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Mark Baratelli

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Recent Stories from Mark Baratelli

Image: Rachel Parker Photography, MegaCon Convention FB page

Spotlight: Fringe Fest, Cosplay, Smart Car Show and Buddhism 101



It’s week two of the gigantic stage arts festival, Orlando Fringe. Week one saw artists from all over the world performing their original stage shows day and night. You can catch these shows all weekend long at Loch Haven Park. The South East’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event, attracting over 100,000 fans each year, Megacon, is taking place all weekend at the Orange County Convention Center. A gift shop in College Park is holding the grand opening of its new Winter Garden location this weekend. A place for gifts and home decor, Driftwood Market’s grand opening party is Saturday 11 to 4 at 46 W. Plant Street. Did you know the teeny tiny Smart Car’s origins dates …


Image: used books, npr.org

Spotlight: Library Book Sale, Music Fest and Medieval Cardio



Find your new beach reads at the Friends of the Library annual Spring Book Sale! A great selection of fiction and non-fiction, recorded books, DVDs, CDs and more will be available for half price. The sale takes place May 18, 19 and 20 10am-1:30pm on the third floor of the Downtown Orlando Public Library. Bring a chair and get ready to enjoy great music and the spring weather with the outdoor concert series Rhythms at the Roost. Amp up your weekend with great bands, delicious eats and unique festival themes. Enjoy jazz, funk, blues and rock with a New Orleans flare from the NOLA Brass band. Rhythms at the Roost take place Saturday 6 to 10 at Cranes Roost Park, …



Image: Drag Brunch at Señor Frog’s Orlando, event facebook page.

Spotlight: Mother’s Day Weekend



How about Spanish-style buffet & flamenco dancing for Mother’s Day? Choose Tapa Toro on I-Drive Sunday. Does your Mom love her dog more than you? Then choose The Hammered Lamb’s Fur Babies Brunch in Ivanhoe Village Sunday all day. If you’d rather spend your money making Mom laugh than making Mom fat, go to the Mike Birbiglia Show at The Plaza in the Milk District Saturday at 8. If Mom is a shopper than buy this: the DeLand Indie Market is a curated shopping event with food and live music held 4 times a year showcasing Artists, Boutiques, Vintage and Handcrafted Vendors. Take her to The Deland Indie Market at Artisan Alley Sunday 11 to 5. Did your Mom marry …


Image: Cosplayers reading comics, www.freecomicbookday.com

Spotlight: St. Johns River Fest, Lake Nona Home & Garden Fest, Free Comic Book Day and Bhad Bhabie



More than 150 regionally and nationally accredited fine artists and craftsmen line the streets of downtown Sanford with a selection of paintings, pottery, sculpture, woodworking, photography, jewelry, blown glass and more await you during the St Johns River Festival of the Arts Saturday and Sunday 10 to 6 in downtown Sanford. Find the latest in indoor and outdoor products and innovations for the home during the 3rd Annual Lake Nona Home & Garden Festival Sunday 11 to 4 at Lake Nona Town Center & Marriott Hotel. Comic books promotes literacy like a school lunch promotes healthy eating. So, get your kid a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day Saturday 11 to 4 at Gods & Monsters on I-Drive. …


Image: Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix, instagram.com

Spotlight: Kidsfest, Disney Slideshow and Doughnuts



Audubon Park Garden District turns into a daylong mini kid’s campus with kid’s yoga class cupcake painting, pirate and princess party, kid DJ class, sandwich classes, basketball classes with the Orlando Magic, arts and crafts with the Orlando Fringe and more! The event is called Kidsfest Saturday 12-4 in the Audubon Park Garden District. Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix and his trademark enthusiasm, quick wit, and keen eye for oddball detail will pull from his vast collection of authentic vintage slides to tell the amazing back-stories and glories of a visit to mid-century Disneyland during the Charles Phoenix Retro Disneyland Slide Show. In a rare Florida performance, Phoenix takes the audience on a ride through  legendary long-gone attractions such as …


