Unwritten rules of Lakeland

Tell us you’re from Lakeland without telling us you’re from Lakeland.

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Munn Park sign in downtown Lakeland | Photo via @coolhandneal

Whether you’re a tried-and-true Swan City citizen, a long-time snowbird, or new to the flock, here are some unofficial rules of engagement that every Lakelander needs to know.

We asked our readers to share Lakeland’s unwritten rules, from common city knowledge to relatable trends and local lingo. You won’t find these rules in a handbook, but they are undoubtedly absorbed by the community — and if you’re not the 863, these might be a little difficult to explain.

Shop local

  • “Weekly if not monthly trips to Lakeland curb market are a must!” — @scoutandtag
  • “Always shop small when able, especially when it comes to eating local.” — Carole C.
  • “You must shop local! Coffee shops, the Saturday Market, etc!” — Lakeland South Rotary
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“Directions are often given using proximity to a lake (it’s over near Lake ___).” — Carla C.
| Photo via @ordinary.moments_

Putting the lakes in Lakeland

  • “Don’t feed the swans or other birds any bread! It’s not good for them!” — @Tonyafayesanchez
  • “You will find Lakeland Rocks. You will hide Lakeland Rocks.” — @orangeblossompoems

Roads, roads, roads

  • “Avoid 98 at 👏 all 👏 cost 👏” — @notheories
  • Avoid South Florida Avenue if you can between 4-5:30pm — Peyton B.
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“Must eat at Palace once a month minimum.” — @thecrab_53 | Photo via @thelaltoday

Just Lakeland things

  • “You and your friends as teens call Lakeland a black hole and then you go off for a few years after you graduate and you come back only to realize it’s literally one of your favorite places on earth. We also all brought back ideas for businesses, restaurants and more to make Lakeland as amazing as it has become!” — @rituals_by_chelsea
  • “You are either team northside or southside and both think the other doesn’t have everything their side has.” — @theactingmom
  • “You must and I mean you must go to #bornandbreadfl.” — @stilleaglesfan

Holiday hacks

  • “Get your chairs set up early for the Xmas parade.” — @ryler75
  • “Park a ways away from downtown and walk to the parade if you want to get out in a reasonable hour.” — @curlsandcrinolines

What did we miss? If you know an unofficial rule that’s not on the list, let us know.

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