Press Release

The Orlando Economic Partnership celebrated its first Barbecue in the Park

“Barbecue in the Park was an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the year ahead and acknowledge all that we’ve accomplished,” Tim Giuliani, the Partnership’s President and CEO.  

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The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) celebrated on Tuesday the signature event Barbecue in the Park, the first major event at Luminary Green Park, the newest City of Orlando signature park, in the heart of downtown at Creative Village. 

The gathering, presented by VyStar Credit Union, and other amazing sponsors like OUC – The Reliable One, welcomed over 1,000 business leaders, elected officials and the Orlando region community. With 14 local food and beverage vendors participating offering the best BBQ, fine selection of beer, wine and spirits, networking, and much more, it was a night to remember.

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The Partnership’s team and board of directors couldn’t be happier nor more grateful for having everyone join under the stars in an evening full of networking with the region’s top community and business leaders along with some of our elected officials. 

Our commitment to advancing broad-based prosperity and building better, stronger communities for everyone is reinforced by gatherings like this one made possible because of you. Bringing our community leaders together to continue building on collaborative efforts is key to our region’s success

Tim Giuliani, the Partnership’s President and CEO

This year’s event, which has been celebrated in the region for more than two decades, built upon over two decades a long-standing history within the organization. It had a big step up enriching our Barbecue in the Park in many ways. 

Attendees enjoyed a new online guide showcasing dozens of food service providers and sponsors, the new venue at Luminary Green Park, elevated guest experiences, including the best offerings by 14 local food and beverage providers offering mouthwatering BBQ, fine wine and spirits. 

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New this year, a new Beer Flight Tasting Experience hosted by Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company and a Bourbon Sipping Bar, a Best in the Park Award for the favorite food service provider selected by attendees’ votes, and music by C’Nergy, a nine-piece band that had everyone dancing and enjoying the night. 

The beer flight tasting experience was hosted by Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company where brand ambassador Nick Catterson guided guests through a journey on the local Orlando Craft Beer scene by trying three unique limited release beers. 

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Each beer was locally brewed and part of a variety of beers that are offered in the taproom at Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company.  The featured beers were Sunset Haze | Brand new Hazy IPA, Masquerade, and | White Stout returning from last year in time for Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, and Guavacation | Berliner Weisse with Guavacation and Raspberry. 

Additional beer, wine & spirits by city beverages offering wines, seltzers and more beer. Also new this year, the Bourbon Sipping Bar where guests were able to learn a little about the history of bourbon, how it’s made and the characteristics while sipping on a sample size pour of bourbon.  Fun fact, Bourbon goes great with BBQ. 

There’s a reason why this event has come to be known as one of the largest and most successful networking events in the region. Hosted at a fantastic location, with fantastic people networking and exchanging ideas and collaboration towards the same goal, broad-based prosperity for all is what makes this Barbecue in the Park such a fantastic event.  

Tony Jenkins, Market President for Florida Blue’s Central Florida region and  the Partnership’s Board Chair

At the end of the night, the Partnership awarded the first annual Best in the Park trophy to the winning food provider. Guests had the chance of trying out all the BBQ around the venue and voted for their favorite food service provider based on food taste and customer service.


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The winner was local restaurant Se7ven Bites who offered a Slow-Roasted Ginger-Lemon Pulled Pork with Cheddar Cheese Sauce and Crispy Onion and their signature Salted Caramel DK Chocolate Pecan Pie Sandwich Bites with Vanilla Bourbon Shave Ice.  

VyStar Credit Union is proud to return as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2023 Barbecue in the Park. We are committed to building better, stronger communities for everyone, and this important event brings together community leaders whose collaborative efforts are important in advancing the Central Florida Region.  

Lysa Barbano Remarks, SVP Market President, VyStar Credit Union  

Barbecue in the Park was an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the year ahead and acknowledge “all that we’ve accomplished through the dedication and leadership of our outstanding board members, investors, world-class staff and every single community and business leader that was part of it,” Giuliani added.