Plus, this organic grocer is sprouting up in the Milk District and PETA is grilling a "dog" today.

💰 The ins and outs of Florida's $101 billion spending plan

Plus, this organic grocer is sprouting up in the Milk District and PETA is grilling a "dog" today.

By Katie Johnston

Let’s play: Guess how old I am. 

On this day in history, the movie “Big” debuted in 1988. I remember watching it from our scratchy plaid sofa everyone had in the '80s and my parents covering my eyes for kissing scenes. 

Anyone else still break out in “Chopsticks” when near a random piano/keyboard, or just me? And if I’m 28 plus several years 😉, does that mean that Tom Hanks is really 64? My dad always says time flies when you’re having fun. He ain’t lying. 

In more relevant history, on this day 482 years ago, a man by the name of Hernando de Soto claimed Florida for the Spanish Crown. De Soto and his 10 ships of 700 men landed on the Florida coast on May 30, 1539, and went on to become one of the wealthiest and most successful of the Spanish conquistadors before he died from fever in 1542.

As NBC Universal used to say, “The more you know”, amirite? 

Know who else always posts cool historical facts? (The relevant ones about Florida and specifically Orlando, not the ones with Tom Hanks.) That’d be our local history center. Check out how much Mills 50 and Little Vietnam have changed. 📸: @historycenterfl | Wanna see your photo here? Tag either #pulptown or @pulptown on Instagram to be featured as our IG of the Day! 

What Orlando is talking about

💰 Gov. Ron DeSantis approved Florida’s largest budget ever yesterday. The governor was at The Garlic in New Smyrna Beach when he signed the state’s $101 billion spending plan, of which, $10.2 billion is federal COVID-19 relief money. (The new spending plan is $9 billion more than this year’s spending plan.) 

It’s considered a win for area educators as $22.4 billion will be used to fund K-12 schools and will push teachers’ minimum salaries to $47,500. Plus overall spending for community-based mental health services improved by $212 million statewide. 

With that said, DeSantis vetoed $1.5 billion in spending, including two significant requests in Orlando: the $750,000 the Zebra Coalition needed to build transitional housing for area LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness along with $150,000 in mental health support for Pulse survivors.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith called the move especially heartless, and that it adds insult to injury being Pride Month, and “not even 24 hours after he signed a bill to expel transgender kids from sports teams and humiliate them in front of their peers.” 

Heather Wilke, executive director of the Zebra Coalition, said the org is still committed to making the project happen through grants but "it has definitely put up a huge barrier in our path to being able to open sooner rather than later.”

The Valencia College film school will also not be getting the $1 million it requested to create a documentary about the heinous 1920 Ocoee Massacre. Rep. Randolph Bracy, who pushed for the funding, did however secure the $305,000 needed for the Ocoee Scholarship Program, which will grant tuition payments of up to $6,100 to descendants of the victims of the 1920 riots.

The spending plan goes into effect on July 1.

In other news...

🐶 Don’t be too alarmed, but PETA is planning to barbecue a “dog” in downtown Orlando today. The animal activism group is serving up food for thought and hoping to send the message “If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig” while grilling a fake dog. The event is happening at noon on the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue. (Orlando Weekly

🛍 It’s official. There’s a Sprouts coming to the Milk District slash Colonialtown area. The organic grocer is taking over the old Stein Mart location in Colonial Plaza and honestly, your editor here couldn’t be happier. (Bungalower

📺 WUCF, Orlando’s local PBS station, is kicking off its annual fundraiser on Saturday with a concert by Andrea Bocelli. Over the course of a few days, you’ll be able to watch performances by Mannheim Steamroller and Celtic Woman, see Rick Steves travel to Europe, and follow “Central Florida Roadtrip” on its next adventure. Any donations made will result in special offers when Bocelli and Celtic Woman visit Orlando next. (Orlando Sentinel

🎶 Speaking of concerts, Shaggy and Flo Rida have partnered with Attorney Dan Newlin to offer a free show to 3,000 local health care workers. The event is set for July 17 at Hard Rock Live. If you’re eligible, go ahead and RSVP at their website. (Orlando Weekly

🍎Apples to apples

One poke bowl. Two craft beers. Some avocado toast. While we love these things as much as the next Orlandoan, we just have to make sure you know $8 will also get you a month-long supply of Pulptown deliciousness — err — membership. 

