by Billy Manes
We’ve been huffing and puffing and smiling about this development for months – former tourist-trap mall situation called Festival Bay morphs into community artisan market while still maintaining its retail anchors that are decidedly not thematically in line with said theme (Ron Jon!). It could be the best or worst idea ever! But, from the looks of things, we’re going to lean toward the superlative positive of the former. On Thursday, along with other tourism dignitaries, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will cut the ribbon on the ambitious Artegon project, hopefully pushing some prime Touristan real estate into that vague area that both locals and visitors can enjoy. There will be acrobats, folks on stilts, breakdancers, radio feeds from all demographics and the general sense of community explored via a marketing context. Swag bags! At any rate, Artegon could be a game changer in the I-Drive vortex of beach towels, trucker hats and cocoa butter, so the engagement of local artists and artisans is more than welcome. Let’s see where this goes.
10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 | Artegon Orlando, 5250 International Drive | artegonorlando.com | free