Plus, rappelling elves, where to feast without the clean-up and the ‘bomb-cyclone’ that was on no one’s list to Santa.
Ok, Friday. you’ve heard of elf on the shelf but have you heard of the rappelling elves at the hospital? Last Tuesday, the Orlando Fire Department, Orange County Fire Rescue, and the Orlando Police Department joined forces for the sixth annual Elf Rappel. The “elves” rappelled down the side of the AdventHealth for Children to wave to children in the hospital. “We’ve got the high angle team rappelling, you know, stopping in individual rooms, talking with the kids, it’s just a different environment for the kids and for us as professionals,” said Orlando Fire Department District Chief Ed Angelotti.
Since this is our last newsletter to grace your inbox till 2023, we’ve loaded it up with loads of events to share through New Year’s day and plenty of helpful seasonal tips. Keep swinging down this newsletter as we close out 2022 together in O-town. 👇
🔥 The full STK razzle-dazzle without the down-and-dirty-dish clean-up this holiday. We got to preview STK’s swanky New Year’s Eve bash, featuring a signature limited a la carte menu and New Year’s Eve specials, a live DJ, and complimentary champagne. For the full sneak peek, make sure to track with our Insta this week! If 2023 is your year for good eats, give STK a go. As our server, Travis was keen to point out: “the menu is very user-friendly. Plus, you can come in and order a New York Strip one night and come back the next to have it prepared with different sides and the A5 Wagyu butter, and the experience would be almost brand new.”
For the foodies in the fam
🍳 Food carts will get to keep slinging food downtown as they reach a compromise with the city. Last month the city threatened to shut vendors down or issue fines for not having the correct permits. Currently, vendors pay a fee to private property owners to access their sidewalk space to operate from. Through this new program, they’ll have to move to sidewalks owned by the city, and they won’t have to worry about getting shut down again as long as they follow new guidelines. The city hopes to finalize details for the pilot soon, but the program itself will not begin until 2023. In the meantime, the city is issuing vendors temporary permits. (WFTV)
🥂 STK is celebrating this the whole week. Their dine-in only “Holiday Cheers” seasonal menu features wagyu from around the world with optional A5 miso bacon butter, caviar, and limited time entrees with signature offerings such as King Crab & Truffle Gnocchi, Surf & Turf and Butternut Squash Tortellini & Dungeness Crab. Grab a Christmas morning brunch with a menu including savory dishes like Lobster & Eggs Benedict paired with morning cocktail staples such as mimosas and bloody marys. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (complete with a live DJ, naturally) is showcasing a roasted prime rib special,finished with a decadent black truffle madeira sauce. Make sure to grab a reservation before you head over. (STK)
🍽 Where else you can get your Christmas feast on if you don’t want to cook: AVA MediterrAegean,Café Tu Tu Tango, Charlie & Jake’s Barbecue, Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen,Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill, Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille, Macaroni Grill, and The Tiny Turtle. As for chains, you can expect these reliable stand-bys to be open: Applebee’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, IHOP, Denny’s, Panda Express, Starbucks, Dominoes, Buffalo Wild Wings. (Click Orlando)
What Orlando is talking about
❄️ As if traveling during Christmas wasn’t crazy enough, a “bomb cyclone” could be coming to town. Travelers are already facing delays as they attempt to fly in and out of MCO as a dangerous blizzard moves across the US. The winter storm is expected to spawn a widespread flash freeze in the Plains, Midwest, and East, along with heavy rain, followed by a rapid drop in temperatures all the way to Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Forecasters are calling it a once-in-a-generation storm, so give yourself extra time if traveling this season and maybe have a few Plan B’s lined up for cancellations. (Fox 35)
