Positively Osceola News Today, Osceola County's Leading and Trusted Source For Local News

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Award for Career Excellence Select Tickets and Packages Now On Sale For Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Roundup Rodeo BBQ Brings Even More Toy-Sized Fun to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Orlando Health Attracts New Surgeons For Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com Depth Proves Difference as Bulldogs Sweep Boys Weightlifting Crowns SATURDAY, MARCH 25 2023
Water communications manager, Jamie Floer, honored with Roger Pynn
Positively Osceola’s Featured Professional Support Staff for February! For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com IN & AROUND OSCEOLA LIVE at Universal Orlando Resort LIVE with Tohopekaliga High School Senior lacrosse goalie Yarom Nataren LIVE as St. Cloud High School holds on to defeat Harmony High School 10-7 New mobile dental and denture unit to provide care for seniors

Brian Wetzel, Vice President of Orlando Health and President of Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office’s human trafficking awareness event

St. Cloud Little League’s Opening Day Highlights!

Harmony High School catcher Natalie Booth protecting the plate

LIVE at the official Ribbon
Girls Clubs
of Central Florida St
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LIVE with State Representative

Kristen Arrington for District 46

February 20th, 2023

LIVE with Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital

President Brian Wetzel

February 14th, 2023

LIVE with Ryan Munns, of Bogin, Munns and Munns

January 26th, 2023

LIVE with Dr. Chris Burns, from SDOC Fine and Performing Arts

January 19th, 2023

LIVE with William Morea & Wey Wey Wong, from Huntington Learning Center

January 19th, 2023

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Kissimmee’s Kowtown Festival

If you love birthday parties, here’s one you don’t want to miss! On Saturday, March 18th from noon until 4pm, the City of Kissimmee is inviting the community to a birthday bash like no other. It’s the 2023 Kowtown Festival! #KissimmeeNews

St. Patrick’s Day Light Parade and Street Party

The City of St. Cloud, Florida will host the St. Patrick’s Day Light Parade and Street Party on Saturday, March 18th at 7pm - 11pm. Parade starts at Lakeshore Boulevard, comes south on Pennsylvania to 11th, over to Massachusetts and ends back at Lakeshore. At the street party, there will be live music, dance performances, and food trucks!

Sweet Charity at Osceola Arts!

Bob Fosse’s musical comedy Charity Valentine will take the main stage at Osceola Arts on March 10th! Sweet Charity will run through Sunday, March 26th. For tickets and more info, visit bit.ly/oaCharity

St. Cloud Walking Ghost Tours

Once a month through May 31st, St. Cloud Main Street will host a series of historic ghost tours featuring multiple stops where you’ll have an opportunity to learn about the ghosts they say haunt some of the old downtown buildings as well as the history behind them.

Next Historic Ghost Tour - Wednesday March 29th.

Sloth Encounters at Wild Florida

Positively Osceola’s Krissi Marie Hardy spent some time with one of Wild Florida’s educators, Desiree, to learn about an amazing animal, Chloe the Sloth! To learn more about Wild Florida, visit WildFL.com

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Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital Certified as Advanced Primary Stroke Center

Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Primary Stroke Center Accreditation. The designation recognizes a hospital’s commitment to a higher standard of clinical service and the establishment of a consistent approach to quality care.

If a patient begins to display symptoms of a stroke, which include face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty, a stroke alert is called. The signal triggers the hospital’s treatment process, a critical step to minimize potential brain damage or other complications. Since Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital’s stroke program began in May 2022, the hospital documented 236 stroke alerts and cared for 43 stroke patients.

“In a diagnosis where time is of the essence, I can think of no greater importance than this achievement to bringing stroke care to the city of St. Cloud,” said Jessica Reid, RN, Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital chief nursing officer. “Our goal is to improve the outcomes for these patients by reducing the distance they must travel to receive care.”

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French-based CMG Clean Tech to open Green Garden Village tech park in Osceola County, could create 1200 high-wage jobs

Osceola Commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to begin formal negotiations with France-based CMG Clean Tech to sell in phases its 309acre Mac Overstreet property on Lake Tohopekaliga for a $431 million clean energy technology park that could create 1,200 high-wage green technology jobs with average annual wages of $75,000 over the next three years.

