August 13th marked the first day of school and the return of yellow buses in traffic, guards at every crossing, snack wrappers and the best in show of backpacks. For most of us the learning season is never ending but the excitement surrounding back to school events simply can’t be matched. One very cool event comes on August 18th and 19, 2018 to the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive, in Hall D of the West Concourse. For a $5.00 advance and $10.00 on-site admission price families can enjoy a full day of fun at the Florida Kids and Family Expo.   Kids can create their own arts and crafts and there will be new things for them to explore, discover and try. There will also be lots of free giveaways, bounce houses, rides and slides, food and more! With more than 150 exhibitors, the event runs on Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and on Sunday from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Phone 407-405-4000 for more information or visit the event website at

Fans of live theatre need to make plans now to attend a performance of the hit Broadway musical with a mixed hip-hop-salsa beat, In the Heights at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater from September 5th through October 7th. Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), In the Heights tells the story of a bustling community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood. The play describes the community as ‘a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.’ In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations. Discounted preview performances will take place on Wednesday, September 5th and Thursday, September 6th at 7:30 pm. Attend the Opening Night Party and Pre-Show Chat on September 7th at 6:15 pm where you’ll enjoy free light appetizers and gain insights from a brief discussion with the director and members of the show’s creative team.   The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is located at 812 E. Rollins Street. Visit for additional information.

About the author

Sharon Fletcher Jones is a true Libra, an action-ist, and a budget fashionista. The Portsmouth, Virginia native is also an employment specialist with Goodwill Industries, a life coach and an associate editor at ONYX Magazine. Stacey’s mom (literally) has got it going on. Fletcher Jones’ personal mantra is “It’s the dash that counts.”


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