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Celebrate Mister Rogers' Week of Kindness here in Central Florida

Today, Monday March 20 would have been the acclaimed and much loved children's TV host and American icon, Fred Rogers' – also known as Mister Rogers, 95th birthday.


Mister Rogers loved Central Florida, and here in the Orlando area, there's a week of free public events inspired by Mister Rogers for the inaugural year of Mister Rogers' Week of Kindness.


Mister Rogers' Week of Kindness Orlando

Fred Rogers was an icon of kindness and encouragement for many Americas while they were growing up, from the start of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in October 1966 until the airing of the final episode on August 31, 2001. His famous sweaters, gentle teachings and catchy tunes captivated and affirmed our evolving personalities, as he told us that we “made today a special day, just by being you”.


Many Central Floridians are unaware of Fred Rogers’ devotion to, and love of, the Central Florida community. First arriving here in 1948 to tour the Rollins Campus as a possible transfer student from Dartmouth, it was on the tarmac of today’s Orlando Executive Airport that Fred met another Tar student who would later become his wife, Joanne Byrd. Fred and Joanne’s son John, Fred’s sister Elaine, and her son Dan would also subsequently become students at the Winter Park college.


More importantly, the Rogers fell in love with Central Florida and returned each January for Fred to write scripts and music when working on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, authoring and composing about half of the content for the TV program here locally.


Fred’s shows taught millions the values of being kind to our neighbors, to loving ourselves and those around us, and to the human need and benefit of being a part of a neighborhood of inter-connected, yet diverse, people…every one of who was special in their own way. Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is an opportunity to reflect back on those messages, and introduce others to world of Mister Rogers, through a series of activities and events in the Orlando area hosted by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.


Mister Rogers' Week of Kindness Orlando

Please note that all events are free to the public, but require and advance reservation as each event is capacity controlled.


Remembering the Rogers Afternoon Tea

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023, 2:00pm–4:00pm

Venue: Woman’s Club of Winter Park

Join friends and colleagues of part-year Winter Park residents Fred and Joanne Rogers and we share warm stories and favorite memories of our former Winter Park Neighbors. Tea and light refreshments are included. There are very limited seats for this event.



Prayer Breakfast of Thanksgiving and Celebration

Date: Friday, March 24, 2023, 8:00am–9:30am

Venue: First Baptist Church of Orlando

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood cast member and close personal friend of Fred Rogers, David Newell, headlines a discussion with Pastor Seth Kane of The Foundry (and author of the sermon series “The Gospel According to Fred”) as they share their observations, near and from a distance, as to how Mister Rogers lived out his faith as we celebrate an extraordinary life of faithfulness. This event is being held at First Baptist Church of Orlando, and due to the generosity of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.

Breakfast is included courtesy of Panera Bread.



Our Winter Park Neighbor Lunch and Learn with David Newell (Mr. McFeely)

Date: Friday, March 24, 2023, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Venue: Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

Join the cast and crew of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Original Orlando Tours for a fascinating look at Fred Rogers’ life, his years of time spent in Winter Park, how Winter Park played a critical role in the success and creation of episodes of the television show, and the legacy left behind by Fred and the rest of his family who also were a part of the fabric of the Winter Park community. Lunch is generously provided by Chick-Fil-A.



Inside the Neighborhood: Episode Clip Screening with Cast and Crew Q&A Talkback

Date: Friday, March 24, 2023, 6:00pm–8:00pm

Venue: Winter Park Library

Take a peek behind the scenes of some landmark episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with show producer Margy Whitmer, Mr. McFeely cast member David Newell, and Hedda Sharapan, Senior Fellow (The Fred Rogers Institute) and Child Development Consultant (Fred Rogers Productions). Light reception follows the presentation.



Meet and Greet with Mr. McFeely at Taste of Oviedo

Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:00am-1:00pm

Venue: Original Orlando Tours booth at Taste of Oviedo in the Oviedo Mall

Come visit with our favorite Speedy Delivery man, Mr. McFeely (David Newell) at Taste of Oviedo. Get a selfie or pick up with an autographed photo from the man who was at Mister Rogers’ side from the very first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.


No tickets required! Look for the Original Orlando Tours booth.


For more information, visit www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com


Mister Rogers' Week of Kindness Orlando

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