea? This is the weekend to share it (Downtown)
🕰 Through Sunday It’s a good weekend to go antiquing (Mt. Dora)
🚞 Go on a culture tour on the SunRail (Winter Park/Downtown)
🧘🏻♀️ Practice yoga under the stars (SoDo)
🥩 Grab a steak and head to the springs (Wekiva)
🎄 Kickoff the holiday season by lighting up the city (Ivanhoe)
🧘🏻♀️ Get your downward dog on in the gardens (Winter Park) 🆕
🎉 Rock the block for Maxine’s on Shine’s 7th Anniversary Party (Colonialtown) 🆕
🧐 Take a peek at your family history with local genealogist (Downtown) 🆕
🍻 Thank God for Sanford Beer Week and this free beer fest (Sanford) 🆕
⛹🏾♂️ Cheer on the Orlando Magic to a W as they take on the LA Lakers (Parramore) 🆕
👟 Run a 5k while simultaneously popping bubbles (West Colonial) 🆕
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #pulptown on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and COMING SOON add your own events with a Pulptown membership.
Last week, we took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. While there, we were told that the on-sale date for the highly-coveted Hamilton was coming soon BUT they couldn’t tell us when. An official announcement has since been made and tickets will go on sale THIS FRIDAY, Nov. 16.
We have a few insider tips to ensure you don’t miss out when the show is here Jan. 22 through Feb. 10.
Words of caution, purchase ONLY from the DrPhillipsCenter.org website. At this point, they’re the only site that will be selling real tickets. There’s a limit of four tickets per person so if you need more, you should have someone else also following the same steps above on a different computer. We advise logging in 15 to 20 minutes in advance.
That’s all folks.
Embrace the culture, Orlando,