Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in the Park with Snow!

The Christmas tradition of "Snow in the Park" once again delighted an audience of all ages in Mount Dora.  Our good friends Jaden Hair & family from Bradenton came over to enjoy the festivities.


Here is the video clip of the highlights of Christmas in the Park.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Vanishing Florida – a Highwayman Style Exhibition by Lynn Herrick


FROM: W. T. Bland Public Library
DATE: December 17, 2009
Stephanie Haimes  (352) 735-7180

      SUBJECT:   Vanishing Florida – a Highwayman Style Exhibition by Lynn Herrick
MOUNT DORA: Local Umatilla artist, Lynn Herrick will be exhibiting over 30 of her oil

paintings from Dec. 29th to Jan. 30th at the W. T. Bland Library in Mt. Dora.

Herrick’s work has evolved from charcoals, acrylics, photography, pottery, basketry, fused glass

and, finally, to oils.  She has studied these various mediums in Miami, Hendersonville (NC), and
Ocala.  She now paints in the traditional Highwaymen style having studied with R. L. Lewis, Jr.,
one of the original Highwaymen, for the past four years.  Lynn has lived in Florida for over 50

years and feels that the Florida she captures on her canvases is disappearing exponentially with

rampant “development.”  She is dedicated to preserving this vanishing landscape in her own

artistic way.

Herrick’s “Vanishing Florida” series will be exhibited in the Community Room of the library

during regular hours. Please note that our Community Room is heavily used and may not always

be available.  Please call (352) 735-7180 option 5 to check on the room availability for viewing.

W. T. Bland Library, 1995 Donnelly Street, Mt. Dora  352-735-7180 option 5
Hours – Monday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m. – 6p.m
              Tuesday and Wednesday 10a.m. – 8p.m
               Saturday 10a.m. – 2p.m. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Florida Highwaymen Artists return to Mount Dora on January 9th, 2010.

4th Mount Dora Florida Highwaymen Art Show & Sale
January 9th, 2010
Donnelly Park - Mount Dora

MOUNT DORA, FLFlorida’s historic artists, known as The Florida Highwaymen, will be returning to picturesque Mount Dora for the 4th HIGHWAYMEN ART Show and Sale, January 8 & 9, 2010.
On Saturday, January 9th, the popular Highwaymen artists will display and sell their art work from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inside and Outside of the Donnelly Building in Donnelly Park, located in the center of Mount Dora.  Visitors can enjoy the scenic renderings of Florida’s landscape expressed in the Classic Highwaymen art style.  Participating in this event will be original Highwaymen Mary Ann Carroll, the only female in the group, Al Black, James Gibson, Isaac Knight, Robert Lewis and Roy McLendon… with OTHERS to be announced soon.  Admission, as before, is FREE!!
Friday, January 8th, the evening prior to the Main Saturday event, the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce will host a ‘Meet and Greet’ the Artists between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Chamber’s Historic Train Station. Many vintage Highwaymen paintings will be on exhibit. Refreshments and light appetizers will be served. Admission is FREE… and ALL are invited to attend!!
2010 is also Mount Dora’s Centennial. After the GALA New Year’s weekend begins the Year Long Celebration… the Highwaymen Event will continue the festivities the following weekend!!
In the 1950s, the Highwaymen artists were a group of young black men from the Fort Pierce area. The late Alfred Hair and the late Harold Newton were considered the leaders of the group, studying under Backus and bringing their new-found talent back to the group.  The art work, painted on an inexpensive construction material known as upson board, displayed traditional Florida scenes of palm trees, royal poinciana trees, and river vistas.  From there, the artists would travel with their paintings along U.S. 1 and other Florida roadways, selling them from the trunks of their cars.  It wasn’t until the 1990s that the group was labeled The Highwaymen. 
Currently, sponsors for this Winter Art Event include:  The Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mount Dora, and Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast. Margie Salyer and Randy Burgener are coordinating this Winter Highwaymen Show and Sale.
For additional information, please contact or by calling (352) 383-4050 or Toll Free at 1-888-437-6622.. For Lodging information visit Heron Cay Lakeview Bed and Breakfast website at
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Highwaymen art will be donated to the Restoration Fund for the Historic Mount Dora Train Station, the Home of the Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Mount Dora Christmas Carol performed by the Mount Dora Ghost Walk crew!

The Mount Dora Ghost Walk of Mount Dora, Florida,will perform A Mount Dora Christmas Carol on Friday December 18th and Saturday December 19th at 7:00pm and 8:30pm originating at the Mount Dora History Museum 450 Royellou Lane, and continues to Donnelly Park located at the corner of Donnelly Street and 5th Avenue in beautiful downtown Mount Dora. The 45 minute walking theatrical tour begins with a 15 minute interior performance at the museum.

Hector DeLeon, Creative Director of The Mount Dora Historical Society is producing this walking theatrical adaptation of a Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol with what he terms a "Cracker Gothic" style. With Donnelly Park and its almost 2 million lights as your stage your tour guide takes you thru numerous live theatrical vignettes including the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Future and Present.

There are 4 performances on Friday December 18th and Saturday December 19th at 7:00pm shows and 8:30pm, cost: $12.00 for over 12 years of age and $10.00 under 12.  Availability is limited and this will sell out fast so call to reserve in order received at  352-406-5672  or go to for more information. Show originates from the Mount Dora History Museum at 450 Royellou Lane, Mount Dora, FL 32757 (the alley between 4th & 5th Avenues and between Donnelly and Baker Streets in majestic downtown Mount Dora, Tours last about 60 minutes involve 1/2 mile of walking so wear comfortable shoes. Tours are held rain or shine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The very first Sweepstakes Winners & their Mount Dora experience.

