2020 has been interesting — to say the least. From a pandemic to giant murder hornets, to a fire tornado, this year has been wild. And even though looking back might seem bleak, there are lots of nuggets of joy + delight we’ve been able to find in and around our amazing city this year.
The Joinery Almost a year ago – January to be exact, we had a first-hand look at Lakeland’s first-ever food hall, The Joinery. And now, almost 365 days later, we truly could not imagine our city without it. From the yummiest eats over at Plenty to the creamiest of ice creams over at Mayday, we are thrilled and so thankful that The Joinery popped up in the 863 this year.
Marky Mark’s Donation to Lakeland ICYMI, Mark Wahlberg donated 1.3 million face masks to schools nationwide. The actor’s donations were to help both students and teachers across the country, including our very own Lakeland, FL. And, as we continue to navigate COVID-19 as a community, we were so touched to see kindness towards our schools from someone with so much status. Though, it might be safe to say that his wife and Lakelander Rhea had something to do with it.
You, our readers And last, but certainly not least, we are so thankful for you — our readers. Thank you so much for reading, subscribing, tagging us in your wonderful photos, emailing us your questions, and answering ours when you’ve got the inside scoop. We are so thankful that we get to wake up every day + talk about this wonderful city with you.
So now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for? We are especially interested in things that are Lakeland-centric. Did you finally get to enjoy a meal at Plenty, open a local business, try a new restaurant in town, or spend some time exploring a new part of our beautiful city?
What did we miss?
What Lakeland-centric things are you thankful for this year?
Civic ○Thanksgiving is exactly one week away, Lakeland. Can you believe it? If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, the City of Lakeland Emergency Management team has shared a list of cities, states, and territories that have travel requirements due to the pandemic. You can view that list here. ○ On Tuesday, Polk County approved an Opioid Abatement Plan. This plan is contingent and will cost the county a couple of million dollars – $8 million in the first year, to be exact. The contingency is dependent on Polk receiving funding from a current pharmaceutical lawsuit + its expected settlement. As the plan moves forward, it will include 15 programs/activities including, but not limited to: “medication disposal for overdose prevention, expanded programs helping children impacted by the opioid crisis, and housing and transportation programs for people receiving treatment.” (The Ledger)
Development ○ A new VA Clinic is on the horizon for Lakeland and as of Tuesday, three spots are being considered as the potential home for this development. The outpatient clinic has been proposed at the following vacant locations, according to LkldNow: Kathleen Rd. and I-4, Lakeland Highlands Rd. and the Polk Pkwy., Braddock Rd., and the Polk Pkwy. near Auburndale. (LkldNow)
Watch ○ If you recall our mention of Esperanza Lopez – the Frostproof 6-year-old who dialed 9-1-1 to help rescue her mother, then you have to take a peek at a bit of the ceremony held in her honor by Polk County Fire and Rescue. Esperanza was applauded for her calmness, bravery, and know-how when it comes to getting proper help. You can watch a bit of the ceremony here. (WTSP)
Edu ○Alright Florida Parents, the Florida Department of Education announced that “massive enhancements” have been made to the portal (KnowYourSchools) that families use to access information regarding both schools + districts. In a follow-up tweet, the FHOE said: “The KnowYourSchools portal allows families to search for #FLschools and get an in-depth look at school-specific reports on enrollment, per-pupil expenditures, race/ethnicity, gender, assessments, educator experiences & more.” You can check out the changeshere. ○ Southeastern University (SEU) has officially shared the details of this semester’s graduation for the 2020 graduating class. The ceremony will take place this Sunday, Nov., 22 at 4:30 p.m. on Victory Field. And, due to COVID-19, SEU has implemented safety precautions and protocols to follow for both those walking and those attending. You can find those details here. And, if you can’t make it but have a friend or family member walking, the event will be live-streamed on this page the day of. Congrats, Fire. 🔥
DYK ○Remember that new high school coming to Davenport? Well, the school, Davenport High, had their logo, mascot, and colors shared yesterday to PCPS Instagram. Check it out here.
Holiday ○ Temple Emmanual is set to host an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service open to anyone and everyone interested within the community. The Jewish congregation will host this service virtually and have named it “Finding Thankfulness from Day to Day” on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. The service will be attended by Sheriff Grady Judd who will offer a welcoming remark, along with Mayor Bill Mutz. To access the Zoom meeting, you can find the link here. (LkldNow)
TheWord ○Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). A measurement that shows how healthy the air in your home is. A poor IAQ can impact both health and comfort. Payne Air Conditioning offers different solutions – including smart thermostats, air purification systems + humidifiers – to optimize your IAQ and help you breathe easier in your home. 🌬️ Ⓟ
Ranked ○ 28. That’s what Florida ranked on WalletHub’s list of Safe States to Spend Thanksgiving. The list ranked states based on the number of COVID positive, hospitalization rates, multigenerational households, and more. Ranking in as number one was Vermont as the safest, with South Dakota coming in as number 50 as the least safe. (WalletHub)
Coronavirus ○ Florida is currently among the few states not implementing any new or additional COVID-19 safety precautions as cases rise. And, local governments have experienced difficulty in ordering any additional precautions due to Florida’s Phase 3 Reopening Plan. As of Nov. 17, Florida’s positivity rate still sits below the 10% mark at 7.5%. (WESH 2) ○ On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health announced 7,925 new cases of COVID-19 and88 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 905,248+ the total deaths to 17,949. (Tampa Bay Times) ○ 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.
Artist Gillian Fazio is at it again, folks. Most recently, the Lakeland-based artist has completed her most recent mural located in Lake Wales Historic District. And, what better way to adorn another one of the Sunshine State’s walls than a bunch of oranges – anyone else in the mood for a mimosa now? 🍊
If you happen to wander over to the new mural, be sure to snag a pic and tag Gillian(and us too) so we can see all of your cool shots. Congrats, Gillian. 🎉
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
TryThis ○Lakeside Village Live|Thur., Nov. 19 | 6-9 p.m. | Lakeside Village, 1479 Town Center Dr. | Free | Check out this free performance from the Groove City Jamz Duo and enjoy groove-heavy sooth music. 🎼 ○Food Trucks |Thur., Nov. 19 | 7:30 p.m. | Brew Hub, 3900 Frontage Rd. S. | Prices Vary| Venture out this food truck event and try some grub from Breezy Eazy Bistro like the grouper sandwich, fish and chips, and grouper tacos. 🚚
Show ○Contemporary Band Concert| Thur., Nov. 19 | 7:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Watch this virtual performance streamed live by Southeastern University College of Arts students showcasing contemporary songs. 🎵
Cause ○Mobile Food Pantry|Thur., Nov. 19 | 10-11 a.m. | Salvation Army, 2620 Kathleen Rd. | Free | All that are in need can pick up a bag or box of pre-packaged grocery items. 🥫
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.
Beauty lovers, meet this holiday bundle from Thrive Causemetics. It has pretty much everything you need to look your best for the holidays: • award-winning brow gel • waterproof eyeliner • free tube of their best-selling mascara
The kit is an idealgift for your favorite beauty-lover (or a treat for yourself) – and it’s now available for just $46 (usually $70). Ⓟ