Plus, how you can help this horse rescue
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Today's Note
Please excuse our dust. We're currently working to bring you an even better newsletter. Over the next couple weeks, you may see some things that are still in the works. We're excited for you to see what we've been up to.
Eight pies. One winner.
A graphic that says "Lakeland Pizza Bracket"
Who will win this year’s bracket challenge? | Graphic via 6AM City
With the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments underway, we’re joining the fun of bracket competitions with a face-off of our own.

Last year, y’all helped us name the best mural: Gillian Fazio’s Orange Mural. This year, we asked you to share your favorite pizza in Lakeland. Now — thanks to you and the help of a random generator we have the official lineup for our bracket.

A graphic featuring Lakeland pizza spots.

What’s your favorite pizza in Lakeland?


Graphic by 6AM City

Who’s in the running

Going head-to-head in the first round are:
How it works

Beginning today, we will host several voting rounds within our newsletters, Instagram, and Facebook to determine Lakeland’s best pizza. Who moves on is up to you. Vote for your favorites, and the pizza place with more votes moves on. Simple as that. We’ll go until we have a champion, which will be announced later this month. You will be able to vote once per round.

How to participate

Vote for the pizza you’d like to see advance to round two using this poll. You can vote for all four spots or just one. Once we count all the votes, we’ll share an updated bracket and new poll in an upcoming newsletter.

Want to fill out a bracket to see if you can guess who will win? Download and print the image above to take the competition up a notch. If your bracket is correct, send us a photo for a shoutout and bragging rights.

Ready to cheer your “team” to victory? Vote at the button below. ⬇️
Tuesday, March 14
  • Shen Yun | Tuesday, Mar. 14-Wednesday, Mar. 15 | Times vary | RP Funding Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland | $80-$180 | Attend this performance of classical Chinese dance featuring orchestral music, authentic costumes, and interactive backdrops.
  • Spring Break at BSP | Tuesday, March 14-Friday, March 17 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Families can enjoy STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities with a different theme each day.
Wednesday, March 15
  • Green Drinks Lakeland March | Wednesday, Mar. 15 | 6-8:30 p.m. | Brew Hub, 3900 S. Frontage Rd., Lakeland | Free | Network with other professionals interested in sustainability and hear from NuCycle Energy, a coal alternative that uses waste products from landfills.
  • Trivia Night | Wednesday, Mar. 15 | 7-9 p.m. | Union Taproom, 245 W. Central Ave., Ste. 102, Winter Haven | Free | Pour your own drinks and enjoy fresh pizzas at Union Taproom while showing off your general trivia knowledge.
Thursday, March 16
  • Circus Mutt w/Big Baby Bitez | Thursday, Mar. 16 | 6-9 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free | Head to the shores of Lake Wire for live music by Circus Mutt and fresh food from Big Baby Bitez.
  • The Aquarian Market | Thursday, Mar. 16 | 6-10 p.m. | The Yard on Mass, 802 N. Massachusetts Ave., Lakeland | Free | Shop from vegan food vendors while you peruse hand-crafted items at this night market.
Friday, March 17
  • An Evening with Wente Vineyards | Friday, Mar. 17 | 6:30 p.m. | Publix Aprons Cooking School at Lake Miriam Square, 4730 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | $67 | Learn about and sample multiple wines at this demonstration-style cooking class — Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir are on the menu.
  • Spring Piano Concert | Friday, Mar. 17 | 6-7 p.m. | Fellowship Baptist Church, 4625 Cleveland Heights Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Join Eileen Sutton for a piano concert of classical, sacred, and contemporary piano music.
Thursday, March 23
  • Launch Pitch Night | Thursday, Mar. 23 | 6-8 p.m. | Catapult Lakeland, 502 E Main St, Lakeland | Free | Come experience Catapult’s version of Shark Tank as finalists pitch their business and answer judges’ questions in an effort to win a $10,000 Launch Micro Grant.*

We have a calendar filled with events and activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.

Click here to have your event featured.
The Word
What is an SBA loan?
J. Kevin Riffey has specialized in SBA Lending since 1997 and is experienced in establishing SBA programs. | Photo provided by Bank of Central Florida
SBA loans are business loan programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, with two primary programs:
  • 7a — used for a wide range of financing
  • 504 used for long-term asset acquisition + refinancing
Have we lost you in the lingo? Bank of Central Florida’s SBA team can help — thanks to decades of experience processing SBA loans.

