Plus, $33 million for Flying Tigers
November 20, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

81º | Mostly sunny | 10% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:53 a.m. | Sunset 5:33 p.m.

Nominate a nonprofit to win free advertising in the second Publix Giveback Giveaway
LAL.TBAY-Publix Giveback Giveaway 2-11.20.2023.jpg
Publix has a heart for the Florida community, supporting organizations that focus on youth, education, reducing hunger, and alleviating homelessness. | Photo via Pexels
We’re back for a second round, LAL.

Just in time for the season of giving, we’re once again partnering with Publix on our second Publix Giveback Giveaway to award a free LALtoday advertising package to the two lucky local nonprofits that are most-nominated by our readers (aka you).

Prizes total nearly $9,000 in value, and will be used to help nonprofits spread the word about their mission and impact on Lakeland.

There’s no easier way to give this holiday season than to nominate a local organization that works hard for our community.

How to nominate a nonprofit:
  1. Open our nomination form.
  2. Enter your name, email address, the name of the Polk County nonprofit or charity you’re nominating, and why you believe they should be selected to win. Please use the full proper name of the organization (think: Use “Boys & Girls Club of Polk County,” — not “Boys & Girls Club” or “BGCA”).
  3. To go the extra mile, share our giveaway on Instagram or Facebook and tag the local organization you’re supporting so they help spread the word, too.
  4. The two organizations with the most nominations will win the two prizes.
Enter now through Friday, Dec. 1, 11:59 p.m. (one entry per person allowed).

New to LALtoday? Subscribe to our newsletter to learn which organizations will take home the prizes in an announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Monday, Nov. 20
  • Thanksgiving Adventure Day | Monday, Nov. 20 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Create your own balloon float and participate in the Bonnet Springs Park Thanksgiving Balloon Parade — music, face-painting, and dancing are also on the schedule.
  • Resin Art Class | Monday, Nov. 20 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | $61-$66 | Create a charcuterie board with resin waves in this step-by-step workshop.
Tuesday, Nov. 21
  • Thanksgiving Take Home Sides Camp | Tuesday, Nov. 21 | 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | What’s Cooking Lakeland, 6935 S. Carter Rd., Ste. 6, Lakeland | $89 | Bring young chefs to this cooking class where they’ll make homemade cranberry sauce, mac ‘n cheese, and bread.
  • Fluorescent Forest | Tuesday, Nov. 21 | 7-9 p.m. | Painting with a Twist, 3670 Harden Blvd., Lakeland | $39 | Paint this brightly colored forest with assistance from professionals while enjoying your favorite refreshments.
Wednesday, Nov. 22
  • Yoga for Beginners | Wednesday, Nov. 22 | 10-11 a.m. | Simpson Park Community Center, 1725 Martin L. King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | $5 | Bring your mat and water to this class for all levels of yogis 16 or older — locations vary by day.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • Lakeland city commissioners will vote today on a $33 million project for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. If approved, the Tigers would extend their lease through December 2044. The project would only affect team dormitories, recreation areas, and the cafeteria; Joker Marchant Stadium would be unaffected. (LkldNow)
  • Downtown Lakeland’s Main Street Garage is open to the public through Jan. 2. Drivers can grab a spot in either side of the garage — parking is $1 per hour Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The garage could open to the public for good after this pilot study. (The Ledger)
  • Polk teachers are still waiting to receive pay raises agreed upon by the Polk Education Association and Polk County School Board. While some had hoped to have raises in hand before winter break, many will see payments hit their accounts closer to the end of December. (LkldNow)
  • Looking to squeeze in a trip downtown? The Squeeze is relaunching its lunch service this December. After a soft launch, the open-air shuttle will begin operating Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 11. Check out the new, streamlined route. (The Ledger)
  • Mulberry Methodist Church celebrated 125 years on Sunday with coffee, service, and a catered lunch. Before its current location, church members met in a converted tavern, private home, and multiple sanctuaries. Pro tip: Check out our guide to other local historic churches. (The Ledger)
  • Lakelander Hope Rogers Kirkendall died last week at the age of 103. During World War II, Kirkendall was a US Army nurse in Normandy, France. In 2017, she was presented with the French Knight in the Legion of Honor award. (The Ledger)
  • Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School and Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School are launching a 10th grade in addition to its 11th and 12th grade options. Learn more about applying to the charter high schools — applications open soon and will close March 1.
  • Grab the Eagles t-shirt hanging from your door. Union Hall is hosting a Monday Night Football watch party tonight at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • The schedule is packed this week at Swan Brewing. Don’t miss a resin art class, exclusive beer tapping, performance by Proper Wednesday, and Black Friday discounts. Pro tip: The brewery will be open 4-9 p.m. on Thanksgiving for post-dinner drinks.
  • The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Lakeside Village’s free ‘Tis the Season: Holiday Concert is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Enjoy coffee + cookies while listening to music by The Vocalitas trio.
  • The Annual Lakeland SantaCon is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, 5-7 p.m. Take over downtown with other Santas, starting at Swan Brewing. Pick up your passport and take a self-guided tour of establishments like Revival, Dissent, and others. Also on the agenda: Lakeland’s largest flip-cup game + a costume contest.
  • Send this to your kid’s teacher: "Classroom to the Sky” returns in 2024 to help ignite students’ love for aerospace. This one-day program for 3rd–5th-grade teachers provides a pathway to passion by helping them infuse aerospace education into the classroom environment.*
Try This
Be the host with the most
Cars line a street in downtown Lakeland, leaves are on the ground.
Be a pro tour guide with our New to Lakeland Experience guides. | Photo by @walfaro10
Entertaining guests from out of town this holiday week? Don’t worry about how to keep them busy — we’ve got you covered.
  • Head to one of Lakeland’s 70+ parks with playgrounds, pet zones, and plenty of sunshine.
  • You can’t visit Lakeland without a walk around least one of its many lakes. Pro tip: Lake Mirror is already decorated for the holidays if you want a themed trip.
  • Got kids visiting? They’ll have a blast with these kid-friendly activities, from ice skating to escape rooms.
  • Go on a hunt through Lakeland to find its most iconic landmarks or colorful murals (bonus points if you take a selfie at each one).
Need more? We’ve got plenty more suggestions for out-of-towners in our New to Lakeland guides, including our favorite dining options.
The Buy
A Black Friday deal on the ultimate gift: A Bwine F7 GPS Camera Drone. They’ll have fun flying it and capturing incredible footage. Get it for $529.99 $370.99.
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The Wrap
Connor-Keith-Headshot-LAL Today’s edition by:
From the editor
The hardest part of hosting family in Lakeland for me is figuring out where to take them to eat. Here’s my latest solution: Have one of your guests pick a random letter, then go to its corresponding eatery from our list of local restaurants from A to Z. Problem solved.
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