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The Port Orange Family Days Community Trust
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Port Orange Family Days Community Trust
"Celebrating the American Family"

The mission of the Port Orange Family Days Community Trust is to bring our community together in the spirit of family and friends and to broaden the awareness of our community to the benefits and quality of life Port Orange.

How it all Began

The most celebrated of all city events is Port Orange Family Days . It is an event that is worthy of special attention and praise, given its unique contributions to the community.

The Mission of Family Days is: "To bring our Community together in the spirit of family and friends, and to broaden the awareness of the benefits and quality of life that Port Orange has to offer."

What started as a thought of having a "BIG" block party, has become a dream come true! Al Bell, a Port Orange resident and volunteer, once imagined that the residents of Port Orange would come together for fun and a chance to get to know one another. After presenting his idea to then Mayor Allen Green and City Manager Ken Parker, the idea began to catch on. The event was coined "Family Days" and committees of volunteers emerged. This included school district employees, city employees, interested residents and business owners. After a year of initial planning, with Al Bell and associate/volunteer Pete Atwood at the helm, the Mayor kicked off the first Port Orange Family Days on September 26, 1996. Among the 15,000 people who attended the festival, Florida Governor Lawton Chiles served as the City"s honored guest.

As the years continued, the crowds grew and many features were added. In 1997, the theme was "Celebrate the Family" . We were entertained by the "Grand Marshal" of our parade, "Mickey Mouse" . There were jet ski rides by our very own Beach Patrol, an antique car show and entertainment by our local school bands, choruses and dancers.

As the years continued, our Community Expo was expanded from the original 20 exhibitors to more than 200. Also, the first Annual Miss Port Orange Leadership Contest was held. It recognized scholarship and community service.

During 1999, "Hurricane Irene" blew in Friday morning. We made the best of the situation, bringing some of the entertainment indoors. We had suffered a huge blow, but we started planning for 2000, immediately.

Family Days 2000 went off very well. The Florida State University High Flying Circus performed under the "Big Tent" . We were all involved in celebrating the restoration of Rose Bay. Chalk artists transformed the sidewalks near City Hall into beautiful displays of color and talent. Our first Family Days Golf Tournament was held that year.

During 2001, we added Corporate sponsorship to Family Days. Generous sponsors helped with money, time and in kind donations. We had a rousing kickoff with Beatle-Mania and crowds were wowed by this original London Cast.

2002-2003 brought out the biggest crowds - some 80,000 people attended the event. It included a Job Fair, a Health Expo and a Senior Olympics. One of the new performances, the Spruce Creek Flying Gaggle teams, entertained us with their flyovers.

2004 was a year of hurricanes. How can we forget that we had to postpone our beloved Family Days until the second week of November? Although we were ready, the hurricanes kept coming. We never lost our "can do" attitude, though. We put our best foot forward and the event was well attended, despite the heavy winds that had tried to defeat us. We were happy to make this event special to all of our residents, their families and friends. We gave thanks to all the city Employees, the MANY volunteers that helped to put our city back together, again.

In 2005, we celebrated our 10th Birthday. Many new features were added, including a Dessert Cook off sponsored by the Inlet Harbor Restaurant, Dignity Memorial and WNDB. We had the beginnings of a small "home show" with "how-to" seminars. Great entertainment included hot air balloons, a parade with floats, a fun-filled Carnival, and an opening night Birthday Party& with cake! A "movie night" with popcorn and fireworks over the lake finished off the night! There was something for everyone!

2006 was our biggest event yet. More than 200 exhibits filled our Community Expo around the lake. Jet ski rides, Storybook Land, and the carnival followed the pancake breakfast. The parade that year was led by our grand marshal, John Evans. On the soccer fields we had the Daytona Thunder football. Kids' Night Out took place as well as entertainment all day long in the amphitheater.

The Event

The Event is hosted by a large group of Volunteers who work hard all year to make this the best "Family Days" ever. There is not a single paid position in our organization which is comprised of local area business men and women, school leaders, retired folks, Moms and Dads, and students. All ideas are heard, many are used, and many will be implemented at some future time. We strive for fun for everyone.

Entertainment can be enjoyed in tents located around the lake and on the stage at the Ken Parker Amphitheatre. The Business Expo has grown, the spaces are reasonably priced, and it enables the locals to showcase their businesses and organizations. Non-profit groups can set up a space for free. We feature local area restaurants, and businesses can sell their items.

All in all, this year, 2007, we will make history once again. This event is for everyone! You can take part in all the festivities at no cost.

2007 Board of Directors
Al Bell

Pete Atwood
Vice President Operations

Robin Lasky

Riverside National Bank
Deb McCall

Volusia Memorial Funeral Home & Gardens
Kim Ball
Entertainment Director

Art and Soles
Jill Geddy
Community Expo

Mark Thornell

Port Orange Y.M.C.A.
Judy Andersen

Lillian Berard

John Evans

Festival Cruises
Jane Katona

Daytona Beach News Journal
Joe Cordaro

Bright House Networks
Debbie Connors

Port Orange South Daytona Chamber of Commerce
Heather Baker

Port Orange South Daytona Chamber of Commerce
Lana Alliott

Teacher DBCC
Robert Hall

Robert Hall Architects
John Cardullo

Bud Ritchey

Hall Hunyadi
Brendan Galbreath

Aunt Catfish's on the River

The Family Days Theme Song

Performed by the Spruce Creek High School 12:00 Jazz Band Directed By Andrew Kidd
Vocals: Bernadette Rossi
Band Members:
Saxophones: Chris Atwood, Shannon Ballard, James Brooks, Chris Hood, David Hollingsworth, Ricky Latkkis, & Dennis Scaccia
Piano: Jon Allen, Geoff Weeks
Guitar: Brian Lilly
Bass: Daniel Ortiz
Percussion: Tony Hamilton, Aaron Shore
Trumpets: Adam Aiello, Asim Fagins, Marie DeBellis, Lauren Williamson, John Valentino
Trombones: Katie O'Connor, Ryan Schmied, Geoff Weeks, Andy Ames, Jessica Giannini
Arranged by: Dennis Scaccia
Lyrics by: Bernadette Rossi
© 1997 All rights reserved

Accomplishments - The Riverside Pavilion

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About Us | Online Expo Registration | Schedule of Events | Parade
Sponsors | Photo Gallery | Contact
Port Orange Family Days Trust All Rights Reserved ~ P.O. Box 290610 ~ Port Orange, FL 32127 ~ Phone: 386.506.5935 ~ Fax: 386.322.5148 info@familydays.com
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