Bonus: Since Bank of Central Florida is a community bank, all underwriting, decision making + processing is done locally, which means money in your pocket faster. 💸 *

News Notes

  • 74º | Partly cloudy | 0% chance of rain
  • The story behind Bartow’s LB Brown House was featured on Fox13 Tampa Bay. Lawrence Bernard Brown was born into slavery in 1856. By 1892, he had become a free man, built a charming Frame Vernacular house, and become known as a “leading citizen” in the area. (Fox 13 News)
  • Before the 12-time Grammy Award-winning artist sold out Raymond James Stadium, Taylor Swift played at the Strawberry Festival in 2009. Whether you’re preparing for the Eras Tour or you’re already daydreaming about Strawberry Fest 2024, check out our Strawberry Festival history account here. (WFTS)
  • ART/ifact Studios, VOLUME Art, and others are hosting a unique gallery experience this summer. The organizations are seeking vendors of all mediums — from 2D to 3D art, film, and more. Applicants must be over the age of 18. Learn more about the “strange and subversive” event online.
  • Head to Polk County’s only drive-in theater right here in Lakeland. This week, you can catch “Scream VI,” “Smile” “Jumanji (1995),” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “DC League of Super Pets” will play from Friday, March 17-Thursday, March 23.
  • 65%. That’s how much of the season’s growth Larry Black, a fifth-generation Florida citrus grower, expects to see after industry disaster recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian. In total, the storm caused $1.03 billion dollars in industry losses for Florida citrus producers. (The Ledger)
  • Plant City’s RVR Horse Rescue has reached its capacity. The volunteer-powered organization relies on donations from the community to save former family horses from starvation. You can learn about donations, volunteering, and even adopting a rescue horse online. (WFTS)
  • Getting adjusted to daylight saving time? Take a sip from one of our coffee partners. Try Midnight Oil from Blanchard’s Coffee or Organic Matcha from Matcha Nude. We’re already feeling refreshed. ☕
  • Prepping for St. Paddy’s Day? Cabbage, sausages, Guinness, potatoes, and more are on sale this week at Publix GreenWise Market. 🍀 *
  • Celebrate Pi Day today with a slice of gluten-free Key Lime pie from Ax Caliber or a pie-filling topped treat from Rita’s Italian Ice. If you can’t make it happen today, no worries. Place a pre-order for a honey lemon pie croissant from Born & Bread Bakehouse and enjoy it tomorrow.
  • Summer travel is just around the corner. On our radar: this mid-century modern stay in Martha’s Vineyard. For something a little more tropical, our pick is this seaside cottage in St. John. If international travel is calling your name, this charming home along the French Riviera is for you.*
Take me out to the ball game ⚾️
Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 2.24.55 PM
Henley Field in Lakeland (1965) | Photo via the Lakeland Public Library
We’re already halfway through the 2023 home game schedule. Today, the Tigers are facing off against the Red Sox. Here’s the rest of the home game schedule:
  • March 14 | Red Sox
  • March 16 | Phillies
  • March 17 | Yankees
  • March 20 | Blue Jays
  • March 22 | Braves
  • March 24 | Pirates
  • March 26 | Rays
Now that you can plan for the future, let’s peer into the past of the longest-standing relationship between a team and its host spring city in the Major Leagues (read: 87 years long).

1934 | Lakeland invited the Detroit Tigers to come train for a year, trying to fill a baseball-sized economic hole in its heart. The team ended up signing a 37-year contract to stay in LAL.

1963 | Detroit added Lakeland to its farming system, changing its name to The Lakeland Tigers.

2014 | The Tigers agreed to train in Lakeland for 20 years, marking what will be a 100-year relationship by 2036.
The Wrap
Rilee-Delgado-Headshot-LAL Today’s Edition By:
From the Editor
Spring break is here, but unfortunately, red tide has infiltrated many of our favorite west coast beaches. While we wait for officials to give the all-clear, you can find us getting some fresh air and sun at one of Lakeland’s 70+ parks.
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