Image: Orlando Book Fest Speaker Author S. Jae-Jones, sjaejones.com

Spotlight: TedXOrlando, Folk and Urban Art Fest, Orlando Book Fest and LEGO build



What does the future of education look like? Where does education and innovation intersect? Enjoy a panel talk by thought leaders from Embry-Riddle , Full Sail, Rollins, Seminole State, UCF and Valencia College at TEDxOrlando Education Salon Saturday 1:00pm-2:30pm at Boone High School. Enjoy African drumming and storytelling, Cajun and Zydeco music, pottery demonstrations, kids mask making workshops and several soul food vendors during the 9th Annual Folk and Urban Art Festival Saturday 10am-4pm at Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Enjoy a day-long celebration of book panels, writing workshops, book signings, and more from bestselling authors from all over the country. The Orlando Book Festival is free and open to the public Saturday 10am-5pm at the Downtown branch of the Orlando …


Image: Exotic Bird Show, centralfloridafair.com

Spotlight: Ukulele, Local Games, Exotic Birds and Safety Fair



Listen to six ukulele acts, meet adoptable dogs and bring some food for the public pot luck during the second annual Ukulele Lovefest. “Some chicken and potato salad are provided, as well as water, coffee, chips and dip, and yummy cookies.” The fun takes place Sunday 12:30 to 6:30 at Fodor’s Grove. Take time out to listen to eight of Orlando’s best nerd music acts and, for the first time ever, explore all the independent games made right here in Orlando during Orlando Overdrive Saturday at 4 at The Geek Easy in Winter Park. Walk amongst hand fed baby parrots, finches, canaries, lovebirds, cockatiels and all other kinds of exotic birds for sale at the Orlando Exotic Bird Show Sunday …


Image:  Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture,  omart.org

Spotlight: OMART, Macrame, Digital Art and Spring Fiesta



There’s a special exhibition at the Orlando Museum of Art called “Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture” that has inspired a fun family day celebrating Native American culture. This free event features hands-on activities, storytelling, music, dancing, free ben & Jerrys ice cream Saturday 10 to 3 at Orlando Museum of Art. Learn how to weave your fingers through a few basic knots to sculpt a beautiful handmade macrame work of art during a class led by Macrame mama!  Tickets provide you with materials, 2 drink tickets for the bar, and a take home, step by step guide to help you remember what you learned. Macrame mamma’s class is Saturday at 4 at Lil Indies in the Mills50 District. What …


Image: The Melanin Code Movie Premiere

Spotlight: The Melanin Code, SciFi Drama and Taiwanese Food Festival



The Parramore Farmers Market will not be happening Saturday due to the Orlando City Soccer game. The market takes place every Saturday 9am to 1pm on the Soccer Stadium property. So anytime there’s a game the market doesn’t happen, but please go next weekend. A documentary about white supremacy is premiering in Winter Park called “The Melanin Code” Saturday at 1:30 at Cobb Plaza Cinema Cafe. Tickets will not be sold at the box office. They’re only available at themelanincode.com. After the viewing, guests are invited to an after party at Muddy Waters Restaurant in Thornton Park. Big Frieda, star of Beyonce’s song Formation, is bouncing her way to Orlando for a performance in Mills50 at Will’s Pub Saturday evening …


Image: Wine and Seafood Festival, lakeridgewinery.com

Spotlight: Wine & Seafood Fest, Art , March and Podcast Party



Enjoy wine, beer and seafood specialties along with live music and entertainment during the Wine & Seafood Festival Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. Go to lakeridgewinery.com A large art festival with live entertainment, vendors, sidewalk chalk art and more will be going on during the Uptown Art Expo Saturday and Sunday 10 to 5:30 at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. Go to uptownartexpo.com March in solidarity with the students across the nation who are protesting the lack of common sense gun laws. March For Our Lives, Saturday 1 to 4 at Lake Eola Park. Go to marchforourlives.com Meet all the hosts of your favorite local Orlando Podcasts on the PFT Media Network during …



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