All posts by Cory Skeates

Europa Band

Inaugural Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Offerings

On the First Day of Fall on September 22, 2018, Lakeland area residents and visitors will commemorate the inaugural Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest in downtown Lakeland at Munn Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is a time to unwind and make new friends, learn new customs and sing a few songs.

The celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. with a  warm welcome from Mary McDonald of Suncoast Credit Union and the official tapping of the keg courtesy of Swan Brewing. At 6 p.m., The Europa Band performs a wide variety of music and songs, from old German Polkas and sing-alongs, to popular country. With accordion, trumpet, guitar, violin, drums and plenty of vocal harmonies, The Europa Band delivers a strong groove and passion for what they do. “Polka Lives” is the band’s motto, and those w ho love polkas, young or old, will love the sound of The Europa Band’s eclectic collection of over 350 songs.

Europa Band

Europa Band

This community-wide event in Munn Park is free to attend and features a business expo as an opportunity for Chamber member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting. This event will include German-style competitions, German food and drink, an Autobahn, Kinder Platz (for the young at heart), a Family Cool Garten and live music by The Europa Band.

Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland will feature plenty of German cheer along with a variety of exciting games and competitions. Old favorites and new exciting challenges await competitors. There are individual games along with team competitions in the Outrageous Olympiad. Participation in all the events is more important than ever before because there are bragging rights on the line. The Games are open to all Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland guests and are free to play.

The Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest German Feast Tent will serve up smoked bratwurst and buns, sauerkraut and pretzels hosted and operated by the North Lakeland Rotary Club and the Christina Rotary Club. The Food Tent is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Event Schedule

Main Stage, Outrageous Olympiad & Family Cool Garten by Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

5:00 PM – Official SwantoberFest Willkommen by Suncoast Credit Union & Beer Tapping by Swan Brewing

5:30 PM – Pre-judging qualification for Official Mustache Competition

6:00 PM – The Europa Band performs

6:30 PM – Chicken Dance Competition

6:45 PM – Stein Hoisting Competition for Adults

7:30 PM – Brat Toss

7:45 PM – Champion Olympiad for Top 10 Winner

8:00 PM – Official Mustache Competition & Treasure Hunt Winner Announcement

Business Expo (Ausstellers)

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Exhibitors and vendors display their goods & services for the community:

All American Gutter Protection, American Cancer Society, Bath Fitter, Bee-Haven Honey Co, Inc, BioLife Plasma Services, Boondock Studios, Central Florida Show Ski Team, City of Lakeland Solid Waste Recycling, CruiseOne/Traveling Fedoras, Dee’s Hot Dogs, Fields Auto Group / Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) / Fields BMW, Florida Tropics Soccer Club, German Club of Haines City High School / IB East, Got Candy & More Food Truck, Gulf Coast Gourmet Foods, Humana, Kona-Ice of Lakeland, La Imperial Bakery, Lakeland Barber Company, Lakeland Magic, Lakeland Modern Dentistry, Ledger Media Group, LKLD Haven Magazine / Sun Central Media Group, Mason Danger Beard Co, OneBlood, PACE Center for Girls Polk, Paparazzi-Queen B’Dazzled $5 Bling, Skully’s Mobile Barber Shop, Southern Homes, SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, Inc., Suncoast Credit Union, Swan Brewing, and, Well-Done Events.

Autobahn by Fields Auto Group / Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) / Fields BMW Lakeland

5:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Open on Tennessee Ave with a variety of German vehicles to explore

Kinder Platz by 2Infinity Entertainment Center (Kentucky Ave)

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Open with Got Candy Root Beer Garden, Bungee-Run, and more

5:15 PM – Ein, Zwei, Drei… Halt! Game

6:15 PM – Koffer Packen Game

7:15 PM – Root Beer Stein Obstacle Race

German Feast Tent hosted & operated by the North Lakeland Rotary Club and the Christina Lakeland Rotary Club

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Traditional Bratwursts & Pretzels available for purchase

Beverage Tent by Budweiser & Beck’s

5:00 PM – Bottled Water, Beer, and Cider for purchase

9:30 PM – Last call for beer and cider

Lakeland Chamber Tent

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Purchase beverage tickets, bottled water, information, and media credentials

Official T-Shirts available for purchase at the Boondock Studios tent

VIP Experience Tent by Swan Brewing

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Open for VIP pass-holders to relax

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – VIP Experience at Explorations V Children’s Museum


How much is it to get in?
General Admission is FREE for everyone! VIP Experience passes are available also.
Where do I park?
Parking in Downtown Lakeland is FREE after 5 p.m. and all weekend long, including city owned permit spaces and metered lots. Download the Parkmobile app for a parking map, detailed Parkmobile instructions, and more.

