Plus, a solar racecar
November 15, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

83º | Partly cloudy | 10% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:54 a.m. | Sunset 5:33 p.m.

Raise your glass to a local cause
Lake Mirror at night | Photo via @kyleomedia
Salt or sugar? You decide this month at the 36th Annual Lakeland Margarita Ball.

While there will definitely be margaritas to enjoy, this annual event really centers around assisting Polk County’s children during the holiday season. Keep reading for everything you need to know about supporting the cause.


The overarching goal of the event is to supply holiday gifts to children in need this season. Monetary donations can be made online.

Bringing a toy

If you choose to attend, be sure to bring an unwrapped toy valued at $15+ for a child in need. Looking for inspiration? Here are a few ideas:

Purchasing a ticket

Tickets for the event may be purchased online, starting at $45 per person. This year, ticket and sponsorship options include:
  • Single ticket — $45
  • Bike sponsor (two tickets) — $175
  • Toy Box Friends sponsor (four tickets) — $500
  • Santa’s Helpers sponsor (eight tickets) — $1,000
  • Group tickets in packages of 20, 25, or 40+
If you’d prefer not to purchase a ticket online, you can also buy them at Tuckers’ Southside Package and Lounge (1122 S. Florida Ave.). Tickets purchased at the doors of the event will be sold for $80.

What to expect

  • The event takes place on Saturday, Nov. 18, 8-11 p.m.
  • The festivities will occur at the Frances Langford Promenade (121 S. Lake Ave.).
  • Entertainment by the band MPiRE will be on-site.
  • Along with live music, there will also be complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer, and of course, margaritas.
  • While the event is listed as a “ball,” the dress code is casual, unless you feel like whipping out your three-piece suit or ball gown, of course.
  • Attendees of this event must be 21+.
Want to learn more about what you can expect? Check out photos of previous events.
Wednesday, Nov. 15
  • Yoga Wine Tasting | Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 6-7 p.m. | Keel Farms, 5202 Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City | $10 | Learn about the featured wine during this 50-minute guided yoga practice — registration includes the class and the wine.
  • Live Trivia w/ SB&B Food Truck | Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free entry | Show what you know with trivia led by Hold On I Know This.
Thursday, Nov. 16
  • A Song Around the World, Volume II | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7:30-9 p.m. | Branscomb Auditorium at Florida Southern College, 1100 Johnson Ave., Lakeland | $0-$10 | Enjoy music from around the world performed by the FSC Concert Choir — free for FSC faculty, staff, and students.
Friday, Nov. 17
  • Lakeside Village Cruise-In Nights | Friday, Nov. 17 | 5-8:30 p.m. | Lakeside Village, 1479 Town Center Dr., Lakeland | Free | Head to the parking lot near Gaskins Barbecue and Lobster to view classic + modern cars, meet other car enthusiasts, and rev up your weekend.
Saturday, Nov. 18
  • Mind, Body, Movement: Kids Yoga | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 9-10 a.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Kids ages 5 and up are invited to bring their own mat or blanket to the Allen & Company Family Lawn for yoga — parent participation is encouraged.
  • Scream Into The Void | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 9-10:10 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free entry | Try Swan Brewing’s new beer “Screaming Into The Void” and take part in a cathartic group scream.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • 1:2,000. That’s the ratio of primary care providers to patients in Polk County, compared to 1:1,000 in other counties. LRH’s new Kathleen Campus houses its Graduate Medical Education program, which is currently training 70 medical residents. As physicians graduate and, potentially, stay local, that gap could close. (WFTS)
  • Early walk-in voting for the City of Lakeland’s runoff municipal election this December will be held from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. Learn more about early voting locations and voting by mail online.
  • Peruse jobs in logistics, IT, healthcare, education, and other fields from 45+ employers at the Fall Job Fair on Thursday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. Veterans get early entry beginning at 9 a.m. Register and preview employers. (The Ledger)
  • Florida Poly’s 30-member racing team is working on a solar-powered racecar. Last year, the team built its first version — now, it’s working on a new model to take to the Formula Sun Grand Prix next summer. Other teams attending include MIT and Berkeley. Support the team online.
  • Bandidas is opening its brick-and-mortar storefront at 1755 E. Edgewood Dr. this January. As for what you can expect, owners Gabriella and Giovanna Favilli-Vigoreaux plan to sell baked goods Wednesday-Sunday. Breakfast, lunch, and grab + go options will soon be enjoyed indoors or on the patio. (LkldNow)
The Word
  • Romp. That’s what a group of otters is called, unless they’re in the water, in which case you can call them a raft. Wondering where we’re going with this one? A romp (or, technically, a raft) of otters was spotted playfully teasing an alligator in Lake Hollingsworth last weekend. (WFLA)
  • A unique Polk County stocking stuffer is back on the market: Sheriff on a Shelf, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s take on the popular Elf on a Shelf tradition. Purchase yours for $20 at these locations. Purchases are cash-only — proceeds go to Polk Sheriff’s Charities. (WFLA)
  • Say goodbye to fillers and weird ingredients in your dog’s food. Get 50% off your pup’s first order of Nom Nom for fresh, recognizable ingredients they’ll love.*
🍹 Mocktails are having their moment
A lemon mocktail.
Enjoy the fun flavors of a cocktail when you try a mocktail instead. | Photo via Pexels
Now more than ever, data shows that consumers are experimenting with what it means to be “sober curious.” The result has been a spike in sales of non-alcoholic beverages and a declining interest in alcoholic drinks.

Thinking of going zero-proof this holiday season? Here are a few stand-out stats:
  • Total dollar sales of non-alcoholic beverages grew by 20.6% between August 2021 and 2022. Non-alcoholic beer accounted for 85.3% of those sales.
  • 36% of US consumers reported to have “lost interest in drinking alcohol in general” while 13% reported to be “interested in alternative non-alcoholic beverages.”
  • Sales of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits rose from 0.22% of total alcohol sales in the US in 2018 to 0.47% in 2022.
  • Global Market Share predicts that the non-alcoholic drinks market will grow to $30 billion by 2025.
Wanna know where you can enjoy a mocktail in Lakeland? Click below for six spots we love.
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    The Wrap
    Rilee-Delgado-Headshot-LAL Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    Whether you’re sipping a traditional margarita at this month’s ball or looking for alcohol-free options this year, use our happy hour guide to find your new favorite bev. Pro tip: Check out the interactive map at the bottom to plan a happy hour crawl.
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