CMG Clean Tech, a France-based global leader in the green energy technology sector, announced an expansion of its operations to North America with the opening of its first U.S. flagship facility, Green Garden Village, in Osceola County.

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Cowboy Chicken has roosted in Kissimmee!

The first ‘Cowboy Chicken’ to roost in the Sunshine State has opened its doors in Kissimmee and is offering up some serious chicken-centered homestyle meals at 3290 Margaritaville Blvd. at the Promenade at Sunset Walk. This is the first of four planned in Central Florida.

Along with their rotisserie chicken, guests will be able to try a wide range of other selections from “Jeanette’s homemade peach cobbler” to their “Wild Wild West” sides.

If you like your chicken and pork in sandwich-form you’ll have a choice of buffalo, BBQ, or Laredo seasoning on pulled pork. A side is included with the sandwich. If you prefer a plate to enjoy from, guests can choose from half chicken, three-piece, and other chicken and brisket options.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/3LIEE91

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Osceola County Commissioners Recognize Five as ‘Woman Warrior’ in Honor of Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Osceola County recognized five women for their positive contributions to the community on Monday.

“I’m proud that our commission makes it a priority to recognize women who have shown such determination, wisdom and compassion in making a difference in our community,” said Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “These women lead by example and inspire others to step forward and assume important roles as go-getters, mentors and advocates. They help keep Osceola County aligned with its mindset to “be first to what’s next.’”

The impetus for the Woman Warrior awards as part the celebration of Women’s History Month started nine years ago after Chairwoman Viviana Janer was elected to the County Commission. Each commissioner selects a nominee.

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Oil Prices Plummet to 2023 Lows; Gas Prices Face Downward Pressure After Rising 15 Cents Last Week

Florida gas prices jumped 15 cents per gallon last week, but relief may soon be on the way. On Monday, the state average for regular unleaded was $3.45 per gallon, whuhc is the same in Osceola County. That’s 13 cents less than this year’s high of $3.58 per gallon. Visit gasprices.AAA.com to view daily average gas prices.

“There were significant losses in the oil market last week which should enable gas prices to move lower again,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The failure of two U.S. banks raised concerns of a global recession that could eventually hamper fuel demand.”

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Help Now’s 5th Annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” to Focus on Domestic Violence Awareness March 29

Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes… not an easy thing to literally do, but on Wednesday night March 29th at 6 pm, Help Now of Osceola will host the 5th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event where a group of men will walk down New York Avenue during the St. Cloud Monthly Market event, wearing heels, and hoping to raise awareness of domestic violence in the community. The goal is to get people listening, learning, thinking, and working together to help solve this terrible reality of abuse.

The walk will begin – in heels of course – at St. Cloud City Hall and will make its way down New York Avenue, in conjunction with the St. Cloud Monthly Market. This event is not only for men, though! Women and children are welcome and encouraged to join the walk to make a collective voice to end domestic and sexual violence in our community. Here are some domestic violence statistics:

• Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted.

• 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).

• 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).

• Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.

• Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is an international men’s march where men and boys lead the way on the road to end sexual and domestic violence.


For immediate assistance, please dial 911. If you are in immediate need or wish to speak with a domestic violence counselor or advocate, please call our 24-hour crisis hotline at (407) 847-8562 or text us at (321) 306-0677.

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Tohopekaliga Tigers Walk to Win Over St. Cloud Bulldogs in Boys Baseball

In a game that featured plenty of walks, strikeouts and questionable base running, Tohopekaliga took advantage of a wild pitch to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning and then held on for a 3-2 win over St. Cloud on Monday night.

“We did not hit the ball well tonight, we made some base running mistakes and we made a few errors, but at the end of the day, we did enough to win the game,” Tigers head coach Nikko Martell said of his team that went to 7-1 on the season.

The winning rally was far from text book on how to win a game.

With the score tied 2-2, Jose Montalvo ripped a double to the right centerfield gap to open the inning. Pinch hitter Christian Viali missed on a bunt attempt and Bulldogs catcher Roman Lopez would gun Montalvo out after he wandered too far off of second base. Viali would then strike out.

But pitcher Aiden Peguero would exit the game after walking Austin Montalvo. Relief pitcher Ayden Hampton would walk pinch hitter Anthony Paradiso and Diego Miranda would load the bases after reaching on an infield single. Hampton would then unleash a wild pitch to score Austin Montalvo for the game winner. It was a somewhat sloppy game indicative of two teams coming off of spring break.