Still want more information on parking? Please see the LDDA Parking Brochure here:

What can I bring to Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland?

  • Small bags and backpacks (smaller than 17?x12?x10?, subject to search)
  • Water (factory sealed, up to 1 liter)
  • Wheelchairs and medical scooters
  • Strollers for children
  • Hand-held still cameras

OK, so what items are NOT permitted?

Please leave the following items at home:

  • Alcohol (we will provide on-site) and other beverages (except sealed water up to 1 liter)
    Glass containers or outside Steins
  • Coolers and thermoses
  • Umbrellas and tents (anything that can obstruct the view of others)
  • Large chairs
  • Video and audio recording equipment
  • Skateboards and Segways
  • Weapons, illicit drugs and other contraband

Can I bring a mug or stein from other festivals or from my home?
No, steins from other events are not allowed. We will sell official commemorative acrylic steins (14 oz.) this year and you will be able to bring that to next year’s event! Be sure to get your new mug at the fest.

?Is this a kid-friendly event?
Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland is a family-friendly event! We have a kids’ area with kid-friendly games until 8 p.m. and lots of activities at the Kinder Platz on Kentucky Avenue!

?Is this a dog-friendly event?
Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland is a dog friendly event. Please make sure your dog is leashed, has plenty of water, and that you bring enough “pick-up” bags.

?Is photographic or recording equipment permitted at the festival?
Hand held still cameras are permitted. Tripods are not advisable. Audio and video recording devices are NOT permitted.

How can I gain credentials for a press pass?
Please send your contact information to  along with link to your publication and related media.

Suncoast Credit Union larger

Title Sponsor:  Suncoast Credit Union

Artist Sponsor:  Boondock Studios

Print Media Sponsor:  Ledger Media Group

Radio Media Sponsor:  WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

Beverage Sponsor:  Bernie Little Distributors / Budweiser & Beck’s

German Feast Tent Sponsors:  Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina and Lakeland North Rotary Club

Food Sponsors:  Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated and Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Autobahn Sponsor:  Fields Auto Group – Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) and Fields BMW Lakeland

Family Cool Garten Sponsor:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Kinder Platz Sponsor:  2Infinity Entertainment Center

VIP Experience Sponsor:  Swan Brewing

Patron Sponsor:  Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Centers and Premier Party Rentals

Root Beer Garden Sponsor:  Got Candy & More Food Truck

Media Partners:, and LKLD Haven Magazine


The Lakeland Chamber is proud to announce Suncoast Credit Union as the title sponsor of Lakeland’s only Oktoberfest-themed celebration! Like a traditional Oktoberfest, our event will offer sights, sounds, and tastes that are Bavarian-inspired. Lakeland residents will have a chance to celebrate Octoberfest-style in Munn Park in downtown Lakeland on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest is a time to unwind and make new friends, learn new customs and sing a few songs. Be there to help tap the inaugural keg at 5 PM on Saturday, September 22, as Lakeland’s Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest kicks off! This community-wide event in Munn Park will be free to attend and feature a business expo as an opportunity for Chamber member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting. Activities include German-style competitions, treasure hunt, and live music by The Europa Band.  VIP passes will be available for an extra-special experience, including a Child’s VIP pass – think Root Beer Garden! To register as vendor-exhibitor at the event, please click here or at To learn more about the event, visit the website at


Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 12th largest in the United States based on its more than $9.2 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 65 full-service branches and serves more than 785,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit:, or @SuncoastCU 


The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400-member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-star accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice. Mission Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.


Southeastern University Celebrates Constitution Day

seu news
LAKELAND, FL: On Monday, September 17, Southeastern University’s College of Arts & Media will host two events in commemoration of Constitution Day. For the first event, SEU will welcome back alumnus Zachary Zampella, the deputy director of constituent services for Senator Marco Rubio, as he speaks on his first-hand experiences working within the United States legislature. This will take place at 4 p.m.
At 7 p.m., the faculty from the Department of Humanities will discuss the role of Christians in contemporary American politics. Following the discussion panel, there will be a Q&A session with the audience.
The events will take place in the Science Lecture Hall on Southeastern’s campus. Admission is free. For questions, contact Abigail Tikunoff at or 863.667.5113.

