Top LALtoday articles from Lakeland, FL in 2020

Graphic by 6AM City

🎉 Top LALtoday articles from 2020 

1. Tracking the 2020 election results

Welp, we made it through an election year – and nearly in one piece. Here’s our guide on the 2020 primary election in Polk County + the deets on who got elected to office. Out of 460+ responses to our poll, 99% of you said you were planning on flexing your civic muscles and voting in the 2020 election.

2. 30+ black-owned businesses in Lakeland, FL 

We listened to you when you said you wanted a roundup of local Black-owned businesses to support + worked with our friends at Buena Market to put a list together. From apparel to business resources, restaurants, and everything in between, read on. 

3. Lakeland makes U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Places to Live” 

There’s almost nothing we love more than celebrating our little Swan City. So when Lakeland ranked as one of the best places to live in the US, we just knew we had to share the news with all of you. Click here to see where we’re ranked. 

4. 10 huge things coming to Polk County this fall 

In the midst of closings of many of our beloved local stores, we also took a little time to rejoice over the news businesses that popped up in our city during #spookyszn. If you haven’t been ax-throwing at Ax-Caliber or noshing on nourishing treats from Plenty, what are you even waiting for? 

5. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues stay at home order 30 days 

TBT to April when Gov. DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order for a 30-day span and we all scrambled to figure out the deets on what we could + couldn’t do for the next month. 

6. The best Lakeland restaurants when you’re broke AF

You don’t need a ton of cash to dine like royalty. Lakeland has plenty of restaurants that are famous for their incredible food + low prices. From breakfast power bowls and burger specials at mom-and-pop eateries to authentic international cuisine and fresh foods, you’ll find Swan City satisfying your appetite.

7. Two teachers are bringing an eatery + golf simulator center to Lakeland
We tee’d up some pretty tee-riffic news when we helped announce Lakeland’s newest golf simulator + restaurant venue, The Back Nine. The space – which is #NowOpen – was created by two local elementary school teachers. 

8. A sneak peek of The Rec Room in Lakeland 

Wii stopped by for a sneak peek, had a mini-game-a-thon + rounded up everything you need-to-know about Downtown Lakeland’s newest hang. The arcade bar is #NowOpen and the Frosé is #MustTry.

9. Drive to these local film locations for The One and Only Ivan in Lakeland, FL 

Local artist Josh “Bump” Galletta collaborated with us to create a map, featuring film locations of The One and Only Ivan, for you to drive by for a visit. (Fun fact: Bump created the map with the help of his kids.)

10. My Indi Kitchen: Lakeland’s newest Indian restaurant 

Bibs prepared + empty stomachs at the ready, we were so excited at finding out that a new Indian restaurant (#NowOpen, btw) was coming to Lakeland Highlands Rd. 

🎉 Top IG posts from 2020

A reflection of the Southgate Shopping Center 

This was our most-beloved Instagram post from 2020 with nearly 2,000 likes. We don’t blame y’all. This photo is straight 🔥. Thanks for sharing this with us, @brandoninlkld

A juicy new mural

Local artist Gillian Fazio brightened up the Lake Wales Historic district with her famous citrus-style mural – putting all 1,399 of us in the mood for mimosas. 

Lakeland’s mask mandate

At the beginning of summer, Lakeland instituted a mandatory mask mandate that lasted for several months. Over 1,200 of you shared your thoughts with us and each other.

🎉 Top reader comments from 2020

On telling us you’re from Lakeland without telling us you’re from Lakeland

“Subs n such after a walk around lake Hollingsworth hits different 😭  – @christianadaas

On trying “questionable” (and very 2020-esque) milkshakes

“Who hurt you, PDQ?”@jennnabessi