St. Cloud would fall behind 2-0 in the game as starting pitcher Logan King failed to retire any of the first five batters he would face to start the game. After allowing two walks and a single to load the bases, King would allow two runs on back-to-back walks to Hudson Moberly and Jose Montalvo.

Relief pitcher Aiden Peguero relieved King and got a pop out and would then get out of the inning on a sensation play from Hampton, who started the game in centerfield. Hampton would chase down and then make a diving catch of Austin Montalvo’s line drive, and followed the catch by doubling off Moberly at second to end the inning.

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Spring Break ending,

student athletes

are Back on the diamond in Osceola County!

With the exception of a few baseball events, spring break shut down most sports in Osceola County last week. But baseball and softball jump back into action this week with a heavy schedule of action around the county.


Most teams were off last week, except Osceola and Harmony who participated in tournaments in Polk and Orange County respectively. The Kowboys had a huge week, going 3-0 in their tournament and finding their offense by scoring 36 runs in beating Inspiration Academy (Bradenton, FL), 12-10; Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), 19-8; and Auburndale, 6-4 to push their record for 7-3 on the season. Jason Ramos (8 for 11, 5 RBI), Nick Palmi (5 for 10, Triple) and Louis Rodriguez (5 for 13, HR) led the way for the Kowboys.

Harmony (4-7) came away with a 1-2 record after playing in the O-Town National Classic, which featured a highly competitive field. The Longhorns lost to state powers The First Academy (5-2) and Apopka (10-2) but came away with an impressive win over Ponderosa (Parker, Colorado) by an 8-5 score. Jhon Peralta went (4-10) and Cade Walter (3 for 9) led Harmony in hitting for the week; while Iziah Santiago (3.2 IP, 1 ER) picked up the pitching win over Ponderosa. Ismael Rivera (3.2 IP, 1 ER) pitched well in the loss to the First Academy.

Osceola County will be busy this week with a full slate of games as they prepare for next week Orange Belt Conference Championship Tournament that will be contested with quarterfinal games on Monday (3/27), semifinal and consolation games on Wednesday (3/29) and Championship and placement games on Friday (3/30).


All county team were idle last week for spring break but several key games are on tap for this week, including big rivalry games this week when Osceola (4-3) hosts St. Cloud (4-3) and Liberty (1-4) travels to Poinciana (4-3) on Tuesday.

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Ken Smith Clays 4 Kids Sporting Clay Classic Raises Support for Education Foundation Osceola County

The Education Foundation’s 3rd annual Clay Shooting event took place last Saturday weekend at the Triple N Shooting Range in east Osceola County, and for first time, the very successful clay shooting fundraiser had a new name, the Ken Smith Clays 4 Kids Sporting Clay Classic.

“The Education Foundation proudly renamed this year’s clays tournament to the Ken Smith Clays 4 Kids Sporting Clays Classic to honor the memory of Ken Smith, past president of the Foundation. This past Saturday, the sporting clays community came out to support Ken’s legacy and the programs that serve the students, teachers, classrooms and families across Osceola County. The event was a huge fundraising success and we felt Ken smiling down on us Saturday.”

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Looking to Plan Your Next Vacation? Check Out Visit Orlando’s Free Vacation Planning Services

Do you find planning vacations difficult?. Well if you do, you’re not alone. Start planning your dream Orlando getaway with the help of Visit Orlando’s complimentary Vacation Planning Services, which includes insider advice and special offers on the best Orlando experiences.

Visit Orlando’s Vacation Planning Services are staffed by friendly, knowledgeable Vacation Planners who are available via telephone, email and live chat. They offer trusted resources and unbiased destination information like tripplanning advice, dining and entertainment options, and more.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/3KQxbE8

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Florida welcomes 137.6 million visitors in 2022, highest in state history

Florida had record visitation in 2022 with 137.6 million visitors, an increase of five percent over 2019 and 12.9 percent over 2021, according to Visit Florida.

Florida welcomed 33.2 million travelers between October and December 2022, marking a six percent increase from Q4 2021, and the sixth consecutive quarter of overall visitation surpassing prepandemic levels. 30.1 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in Q4 2022, representing 21 months of domestic visitation growth from 2019, according to Visit Florida.

