Thousands descend to downtown Orlando after the city hosts several large events concurrently

Events come as Orlando advances its Project DTO 2.0

ORLANDO, Fla. – Downtown Orlando saw thousands of people Saturday after the city hosted several large-scale events in hopes of getting results for residents, tourists, and businesses.

“I am excited, we only see each other once or twice a year,” said Ashley Colon who News 6 saw embrace her friend Stephanie Rodriguez.

Rodriguez coming from Clermont was one of the hundreds taking advantage of the SunRail offering free rides Saturday.

The company tweeting it experienced delays due to the high volume of people, but Rodriguez says while the train was packed, it was appreciated.

“I’m excited, " Rodriguez said. “That it’s open on a weekend, because it gives access for us to hang out and enjoy downtown and places that we may not have normally go to.”

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The free rides Saturday for SunRail are just one of many events and attractions that brought people to the downtown areas – all this comes as Orlando advances its DTO 2.0 experience. The year-long effort is “focused on driving actionable changes to the streets, civic spaces, mobility options, and neighborhoods to promote a thriving downtown,” according to its website.

It’s an action plan where city officials say they hope to get results not only for families, but to bring more business to the downtown areas.

“They’re trying to promote all the great stuff that’s happening in Orlando,” said Jeff Farley, who is a DJ with Orlando’s Downtown Development Board.

He says from the Monster Truck Jam at the Camping World Stadium, to Orlando City playing at Exploria Stadium, to Blake Shelton at the Amway Center, there is plenty to see and do.

The move to highlight downtown Orlando comes after the area saw shootings and fights leading to increased security checkpoints, and even a moratorium on new nightclubs.

Farley noted he has seen more security monitoring crowds.

“They’re here, their presence is obvious... no matter who you are, that’s the other thing this city is so inclusive that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you want to do, you’re safe,” said Farley.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.