The countdown to 2017 is on! We’re just days away from celebrating the end of 2016 and diving headfirst into the New Year. The past 12 months have been jampacked with festivals, fundraisers, galas, grand openings, marathons and so much more. As we start looking ahead to the future, let’s take a moment to recap some of the recent, fun-filled events that took place in November all throughout the City Beautiful. Here are the highlights, just in case you missed it!

Only the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend offered attendees a breathtaking morning run capped by a spectacular evening of food and wine! The annual race weekend took place from November 3rd-6th and was themed around the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. It included a half marathon, 5k, and children’s races! The day began with an early morning 13.1 mile run through the beautiful Walt Disney World Resort. In the evening, attendees celebrated their accomplishments (and calories burned!) at the Post-Race Party during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Guests enjoyed entry to more than 30 Global Marketplaces at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, access to favorite Epcot attractions, character meet & greets, musical performances, entertainment, and a live DJ!

From November 3rd-6th, PlayFest provided guests with the rare opportunity to participate in the development of new plays. Located at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and presented by Harriett’s Charitable Trust, the annual event included readings, workshops and productions of new plays all followed by lively post-show discussions. Guests also enjoyed revivals of Orlando International Fringe Festival favorites, keynote addresses and seminars by award-winning playwrights. Attendees conversed with playwrights, directors, and actors while absorbing groundbreaking new works. The four-day event tore down the barrier between artist and audience by putting YOU at the heart of the process. This season, PlayFest was dedicated to six new plays plus a special reading of The Laramie Project. All selected plays explored issues surrounding the Pulse tragedy.

The largest annual event in Orlando returned to The City Beautiful and created community through art from November 5th-6th. Located in the heart of downtown at Lake Eola Park, Fall Fiesta in the Park is Orlando’s longest running event and features more than 600 juried artisans in all media including ceramics, glassware, jewelry, photography, wood and clothing. In addition to a fabulous lineup of art and live entertainment, the fiesta also offers an array of tasty fare. Attendees relished in the beauty of fall time weather with hundreds of artists and crafters. Fall Fiesta in the Park draws more people annually than the Super Bowl, Daytona 500 and Austin City Limits with approximately 250,000 people walking through the event. Over the two-day duration, the event brought family and pet friendly arts and entertainment to downtown Orlando while promoting local urban development in the City and through the Orlando Community & Youth Trust.

November 12th saw the highly anticipated return of the beloved Orlando Beer Festival at Festival Park! Over 3,500 attendees sampled craft and premium beers from local breweries and all around the world. In addition to refreshing beers, attendees also got to enjoy wine tasting, interactive games, tasty food and live music that kept the party going all afternoon. General admission guests received a commemorative sample cup and unlimited tastings from over 150 beers. Attendees with VIP tickets enjoyed early admission, a designated VIP area with private restrooms, a complimentary branded beer glass and a T-Shirt. The event raised proceeds for the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

Now in its thirtieth year, the annual Festival of Trees transformed The Orlando Museum of Art into a glittering wonderland filled with sparkling trees, vignettes and stunning décor for visitors of all ages. This year’s theme was The Art of the Holidays and it featured designer-decorated trees, holiday wreaths, elaborate gingerbread houses, and much more. From November 12th-20th, visitors young and old came out to spread the holiday cheer and admire the gorgeous trees. Many even purchased one to display in their own home as the trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, decorative accessories and gifts for the home or office were all available for purchase! Presented by Council of 101, The Festival of Trees also presented guests with a variety of special activities included A Night in White Gala, musical performances and delightful programs for seniors and children.

Art in Odd Places transformed Downtown Orlando from November 11th-13th. The annual public visual and performance art festival was presented by Fifth Third Bank and produced by the Downtown Arts District. The event, co-curated by Genevieve Bernard and Vince Kral, featured 45 projects with 53 participating artists including four international artists from Canada, The Netherlands, Israel and Mexico. This year’s theme was PLAY and it centered around ideas and topics of acting, activities, celebration, charades, competition, creativity, dance, drama, exercise and fun. imagination, instrumentation, leeway, leisure, maneuvers, music, participation, performance, portrayal, practice, randomness, rehearsal, silliness, spontaneity, sport, stage, and theater. In short, if you could imagine it, you could find it at Art in Odd Places!

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