As part of Kickoff week, Orlando City held an event at the Lake Eola amphitheater on Friday, March 6, called "Soccer Under the Stars." You can find images of the evening here. The event kicked off at 6:30 pm with food trucks and kids games and promotional tents set up by Orlando City sponsor companies and organizations. At 7pm the festivities continued with a showing of the 2005 Will Farrell film "Kicking & Screaming" where Farrell plays a mild-mannered suburban father that coaches his son's youth soccer club against the area league's top squad, who is coached by Farrell's character's father, played by Robert Duvall, a local sporting goods magnate.
The crowd was a bit sparse when I arrived a few minutes before 6:30, and it grew a little bit throughout the next hour or so, with several hundred fans milling around, watching the film, and enjoying the beer pavilion that was set up for folks that had pre-registered online. As I was ambling about talking to fellow fans, I ran into an old school friend of mine who was there with his wife and several other members of his supporter group, The Ruckus. After the sun had set, the air turned a bit chilly and breezy, and it wasn't long before my buddy's wife and several of the other women in the group were suggesting we find a place indoors that was a little warmer to enjoy some conversation and celebration.
So the festive group of eight of us wandered over to the Harp & Celt pub on Magnolia Avenue, one of the Orlando City Pub Partners for the 2015 season. We waltzed into the pub and proceeded to paint the place purple with our attire, our laughter, and our cheers for the Mexican League match that was on TV preceding the MLS opening night kickoff between the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire. The barkeep Sean took good care of us tonight and put up with our antics until we trudged off toward our homes and our beds, dreaming of glory for our beloved Lions come Sunday.
I hope to see some of you out tomorrow for the Pub Crawl. Come find me and say hello if you have been reading the blog and following the tweets! I'll let you know where I am as we make our way from pub to pub tomorrow!