Style Events, News & Gossip From Around the City
Happy New Year Orlando Style readers! 2015 is already on its way to becoming another memorable, fun-filled year. As always, I look forward to meeting you right here every month to bring you all the latest recaps and highlights. This time we’re winding the clock back to 2014 to see how the city of Orlando celebrated this past holiday season. Here are a few of the most important events, just in case you missed it!
On December 5th, the 9th Annual Festivals of Speed returned to Orlando and transformed an aircraft hangar into a luxury lifestyle jetport reception. Guests gathered at the Orlando International Airport for a jam-packed night of premium cocktails from an open bar, themed food stations, live music, special gifts and more. The festival fun continued the following night with a wine connoisseur’s dinner at the award winning NORMAN’S Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. On December 6th, the three-day event came to an exciting close with the Festivals of Speed Display of Exotics. Guests experienced a fabulous display of the world’s most exotic cars, custom created motorcycles, high performance boats and the finest luxury lifestyle product displays.
Vines Grille and Wine Bar may be known for their steak and fine dining, but guests of their December 7th VIP event saw a very different side to Orlando’s beloved restaurant. It was truly a “banging good time” as percussion legends Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden and Tico Torres of Bon Jovi arrived at the venue for a jam session like no other. The two drummers were both in town for the December Classic charity golf event. Hosted by Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner and his wife Robin, the event sought to raise money for The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando. Attendees of the VIP event held at Vines, as well as Nicko and Tico themselves, all had a marvelous time enjoying the good vibes and entertaining atmosphere at one of Orlando’s hippest spots.
It might have been chilly outside, but things were getting quite hot inside Aloft Orlando Downtown on December 9th! Guests joined Orlando Style Magazine at Aloft’s W XYZ bar for a viewing party of the Sexiest Show on TV. Generous donations at the door went to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation of Central and Northern Florida. Attendees of the exclusive event enjoyed complimentary Champagne, a live DJ and unforgettable entertainment By Rockhard Revue and Emotions Dance Company.
In 2013, the world lost one of its finest chefs and Orlando’s Chef Norman Van Aken lost someone whom he considered a brother. On December 13th, NORMAN’S Restaurant hosted an elegant reception to honor Chef Norman’s late friend, Chef Charlie Trotter. It was an exquisite evening featuring enticing hors d’oeuvres presented by renowned local chefs as well as culinary stations throughout the restaurant by Chef Norman and his team. Many attendees also took advantage of the evening’s silent auction benefiting the Trotter Project, which aims to carry on the visions and values of Charlie Trotter. If you would like to join us in helping support Charlie Trotter’s legacy by donating to the Trotter Project, be sure to check out TheTrotterProject.org.
On December 13th, the talented musicians of Central Florida’s rockin’ strings group “Violectric,” helped get the city in the spirit of the holiday season with a very unique holiday show. Free and open to the public, the concert featured traditional holiday songs like “Jingle Bells,” “O Christmas Tree” and “Hanukkah, O Hanukkah” mashed up with classic rock tunes like “Kashmir,” “Born To Run” and “Sweet Dreams.” Families and groups of friends from all walks of life showed up in packs to enjoy the electric string quintet with keyboards and drums. The evening followed a monumental night kicking off the entertainment at the Grand Opening Gala of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Walt Disney Theater.
2015 is going to be quite the busy year for Westgate Resorts! The renowned resort chain celebrated construction of the all-new Westgate Lakes Retail Village with a ground-breaking ceremony on December 15th. The $11 million mixed-use retail development will feature award-winning restaurants, event and meeting space and a parking garage at Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa on Turkey Lake Road in Orlando. Highlights of the village include 32,000 square feet of flexible banquet and meeting space, a full-service marketplace grocery store, premium and casual restaurants, exciting retail shops, an arcade, a bowling alley and more. Westgate Resorts Founder and CEO David Siegel and Jackie Siegel were all smiles during the momentous event as public figures from across the city joined them in celebration.
Pediatric patients at the Florida Hospital for Children’s outpatient unit enjoyed quite the surprise on December 17th when athletes from the Orlando Predators showed up for an unannounced visit. Quarterback Randy Hippeard and wide receiver Justin Hilton spread holiday cheer and smiles throughout the building by signing autographs, spending quality time with the beautiful children and delivering new children’s movie DVDs to the hospital on behalf of the entire team. Each child and their family also received free tickets to an Orlando Predators game for its upcoming season, which kicks off on March 29th. “It was great to have the opportunity to visit and hang out with the children today,” said Hippeard. “To be able to put a smile on their faces and have the chance to take their minds off of what they’re going through, even if only for a few moments, means a lot. I don’t know who had a better time, the kids or myself!”
2014 proved to be another fantastic & successful year for the city’s leading luxury lifestyle publication, Orlando Style Magazine! As the year came to eventful close, Style Magazine creators, Sven and Cathleen Bode, used the holiday season as a way to share their gratitude and thanks with their staff and close friends. The Bode’s opened up their beautiful new home for a private holiday party featuring attentive staff that served appetizing hors d’oeuvres, Champagne and various fine beverages. Plenty of fun reindeer hats were also provided to help their guests get in the spirit of the season! Everyone mingled around the home while enjoying the great company before meeting on the moonlit terrace for a raffle auction featuring gifts from local Orlando businesses and venues worth over $10,000. A thank you speech by the smiling couple topped off the fantastic evening and led the group into a loud and proud toast to 2015!
Know of a Not-To-Be Missed Event? Do Tell!