OAKLAND — The arrival of spring can be a relative term in Central Florida, especially after the region just hit 90 degrees in February.
Still, that isn’t stopping local communities such as the Town Of Oakland from welcoming in spring’s arrival with a popular community celebration.
The historic town in West Orange County is hosting its annual springtime festival, Celebration Among the Oaks, on Saturday, April 1 starting at 10 a.m. at VanderLey Park. Two key attractions this year: thousands of eggs dropping from the sky, and a host of boutique vendors.
What is Oakland’s Springtime Festival?
Once the Celebration Among the Oaks festival gets underway, there will be opportunities for lots of family fun, including:
- Egg hunts
- Posing for free photos with the Easter Bunny
- More than 40 vendor booths
- Kids’ activities
- Crafts to enjoy.
Elisha Pappacoda, Oakland’s administrative services and communications director, noted in a news release that the town is bringing “exciting new experiences to this year’s event,” including the chance to watch literally thousands of eggs being dropped by a helicopter hovering above VanderLey Park. Once those eggs lands, families can enjoy participating in an egg hunt hosted by The Lakeside Church.
This year’s new fun will also include:
- Chasing a continuous stream of bubbles at “The Bubble Bus” interactive booth
- Visits from the Easter Bunny in Oakland’s Gazebo, which will sport a handmade paper floral backdrop designed by Lakeside Petals.
- Vendor booths offering homemade baked goods, arts & crafts, and beautifully arranged plants organized in partnership with Orange Blossom Market Co.
The Town of Oakland will have a tent where guests can enter to win a fruit or flowering tree donated by Paradise Landscaping & Irrigation.
Will Food Lovers Enjoy This Event?
If you normally have a healthy appetitie, great! Bring it to this event, where food will be available to purchase from popular local eating establishments such as:
- The Salted Fry
- Rock Paper Scissors Eat
- Sugar, Spice, and All Things Iced
- Meem’s Fudge Shoppe
- Lady T Lemonade LLC
- Hot Dog Therapy
- Oakland’s newest ice cream spot, The Oakland General Store.
The festival would also be a good time to visit The Healthy West Orange Arts & Heritage Center to check out their newest exhibit, A Portrait of Grace: Women’s Art & History, and where the bluegrass folk band Sandy Back Porch will be performing — appropriately enough, on the porch of the Center.
For more information, visit the town’s Community Event’s page.
Hopefully, the weather won’t be in the mid-90s this early.
Where is Oakland, Florida?
Established in 1887, Oakland is one of the oldest municipalities in Orange County and celebrated its 130th Anniversary in 2017. Their downtown once had an opera house, although a deadly fire decimated much of the downtown that never got rebuilt. Still, their historic City Hall dates back to 1911.
Oakland is also known for its parks and trails, which provide enormous recreational activities for area residents and visitors alike, who enjoy the beauty and natural wonder of parks such as Pollard Park, Speer Park, and VanderLey Park.
The town is also known for hosting the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center, 126 W. Petris Ave., which has permanent exhibits, including the historic Oakland Presbyterian Church’s illuminated stained-glass window that dates back to the 1919 brick structure, and a video presentation on the continuing historic preservation of Oakland’s Historic African-American Cemetery.
The Center is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 4th Fridays of the month during the summer and on select Saturdays.
The mission of the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center is preserving Oakland’s past, present and future. The Center supports the mission of Healthy West Orange, a grassroots movement to inspire west Orange County to become the healthiest community in the nation.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.