A year in Orlando

The Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival (www.zellwoodcornfestival.com; 407-886-0014; 4253 W. Ponkan Road, Zellwood, 32798), now in its 35th year, celebrates this locally-grown treat. Stroll through arts and crafts exhibits and watch Big Bertha, a super cooker that churns out 1,650 ears of corn every nine minutes. The corn fest, May 24-25, also has shows by country music star Jim Van Fleet & the Reign and John Anderson. Admission is $25.


The Power of the Force and the Magic of the Mouse combine each year for Star Wars Weekends, a family-friendly fan-fest scheduled for four consecutive weekends in June at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park (disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/parks/specialEvents?id=StarWarsWeekendsSpecialEventPage; 407-839-3900; 3111 World Drive, Lake Buena Vista 32830). The event runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with the park's Star Tours thrill ride serving as the centerpiece of an event that stars a four score of heroes, heroines, androids and villains from the Star Wars movies. Celebrities often take part in meet-and-greet sessions, conversations and gala motorcades. Throughout Star Wars Weekends guests never know which character they'll find around the corner, whether it's the heroic Jedi Luke Skywalker, the mysterious bounty hunter Boba Fett, the furry Chewbacca or the evil Darth Vader. Jedi Mickey Mouse usually makes an appearance during the weekends, included in the regular admission, $71 for adults, $60 for kids 3-9.

What began in 1991 as a one-day event has evolved into the week-long Gay Days celebration (www.gaydays.com; 888-942-9329) at several venues—including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando and other central Florida attractions. This party, scheduled June 3-9, attracts about 135,000 gays and lesbians. The lineup includes comedy shows, concerts, and cocktail and pool parties. There's also a pre-festival Caribbean cruise. Admission varies by event.

Local wine is celebrated at Lakeridge Winery's Annual Harvest Festival (www.lakeridgewinery.com; 800-768-9463; 19239 U.S. 27 N., Clermont, 34715), held June 13-15. The event includes arts and crafts, food, live music, tastings and tours of the winery, which opened in 1989, about 40 minutes northwest of Disney. You'll also be treated to grape-stomping demonstrations. Lakeridge grows muscadine and bunch grapes (Stover and Suwannee) on the 77 acres surrounding the winery. Admission is $2.


No one does Florida fireworks better than Disney and the nightly Wishes Fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom (www.disneyworld.com; 407-824-4321; 3111 World Dr., Lake Buena Vista, 32830) delivers a real bang on the Fourth of July. While you can catch glimpses of the show from WDW hotels and some of those nearby, the best seats are in the park near Cinderella Castle. The down side: Admission is $71 adults and $60 kids 3-9. If you're inclined toward cheaper shows, head to downtown Orlando for Fireworks over the Fountain at Lake Eola Park (www.cityoforlando.net; 407-246-2121 or 407-246-2827; 101 N. Rosalind Ave., Orlando, 32801). The old-fashioned event includes games, rides, entertainment and food. The best part: It's free.

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