Welcome Center's 12 Days of Christmas

DAVENPORT — For those who love embracing everything that cries out “Autumn” once October arrives, here’s some good news: the Central Florida Welcome Center is hosting a Fall Festival later this month, and the theme this year is “Jack O’Lantern Jubilee.”

This event on Saturday, Oct. 29 is free, open to the public, and family-friendly. Guests can show up anytime between 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

What’s Happening at the Welcome Center’s Fall Festival?

Plenty of activities will be available during this event, including opportunities to engage in:

  • Trick-or-treating
  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Free caricature artist
  • Free face-painter
  • Numerous local vendors.

Don’t forget to wear your Halloween costumes.

Even better, this event will be an opportunity to purchase a discounted ticket to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, one of the the region’s most spectacularly beautiful attractions in the fall and winter months. If you buy one discounted ticket to Bok Towers, you get a second ticket free.

Then there’s the Pumpkin Carving Contest. Prizes will be awarded at 1 p.m. at the conclusion of the event. Be sure to submit your entries for this contest in advance; entries will be accepted all day on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 27 and 28 for display and judging.

Entries will compete in three age groups:

  • 3 to 9 years old
  • 10 to 15 years old
  • and 16 years to adult.

 That’s not the only fall fun happening at the Central Florida Welcome Center.

What is the Welcome Center’s Weekly Market?

Next month, the Welcome Center in Davenport will begin hosting a weekly market, which starts on Thursday, Nov. 3 and continues through May 4, 2023. 

It’s going to be the 9th year for the seasonal fall and winter market. Stop by on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to check out a variety of vendors who have signed on to provide a host of items, including:

  • Fresh local produce
  • Arts and crafts
  • Jewelry
  • Home goods
  • and more.

If you’re a local vendor, take advantage of the opportunity the market is offering to the Central Florida community. Local vendors are invited to share their produce and wares, “while also serving to familiarize attendees with the amenities and services available at the center,” the Welcome Center noted in a news release.

To learn more or to become a vendor, call Dennis Budde at 863-420-2586 or email him at Dennis@visitcentralflorida.org.

The welcome center  is at 101 Adventure Court in Davenport, along U.S. 27. The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and offers vacation planning ideas for residents and tourists. The Center also hosts a Florida souvenir gift shop and has discounted tickets for attractions that including LEGOLAND in Winter Haven and other most of the Orlando area attractions.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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