Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week

Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week
Photo by James Minchin

Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 12-14

Sanford Oktoberfest


Short of flying to Germany, Oktoberfest celebrations don't get much more authentic than the one at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Cafe. The three-day event kicks off with Sanford's Alive After 5 Street Festival, with live music, food and craft beer from local vendors. Hollerbach's keeps the party going on Friday and Saturday with giant pretzels, savory bratwurst and boots of German beer. Admission and parking is free, but if you actually want to take part in any of the festivities, you'll need to purchase pre-sale tickets since no cash or cards will be accepted at the event (just "Hollerbucks"). As a bonus, ticket packages also include specialty pins or T-shirts from the restaurant's outfitter store. So gear up and get ready to get your drink on at Hollerbach's, girl. – Nicole Dudenhoefer

5-8 p.m. Thursday, 6-11 p.m. Friday, 2-11 p.m. Saturday | Magnolia Square, East First Street and Magnolia Avenue, Sanford | 407-835-7323 | | $15-$60

Thursday, Oct. 12

The Growlers


In the modern indie-rock world, being genre-less has become a subgenre all its own. Throw just about any description at California's weirdo art band the Growlers and it'll probably stick. Like Donnie and Marie, they're a little bit country and a little bit rock & roll ... and a little bit of everything else, too. "Beach Goth" is the term that most often sticks and, in fact, the band has been putting on an annual festival under that same moniker since 2012. They've got the Strokes' Julian Casablancas producing songs for 'em, a cult following that has fans comparing singer Brooks Nielsen to fellow drunken poet Jim Morrison, and they scored the on-hiatus Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a headliner for their two-day Growlers Six Festival later this month. Those juicy facts alone should pique your interest enough to hightail it to the Plaza Live to see for yourself. – Jen Cray

7 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $25-$39.50

Thursday, Oct. 12

Hundred Waters


Though they call Los Angeles home now, electronic innerspace trippers Hundred Waters are Florida through and through, having got their start in Orlando and released early recordings on Gainesville imprint Elestial Sound. They've come a long way since then, captivating a much wider audience, organizing and curating the impeccable FORM Arcosanti festival, and even signing with Skrillex's OWSLA label. New album Communicating, recorded in an abandoned church in Detroit, is their most captivating and expansive suite of songs yet. But the real proof of these evolutions and transformations will be on display – along with a riot of lights and colors – when they play this Social show, one of only two Florida dates. – Matthew Moyer

with Kelsey Lu | 7 p.m. | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $15

Thursday, Oct. 12

Popcorn Flicks in the Park:The Blob


Pop-cultural immortality would be owed The Blob (1958) merely for its jaunty main-title sequence and that iconic, later-arriving shot of a marauding mass of Jell-O oozing out of every window and door of a besieged movie theater. But look beyond such cheap thrills, and what you have is actually a fairly credible intergenerational drama, with a young Steve McQueen and his teen pals forming an uneasy alliance with a bunch of older squares to rid their town of a menace from space. (Go easy on those cops and parents, Steve: They fought a world war for ya.) It's kind of a low-rent Rebel Without a Cause, but with homicidal goo. A few years later, kids McQueen's age would be shipped off to 'Nam, and the Blob would move on to bedeviling Larry Hagman. Hey, you don't always get to pick your battles. – Steve Schneider

8 p.m. | Central Park, 150 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park | | free

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15

Serb Fest


iveli! Drinking and dancing, cevapcici and pljeskavica – it's the annual Serb Fest! Hosted on the site of the still-under-construction St. Petka's Orthodox Church, the festival promises three days to celebrate Serbian music, cuisine and culture. Expect fare to include cheesy gibanica cakes, pecenje spit roasts and the homemade sweets of the ladies of St. Petka's Parish. (As per Orthodox tradition, fish takes the place of other meats on Fridays.) Also hailing from the parish is the Serbian Crown Dance Ensemble; you can catch them, along with all of the show's other performers, on all three days of Serb Fest. – Brian Leng

6-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday | St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church, 1990 Lake Emma Road, Longwood | 407-831-7372 | | free

Saturday, Oct. 14

Big Gay Brunch


What better way to gear up for Pride weekend than with Orlando's biggest pre-parade brunch? Big Gay Brunch includes a brunch spread with bottomless mimosas, a Bloody Mary bar and blended drinks from Licor 43. This year, the event features music by DJ Erik Armiliato and other performances, along with raffle prizes. The event benefits Pride Gives Back, a Come Out With Pride initiative that provides other small organizations like the Barber Fund and Libby's Legacy with grants, so you can brunch for a good cause. – Hind Berji

noon-3 p.m. | The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive | | $45

Saturday, Oct. 14

Kali Uchis


Torchy Colombian-American singer-songwriter Kali Uchis came out of seemingly nowhere with the surprisingly self-assured debut mixtape Drunken Babble in 2012, released when she was 18. On the strength of that and a few well-placed YouTube performances, Uchis was suddenly collaborating with Snoop Dogg on the track "On Edge" in 2014. Uchis kept the creative pace relentless, quickly releasing the Por Vida album in 2015, with production work from heavies like Diplo and Tyler, the Creator. Now she's got an album about to be dropped by Interscope, which is definitely going to hip the unaware to Uchis, who is remolding classic and modern neo-soul, hip-hop and pop sounds in her own singular image. Because of high demand, this show has been bumped up from the Social to the Beacham. That, along with the news that Uchis will be opening dates on Lana Del Rey's 2018 tour, is clear evidence that there's something big going on here. Get in on this early. – Matthew Moyer

with Phony Ppl | 7 p.m. | The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave. | | 407-246-1419 | $20

Sunday, Oct. 15

Willie Nelson & Family


One of the most hands-down beloved and legendary figures in country music rolls through town as part of a truly never-ending tour. The (not quite) Red-Headed Stranger is touring behind his newest release, God's Problem Child, but the man has a lifetime of classics to draw from. Willie Nelson has lived a multitude of lives in his storied career: outlaw country mainstay, Highwaymen anchor, songwriter to the stars, beloved Taco Bell pitchman, concept (and Xmas) album maestro, and duet partner to both Ray Charles and the Great Gonzo. The chance to see an icon of this stature in such an intimate theater venue (instead of, like, an enormodome or outdoor fair stage) is not to be missed. – Matthew Moyer

8 p.m. | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | | $59.50-$323


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