Hey, LAL. Katelyn here. 👋It’s no surprise that Lakeland is a great place to live. There are plenty of people who grew up here + have lived here for most of their lives, and then there are also lots of people living here like myself, who moved here from out of state. I’m originally from Richmond, VA and moved here from Jacksonville, FL in 2007 when my dad was relocated to the Greater Tampa Bay area.
Today, we want to talk to the Lakeland newbies – what brought you to Swan City? Was it to be closer to family, the price of housing, or something totally different (like the central location)? We want to hear from you + highlight all of the awesome things that make our city such a great place to live.
We’ll be sharing your answers in a future newsletter.
If you’re a LAL newbie, where did you move from + what brought you here?
Announced ○ICYMI: Se7en Wetlands, the wetland treatment facility, won a Water & Waste Digest 2020 Top Project award over the weekend. Congrats to Se7en Wetlands as well as Lakeland’s Water Utilities and Parks & Recreation Departments. You can check out this video to learn more. ○More congratulations this way for Swan City. Also awarded over the weekend was the City of Lakeland’s Water Department. That team won an AA+ rating from Fitch Ratings, which, according to the City of Lakeland, “is one of the Big Three in financial rating companies.” The rating serves as an acknowledgment to Lakeland that the Water Dept.’s credit profile is pristine. 🎉
Cause ○ $500,000. That’s how much Polk County was awarded via the purchasing of a conservation easement. The location of the easement is situated in the Southwest region of Polk, near Avon Park Air Force Bombing Range. With the grant, the county has two years to utilize the funding. (Patch)
FeelGood ○In case you were wondering, heroes have no age requirement. A 6-year-old girl will be honored by the fire department tomorrow after her bravery in dialing 9-1-1 in an emergent situation. The Polk County child, Esperanza Lopez came to her mother’s aid when she fell inside of their home and was unable to stand or call for help. Now, Polk County Fire Rescue is honoring Esperanza by presenting her with an award + will speak to the rest of her classmates over at Spook Hill Elementary on what to do in an emergency. 👏 (WTSP)
Civic ○ City officials are hosting a forum today on fair housing at 6 p.m. Residents are invited to attend and share the troubles they have faced in house hunting. Additionally, the city’s online housing survey data will be shared during the event. The forum is virtual and can be accessed here. (The Ledger)
Community ○ After the tragic deaths of former Commissioner Edie Yates and her husband David, 150+ Lakelanders gathered Sunday evening in a candlelight vigil which took place outside of their Lake Morton residence. Attendees sang “Amazing Grace” and recited The Lord’s Prayer together in remembrance of the couple. To view part of the vigil, click here. (Lkld Now)
Lakelander ○Meet Catapult member Teresa Baxter, owner of We Jammin’. Using the Catapult Kitchen Incubator space, Teresa creates gourmet jams with flavors like Autumn Pear Cranberry and Peach Cobbler (yum). Learn more about Teresa + read her advice for fellow food entrepreneurs here. Ⓟ ○ ICYMI: Beloved Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek passed away from a battle with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. And now, Lakelander Julie Hornick has been receiving many condolences due to her appearance on the game show. Other Polk County Jeopardy alumni include Grace Veach, a Lakelander who appeared on the show three times + formed a friendship with Julie regarding their common connection. (The Ledger)
Dish ○Grab your bibs and toss the scale, because Bake’n Babes is opening a new shop at Armature Works. The trendy dessert spot is home to delicious dishes including Sleazy Brownies + Freak Shakes – a treat once enjoyed by singer Lizzo. At this time, an exact opening date has not been released, however, it could happen in the next few weeks.🍰 (Creative Loafing)
Deal ○ If you’re contemplating what to order for lunch, stress no more. Publix’s chicken tenders subs are on sale this week for $6.99 a sub – $2 off the normal price. And, be sure to snag your sub soon because the deal ends tomorrow, Nov. 18. (FOX 35)
Watch ○ Hey Disney fans,the Mouse just shared a sneak peek preview of a much anticipated new ride: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The coaster, set to debut at Epcot next year, features ride vehicles that spin 360 degrees. And, according to WDWT, the Omnicoaster, is a first-of-its-kind programmable roller coaster ride system, where guests can be rotated along the ride track in any direction while traveling at high speeds. Check out that prototype ride video here. 🎢 (WDWT)
Ranked ○ 28. That’s what Florida ranked on WalletHub’s Most Charitable States for 2021. The ranking was based on the volunteer rate per state, the highest percentage of donated income, and more. The state ranking at number one, most charitable, is Utah. (WalletHub)
Home ○Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime. From stability to privacy, the local pros at Southern Homes share 6 advantages of becoming a homeowner. 🏡Ⓟ
Drink ○ Winc delivers a world of wine right to your door. Take their simple 6 question palette quiz and get wine paired to your taste preferences.Bonus: You’ll receive 40% off + free shipping(i.e. 4 bottles for just $39). Score. 🍷 Ⓟ
Coronavirus ○ Lakeland store owners have noticed this year a steep decline in activity and believe it to be due to the limited number of Canadian snowbirds within the city due to COVID-19 and border closings. Since the shutdown back in March, the Canadian/US border has been closed to “non-essential” travel and some assume the closed borders – said to lift on Nov. 21 – will continue to remain closed into 2021. (The Ledger) ○ On Monday, the Florida Department of Health announced 4,663 new cases of COVID-19 and41 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 889,864+ the total deaths to 17,559. (Orlando Sentinel) ○ You can find more updates concerning COVID-19 case numbers on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here.
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
And, because of the launch time, Floridians had a pretty stellar view of the mission’s take off – aka the super cool shot above of the crew launching behind the peaks of Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 🚀
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ForKids ○Fall Bear Art with the Brave Princess| Tue., Nov. 17 | 6-8 p.m. | Enchanted Fairytale Hollow, 214 Trader’s Alley | $20 | Have your kiddos join the Brave Princess for a meet and greet and a themed art project. 🎨
TryThis ○Tuesday Night Trivia | Tue., Nov. 17 | 7-9 p.m. | Mellow Mushroom, 3555 Lakeland Highlands Rd. | Prices Vary | Gather your friends and compete in this trivia tournament with prizes for the top three teams and $8 pitchers. 🍻 ○Mosaic Workshop | Tue., Nov. 17 | 6-8 p.m. | PicassoZ Art Cafe, 4632 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | $21 | Get crafty at this art class and learn how to create your own mosaic project.
Show ○Guitar Concert| Tue., Nov. 17 | 7-8 p.m. | Harrison School for the Arts, 750 Hollingsworth Rd. | $9+ | Attend this show in-person or online performed by Harrison School for the Arts student musicians.
Cause ○Mobile Food Pantry| Tue., Nov. 17 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Blessings & Hope Lakeland, 2150 E. Edgewood Dr. | Free | All that are in need are welcome to stop by this food drive and pick up a bag of grocery items. 🥫
Civic ○Fair Housing Virtual Community Workshop| Tue., Nov. 17 | 6-7 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Attend this virtual workshop hosted by the City of Lakeland to inform the public about the fair housing planning process as it relates to Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. ○What’s Next for Small Businesses?| Tue., Nov. 17 | 3-4 p.m. | Virtual | Free, RSVP | Join the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and its reopening task force to discuss what is next for Lakeland’s small businesses.
FeaturedEvent ○ RunRA, A Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Study | Open now, 50 participants max | Virtual | Free, Register | Prisma Health and UofSC researchers are seeking patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis to be a part of a new study to improve communication between physicians and patients. If you are interested, you can complete this form for more details. Qualified participants will be compensated. Ⓟ
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.