Plus, What's on your Orlando wish list?
By Katie Johnston
It’s Friday, y’all, and this was the fastest week I remember in a long time. This whole year’s been a bizarre blur, huh? It’s felt like the shortest-longest year we’ve ever experienced. Or maybe it’s been the longest-shortest year… Either way, the holidays are upon us and this is our last call for your help!
We’re wrapping up our 2020 Orlando Gift Guide and would love to hear your recommendations. Where are you shopping locally? What do you hope your gift-giver gifts you? Spill the tea and email us your ideas. We’ll be sharing the full guide with you on Tuesday.
Now, about today’s news…
There’s no denying how pretty downtown is when she’s all lit up. And colorful too. | Thanks for capturing our good side, Daniel. Wanna see your photo here? Tag @pulptown to be featured in our IG of the day. (📸: @vdubmechanic)
Speaking of colorful, the city of Orlando just scored a perfect score on its Municipality Equality Index. This means our local government is, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s standards, excelling on LGBTQ+ inclusiveness, successfully prioritizing non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits, and offering services for particularly vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community. (Human Rights Campaign)
You can put all your useless pop culture knowledge to the test next week. The Orange County Public Library is launching its Random Fandom Week starting this Sunday. Basically, it’s a week-long fest of virtual activities that includes everything from assembling a stop-motion LEGO movie to partaking in Pokémon trivia and trading. There’ll even be a celebration of The Baby-Sitters Club! (Orlando Weekly)
The Milk District is hosting a Krampus Crawl tonight in the place of its annual Krampusnacht event. You’re invited and encouraged to dress in your Krampus best, wear your mask, and keep six feet apart as you peruse the neighborhood for drink specials. (Orlando Weekly)
If you’re in a position where you can contribute some money or time this year, Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell has rounded up 12 charitable ways you can do just that. The suggestions vary from donating work boots and feeding a family for a month to making cards for patients in the hospital. (Orlando Sentinel)
Speaking of the Sentinel, the local newspaper launched a community news fund last month. So if supporting local journalism was on your Giving Tuesday to-do list, you can now make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount to ensure the paper's longevity. (Orlando Sentinel)
University of Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton announced yesterday that he’s planning on leaving the Knights program and continuing his college football career elsewhere. Milton said he has no interest in competing with his friend and current quarterback Dillion Gabriel. (Fox35)
In COVID-19 news...
The Sun Sentinel released a rather scathing review of Gov. DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus. Here’s just one of the many allegations that stood out: The Florida Department of Health’s county-level spokespeople were ordered in September to stop issuing public statements about COVID-19 until after the Nov. 3 election. (Sun Sentinel)
Orange County businesses that are repeat offenders of violating suggested COVID-19 protocols could face fines after all. Yesterday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings introduced the first draft of an executive order that would punish businesses who continuously refuse to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing. The fines could reach $15,000. Demings is expected to discuss the order in today’s press conference. (WESH)
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If you’ve been enjoying your daily dose of Pulptown, jump into membership! It’s a cool, refreshing pool of curious locals that support local journalism. Learn more about the perks of membership here.
🎅 Go on a socially-distanced neighborhood crawl of your favorite local watering holes, eateries and small biz all while dressed as Krampus (Milk District)
🎵 Experience the thrilling, musical adaption of "A Christmas Carol" presented by the CFCArts Children & Youth Arts Programs (Winter Park)
🎄 Come enjoy a classic holiday barbershop experience with The Humdingers through Saturday (College Park)
🎅 Grab the kids for Santa's reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and local author Russell Troutman's book, "Ernie the Elf and the Special Gift" (Online)
☠️ Check out this giant citywide scavenger hunt coming to Orlando (Downtown)
🍷 Celebrate SoDo businesses with pinots from Swirlery and poinsettias from Harris Landscaping (SoDo)
🎵 Get in the holiday spirit with a thrilling, musical adaption of "A Christmas Carol" by the CFCArts Children & Youth Arts Programs (Winter Park)
🛍 Shop this outdoor girl-powered pop-up market of local makers and then grab a tasty brunch after (Milk District)
🥘 Learn to put a spin on classic holiday sides for your upcoming Holiday Soirées with this class in College Park (College Park)
🚸 Join national thought leaders in mapping children’s safest path through the pandemic (Online)
🎨 Head to Quantum Leap Winery to take a peek at its latest series of bottles painted by local artists (Mills 50 )
🏆 Join Orlando's favorite nerd nonprofit, Hero Spark for a fun virtual trivia night with epic nostalgia Qs from the 80s to today, and good feels for supporting a good cause (Online)
🎄 Drive a little north to cut down your own Christmas tree through Dec. 13 (Eustis)
🍹 Take a holiday cocktail tour of Sanford through Dec. 31 (Sanford)
🙌 Join us for a discussion on how to start and sustain a successful corporate social responsibility program (Online)
If you’ve got five minutes on your hands, we recommend taking the time to sit and read this New York Times article about pandemic grandparents. It’ll get you in your feels, and maybe also prompt your own “father paintbrush” story. If it does, we want to hear from you: Tell us how your family or friends are helping you through the pandemic. Just reply to this email with a few lines — we’d be honored to give them a shout in one of our newsletters next week.
In the meantime, stay safe out there. Wear your masks, social distance, get outdoors, and be kind to strangers. We’re all in this together.
See you again on Tuesday!
– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown
PS Don’t forget to check out our 15 Minutes in Pulptown podcast. It goes live every Monday at 7 a.m. on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Cast, and all the places you might normally listen to your favorite podcast from.