Plus, Miss Piggy in the sky with NOAA
November 17, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

77º | Light thunderstorms and rain | 90% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:20 a.m. | Sunset 5:49 p.m.

Celebrate Turkey Day the Swan City way
An overhead shot of Bandidas' Concord Grape + Apple pie
Bandidas’ concord grape and apple pie is sure to please any crowd.|Photo by @bandidas_lkld
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, you may be planning your Thanksgiving day meal.

We’ve got you covered with a list of local options to build a four-course meal for the entire family. Maybe 2023 could be the year you host an entire Thanksgiving without needing to cook a single thing.

  • Charcuterie board from Sabrina’s Delicacies | Enjoy expertly arranged boards with meats, cheeses, fruits, and sweets.
  • Platters from Publix | Whether your guests are carnivores, vegetarians, sweet tooths, or a combination of these, there’s a Publix platter to please your crowd.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Hash from Frescos Southern Kitchen & Bar | Mix up your traditional sweet potato dish with this option — mashed sweet potatoes are also available.
  • Mac ‘n cheese from Mojo Federal | This creamy dish is covered in crunchy breadcrumbs.
The Main Event
  • Smoked Spatchcock Turkey and Gravy from Our Noire Kitchen | This spot really does it all. Place your order for pick-up at Catapult — other menu items include roasted herb chicken, classic sides, and desserts.
  • Honey Baked Turkey from Honey Baked Ham | Choose from smoked, roasted, or cajun birds. Pro tip: These come frozen, so give yourself plenty of time to thaw before baking.
  • Pies and cheesecake from Born and Bread Bakehouse | Order a classic 10-inch pumpkin, brown butter apple, pecan, or a gluten-free + vegan tart cherry pie. Not in the mood for pie? Order a whole burnt basque cheesecake.
  • Pies and pastries from Bandidas | Looking for pies? The brown butter espresso pecan and spiced plum crumble top our list. Aside from pies, Bandidas is offering pumpkin olive oil cakes with maple glaze, pistachio frangipane + pear galettes, breads, and scones.

    There’s more where that came from — check out our full list of Thanksgiving dessert options.
Note: Make sure you check order deadlines at each establishment and place orders early — supplies may run out.
This Thanksgiving, are you cooking or ordering from the pros?

A. I’m tying my apron — I like to do it myself.
B. Let me get my credit card — I’ll leave it to the pros this year.
Friday, Nov. 17
  • Lakeside Village Cruise-In Nights | Friday, Nov. 17 | 5-8:30 p.m. | Lakeside Village, 1479 Town Center Dr., Lakeland | Free entry | Head to the parking lot near Gaskins Barbecue and Lobster to view classic + modern cars, meet other car enthusiasts, and rev up your weekend.
  • Plant City Pig Jam | Friday, Nov. 17-Saturday, Nov. 18 | Times vary | Gordon Food Service, 1401 Gordon Food Service Dr., Plant City | Free entry | Try food from amateur and professional teams competing to be the best barbecuers — bring $10 cash for parking.
Saturday, Nov. 18
  • CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 4 p.m. | RP Funding Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland | $32-$102 | Get a head start on the holiday season with this performance packed with acrobatics and circus acts.
  • 36th Annual Margarita Ball | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 8-11 p.m. | Frances Langford Promenade, 121 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland | $45-$80 | Bring an unwrapped toy and enjoy live music, snacks, and margaritas — this event benefits local charity organizations, must be 21+ to attend.
Sunday, Nov. 19
  • John Frinzi w/ Gin Khao | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 2-5 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free entry | Celebrate Shoreline Saturday with local artist John Frinzi and signature Thai cuisine from Gin Khao Food Truck.
  • Swan City Jazz Jamz | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 5 p.m. | The Back Nine, 124 S. Tennessee Ave., Lakeland | $10 | Enjoy live jazz at this donation-based musical event — a recommended donation is $10.
Click here to have your event featured.
Get drive-thru coffee with 2 pumps of fun at happyfastdelicious
happyfastdelicious offers hundreds of flavor combinations — thanks in part to a menu filled with customer + employee creations.|Photos provided by happyfastdelicious
What do you do when your strengths are contagious energy and a consistent smile? Open a coffee shop that offers a creative, customizable drink experience and a “Muppets meets caffeine” vibe, of course.

