Winter Park street performers must move to Central Park

Central Park is your new venue for street performers in Winter Park. City leaders just forced them across the street off Park Avenue sidewalks, after complaints about noise and more.  

There were no street performers on Park Avenue Monday night, just many people enjoying the holidays. Michael Kazazis thinks the musicians add flavor to the Park Avenue experience, but he agrees sometimes they lead to backups on the sidewalks.

Kazazis says, “Clearly, there is a problem walking up and down the avenue- not just with the street performers but people handling out samples too.”

Monday night, city commissioners passed a new ordinance moving street performers off Park Avenue sidewalks. They can still put on their shows in Central Park or near the farmers’ market.   

Winter Park resident Jackie Brown likes the compromise.  “There are still a lot of people there. So they can sing there just as well.”

The new ordinance applies to musicians, magicians, mimes, and people singing, acting or dancing.  The rules allow for a fine of up to five hundred dollars, but Police Chief Jim White says that’s not how the city will play this.

Chief White says, “It’s going to be an educational process for the first several months. Officers will be down on the avenue educating those people who might be setting up in the areas that are now prohibited.”

Critics of the street performers complain some of them blare loud music, block sidewalks and even slow down traffic along park avenue. 

Kazazis adds, “I’d rather not see them all go across the street, but I don’t know how you would control it and limit it. That’s a challenge.”

The new rules went into effect immediately Monday evening.