Plus, Fatburger's coming to Orlando and 12 activities to add to your 2022 bucket list
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📰 What headlines do you wish to see in the year ahead?

Plus, Fatburger's coming to Orlando and 12 activities to add to your 2022 bucket list

By Katie Johnston

Hey there, it’s Wednesday.

And as it so happens, Pulptown’s first day back in 2022 — welcome to our first newsletter of the new year! I hope everyone had a break full of good food and drink, long naps, and quality time with loved ones. 

This week’s newsletters will be packed with stuff to start your year off on a good foot, but before we get that going, we need some inspiration from you: What headlines do you want to see in 2022? It’s time to manifest the news cycles you most want to see in the new year. Whether it’s dreamy or rooted in reality, I want to hear about it. Here are a few of mine: 

  1. 🚌 Orlando makes all public transportation free — and Orlandoans actually use it
  2. ☀️ Daylight Savings All-The-Time: Florida never has to change its clocks again, and we get a winter with actual daylight 
  3. 🛣 Orlando: The top-rated 15-minute city in America. (👈 That was originally @jordanlikewater’s response on Instagram but I have to agree — wouldn’t that be lovely?) 

You can share your 2022 dream headlines by responding to this newsletter, leaving a comment on Instagram or Facebook, or sending an email with the subject line “Orlando 2022 hopeful headlines” to

Now scroll on to read the real headlines that you may have missed while we were on break. It'll cost you five minutes or less.


New year, same sunsets. 📸: @stevenmadow | 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

😷 Orange County’s weekly COVID-19 testing positivity rate has topped 30%, up nearly double from just a week ago. The steep rise is the end result of weeks of holiday gatherings taking place amid the surge of the more transmissible omicron variant spreading around the world. Crunching the numbers in layman’s terms, one in three people who have tested for COVID-19 in the last 14 days have received a positive result. 

During a press conference on Tuesday, Orange County’s superintendent of schools Barbara Jenkins said 700 teachers, or 5% of the county’s teachers, called in sick before Monday’s return to school from the winter break. What’s more, the county’s wastewater division has documented record levels of the gene sequence for the omicron variant, indicating that the current surge is far from over. (WESH

In other news… 

☀️ Orlando was the warmest city in Central Florida in 2021 with an average temperature of 74.7 degrees. It’s the third year in a row that Central Florida has broken its top 10 heat records— last year, Orlando was the second warmest city in the area. The City Beautiful also saw an average deficit of 5.26 inches in rain, while Sanford saw an average increase of 4.01 inches. (News 13

🕯 It’s Three Kings Day Orlando, and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is celebrating the occasion with a virtual event this afternoon. The day, which is celebrated by Roman Catholics across Latin America, Spain, and the United States, marks the day the Three Wise Men glorified baby Jesus. The event will be live-streamed starting at 5:15 p.m. on Demings’ Facebook page. (WKMG

🏥 AdventHealth plans to build a new hospital and medical center on top of the Holy Land Experience. The local faith-based healthcare system purchased the closed theme park property in August and plans submitted to the City of Orlando have since been released and include a five-story hospital, a helipad, and a 20,000-square-foot emergency room. (Bungalower

🍔 Move over In-N-Out, Fatburger is coming to Orlando. The L.A.-based hamburger chain is finally ready to make moves to the East Coast and has plans to open 10 restaurants in Florida over the next six years, with no set date currently in place for an opening. (Orlando Weekly

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📣 Today’s how to: 2022 Bucket List



Want to jumpstart your plans for the new year? Let’s help you out.

Blame it on the holiday hustle and bustle but you guys were a little shy with your responses when we asked you to share your ideas for a 2022 bucket list of great Orlando to-do’s. Have no fear, your trusty Pulptown director over here has you covered with ideas for the best things to do around town, activities to enjoy in the great outdoors, and where to eat and drink over the next 365 days. Here are 12 ideas:

🏞 Visit more state parks. There are 175 of them in Florida, 12 of which are a hop, skip, and jump from Orlando. Make haste and get outside. 

🎭 Immerse yourself in Orlando’s arts and culture scene. Buy season tickets to Opera Orlando, become a supporting member of Timucua Arts Foundation, or financially get behind The Enzian

🚗 Be a tourist for a day and take advantage of our theme parks and attractions — not just Disney and Universal — but spots like Wild Florida’s drive-thru safari in nearby Kenansville in Osceola County. 

🚲 Go on more bike rides. Get to know the neighborhood with a bike crawl from one local destination to another. 

