Kava is a non-alcoholic beverage, but it (like alcohol) is a nervous system depressant. That means you can expect a similar sensation, sans alcohol. Try a kava cocktail next time you’re looking for a refreshing drink — we recommend the blue lotus kava lemonade.
Invite a friend for a Friday mocktail or cocktail using the icon below.
Lover’s Moon – Couple’s Set | Fri., July 29 | 7-9 p.m | Painting with a Twist, 3670 Harden Blvd. | $39 | Paint a serene moon together for date night in this step-by-step class – supplies included. 🎨
Back 2 School Bash | Sat., July 30 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Wilfred Smith Resource Center, 135 Ave. Y NE, Winter Haven | Free | Kick off the school year with music, crafts, prizes + free school supplies — first come, first served. ✏️
Sean Chambers at Music Ranch | Sat., July 30 | 7:30 p.m. | Music Ranch, 1920 Banana Rd. | $25 | Come out for an evening of smokin’ blues guitar music.
Pressed Books & Coffee’s Birthday Party | Sat., July 30 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. | Pressed Books and Coffee, 213 E. Bay St. | Free | Celebrate one year of Pressed Books & Coffee with books, coffee, and raffles.
Big and Little Chef: Breakfast in Bed | Sun., July 31 | 10 a.m. | Publix Aprons Cooking School, 4730 Florida Ave. S. | $80 | One parent + one child can work together to learn how to make breakfast foods like tater tot casserole and yogurt parfaits. 🍳
Southern Blend at Old Man Frank’s | Sun., July 31 | 6-10 p.m. | Old Man Frank’s, 1005 S. Lake Howard Dr. SW, Winter Haven | Free | Drop by this Key West style restaurant for tasty seafood + live music. 🐟
Catapult Demo Day | Thu., Aug. 4 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Catapult Lakeland, 502 E. Main St. | Free | Stay in the loop and hear from innovative + high-growth startups as they share what they’re building in our city at this public, pitch-style event.*
Art History Lecture Series: Rococo to Romanticism | Tues., Sept. 6-Tues., Sept. 27 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Polk Museum of Art, 800 E. Palmetto St. | $250+ | Brush up on your art history with Dr. Alex Rich as he leads a historical interactive art journey from 1715 to 1840. 🖼️*
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
The “Gold Fashioned” at LUGO’s Craft Distillery contains flakes of 24 karat gold. | Photo via LUGO’s Craft Distillery
Cheers to a successful Drink Up Week, Lakeland. 🥂 From craft cocktails to coffee-centric happy hours, we’ve loved celebrating Swan City’s beverage makers. The fun’s not over yet — read below to find local establishments that are offering specialty Drink Up Week beverages + deals through the weekend.
Bar61 | 215 E. Main St. | Fri., July 29-Sat., July 30, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sun., July 31, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. | “The Camuflaje” (pisco, passion fruit purée, and lime juice, red wine + chicha ice cubes + chocolate bitters)
Cafe Zuppina | 4417 Florida Ave. S. |Fri., July 29-Sat., July 30 | 2-4 p.m. | $1 off the blueberry pancake cream cold brew
Color Theory Tea Co. | Online | Fri., July 29-Sun., July 31 | All day | 15% off your first Color Theory Tea order with code “DRINKUP”
No. 2. That’s what Lakeland Regional Healthranks in the nation’s busiest emergency departments. In 2021, Polk’s only trauma center saw 190,581 emergency room visits, more than any emergency room in the country. To accommodate for the traffic, the healthcare center is working on three new locations. (WFTS)
99.9%. That’s how much the western population of monarch butterflies declined between the 1980s and 2021. Lakeland is helping the species by adding two more butterfly gardens at the Coleman Bush Building (1104 Martin L King Jr. Ave.) and the new John McGee Park(2399 S. Edgewood Dr.). 🦋 (WFLA)
$47,500. That’s what the starting salary for Polk County Public School teachershas been raised to (an increase of $2,013). Additionally, all other Polk County Public School teachers can expect to see a salary increaseof at least2.25%. ✏️ (LkldNow)
Lakeland Regional Health is planning for an additional location on a 5.6-acre property at 5610 S. Florida Ave. Meanwhile, the health system is making headway with construction on its 20-acre site along I-4 at Kathleen Rd., and continues to consider plans for its 100 acres of landon US Hwy. 98.*
The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce announced its 2022 Athena Awards guest speaker: Richele Floyd of The Lady Aces. In case you missed it, The Lady Aces was one of 50+ all-female aircraft teams who raced from Lakeland Linder International Airport to the finish line in Terre Haute, IN, 2,500 miles away.
Muggles, witches, and wizards alike can celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday and Florida’sBack-to-School Sales Tax Holiday on Sat., July 30 from 2-4 pm. See Lakeside Village’s Books-A-Million transformed into a wizarding world for this one-day family event. 🧙♂️*
Florida Polytechnic University has finalized its 2022-2023 cohort for the United States’ Fulbright Program. This cohort of seven international students and researchers will use the 2022-2023 academic year to develop research + acquire knowledge within their particular engineering fields.
Grab your dancing shoes and celebrate Buena Market’s second anniversary at Disco Festtonightfrom7 p.m.-12 a.m. The event will feature a pop-up roller rink, dancefloor, and artisan market. (Make sure to leave your kids at home — this event is for individuals aged 18+.) 🛼
We all know Drink Up Week runs from July 25–July 31, but what if we told you the fun didn’t stop there? Pressed Lakeland (213 E. Bay St.) is hosting summer happy hour through the month of August. Stop by daily from 3–5 p.m. and buy one drink to get your second 50% off. ☕
Gossip girl here. Fans of the Downtown Farmers Curb Market + Buena Marketmay be seeinga familiar vendor moving into a retail spot near Quinteassence Kava Bar(839 N. Massachusetts Ave.), a little birdie tells us. Share who you predict it might be and we’ll congratulate the first correct guesser. Xoxo.
Avelo Airlinesannounced new destinations out of Orlando International Airport(MCO) this week. You can now board a flight and head for Newport News/Williamsburg, VA, Kalamazoo and Lansing, MI, and Lexington, Kentucky (hey, LEXtoday). To book your next getaway starting at $29, click here.
It’s Friday — you deserve a treat. Celebrate National Cheesecake Day (Sat., July 30) by picking up your favorite flavor of cheesecake from Publix. 🍰 *
Congrats to reader David K. who was randomly selected to win $1,000 cash as a thank you for completing our recent product survey. David has been contacted by our team. Thanks to all of you who let us know your preferences about our product so we can continue making it better. (Didn’t share your thoughts? You still can.)
In case you missed it, LALtoday just launched our very own membership program. Membership starts at just $25 and helps keep our local news products free to all Lakelanders — plus, members get perks like birthday deals, personal shoutouts, Six & Main discounts + more. Sign up. 🎉
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Lakeland Linder International Airport is home to one of Lakeland’s newest restaurants,WACO Kitchen. Opening day is Mon., Aug. 8., and we’re crossing our fingers hoping that this next week will fly by.
If the second story accommodations, floor-to-ceiling windows + panoramic views aren’t enough to make you swoon, WACO’s team of internationally-trained chefs use locally-sourced ingredients in every meal. We’re excited to try some of their elevated favorites like the WACO Taco + Steak frites.
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Editor’s pick: There’s something so refreshing about starting a new month. With August just a few days away, I’m curious what events you’re most looking forward to next month. Don’t see your favorite on our calendar? Submit it here and we’ll consider adding it to our events calendar.
Missed Friday’s newsletter? We took a walk down memory lane and explored the history behind a local staple: Cob & Pen, here.
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