Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh what a night: Food Truck Bazaar a hit in Mount Dora, Florida

If you bring the trucks, they will come, and eat, and have a good time…
So it went in Mount Dora, Florida as Mark Baratelli, owner and producer of and its wildly popular Food Truck Bazaar, came to town with the Food Trucks for the first of currently four set dates, leaving in their wake a crowd of filled tummies and smiling faces.
Closing off one of the historic downtown streets and the adjacent parking lot for the action, it easily spilled over into the park, with many folks setting up tables and chairs there enjoying the shade of the trees on a seriously hot night. But even the park couldn’t contain this crowd that spread into the alley, an alley across the way, sidewalk benches and more.
This first night was a tryout of sorts, working to get the setup right, the layout of the trucks and where people will find seating, plus letting the local businesses and restaurants see where they can play a role.
With Mark’s expertise, having put this event on in an increasing number of towns across the Orlando area, the trucks were well laid out in the setting, while lines were filled enough to encourage more trucks will be invited to the next event.
Cathy and Co. from the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce worked to allow local business owners to share information on their business at the Chamber’s tent. Information was offered to those new to town, and hand fans were among the most popular items on this hot and humid summer night.
But summer steam didn’t keep people from enjoying and folks lined up for in some cases an hour to get a much-desired treat. Future events will have more trucks as mentioned, to shorten those lines, but here are a couple tuips for making the most of the event:
* Stop at the dessert truck (Yum Yum) first for a sweet treat. They pack them in a container to go, so you can carry them into other lines, snack while you wait, or save for later.

* Hit the event early. Lines get long fast, so you’re in a better shot to not wait too long.
* Bring along a team, hit the place early, and assign each person a line. You’ll meet back at a single spot and either share or partake of your catch. Lines get longer as the evening goes on, but by the first half hour in, can be extensive.
* Bring a table and chair set up and scope out your spot, then grab your food, and return to a spot where you can gather with your family and friends.
* Look over the list prior to the event, available on TheDailyCity website, then plan what you want to hit ahead of time. Hit those places first, then get back in line for lesser choices later. ** Trucks may change the evening of, so use this as a guide, but not a promise.
* Things sell out quickly, so hit the ones you want first to avoid missing out.

*** Remember when you’re in Mount Dora, you are in a community with plenty of other food offerings as well. Pick you top one, two or three trucks, hit them and enjoy, then grab your adult beverages at one of the restaurants or bars, then if you’re still hungry, grab something after around town.
*** Among the options this time that may be returning: (These occurred but are not promised for future events, but be aware) ** Maggie’s Attic and Pisces Rising are next to the event venue area, offering adult beverages. Maggie’s was providing “to go” cups that were allowed in the event area. ** Merrill’s Market was giving a 10% discount to Food Truck attendees who brought their food down to Merrill’s to eat. ** Live music was offered at a variety of restaurants. ** Cupcake Delights and Operation Deep Freeze Frozen Custard offered discounts this evening with great success, so hit them early. ** Segway of Central Florida had Segways on hand and were offering special discounts. ** A number of businesses were open and likely more will be next time.

Visit the Chamber of Commerce tent for information on discounts and deals, and stroll around Mount Dora to enjoy how all of the open businesses go about showing off this special little town.

This post was written by regular contributor, Rori Paul. Rori is a travel writer and blogger. Follow her blog, Rori Travels Florida, for more on Florida Travel and Mount Dora.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mount Dora Village Market

Mount Dora Village Market; Farmers Market brings tradition of such shopping to the lakefront

For many, turning a year old means another step forward on the path of life. In a child we see great leaps and bounds into personhood while businesses tend to look at the future as a real possibility. One-year milestones are as varied as the person or business, but always about a fresh new look on what lies ahead.
For Mount Dora, the Mount Dora Open Air Market has reached that one year milestone, ready to move ahead and taking its rightful place as a cornerstone offering on the town’s community front.
So along with that year milestone and cornerstone place on the Mount Dora horizon, the open air market is making a few exciting changes to move it into toddlerhood.
Mount Dora Village Market is the new name of this exciting and growing offering, and a new location along the actual lakefront in Elizabeth Evans Park promises a farmers market unlike any you’ve ever known.