⚾️ Thanks to Hurricane Ian, The Rays will get to a spring training Disney side. Due to damage to their facilities in Port Charlotte, the Tampa Bay Rays will split their spring training between the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista and Tropicana Field. Although they expressed disappointment that repairs could not be made in time, the Rays team president Matt Silverman said in a statement that “we are thankful for Disney’s willingness and ability to accommodate our unexpected Spring Training needs. ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will provide our players and coaches with first-class facilities for their annual ramp-up to the season.” (Florida Politics)
🤷 Gun training might be somehow unnecessary as legislation for permitless carry is likely to pass. Florida has regulated the carrying of concealed weapons for decades, but supporters of permitless carry say state requirements make it harder for people to protect themselves. They contend gun owners will still seek training voluntarily and that we should drop all the red tape since criminals are already getting guns illegally. Sean Doyle, 34, said he didn’t view Florida’s requirements as overly burdensome. He moved recently from Connecticut to Kissimmee and was taking the concealed-carry class along with his wife. “If you can afford a firearm, you can afford the class,” Doyle said. The legislation is likely to pass next year. (Orlando Sentinel)
Things to do
🎶 Listen to Grammy-winning artist Mark Tremonti as he sings Sinatra at Dr. Phillips. (Downtown)
🍺 Eat, drink and be merry as you sample wine, cheese, and chocolate in ther perfect pairings at Quantum Leap. Get your tickets here. (Ivanhoe Village)
Friday, December 30
🧘 Tune into your chakras before the new year with Elevate Yoga Center and their Crystal Bowl Chakra TuneUp. Space is limited so make sure you register for the event. (Downtown)
🍺 Test your 90’s Movies knowledge with some 90’s Movie Trivia at Deadwords Brewing. (West Orlando)
🕺 Get your dance on with DJ BMF at Lil Indies. No Cover and 21 + only. (Mills 50)
🎶 Help kick off Magic City Hippies Winter Tour in Florida. Catch them at the Social with Cannibal Kids. (Downtown)
Saturday, December 31
🥂 Toast to the new year and party 2022 away at STK’s swanky New Year’s Eve bash, featuring a signature limited a la carte menu and New Year’s Eve specials, a live DJ, and complimentary champagne. (Disney Springs)
🥂 Ring in 2023 with Timucua’s first ever NYE event featuring Vivacity! performing music from the great American Songbook with a Bubbly toast at midnight! (SoDo)
Drop in for the Ball Drop Soirée: New Year’s Eve Party at Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. (Ivanhoe Village)
🎸 Crash New Year’s Eve with The Woolly Bushmen, The Sh-Booms, and The Palmettes at Will’s Pub. (Mills 50)
🎨 Ring in 2023 with complimentary full service open bars, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts by Arthur’s Catering at OMA. The fun continues with photobooths, live music and dazzling firework display at midnight! (Mills 50)
Sunday, January 1
🧘 Ring in the new year with some sun salutations while doing yoga at the brewery at Ivanhoe Brewing. The cost is $10 and includes your first mimosa or beer. (Ivanhoe Village)
🐸 Throw back some shots and other goodies with Krampus himself as you enter a foggy swamp at Krampus Con in Krush Brau Park. (Kissimmee)
👏 Cure the holiday hangover the next morning with a New Year’s Day recovery brunch, featuring all of STK’s favorites. (Disney Springs)
☝️ One more thing…
This year was a lot of things. On a personal level, it was a challenging year, but I wasn’t the only one with a lot to juggle.
Roughly 9,000 Central Florida students have become homeless this year. According to the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, the increase in homeless public school students is due to rising rents made worse by a pair of hurricanes that flooded many properties this fall. The network reported 6,270 homeless students in 2021 in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. That number rose to 9,000 students that are living in shelters or hotels, staying with relatives or friends, or sleeping outside or in cars.
I wouldn’t change getting to write for y’all for anything. Thank you for each of you that took time to reach out over the past year. We get to #livelikeyoulivehere best when we are doing it together. We’ve got big dreams and goals for next year.
Until 2023, that’s a wrap, y’all!
– ✌️ Kit M.