Bonnet Springs Park Announces Major Gift

bonnet springs park

LAKELAND, FL The Board of Directors of Bonnet Springs Park, Inc. a 501C3 corporation in Lakeland, Florida announced a major financial gift and establishment of a perpetual care fund at Givewell Community Foundation today. Allen and Company, a premier financial advisory firm with a long-standing reputation for community involvement, made a significant step in the enablement of Bonnet Springs Park today.

The associates at Allen and Company have once again demonstrated their commitment to the quality of life in the Lakeland/Winter Haven area through the establishment of a fund to support the sustainability of this new urban park that is going to change the way citizens and visitors see and live in Lakeland. The 180 acre park, being designed by world class landscape designers Sasaki and constructed on the former CSX rail yard site, will expand the very footprint of downtown Lakeland and connect the northwest quadrant of the City.

“A privately funded public park is a new paradigm to central Florida and will require significant community support to sustain.” Said Ralph Allen, Chairman of Allen and Company. “We want to continue the company tradition of supporting quality of life in our community and through this gift we are hoping to lead others in support of this incredible undertaking.”

The Bonnet Springs enablement team understands that the vision for Bonnet Springs Park received a major boost today.  Thinking beyond the park construction to operational expenses is a sound business strategy for future success of the park and the seeds are now in the ground.

We encourage you to learn more about this exciting new park by visiting us at


Junior League of Greater Lakeland Thrift Sale September 29, 2018

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Junior League of Greater Lakeland is hosting its Thrift Sale on Saturday, September 29 at 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year it will be located at 3020 Reynolds Road in Lakeland. The community is invited to attend and shop high-quality, gently used clothing for the whole family, children’s items, furniture, home decor and household items at very affordable prices. The sales proceeds will be used to support the Junior Leagues ongoing community initiatives and literacy programs.

“It is an honor to bring the Junior League Thrift Sale back to our community. We are able to use the generous donations from many League members and friends to meet tangible needs in our community – providing quality clothing and accessories, home decor, kids toys and more,” says Callie Miller, Junior League of Greater Lakeland President, “we look forward to meeting many community members as they shop the sale. Proceeds from Thrift Sale are then leveraged to fund our ongoing community initiatives throughout the year.”

The sale will include brand name women’s clothing from brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic and more. Additionally, some of the name brand children’s clothing and toys that will be available include Carters, Old Navy, Oshkosh, Fisher Price, Melissa and Doug and more.

The Thrift Sale benefits the Junior League of Greater Lakeland community projects Reading is Fundamental, Ready to Read, World of Reading, and a variety of women’s-focused leadership and wellness initiatives.

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland would like to thank our sponsors Ag America Lending, The Ruthvens, Southern Homes, Publix Super Markets Charities, MidState Industrial Maintenance, Hall Communications, Miller Law, PA and Callie and Zach Miller.

For more information, please call 863.682.2112, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@jlglakeland).

About The Junior League of Greater Lakeland

Women building better communities. That’s the Junior League.

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. is committed to promoting overall wellness of body, mind, and spirit for women and children in our community, through our own community efforts and by partnering with other non-profit organizations in the Greater Lakeland area with a wellness vision.

JLGL members actively reach well over 10,000 families each year. Sustainers, members who have served the JLGL faithfully for decades, have left a proud legacy. Together, all members continue to meet the needs of the community in unique and powerful ways.


The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  The Junior League is exclusively educational and charitable.

Statement on Voluntarism

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. has as its purpose: to promote voluntarism, to develop the potential of its members for voluntary participation in community affairs, to demonstrate the effectiveness of trained volunteers, to support and promote voluntarism as an essential component of our society.

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. further recognizes the critical role of the voluntary sector in experimenting, demonstrating, innovating and advocating for needed change, monitoring the public sector objectively and impartially in?uencing governmental program development and providing those services unavailable through government programs.

Therefore, the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. will continue to take action that will ensure the effectiveness of the voluntary sector.