I finally caught up with Joanne Stevens from Venice, FL who was our very first Mount Dora Play, Shop, Dine & Stay Sweepstakes winner.  She gave me some details of her July visit to Mount Dora when she came with a best friend and her daughter for a girlfriend's get-a-way weekend.

Joanne has been to Mount Dora before and was delighted when she was randomly selected from thousands of entries as the very first winner of the Sweepstakes.  She immediately booked her accommodations at her favorite "home away from home," the Mount Dora Cottages owned and operated by Jim & Ana Tuttle.  Though her lodging portion of the winnings was just enough to cover a one night stay she decided to book another night in addition.

Joanne told me that she started her visit to Mount Dora with cocktails on the deck at Pisces Rising overlooking beautiful Lake Dora.  She had dinner there and then went into town for some shopping before retiring for the evening.

Joanne dined at Chew Chew Express Sandwich Depot three times during her stay.  She says it is always very good and she really appreciates the family style atmosphere provided by Mark & Tracey who own and operate this local favorite.

Day two of her trip was highlighted by a visit to Pure Aveda Salonspa where her group went for the "full treatment."  Joanne indicated they would be returning for many more visits to Pure Aveda Salonspa!

They rounded out the day with some serious shopping at our many fabulous shops, cupcakes at Mount Dora Cupcakes on 5th Ave. and finally cocktails in the Viking Lounge located above the Frosty Mug Icelandic Restaurant.

Joanne wanted to do even more shopping but because she was the very first to visit Mount Dora with the contest winning "Dora Dollars," many of the merchants unfamiliar with the program turned her away.  We have hopefully solved any of those problems for the future as the Sweepstakes expands into 2010.

Joanne ended by saying, "We had a wonderful time in Mount Dora.  My best friend Charlene and I spent a girls weekend together. We met up with my daughter who just moved to Mount Dora from Texas. We shopped all the stores,and ate and ate and ate!  I love staying at the Mt Dora Cottages, it's just like home.  Jim and Ana are the best.
We had a blast, a lot of fun and laughs."
Joanne Stevens

Register now for your chance to win the Mount Dora Play, Shop, Dine & Stay Sweepstakes.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Family New Year's Eve celebration in Donnelly Park.

Come one and all to Donnelly Park at 9pm on December 31st to usher in the New Year and to kick off Mount Dora's year long 100th birthday celebration!

For more information please watch the presentation put together by one of the sponsors of the event, the Mount Dora Village Merchant's & Business Association, Inc.

Click here to see the presentation.

Soles4Shoes Shoe Drive at Donnelly Euro Footwear!


ON December 2, 2009
Central Florida residents are invited to recycle their 'gently worn' shoes for people in need  
Nashville, TN – DATE – Every 23 seconds, Soles4Souls Inc. gives away another pair of shoes to someone in need.  The shoe charity has earned glowing endorsements from Hollywood stars and professional athletes, but the people that truly make the non-profit organization effective are those who clean out their closets to personally drop off their ‘gently worn’ shoes at a participating location, such as Donnelly Euro Footwear.

For a limited time, Soles4Souls and Donnelly Euro Footwear will be collecting your gently worn footwear and/or donations to ship the shoes to people in need, whether they are victims of a natural disaster or subject to living in extreme poverty.  It is estimated that Americans have 1.5 billion pairs of unused shoes lying in their closets.  The charity can use each and every one of these pairs to make a tangible difference in someone's life.
“We can use the shoes taking up space in your closet to change the world one pair at a time,” Elsey said.  “We need our partners in Central Florida to 'STEP UP' and get behind our call for action.  It’s one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times,” he said.
“Donnelly Euro Footwear is proud to assist in this very worthwhile benevolence.  Most Americans forget how fundamental shoes are to our everyday existence.  For most folks a simple donation of shoes that they no longer want or need can make a real difference in the lives of people that have no shoes at all.  To thank folks for their donations of gently worn shoes, Donnelly Euro Footwear will give them $10 for each pair they donate towards the purchase of a new pair of shoes or handbag.  This is a great way for folks to rid themselves of shoes they no longer want, get a new pair of shoes for themselves and they can feel good about the donation they have made.  Whether victims of a natural disaster or people living in poverty, Soles4Souls make these shoes available to those in need throughout the USA and the world.  Soles4Souls is an awesome opportunity for everyone to help make the world a better place.” Jim Timberlake, Donnelly Euro Footwear.  The event at Donnelly Euro Footwear will run December 2nd through December 31st. 

Two major events in Downtown Mount Dora help to kick off this drive.  December 4th at 6pm is the cities annual Christmas Walk event with street performers, entertainment and food.  December 31st will be the beginning of the cities Centennial year long celebration with a city-wide New Years Eve Party complete with a ball drop in the park. Soles4Souls will be represented at both events.
People and companies interested in donating can visit the organization’s website at, and follow the instructions. 
About Soles4Souls
Nashville-based Soles4Souls™  facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.4 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in more than 60 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan.  The charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America.  Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.  Visit for more information. 

For more information please contact:
Jim Timberlake 352 217-3325 or at the store Donnelly Euro Footwear 352 385-0909
Chris Carmichael, Soles4Souls, 615-391-5723 ext 143
Kim Dettwiller, Soles4Souls, 615-321-4073