🎟 Spend a night at the museum. No really, there are more than a dozen in Central Florida. Everyone should visit the Orange County Regional History Center at least once, meander through the Morse Museum, and be captivated at the Orlando Museum of Art.

🛍 Always shop local. Orlando is home to so many small businesses, many that have been around for years and several that opened during the pandemic. Your Main Street Districts are a great place to start, but even they don’t cover half of it. 

☕️ Drink more coffee. Or boba tea. Or matcha. Take your pick — the list of caffeination stations around Orlando is long. (Psst — Qreate Coffee, don’t think I didn’t see your hint about opening a second location. Just let us know when.)

🐶 Adopt, don’t shop. With so many great pet rescues in our community, there’s no need to ever search for your perfect companion anywhere else. Give Liberation Cat House, Orange County Animal Services, Orlando Cat Cafe, Pet Rescue by Judy, and Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando a follow if you haven’t already. 

🦢 Have yourself a real Orlando day. This is a throwback to an answer we got for 2020, but it still rings true: “Go to a farmers market, visit a local brewery, ride a swan.” We assume Cliff Shepard meant to ride a swan boat — riding a swan lands you in jail. 😝

🍷 Break bread with your neighbors. Check out community gatherings like The Dinner Party Project in 2022 or visit one of the new food halls that have opened in the area like Gatlin Hall Brewing, The Hall on the Yard, Milkhouse, or The Marketplace at Avalon Park

🍸 Cheers to hip boozy places. Have a drink at The Neighbors, toast to tomorrow at Golden Hour Wine, or toss back a brew at Deadwords Brewing

🤝 Get to know local leaders. Get in the rooms with local representatives, make a run for the polls, and educate yourself on Orlando’s existing challenges — from learning about local groups addressing our struggling housing market to getting to know the people fighting for world-class bicycling structure

⚽️ Become a real sports fanatic. Support Orlando in every sense of the word, on and off the field. You can be a champion for big important issues while rooting for the many home sports teams along the way. 

May all of your 2022 wishes — and much more — come true.

What about you? Is there something on your to-do list in the year ahead that you want to share? Head here to tell us all about it. Here’s to a great 2022, Orlando!


🌱 Vegan this, vegan that — shop local vegan vendors at this weekly pop-up market outside The Veranda (Thornton Park)


🌱 Head to Lake Eola to peruse this bi-weekly vegan market held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays every month at Persimmon Hollow (South Eola)

🎶 Dance off all your bad romances to the best pop diva jams at Will's Pub (Mills 50)

🍻 Challenge yourself to some Pixar-themed trivia then reward yourself with tasty local booze from Ivanhoe Park Brewing (Ivanhoe)

🎴 Even out the gender pay gap and enjoy 1/2 off on glasses of wine and champagne at The Falcon and snag a socially distant tarot card reading while you're at it (Thornton Park)

🍷 Go on a wine walk and experience great music and great food along the way (Winter Garden)

🎶 Watch the Grammy and Downbeat Award-winning saxophonist Wayne Escoffery perform at Timucua (SoDo)


🍻 Take your kids to the brewery — no really, Ivanhoe Park Brewing is hosting its weekly Brew and View, and this week, they're showing "Toy Story" (Ivanhoe)

🖼 Don't miss your last chance to peep this month's exhibits on display at CityArts (Downtown)

🎨 Get inspired by 36 local artists at FAVO's latest art shows and exhibitions thru Saturday (East Colonial)

🍿Experience the "Tragedy of Macbeth" all over again at this weekend viewing at The Enzian (Maitland)

🎶 Jam out to local favorite Beartoe for Laundry Sessions at Dirty Laundry (Mills 50)

🤣 Laugh along with funnyman Tim Allen at his big show at The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Downtown)

🍿Pack up the kids (and a snack!) and watch the movie "Spirit Untamed" in Lakefront Park (Kissimmee)

🎶 Enjoy some fresh air and some fresh sounds by the springs (Longwood)

🌭 Take a bite of everything at this First Friday food trucks pop-up (Clermont)

One more thing…

ICYMI (and you likely did because the holidays were a real doozy): Gino, a gorilla at Animal Kingdom, celebrated his 41st birthday at the park on Wednesday, Dec. 29. As the Orlando Sentinel reported, “the silverback gorilla is the oldest of the troop at Walt Disney World and has resided at Animal Kingdom since the park’s opening in 1998.” 

Take a gander at the majestic creature here. As someone who grew up convinced I would become the next Jane Goodall, these images make my heart do somersaults. A fun fact for you: Silverback gorillas have a life expectancy of 35-40 years old but have been known to surpass 50 when in captivity. The more you know, Orlando. 

See you back here tomorrow! 

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

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