Just another block down from its previous location at Lakeside Inn, the Village Market is at the end of Donnelly Street in the park, with tents set up giving off the feeling of a fair or Renaissance Faire.
With woods to one side, the circle end of the street to the other, a Lawn Bowling facility and the lakefront here, you’re in for a treat.
Shop under the cover of trees in the shade, stroll along the lake and look over at the Mount Dora Lighthouse, Florida’s only registered inland lighthouse, and enjoy your shopping in this unique setting.
Bring a picnic and listen to music played in the market, bring the dogs and treat them to something here such as biscuits or a new collar. Buy some produce and add it to our sandwiches.
The Mount Dora Village Market has grown from an idea to a parking lot happening to this growing, expanding, and important addition to town and the community. Originally launched by the Visit Mount Dora organization, which is a merchant’s and marketing organization, it is now a team partnership between Visit Mount Dora, the City of Mount Dora and the Chamber of Commerce.
Promising to grow continually in the coming months, the number of vendors is set to triple, with more produce, plants, crafts, and music in the works. I even spoke with the goat milk and cheese lady who promises to return this fall/late fall with more baby goats.
So bring the family, bring that special someone, make it a meeting place for friends, or just stop by and enjoy it on your own, but make the Mount Dora Village Market a must-do every Sunday.

*** Please note that due to weather and larger holidays the Village Market will not be open every weekend. Check their website for information.
This post was written by regular contributor, Rori Paul. Rori is a travel writer and blogger. Follow her blog, Rori Travels Florida, for more on Florida Travel and Mount Dora. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

After Hours Shopping in Mount Dora? Join-us for the All-New "Downtown After Dark!"

In conjunction with the 2nd Friday Gallery Walk, many downtown businesses will be open for your shopping pleasure.  Come on out and enjoy a fabulous evening of art, shopping and dining in Mount Dora.

Lakeside Inn Summer Lawn Concert Series

Join us for the 2nd installment of the ongoing Lakeside Inn Summer Concert Series featuring Dan Levinson and His Prohibition Gang.  Admisssion is FREE!

For more "Things To Do In Mount Dora" visit:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mount Dora 4th of July Parade Show


Wednesday, July 04, 2012 


10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Donnelly Park accross from Donnelly House
Donnelly Street between 5th & 6th Avenues, Mount Dora

The Rotary Club of Mount Dora presents the 4th of July Parade beginning at 10:00am and reviewing stand with entertainment before and after parade at Donnelly's Green. Patriotic  songs by Emily Rose, singing the Star Spangled Banner, National Anthem and more. Theatrical vignettes including the J.P. Donnelly 4th of July party, the Ross Tremain story as performed by the Burroughs & Ternbuckle troupe. The  J.P. Donnelly house will be open for tours, set up with your chairs near the reviewing stand for the best spot in town. Hear of the Ross Tremain 4th of July fiasco and the Anney Donnelly panjandrum at center reviewing stage. The Mayor and other Mount Dora notables will be onstage for your enjoyment. This Mount Dora Rotary Club extravaganza co-sponsored by the City of Mount Dora, Mount Dora Community Trust and  Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce  is not to be missed!

Contact Jodie McEwen  352-367-2879  email:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Food Truck Bazaar to visit Mount Dora!

For information about The Food Truck Bazaar, contact Producer Mark Baratelli at or 407-310-5905
The official website is
The official twitter account is @FoodTruckBazaar
The official Facebook account is
The City of Mount Dora and the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce have invited The Food Truck Bazaar to stop by their lovely town for four visits July through October, 2012. The bazaar will touch down for three hours each night, once a month, bringing with it its signature "community dinner" feeling and some of the very best that the Orlando food truck scene has to offer. 

The Food Truck Bazaar is the oldest travelling food event in Central Florida. It began March 2011 with one location and as of July, there are eleven. The Producer has put on more than 50 of these events, fed thousands of people and has used only the very best of the local Orlando food truck scene. The Food Truck Bazaar was named "Best Local Food Event 2012 (2nd)" by Edible Orlando Magazine and Producer Mark Baratelli (EmailAboutwas chosen as one of Orlando Business Journal's "40 Under 40" 2012 award winners and called the "Pied piper of food trucks" by the paper.

The major draw of the event is the community dinner aspect, the coming together of a town, friends eating with family, kids and dogs and a special family dinner atmosphere it has had since day one. The food is delicious, but seeing towns coming together to break bread is what keeps this project going. 
This event is in no way a threat to local restaurants. It visits towns for three hours a month. It doesn't want to compete with or threaten any local restaurant, which is why it only stops for such a short amount of time and so infrequently. Its meant to add a monthly, fun, food-centered event to the community calendar. 
It will visit Mount Dora Thursday July 26, Thursday August 23, Thursday September 27 and Thursday October 25, 2012. 

It will take place near the corner of 4th & Alexander. 
The usual time for the bazaars at all other stops is 6-9pm during the summer and 5-8pm during the Fall. But in Mount Dora, the bazaar will happen 5:30pm-8:30pm during the summer. Fall hours TBA.

The trucks for the very first visit have not been announced yet. Check for updates on that.
For information about The Food Truck Bazaar, contact Producer Mark Baratelli at or 407-310-5905