34th Annual Winter Park Jazz Festival
This past weekend my family and I had the privilege to attend Winter Park’s 34th Annual Jazz Festival, held at Hideaway Park’s outdoor amphitheater. The festival featured both world class jazz artists as well as up and coming groups.
As we drove through the typically quiet main street of Winter Park, we noticed quite an increase in traffic (both vehicles and on foot). Both days of this event were sold out, with more than 4,000 tickets available each day. Gates opened at 10 am Saturday morning, and when we got to Hideaway Park the entrance line was already filling up the sidewalk quite a ways outside of the venue. I was somewhat worried because we had two young children with us, and I thought this might be a rough start to an already busy day. Luckily, to my amazement, the staff were very efficient and before I knew it we were inside looking for a spot to call our own. We found a place on the lawn, set up “camp” and got settled in. The people around us could not have been more accommodating or more sharing of the snacks and treats they brought for themselves.
The sun shined brightly through a few clouds in the sky, the weather could not have been better. Although there were people claiming every piece of lawn available, everyone we met seemed to be in the best of spirits. The music set the tone and mood for the entire day. A large screen to the left of the stage guaranteed a great view of the performing artists, even if you happened to be too far away to get a good viewpoint yourself. The sounds of saxophones, pianos, trumpets and beautiful voices filled the air. I even spotted a keytar being played. The music was so relaxing that I was able to convince both boys to take a nap right at our spot. Their nap lasted multiple hours and allowed me to fully appreciate the sounds around me as well as visit with the people next to me who had traveled from states away to appreciate this weekend.
To the right of the stage were many delicious food and drink vendors available, in addition to a merchandise tent where artists could be found selling and signing various cd’s, shirts and items that fans brought from home, in hopes of running into their favorite musicians. Local restaurants had tents set up featuring the best of what they had to offer, as well as traditional food truck style options. Also on site was an O’dell brewing company tent with cocktails and brews to enjoy while you lounged on the lawn.
The weekend could not have been a nicer one at the 34th Annual Jazz Festival for my family. The event is one that I will look forward to in the future, full of world class musicians, history and culture. From the time we entered the outdoor concert area, to the amazing neighbors we met while artists performed, the beautiful weather, sunshine and sounds of mellow harmonies, the weekend could not have been more perfect.
The Patchett Family
Katie, Jason and their two boys, Katon and Jackson, love all things outdoors. Originally from the Sunshine State, this family of four loves the Colorado mountain lifestyle. Both Katie and Jason are former collegiate runners who still enjoy being very active. Jason is currently an Art Director at O2 Creative in Fraser and Katie is currently a “stay at home” mom, who is rarely at home.