January 2010 News And Events
This postcard shows the Wigwam Motel on South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. It was torn down years ago and I can't remember what stands on the site today. I do know this postcard reminds me that I am officially old because I used to stay at the Wigwam in the 1960's while on business trips to Orlando. The wigwam rooms were tee pee shaped on the outside, but fairly conventional inside. The rooms were air conditioned, which was a big selling point in Florida in the early days.
There was no Walt Disney World in those days, so most of the motels were on the "Trail" on the west side of
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www.FloridaBackroadsTravel.com is now among the top 1% of all websites in the world in terms of traffic. I added a page to the website to explain how SBI! helped make that happen. It's
my not very secret secret
that I'm happy to share with you.
This past month I added some major sections to the website. I want it to be a cultural and heritage website as much if not more than just a travel site. I hope to give our visitors useful information on cultural and heritage happenings and venues in Florida.
In keeping with that goal, there are now new sections on Florida Art Festivals, Florida Museums and Florida Theater. These sections are designed to show you where things are located and to provide links to help you learn more about events and exhibits. I also have reserved other domains that link into the website: www.FloridaHeritageTravel.com and www.FloridaHeritageTourism.com.
A feature has been added that allows you to create your own web page. You can do this either on the Your Page tab on the home page or on individual town and attraction pages. Each of these web pages will have a unique URL and will be part of the Florida
Backroads Travel website. I continue to use this feature to write about places and villages near my featured towns.
I hope you will create a page on my website about your area of interest. Let me know about your favorite towns, parks, wineries, attractions, authors,restaurants, bed and breakfast inns and heritage sites. You will then have your own web page you can direct friends and family to. Write as many as you want, the more the merrier.
FEATURED FLORIDA EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
January is a reminder to us former cold weather Yankees as to why we moved to Florida. The weather is as cool as it ever gets down here; sometimes we sleep with the windows open. Other times we have frost and have to cover the outdoor plants. The ladies get to wear their fashionable high top leather boots and fur trimmed coats.
Most of the snowbirds have come back, so the lines are long at popular restaurants in the southern parts of Florida. It is also the time of year when quite a few outdoor events are happening, including the football bowl games on January 1.
Here are some interesting events around Florida for January 2010.
ALL REGIONS EXCEPT CENTRAL EAST
Check the Florida winery nearest you. There are more than 18 of them around the state, and many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings.
Gulf Coast Full Contact Jousting Tournament,
January 22-24. The Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Hwy., Pensacola, FL. This is a medieval Combat Sports Event featuring an Elimination Jousting Tournament that will draw World Championship Level Tournament Jousters from around the world to compete for the title of Southern United States Jousting Champion. Tel: 877-429-8462.
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA
January 9-10. Phillips Center, University of Florida. CATS is the longest continuously running touring show in U.S. history. It was the longest running musical ever in both London and New York. CATS has been presented in 26 countries and over 300 cities in 10 languages.
JacksonvilleCENTRAL EAST FLORIDA
World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions,
January 3. Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Phillip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm performances.
New Smyrna Beach
Seaside Balloon Fest,
January 8-10. 40 hot air balloons, live music, ballon rides, demonstrations, displays, many vendors and antique cars on display. Tel: 386-424-2199.
2010 Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts & Humanities.
January 23-31. Downtown Eatonville. Celebrate the life and work of famous author, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston at this lively 4-day event, which features a street festival, cultural arts events, public forums, educational programs and a screenwriting competition. Eatonville lies just a few miles North of Orlando.
CENTRAL WEST FLORIDA
Sarasota Masters Art Festival,
January 23-24. This art festival is held on Palm Avenue in historic downtown Sarasota. This is a wonderful area of town with fantastic shopping and exciting cultural events.
Naples Invitational Art Fest,
January 30-31. Fleischmann Park. This venue is across from the Naples Zoo and the Coastland Mall. Plenty of parking and the weather should be great. Many accomplished artists display at this annual festival.
Downtown Delray Festival of the Arts,
January 18-17. This show spans a mile of Atlantic Avenue across the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway all the way to the Atlantic Ocean at State Road A1A. One of the best fine arts festivals in Florida.
Information on the towns and places hosting these events or near them, including lodging, can be found at
If these events aren't convenient for you, try this link for
Additional Florida Events.
In our current slow economy, some events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.
ETHNIC RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH
Altins Cafe and Grill, Naples
Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.
Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler