The holiday season is here. While we reflect on what we are thankful for, I encourage us all to also look back at how we responded to challenges facing our community this past year.
COVID-19 still impacted us all in 2021, but thankfully our community has been able to move forward and look ahead to a brighter tomorrow.
We’ve been able to do this thanks to you. Together we’ve encouraged family, friends and neighbors to get the vaccine and to continue take action to protect themselves and others from the serious impacts of the virus.
Our collective concern and compassion have made a difference. As a result, the holidays will look more familiar this year, as we can again spend time with family and friends.
Thank you for helping us reach this point.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Next Week We Officially Kick Off the December Holidays
Join Mayor Buddy Dyer for our Annual Tree Lighting Celebration as we light the 64-foot tree at Lake Eola Park on Friday, December 3, 2021, at 8 p.m.
The highlight of the event will be the lighting of the Christmas tree, adorned with 2,000 ornaments and 200 pounds of lights, the lights will musically sync with the lights on the Lake Eola fountain with precise animation during the shows. The event will also include holiday performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, food trucks and a holiday market, and an opportunity to meet Santa from 6 to 8 p.m.
Can't make it to the tree lighting event? You can watch the synchronized light and music Christmas Tree Show every evening through January 6. The show will run each hour from 5:45 - 9:45 p.m.
Our Students are Taking Flight
Our very own After-School All-Stars are taking flight with the help of the Orlando Science Center.
OSC is bringing its Mobile Flight Lab Program to middle schools across the city to give students instruction on how to fly planes while using flight simulators and Oculus Rift head-mounted display units. The equipment recently paid a visit to the After-School All-Stars, putting students in the cockpit of a plane with the ability to look up, down and all around as they navigate the skies using the same software used to teach real pilots.
Using real-world mission scenarios the students learn standards-based STEM concepts and 21st Century skills as they learn to fly, navigate, communicate and work as a team. The program is an effort to bolster an interest in aviation related careers and is funded by the Office of Naval Research.
After Black Friday It’s Small Business Saturday
Why fight the lines of Black Friday, when you could enjoy fun, family-friendly and joy-filled shopping experiences on Small Business Saturday? Don't miss out on your chance to check off your holiday shopping lists with unique finds and one-of-a-kind gifts and give back to the small businesses who make Orlando one of the best places to live.
Shopping small is so much more than finding a cool gift, when you shop small, you're keeping your money local and reinvesting in our economy, while supporting the dreams and livelihood of fellow Orlando residents who also call our City Beautiful home.
We encourage you to dine and shop local this Saturday and give the love back to the small businesses that love this city. For some inspiration on where to shop, check out our Orlando Main Street districts and downtown Orlando.
You Don’t Have to Be from Here to Succeed
Did you know that more than a quarter of small business owners are immigrants? Pauline Ho is a Certified Public Accountant who opened Laus Consulting Services in 2008 after immigrating from Hong Kong, China in 2003.
Although Ho had already been a professional accountant in Hong Kong for many years, she worked hard to gain her U.S. certifications in accounting, and even went back to school, graduating with a master’s degree in business administration from Andrews University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida.
Ho loves doing business in Orlando, truly believing the city welcomed her and her family with open arms. Outside of helping people through her work in accounting, Ho loves serving on the Mills 50 Main Street Board as their treasurer and enjoys networking with other business owners in Orlando. You can learn more about Laus Consulting Services at lausconsult.com.
COVID-19 Updates and Information
If you need assistance, more information or want to find a vaccine site, here are the details: