Monday, July 29, 2019

Arab Cultural Heritage Festival

The Arab Cultural Heritage Festival was a celebration of Arabic art, food and traditions. It was held at Lake Eola near the Disney Amphitheater. A huge crane was parked on the street holding an American flag. The truck served a secondary purpose of blocking any vehicles from driving down Washington avenue straight into the park. Every outdoor event in Orlando these days had large trucks or buses blocking possible vehicular homicide.

Pam Schwartz and I ordered some Arab food from vendors and then sat on the grassy knoll next to the Amphitheater. I focused my attention on the American flag and the Orlando skyline. The fellow next to us on the grass was having a cigarette break. He was probably one off the vendors. The star of the festival though was a lady holding an ice cream sign over her head and shouting out to everyone who passes that they were hot and could cool down with an ice cold ice cream. She seriously shouted louder and longer that any other vendor at the festival. We ate shwarma and chicken kabobs with veggies, but the dishes weren't memorable. In the end we ultimately didn't get an ice cream from the screaming and animated vendor.

In among the food vendors was an mechanical rodeo bull surrounded by inflatable mats. Was this an Arab festival or the Silver Spurs Rodeo? It was very confusing. The mechanical bull would have been another great sketch opportunity but there was no shade by the bull. The grassy knoll was a peaceful place slightly above the crowd to have a picnic and a quick sketch.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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