January 27, 2021


Though thoughts of Santa usually conjure images of the jolly bearded man on a sleigh, he’ll soon be flying into Lakeland in a vintage Stearman aircraft.

Holiday fun meets aviation during the first Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show at Lakeland’s Sun ‘n Fun Expo Dec. 4-5. Visitors can spend time with more than 150 cars, see dozens of airplanes and hot air balloons on the ground andsee F-16s and F-35s soaring overhead.

The idea for a holiday show was sparked after Sun ‘n Fun was forced to cancel their large-scale Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in April, said Greg Gibson, the organization’s chief marketing officer.

“The loss of our major funding event in April was pretty devastating. Our big cause, the thing we raise money for is the Aerospace Center for Excellence,” he said. “This is an effort to help bring some of that revenue back, but we’re not charging for the event.”

Proceeds from events held on the Sun ‘n Fun Expo campus benefit students pursuing aerospace education through scholarships and programs, and the upcoming holiday event will raise money through paid parking.

During the two-day holiday event, families can also participate in a 5K, experience first responder displays, view powered paragliding aerobatics and browse more than 80 vendors on site. For younger visitors, a bounce house, STEM activities and time with Santa await.

“The elves are going to drop him off, I’m going to put him in the Stearman and bring him in,” Gibson said. “We have a family area where kids can either bring their own letters or a place where they can write letters to Santa.”

This event will also mark the first time Sun ‘n Fun hosts a short takeoff and landing contest, known as a STOL competition. On both show dates, aircraft will test their skills in taking off and landing in the shortest distance possible.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sun ‘n Fun strongly encourages guests to wear masks except while seated and socially distanced from other groups by at least six feet. In addition, hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the event and increased sanitization will be implemented.

Gibson said while aviation is always the focal point of Sun ‘n Fun shows, this event aims to provide something for visitors of all interests.

“Our core is aviation, but this is a community organization and a community center,” he said. “It’s designed to be inexpensive, very family-friendly and something just to give people a chance to get outside and enjoy Florida a little bit.”

If you go

The Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show is 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 4 and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5 at 4175 Medulla Road in Lakeland. Event admission is free but parking is $20 per vehicle per day or $35 for both days. For more information, visit flysnf.org.

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©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)



GEMBLOUX, Belgium (Reuters) – The exotic animals are confined to small paddocks, the acrobats have been grounded, and the clowns aren’t able to make an audience laugh anymore.

Floye Dubois, 19, a juggler at the Zavatelli Circus owned by the French family Dubois, practices in a parking lot where the circus, together with two other Armanzo and Anderland, also owned by the same family, has been maintained under lockdown for about a year, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Gembloux, Belgium November 26, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The coronavirus has brought the curtain down on the Zavatelli Circus, at least for the time being.

Unable to travel or perform across Europe, the French family-run operation is waiting out the pandemic in a car park in the southern Belgium town of Gembloux – and quickly running out of funds to feed its animals.

“For us, the confinement is very difficult because we are not working. We have no cash flow,” said circus director Kevin Dubois.

The Zavatelli Circus typically pitches its 600-seater Big Top in 30 cities each year. But since March, when COVID-19 cases began rising in Europe, it has only been able to perform with a reduced capacity, or not at all during Belgium’s spring and autumn lockdowns.

The show features jugglers and acrobats, a conjuror, clowns and a tightrope-walker, and a menagerie including camels, llamas, buffaloes and ponies.

Now the staff are living in trailers in the car park, stopping their skills from going rusty with outdoor pratice sessions in the crisp Autumn air.

The animals are kept in enclosures under red-and white striped awnings, with straw strewn over the car park’s ground.

“Frankly, it is becoming an issue because we have 60 animals to feed,” Dubois said.

The cost of food for the animals runs to about 500 euros ($600) per week. There are also 23 circus staff to support.

“We don’t know how to make ends meet,” he said.

The Zavatelli Circus is one of three family operations that date back to 1800 and was once known as the Cirque de Paris.

The two others, Armanzo and Anderland, owned by the same family, are also on the rented site in Gembloux, about 50 km (30 miles) south of Brussels.

While the circus could return home to France, it would not be permitted to perform there either.

Belgium, like France, is under its second lockdown since the coronavirus epidemic hit Europe in February. Although shops are expected to reopen soon, cultural operations such as circuses in Belgium must remain closed until further notice.

Dubois lamented the lack of state financial support.

“We have not received any financial assistance (from the authorities). A lot of people gave us bread, carrots, they bring us seeds, hay. But in terms of money, we did not get anything,” Dubois said.

Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Source Article


Christmas is coming to Copiague early as Johnnie’s Car Wash on Oak opens its “12 Nights of Christmas Lights” on Nov. 27.

“We want to spread some happiness during the pandemic,” says owner Johnnie Miranti.

After a successful Halloween run with its Tunnel of Terror in October, the car wash decided to move on to the next holiday season. The “12 Nights of Christmas Lights” experienceruns through Dec. 20.

“The joy our Halloween car wash brought to people’s faces was very gratifying. Many of them asked if we were doing something for Christmas,” says Miranti. “Because of the virus, there’s not much to do out there so I figured let’s continue the joy!”


This time around, the festivities will begin during the day when Santa holds meet and greets in the detail bay on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

“If you select one of our diamond washes [$42 per car], you will get a picture with Santa as well as a gift,” says Miranti. “He will be set back sitting in his chair while the children and their family will be on a bench six-feet away in front with presents around and trees in the background.”

Each photo will be a digital email or a download. The diamond wash includes fire glaze, hand body gloss, floor mats washed and deodorizing the interior of your car.


In the evening, the car wash ($30 per car) will be illuminated with holiday cheer on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m., as guests are warmly greeted by visitors from the North Pole.

“Elves and Santa Claus will be running throughout the line giving out candy canes,” says Miranti. “The whole building is going to be lit up. There will even be four 4-foot x 3-foot singing reindeers performing Christmas songs in unison.”

Each car is instructed to tune their radios to 88.5 FM for a Christmas music soundtrack as they go through the tunnel for an express wash.

“This allows you to completely stay in your car and drive right through,” says Miranti. “The entire tunnel will be decorated with GBD lights and all the arches will be wrapped in garland. There will be Christmas balls and all kinds of flashing objects. At the end there will be a guest appearance by the Grinch.”

The Halloween event was so popular that Miranti had to instill an advance timed ticketing system for the “12 Nights of Christmas Lights” on the hour. To purchase tickets, go to 2nightsoflightsatjohnniescarw.ticketspice.com.

WHEN/WHERE Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6, 11-13, 18-20; noon-5 p.m. (diamond wash and meet and greet with Santa) and 5-10 p.m. (express wash + light show); 521 Oak St., Copiague

INFO 631-891-6111, johnniescarwashonoak.com

ADMISSION $30 (express wash and light show), $42 (diamond wash and meet and greet)


in Red
indicate events that I will be attending

*= Recurring
Cruise Nights also on Cruise

Flyers are in Adobe PDF format – Get Acrobat Reader Free Here
= Vendor Space Available

(COVID-19) in California
– Info






Postponed to Sep 19-20
– La Jolla Concours d’Elegance – 1133 Coast Blvd. – Info


Classic Car Fridays – Elks Lodge 7212 Melrose
St. – 4PM – 8PM



– Bob’s Big Boy 4211 W. Riverside Drive – 3PM – 10PM – Info


– Valley Cruise Night @ Fosters Freeze 201 S. Glenoaks Blvd. – 7PM – 9PM
– Flyer


Cancelled – Cruisin’ Grand – Grand
Ave. Downtown – 5PM – 9PM –


Cancelled – Friday Night Car
Show – 12891 Historic Main Street – 5PM – 8PM – Flyer


Cancelled – Classic Car Show
‘n Shine – Farmer Boys18288 Collier Ave. – Flyer


– Bob’s Big Boy – 8876 Corbin Ave. – 5PM – 9PM – Flyer


– Sonic Drive-In – 58145 Highway 62 – 6:30PM – 9PM – Flyer


Cancelled – Spring Fling
XXXIV – Woodley Park – 7AM – 4PM – Info


Cancelled – Country Car Show – Minor
Park Hwy. 371 & Contreras Rd. – 11AM – 4PM – Flyer


Cancelled – Classic Car Show @ Farmer
Boys 500 W. Lambert Rd. – 5PM – 7PM – Flyer


Cancelled – Cbad Cars – 7130 Avenida
Encinas – 7AM – 9AM – Info


Cancelled – Cars & Coffee Corona
– Saleen Head Quarters 2755 Wardlow Rd. – Flyer


Cancelled – Saturday Morning Car
Corral – O’Reilly Auto Parts 501 N. Azusa Ave. – 7:30AM – Flyer


Cancelled – Monarch Bay Plaza
– Crown Valley & PCH – 7AM – 9AM – Flyer


Cancelled – Classic Cruisers Car
Show – Farmer Boys 641 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. – Flyer


Cancelled – Cars