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Tesla to build third Central Florida dealership in Kissimmee, more V3 charging stations on the way

Tesla, the world’s most recognizable name in electric vehicle development and manufacturing, looks to be building a dealership in Kissimmee, its third in Central Florida, according to a report in GrowthSpotter.

Currently, there is a dealership located in Maitland/Eatonville, and one being built in Clermont. The proposed third dealership would be located on S. Orange Blossom Trail near Osceola Parkway in Kissimmee on a 5.3-acre site across from the Orange Blossom Plaza.

Tesla, which describes itself as an artificial intelligence and clean energy company, recently announced that it would open 3,500 new and existing superchargers along highways to non-Tesla customers, and would offer 4,000 slower chargers at locations like hotels and restaurants.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/3Z0Qvmd

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Florida Department of Health in Osceola County to Distribute Narcan Nasal Spray kits

The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) is announcing the availability of free Naloxone (Narcan) Nasal Spray kits. This lifesaving medication could reduce thousands of substance abuse deaths across the state.

Naloxone is available to people who use drugs, people with a history of drug use, others at risk of experiencing an overdose, friends, family members, and others who may witness an overdose. Kits consist of two Naloxone nasal sprays that are administered even without a health care professional present.

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Orlando Health Cancer Institute Introduces CAR T-Cell Therapy for Treating Advanced Blood Cancers

Orlando Health Cancer Institute has added CAR T-cell therapy as a new option for treating advanced blood cancers.

CAR T-cell therapy is an immunotherapy that works by harnessing the power of a patient’s immune system to attack tumors. Treatment begins with the collection of the patient’s T-cells, which help protect the body from infection. The T-cells are then sent to a laboratory, where they are genetically re-engineered to produce proteins on their surface called chimeric antigen receptors. The new T-cells are reproduced by the millions in preparation for infusion back into the patient.

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Car accidents can happen in an instant. Even though these crashes happen quickly, recovery is not always quick and easy. A car accident can cause a variety of injuries, including back injuries. Even a minor crash can cause back injuries because the back tends to absorb most of the impact in an accident.

If you have suffered a back injury, seek prompt medical treatment. These injuries can be hard to treat, and sometimes can lead to secondary medical issues, such as hypotension, osteoporosis, pressure ulcers, sleep apnea, bowel problems, urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, and more. Draper Law Office understands how serious a back injury can be. These injuries can be long-lasting and costly to treat. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or by calling their office at (407) 846.0075.

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Draper Law: Even minor car accidents can cause back injuries, don’t wait to seek medical attention

Creative Inspiration Journey School sees continued student growth amid school facility expansion

From the first day that Creative Inspiration Journey School opened its doors in the Fall of 2019, it was easy to see that it wasn’t going to be just another tuition free public charter school, it was focused on creating an environment of learning for its students unlike any other school in the St. Cloud and Osceola communities.

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Making Business better, together


Draper Law: Ten Mistakes to Avoid During Your Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, it can feel like every aspect of your life from where you live to how you are going to support yourself is at risk. At a time like this it is a natural response to be afraid but, if you are not careful, that fear can lead you to make errors which could hurt your case. The good news is that you can avoid mistakes during your divorce.

Knowing what actions to avoid during divorce is critical. Draper Law Office has experience helping clients circumvent mistakes and make the right choices during divorce. Call 407.846.0075 today or go to DraperLawOffice.com to set up your free, no-obligation consultation in one of their three locations: St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and Orlando.

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Country Thunder to roar back to Osceola County in 2023 with Country Music Superstars Keith Urban, Cody Johnson, & Hardy

Buckle up country music fans, Country Thunder Florida has announced that its October 2023 all-star lineup at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee will feature country music superstars Cody Johnson, HARDY, Keith Urban & so many more.

“When you have the world’s greatest country music fans show up the way they did in Florida in 2022, you owe them a follow-up of epic proportions,” says Country Thunder Music Festivals CEO, Troy Vollhoffer. “And we’re making that promise with one of the best lineups from start to finish we’ve had in years. We can’t wait to bring Cody Johnson, HARDY, and Keith Urban to the fans in Florida!”