That’s what Andrew Nesi did when he recently opened happyfastdelicious — a drive-thru coffee shop that gives Lakelanders an energetic array of party-in-a-cup coffees, seltzers, sodas, energy drinks, and more.

Some of the drinks that have us talking:
News Notes
  • Visions Resort & Spa is coming to the Davenport area on Osceola Polk Line Road. When the $117 million development opens in five years, guests will be able to rent condos, townhomes + luxury homes for $300-$500 per day. A public water park and retail area are also in the plans. (WFLA)
  • Are you a scientist, engineer, or professional working in the sciences? See if you qualify to be one of 300 judges at the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida next April in Lakeland. Over 800 Florida students will compete for $1.2 million in scholarships, internships, and awards. (The Ledger)
  • Commercial real estate broker Dean Saunders has been brokering transactions for land conservation for decades. Most recently, Saunders brokered a $10.7 million conservation easement deal with the state and Midway Farms. Learn more about Saunders’ work in conservation, from legislation to real estate. (The Ledger)
  • Toxic exposure screening, benefit claims assistance, and health education — these are just a few services available at Vet Fest on Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Pro tip: Bring your DD-214 form and ID to the free event at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. (LkldNow)
  • 3,500. That’s how many meals kidsPACK delivers each week to Polk schools. The Florida Southern College men’s tennis team volunteered with the organization recently, and more volunteers are always needed. Sign up to pack meals for kids in need — it makes a great corporate, family, or social outing. (WTSP)
  • Miss Piggy plays a vital role in helping National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pilots navigate storm centers. And no, we don’t mean the Muppet. The Lakeland NOAA’s P-3 Orion aircraft was built in 1976. It’s undergone updates but maintains some original features — take a peek inside the aircraft. (WTSP)
  • Ho ho hoping for a holiday experience the family won’t forget? Get free family photos and meet Mr. + Mrs. Claus at Lakeside Village on Saturdays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16. Registration is required. Act fast, spots are running out quickly.
  • Celebrate National Take a Hike Day this Saturday, Nov. 17 by hitting one of the trails featured on our hiking guide. Pro tip: Make sure you wear sturdy shoes, unpaved trails may be muddy after this week’s rain.
  • You know you gotta work — might as well work in one of today’s most consistently in-demand professions. Enter the healthcare field as a Registered Nurse, Travel Nurse + more with Southeastern University’s new two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Bonus: Classes take place in the evening and weekends (great for working adults).*
  • Need the perfect holiday gift for your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend? This brand has you covered with all the gifts and stocking stuffers that men will actually use. (Plus, they’re all 25% off during the Black Friday Sale, happening now.)*
🎈 Plenty of places to play all day
When in doubt, take the kids to Lake Mirror to see birds.|Photo via @thehikerdad
Looking to entertain the kids in your life this weekend? This Saturday is stacked with kid-friendly events in Swan City.

Mind, Body, Movement: Kids Yoga, Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd.

Bring kids ages 5 and up to the Allen & Company Family Lawn for a free yoga class from 9 to 10 a.m.

Kids’ DIY-U Workshop, Lowe’s Home Improvement, 3600 N. Rd. 98

Crafty kids can build a DIY turkey photo holder at this free festive workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kid’s Fishing Clinic, Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd.

Young anglers can hone fishing skills from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at this free workshop — adult supervision is required.

Family Class! — Jingle Llama Way, Painting with a Twist, 3670 Harden Blvd.

Get into the holiday spirit at this guided painting class from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tickets range from $27 to $29.
The Buy
A great deal from Amazon’s Black Friday sales, which officially start today. Get 40% off Adidas running shoes or 20% off Martha Stewart cotton sheets.
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