Lakelanders know there’s no place like home. | Photo by @raelinmonet
When you live somewhere like Lakeland, it’s always a “beautiful day in the neighborhood.” Our city has ~100 vibrant and diverse communities, from Camphor Heights to Gladys Leggett to Lake Miriam. Here’s how to do some good in the neighborhood you call home.
Know your neighborhood
First, check your address to see which neighborhood you live in if you’re not sure. You can see the boundaries of each one on this map. (Note: Not all homes fall within the bounds of a neighborhood, including those outside of city limits.)
Get involved with your neighborhood association
Over 30 communities in Lakeland have neighborhood associations — groups that work to organize residents, advocate for their communities, and plan activities. Select your neighborhood to see your association’s leadership and meeting schedules.
New Art — A Galactic View | Friday, May 26 | 7-9 p.m. | Painting with a Twist, 3670 Harden Blvd., Lakeland | $39 | You’ve never seen a scene quite like this in Lakeland, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look at it every day — bring your own refreshments to the guided painting workshop.
Jerk Fest | Friday, May 26 | 7-10 p.m. | Union Hall, 1023 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | $10-$15 | Celebrate Jamaican culture with reggae music by DJ Plug and food by Our Noire Kitchen.
Saturday, May 27
Cars + Coffee | Saturday, May 27 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | The Joinery, 640 E. Main St., Lakeland | Free entry | Grab a cup of joe and show off your ride or browse other cars.
STEM in the Park | Saturday, May 27 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Explore topics in science, technology, engineering, and math in the Nature Center Classroom — this month’s topic is chemical reactions.
HB Jazz Trio at Swan Brewing | Sunday, May 28 | 2-5 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free entry | Calling all jazz fans — hear HB Jazz play live and grab a bite from Feasts of Persia.
Film: “Interstellar” | Sunday, May 28 | 4 p.m. | Polk Theatre, 139 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | $5 | See this 2014 science fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan on the big screen.
Monday, May 29
Memorial Day Tribute | Monday, May 29 | 10-11 a.m. | Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 2125 Bartow Hwy., Lakeland | Free | Honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice at this tribute featuring an address from Congressman Scott Franklin and a complimentary lunch catered by 2nd Hand Smoke.
Memorial Day Celebration | Monday, May 29 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Lakeland Harley Davidson, 4202 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland | Free | This Memorial Day commemoration will feature a free BBQ cookout, DJ, vendors, and used bike tent sale.
Tuesday, May 30
Molly’s Musicians Showcase | Tuesday, May 30 | 9 p.m. | Molly McHugh’s Irish Pub, 111 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland | Free entry | Support local musicians at this free open mic night.
Community members met this week to discuss issues surrounding those experiencing homelessness in Lakeland. Speakers from the Lakeland Police Department, Lakeland Regional Health, and Feed My Sheep CFL shared about police involvement, mental health, and public feedings in Munn Park. (The Ledger)
No. 225. That’s where Publix Super Markets ranked on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers For New Grads. The 300 companies on the list were selected based on salary, benefits, advancement opportunities, and other employee-reported metrics. (Forbes)
United Way of Central Florida celebrated community members who give back at its 2023 Annual Celebration. Brian and Tammi Haas won the Philanthropist of the Year award, and Barney Barnett was chosen as Citizen of the Year.
Polk Vision recently chose Peace River Center to receive the Spirit of Leadership Polk Award. Peace River Center was chosen for this award due to the local leadership opportunities it creates and its work to support community members.
86,580. That’s how many acres of land the state has protected through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. This now includes Frostproof’s G-3 Ranch, a 3,634-acre farm purchased for $10.7 million to protect it from development. (The Ledger)
Some Polk communities are still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Ian. Winter Haven’s Hurricane Ian Disaster Recovery program has $95,000 left for qualified homeowners. Polk’s Director of Emergency Management Paul Womble emphasizes having a plan this year, especially for those in flood-prone areas like the Peace River. (WFTS)
Bartow and Green Mills Group will soon begin negotiations over the East End Catalyst Area. This downtown residential development is planned for land around a former cigar factory, which the Bartow CRA spent $1 million to acquire. Want to get involved? The Bartow CRA is seeking a new director. (The Ledger)
Polk State Volleyball Coach Dayanna Barbosa will host two Train 2 Compete camps this summer. Athletes ages 10-16 can learn volleyball skills from Polk State players and coaches from July 18-20 or July 25-27.
Plant City High School valedictorian Tina Kumar has set the school record for grade point average with an 11.0 GPA. Her older sisters Simran and Monica were also top graduates, earning GPAs of 9.64 and 8.03, respectively. Tina’s plan is to attend USF and work in healthcare administration. (Fox 13 News)
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It’s your time to get out on the dance floor. | Photo by @rosesarefred
Looking for even more places to flaunt your fancy footwork? Try these recommendations from our readers.
Dancin’, 1112 S. Florida Ave. Mary Dague has been teaching social dancing in Lakeland since 1990. Visit her studio or the Kelly Rec Complex for lessons, and join the Fellowship of Ballroom Dancers for social dancing.
Wild Greg’s Saloon, 4951 Hwy. 98 N. Do the boot scootin’ boogie to this saloon on Friday nights for line dancing instruction from 7:30-9 p.m. and plenty of dancing afterward.
Magnolia Building, 702 E. Orange St. Older adults are invited to the Lakeland Senior Dance and Social Club on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Couples and single dancers can join the Four Seasons dance events on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m.