Winter Park trying to lure crowds with outdoor, family-friendly events

The City of Winter Park and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to lure folks back to Park Avenue. 

One of their newest ideas: sending flyers to every Winter Park resident letting them know about fun outdoor activities they’ve planned throughout the week. 

“It’s a very detailed calendar of what’s going to happen here,” Craig DeLongy. 

He lives and Winter Park and owns three men’s clothing stores along Park Avenue.  He’s thankful the City and Chamber are creating events and marketing them, giving people another reason to come back to downtown Winter Park.

“This just brings out people who maybe wouldn’t come to Park Avenue,” DeLongy said.   

Park Avenue lost several local businesses to the pandemic.  Chamber President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert told FOX 35 News they want to make sure they don’t lose any more local businesses. 

“I think Winter Park is an obvious place to go on the weekends but we were trying to support programming and support mid-week as well,” Gardner Eckbert said. 

The City and Chamber now hosting West Meadow Wednesdays each week next to the post office with family activities and live music.  Every Friday and Saturday night there is now live music in the park and outdoor movie nights twice monthly.  The second weekend of every month Park Avenue is being blocked off and closed to cars, giving restaurants additional outdoor seating and stores extra space to display their good along with more visibility. 

“This right here gets people back down and keeps this area thriving and out in front of people letting them know we’re here,” DeLongy said.

Ricci Culver has owned her Park Avenue store, Through The Looking Glass, for 11 years. 

“I’m blessed to be here still,” Culver told FOX 35 News. 

She said these she feels what the City of Winter Park and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce are doing is already helping.  Those flyers letting residents know about upcoming events will continue to be sent out each month for the foreseeable future in hopes of helping the local economy.