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Orlando Health: 9 Sneaky Signs of Heart Disease

It’s February – American Heart Month – a time when the nation spotlights heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans. You’re probably familiar with the most common symptoms of heart disease. The one that gets the most attention is chest pain (or angina), which can feel like tightness, pressure, aching or pain in your chest, but heart disease can create a wide range of symptoms, some far less common than others. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Struggling To Breathe While Lying Flat

You may find yourself gasping for breath or otherwise struggling to breathe easily while lying down. You might only be able to sleep by propping yourself up with several pillows. This could be related to fluid buildup in your lungs. If your heart isn’t pumping as strongly as it should be, it will have difficulty keeping your blood flowing, allowing more of it to pool. For some people, this condition – known as orthopnea – may be the only symptom of congestive heart failure.

Legs or Hips Hurt While Walking

If your legs feel fine while resting, but then start hurting or cramping when you go for a walk, it could be a sign of congestion or blockage in your arteries. The pain (claudication) is often a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is caused by the buildup of plaque (fats and cholesterol) on artery walls.

The pain occurs when you become active because your muscles can’t get enough oxygen and nutrients from your clogged arteries. The pain then fades away when you rest. People with PAD are at higher risk of congestive heart failure.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by several things, including diabetes and stress. But it may also be an indicator of heart disease. The root cause is endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the blood vessels have a hard time expanding or contracting the way they’re supposed to. The condition reduces blood flow both to the penis and the heart.

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New Experiences and Returning Favorites

at Walt Disney World Resort Take Center Stage Throughout 2023

Exciting new experiences at Walt Disney World Resort are set to debut this year including one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park, a new restaurant to savor, the continued transformation of EPCOT, returning nighttime spectaculars filling night skies throughout the resort and so much more.

Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Continues

Through March 31

It’s your last chance to experience a party fifty years in the making as the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration will conclude March 31, 2023. Make plans to visit now to see Mickey Mouse and his pals in their EARidescent finery one last time and enjoy all the special sights, tastes and merchandise that mark this momentous event.

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Get ready for oceans of flavor and fun at SeaWorld

Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival

From foodies to families, everyone will find tasty delights among more than 200 distinct offerings and more than 50 fresh global cuisine choices to pair with over 75 refreshing wine and cocktail selections, including more than 75 craft brews at SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival Thursdays -Sundays through May 7.

Revitalize your taste buds as you add a taste of rock, country, Latin, or throwback sounds at SeaWorld’s live music shows, and enjoy even more diverse entertainment and surprises during special times like Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. With so many exquisite flavors to top off exhilarating coasters and extraordinary animal encounters, SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival is a voyage to stir the soul!

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Roundup Rodeo BBQ Brings Even More Toy-Sized Fun to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Beginning March 23

Yee-haw! Andy’s backyard will welcome more toys when Roundup Rodeo BBQ opens in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios March 23. A unique collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney World Food & Beverage, this one-of-akind dining experience will be the first “Toy Story” table service restaurant in the world.

Like all of Toy Story Land, Roundup Rodeo brings to life the stories, characters and heart from the award-winning Disney Pixar “Toy Story” films. It is a place where guests shrink to the size of a toy and feel like they have stepped into a clever, whimsical world filled with beloved toys.

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Island H2O Water Park to reopen with “Selfie Spot Beach” this Spring

This week’s upcoming warm weather will serve as a reminder that it won’t be long before we’ll be looking for some “relief from high temps,” and Island H2O Water Park is inviting everyone to hit the waves as it reopens for its 2023 season, Friday, March 10, with an all-new Instagrammable pop-pop “Selfie Spot Beach.” This is a limited time experience for families to capture the perfect family photo and share on social media.

“We are thrilled to welcome guests back to our water park, just in time for the spring break season,” said Island H2O Water Park Senior Regional Director of Marketing Todd Andrus. “We are constantly working to innovate and create experiences that not only offer value to families but most importantly, that are joyful and memorable for all ages.”

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be confident.

We provide trusted, quality care in your community. At Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, get access to care from an expert and compassionate clinical team for all of your healthcare needs — from emergency services to heart care, surgical services and more — all close to home. Giving you more reasons to choose well. OrlandoHealth.com/StCloud choose well.