Pulptown members go the extra dollar to support this local newsletter and in return get sweet benefits, like discounts to upcoming events, weekly trivia that tests who really knows Orlando best, and exclusive content made just for members.

You know you wanna.

If any of this sounds like something you'd be into, consider taking this to the next level and paying $8 a month (or $80 a year) to keep us around for the long haul.

Promotion from Central Florida Community Arts

🌹 Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

Enjoy this beloved musical, with all your favorite songs, presented by our Youth Musical Theatre at Trinity Prep June 4-5.

Join Us This Weekend


🏳️‍🌈 Support survivors of abuse in the LGBTQ+ community and learn more about the barriers that they face (online)

🏒 Cheer on the Solar Bears to a win over the South Carolina Stingrays (Parramore)

✨ Swing by The Center to see the new art installation from Stars of HOPE, memorializing the 49 people who were tragically killed at Pulse five years ago (Mills 50)

🎟 Kick off Pride Month at a special edition of 1st Thursdays celebrating the vibrancy of LGBTQ culture (Loch Haven Park)

🎭 See Director, Jeremy Seghers' return to Timucua with the play "The Woman in Black" (Orlando)


🎵 Join the CFCArts Youth Musical Theatre Troupe for one of the world's most beloved musicals: The Sound of Music through Saturday (Winter Park)

🎈 Mosey over to the Oviedo Mall for a hot air balloon extravaganza and kids' carnival (Oviedo)

🎶Watch the band TAKE LEAD live at The Abbey with special guests Solafide! and Venture Motel (Downtown Orlando)

🍿Pack a picnic basket and head to Leu Gardens to watch "When Harry Met Sally" on the big screen (Audubon Park)

🖼 Make your way to Orlando Museum of Art for the annual Florida Prize preview party (Loch Haven Park)

🤠 Put on your boots and venture out for the 146th Annual Silver Spurs Rodeo through Saturday (Kissimmee)


🖼 Head to the history center for an art show and a meet and greet with the Florida Highwaymen (Downtown)

🍿Take a drive to The Enzian for "Anatomy of Wings", a documentary about the coming of age stories of 10 Black middle school girls from Baltimore over a 10-year period (Maitland)

🍽 Sample your way through 30 food trucks and choose your favorite (Longwood)

🎶 Jam out at the 14th Annual Hurricane Party Music Fest for music, beer, food, and fun (Sanford)

🏒 Watch the Orlando Solar Bears take on the Florida Everblades (Parramore)

🎶 Get down at this outdoor summer soul shindig featuring Eugene Snowden and Chase Shellee Duo (Mills 50)


☮️ Shake off your Saturday hangover with a Sunday morning yoga practice and a beer or mimosa after (Ivanhoe)

🥞 Go big or go home, or go home big at this big brunch raising money for Orlando nonprofits Choose from two seatings 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. (College Park)

🛍 Shop local POC makers at this weekly pop-up market in Hannibal Square (Winter Park)

One more thing

There’s a new concert series launching at Soundbar tonight. It’s called The Plug and will be hosted by O-town’s Erik-Michael Estrada with food provided by NSYNC’s Joey Fatone food truck (really sticking with the Throwback Thursday theme today, aren’t we?). 

The big show will feature 2x Grammy nominee Coast City, comprised of Jean Rodriguez and Danny Flores, who used to be my old boss during my brief stint in the music industry. Tickets are free, but you should RSVP.  

Orlando is the smallest world, and I love it that way. Don’t you?

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

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