Diversity & Inclusion
Winter Garden changes up seasonal events flyer
Editor in Chief
Monday, December 4, 2023
Winter Garden promotes non-city-sponsored Chanukah and Christmas events equally this year — online.
Careful readers of Winter Garden’s ’Tis the Season holiday events flyer will notice a key change this year. This holiday season, city officials took care to highlight those events the city is sponsoring to differentiate them from non-sponsored events.
City-sponsored and co-sponsored events are the only events included on the seasonal flyers posted in shop windows and affixed to placards lining Plant Street. There’s a bold-face explanation at the bottom that reiterates that message: “Holiday Happenings listed are limited to those sponsored/co-sponsored by the City of Winter Garden.”
City Manager Jon Williams told VoxPopuli via email that the change was motivated by the ever-growing popularity of the city’s downtown events. “By identifying the events that are sponsored/co-sponsored by the City, the public can more readily distinguish between City events and those hosted by other organizations,” he wrote.
Why does it matter?
Last year, the city took a beating on social media when officials left Chabad of South Orlando's Menorah Lighting — the one Chanukah event of the season — off of the seasonal events flyer and the city's e-News blast while actively promoting the West Orange Ministerial Association’s program of Bible verses, prayers and hymns at city hall during Light Up Winter Garden. This was after managing to schedule budget hearings two years in a row on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
Williams told VoxPopuli at the time that the Menorah Lighting wasn't included on the seasonal events flyer because it was a “religious event.”
While not copping to any past errors, this year city officials didn't include either the West Orange Ministerial Association program, which took place Dec. 1, or Chabad of South Orlando’s Menorah Lighting — Dec. 7, 6 p.m. in the Butterfly Garden on Plant Street, near Hangry Bison — on the seasonal events flyer.
As neither event is city-sponsored, both can be found on the city’s website.