- Holiday decorations at the Church Street Market
In the wake of COVID-19’s devastating impact on Downtown Orlando businesses, the area has come to life again for the holidays with a special dining promotion, snow in Heritage Square, festive “store fronts”and a new landmark tree in the round-about on Church Street.
The overarching promotion, dubbed 30 Days of City District
launched the week of Thanksgiving and is a multifaceted, decentralized holiday event to be experienced with close friends and family, while maintaining social distance.
“We didn’t want to do a traditional event this year that would attract people to gather, plus the City District, our Main Street District, is now much larger than the previous Church Street District, so creating cheer that could be enjoyed throughout was our priority,” says Rosangela Parker, executive director of the City District. “This type of activation is a perfect complement to the new snowflakes installed throughout downtown by the Downtown Development Board, and Frontyard Festival at the Dr. Phillips Center, both of which are also within our District. We want to create an environment whereby residents, daytime professionals, our nightlife crowd, and visitors to the area are encouraged to stroll our streets and patronize our establishments this holiday season.”
Dine Around the District is fashioned after successful promotions such as Bite30, and features 10 downtown eateries with dining deals ranging from $8 at Grilled Cheezus and similarly priced locations, $15 at Hamburger Mary’s and other casual full service restaurants, and $35 at The Boheme, Artisan’s Table and the recently opened 534 Scratch Kitchen on West Church Street, across from Exploria Stadium. Menus are posted at citydistrictorlando.com
. There are no special cards or anything required; diners simply need to ask for the special Dine Around menu.
Throughout the District, more cheer in terms of decor and even snowfall adds to the holiday ambience. A pathway through Heritage Square becomes a wintry wonderland for pedestrians with blowing snow flurries on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. A beautiful new golden light tree presides over the roundabout on Church Street in the center of Church Street Market, while lights shine and twinkle from the spire and light sculpture at Amway Center to the beacon lights of Exploria Stadium and down the Church Street corridor of Parramore. Businesses throughout the District, including CI Group and Artisan’s Table, have decorated as part of Deck the District, a collaboration between CityArts District and City District.
“Downtown Orlando has been hit by COVID, perhaps worst of all Orlando’s districts. Our many bars were forced to close for many months, and our restaurants struggled with limited or inconvenient parking to facilitate a robust take-out business,” says Parker. “With so much to offer and so much going on in City District, we’re excited to welcome people back into downtown for the holidays and for 2021.”
The public is encouraged not only to enjoy all the decor and happenings, but to also use the hashtag #citydistrict for a chance to win prizes from businesses within the district. Details can be found on citydistrictorlando.com
One year ago, the Church Street District, one of the original participants in Orlando’s National Main Street Program, became the City District and expanded its boundaries beyond the narrow Church Street corridor on the east side of I-4 to encompass the majority of Downtown Orlando and Parramore. Many of the new District members, including The Robinson, Casey’s on Central, Dr. Phillips Center, 534 Scratch and Heritage Square, were outside the boundaries of the previous Church Street District, but now lie within the boundaries of the newly established City District.
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