How Orlando's Fiesta in the Park Hit 50

September 2021, by Angie Landsverk

When the Fiesta in the Park Committee formed in 1972, the idea was to attract more people to Lake Eola Park and downtown Orlando with events that promote development. The late Corbin Sarchet organized the committee, and the first fall Fiesta in the Park was held that same year.

This year’s event is Nov. 6–7, at Lake Eola Park. With last year’s art festival canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event is the 50th. “We’re very excited to celebrate the 50th,” said Executive Director Bettielee Sansone. “The community really looks forward to it in the fall.”

A complete article on the history of the event is in the November issue. For that article, we asked Bettielee if she could help other promoters get their events to 50 years. Here were her top five tips.

Bettielee Sansone's Top 5 Tips for Art Show Promoters

  • Location, location, location. Choose an accessible, safe location. Lay out the location for guests to move easily and circulate the entire event.

  • The artists/craftspeople are the show! Remember to treat them as such. If they have special needs, try to help them have a successful show by providing for their needs. The artists remember how you made them feel, so make them feel as if they were a guest in your home.

  • Include the community. They want to be involved, so use them as volunteers, musicians, and food vendors, and allow community organizations to have a booth at the event. Our Miss Orlando hands out awards on Sunday to winning artists.

  • Keep your dates consistent. Don’t change your date. Choose dates that are weather friendly for your area. After a while, the community expects that on the first weekend of November, the Fall Fiesta in the Park will be held at Lake Eola.

  • Marketing and promotion. Partner with local radio and TV stations. Use social media and print advertisements such as Sunshine Artist to promote your event.

Exhibitor at Orlando's Fiesta in the Park.