Plus, headlines about Orlando's dating scene, the return of Garth Brooks, and the possibility of the World Cup coming to the Sunshine State.
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🌊 The plan to save Florida’s manatees has “never been done before”

Plus, headlines about Orlando's dating scene, the return of Garth Brooks, and the possibility of the World Cup coming to the Sunshine State.

By Katie Johnston

Hey there and welcome to Thursday.

Coming in hot today with a fiery question I came across on the Orlando subReddit — is Orlando's dating scene terrible or is it just u/princxssplum (the person who posed the query)?According to the 247 comments, most agree that it's hard out here for single people and that if you want to find any sort of luck, you're going to have to join a dating app.

Got tips for this Redditor? You should share them with her. Or at least skim through the comments. From what I gathered, a lot of Orlandoans owe their relationships to OK Cupid (remember that app?), intramural sports groups, and the grocery store. Maybe Trader Joe's should start a missed connections column in their newsletter. Wait — should we? 😜

It's fun to think out loud with you, dear readers, but let's get to the real headlines of the day, shall we?


Here's hoping you (and I) can get outside and enjoy this fine weather today (before it reaches 80 degrees). 📸: @feranko_ #️⃣ @pulseofcfl  | 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

Unprecedented steps are being taken to preserve Florida’s manatee population. As detailed by WLRN, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Power & Light Company announced combined efforts Wednesday to reduce manatee deaths that have reached a record level this year.” Notably, the plan notably involves implementing a feeding program in the Indian River Lagoon.

Feeding wild creatures is usually a discouraged practice, as it can alter animals’ behaviors and have negative ripple effects on ecosystems. However, environmental experts say that the situation is so dire for Florida’s manatees that it’s become necessary to intervene.

“This is a necessary stopgap measure,” Save The Manatee Club Executive Director Patrick Rose told the Associated Press. “It is a problem created by man and man is going to have to solve it.”

The AP report elaborates: “​​The emerging plan would involve feeding manatees at a Florida Power & Light plant in Cape Canaveral, along the Indian River Lagoon on the east coast where manatees congregate in cold winter months because of the warm water discharge from the plant. It would be an experiment involving lettuce, cabbage, and other greens delivered in a controlled manner such as via a conveyor belt.” However, the plan has not yet been finalized and would not allow for individuals to begin feeding manatees themselves.

Veterinarian and marine mammal expert Martine de Wit told the Florida Phoenix that this sort of undertaking is uncharted territory. “Biologists have sometimes provided ‘supplemental feeding’ — loads of hay — for elk and deer living in national wildlife refuges,’ she said, ’but it’s never been done with marine animals.’”

A recent NPR report explained how “a massive die-off of seagrass has left [manatees] without enough to eat,” leading to 2021’s unfortunate distinction as the most deadly year on record for the iconic Florida sea cow. More than 1,000 manatees — roughly 10% of the statewide population — have died over the last 12 months.

In other news… 

🎄Santa is being portrayed by Black cast members at Disney parks for the first time in history. The company never made an official announcement and instead relied on park-goers to perceive the change and spread the news themselves. However, a Disney spokesperson told CNN that the park wanted to reflect the myriad ways Santa Claus is represented in regional communities around the world. (WKMG

🎶 Country artist Garth Brooks will kick off his spring 2022 North American tour in Orlando. It’s the only Florida stop this go-round for the popular crooner and one of the two big stadium shows happening at Camping World Stadium next March. (Billy Joel is set to perform two weeks prior.)  Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 17, and start at $94.95. (Orlando Weekly

⚽️️ Florida is trying to score a major win in the world of international soccer. The Enterprise Florida Board of Directors agreed to allocate $10 million toward Miami and Orlando’s goals of becoming host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. The Greater Orlando Sports Commission and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau will each receive $5 million to be put toward their respective city’s campaigns. (FOX 35 Orlando / News Service of Florida

💜 The Orlando Pride has a new head coach — and chances are you might recognize her. Amanda Cromwell spent 14 years as head coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of Central Florida before moving to California to coach the UCLA Bruins in 2013. (Orlando City SC

⛳️ Tiger Woods’ return to the world of competitive golf is happening right here in Orlando. Next week, Tiger and his 12-year-old son Charlie will compete in the PNC Championship, an annual fun tournament for major athletes and their family members. The duo placed seventh in last year’s tourney, which also happened to be the last time Tiger played professionally before his car crash in February. (ESPN

🏈 As long as we’re tackling Orlando sports, former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton will play in the all-star Hula Bowl when it comes to O-Town on Jan. 15. (Orlando Sentinel)

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💻 Get expert advice from Goodwill about the most effective job search techniques for opportunities that fit your skills and interest. (Online)

🍷 Sip jolly drinks and shop local vendors at the Griswold Family Sip & Shop at Grape & the Grain (Ivanhoe)


🍸 Get your tickets for the annual 12 Bars of Christmas Pub Crawl to some of your favorite watering holes (Downtown)

✨ Save the date for the holiday tradition of drinking cocoa and listening to Christmas tunes while the lights go live on the Hannibal Square Heritage Center (Winter Park)

🎭 Enjoy a free outdoor community concert by our friends at Opera Orlando of their new production, "The Secret River" (The Milk District)


🖼 Don't miss out on your opportunity to meet the legendary local artists the Florida Highwaymen at this morning meet-and-greet (Downtown)

🍿Treat yourself to an afternoon viewing of the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Enzian (Maitland)

👗 Consider this your invite to the 3rd Annual Ultimate Fashion Show for charity (East Colonial)

🎅 Wake up the fam and head to Wekiva Island for breakfast with Santa (Longwood)

🍸 Celebrate the holidays at the Approximately 12 Pubs of Christmas Pub Crawl (Mills 50)


🎟 Add a little whimsy to your weekend with Mythical Mornings at the Museum! Take a fun look into Florida fantasy while enjoying light brunch refreshments and drinks (Downtown)

🍿 Watch "The Santa Clause" at this week's outdoor movie night happening at Wekiva Island (Longwood)


🌿 DIY — Learn about bright blooms and other plants that thrive locally both as natural dye products as well as cut flowers and make a silk scarf and bud vase arrangement to take home using materials harvested from the culinary garden (College Park)

🎻 Celebrate the holidays with The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra's presentation of "Holiday Baroque with Rimma" at The Plaza Live (The Milk District)

😂 Laugh your socks off for a good cause at this annual comedy night/toy drive event happening at Harry Buffalo (Downtown)


🍿Make it a date and watch the holiday classic "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" at the Enzian (Maitland)


🍻 Don your ugly sweater and settle in for a night of drag bingo and local beers at Orlando Brewing (SoDo)

🎶 Rock out to The Chotchkies performing live at Uncle Lou's with special guests that don't even know yet (Mills 50)

One more thing…


Pulptown likes to highlight the bright spots in our city at the end of each year. We know that the past two years have been challenging to say the least, so it’s more valuable than ever to shine a light on the good stuff that’s happened. Hit reply to this email or send me a message to with one positive thing that happened to you (or our city at large) in 2021 and you might just see it shared in a future newsletter.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

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