On Monday we celebrated our Leadership Osceola Class of 2022 at the annual Leadership Graduation…
Saturday, June 18 was a hot Florida summer day, but that didn’t stop our amazing vendors and sponsors, talented entertainers, and inspiring charity partners from coming out to help the community “Experience Osceola” with a day of family fun at St. Cloud Lakefront Park.
Experiences for the whole family
Our sponsor vendors and their charity partners went the extra mile at Experience Osceola to provide fun activities for children and families to help us learn more about their business or role in the community. The Osceola Chamber set the bar high by sponsoring twice-hourly 15-minute cruises on East Lake Toho with Captain Stitch and Toho Riverboat Adventures. This was a great opportunity to take in the natural Florida wildlife and take a minute to cool off with the lake breeze. Our charity partner for this event was The Sunshine Foundation, whose volunteers came out to help our tiniest guests decorate a miniature version of their real life Dream Village. We were excited that the event was able to raise enough to purchase two new fridges for the Dream Village.
Our title sponsor Orlando Health supplied a collection of yard games that guests could experience while enjoying the live entertainment, and a special VIP area to show appreciation to the employees of Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital. Meanwhile, the City of Kissimmee brought Best Foot Forward to teach kids about crosswalk and bike safety and fit each attending child with a brand new bike helmet. Learning Partners for Success brought their mobile book fair so each child would leave with a complimentary book. Florida Fish & Wildlife joined Toho Water Authority at their hydration station to help kids catch and release real live fish. C3 Wellness Spa brought their popular money machine full of coupons, and the St. Cloud Fire Department was out in full force with their bright pink truck. Osceola County offered educational experiences from The Osceola Library System, Mosquito Control, and the Osceola County Fire Department, to name just a few. HCA Florida Healthcare had their trauma team on hand to teach life-saving “stop the bleed” techniques to future healthcare professionals. Finally, ABC Paving & Sealcoating showed off one of their back hoes while young guests went on their own excavations in large pools of dirt.
Vendors from our business community
Our vendor participants were diverse. Several current political candidates came out to meet their future constituents, while others sold handmade art. Wild Florida’s Fluffy the Alligator was along for photo opps, as was Truckie, the mascot of Two Men and a Truck. The Cruise Planners held a tropical limbo contest, and the Osceola News-Gazette held a raffle. The heat had us dreaming of our next shower, and luckily Buff City Soap was on hand with sweet-smelling samples.
A variety of live entertainment
The entertainment at Experience Osceola kicked off with Osceola Rocks!, who billed themselves as a “group of kids who love to rock!” This talented band from Osceola Arts was followed by performers from Anne Kay Academy of Dance and then the punk rock band 408, who were making their Osceola County debut! Osceola Arts returned with a performance by their Young Actors Company to preview their upcoming season. All-in-all, there was a little something for everyone.
Lots to eat!
No outdoor festival is complete without good eats! Big John’s Rockin’ BBQ came prepared with sliders, and Chick-fil-a St. Cloud came ready to play with their signature chicken (and their signature cow). Island Wing Company Hunter’s Creek and Jonae’s Island Twist offered more tropical fair, and Krush Brau Park threw a mini Oktoberfest in July.
Thanks go out to our event sponsors, without whom an event like Experience Osceola cannot take place, and, of course, to the members of the community who braved the heat (and the impending thunderstorm!) to join us for a Saturday of fun.