Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Celebrate the Tradition: Lakeland Welcomes Back our Detroit Tigers for the 73rd Annual Tiger BBQ and their 83rd Spring Training

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (January 30, 2019) – Our 73rd Annual Tiger BBQ, presented by Rodda Construction, a Lakeland tradition to kick off Spring Training, will be held Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at Publix Filed at Joker Marchant Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Please visit to purchase your tickets for this exciting event!  The menu includes an exceptional menu, complimentary beverages and a souvenir mug!

Spring Training provides the State of Florida with an estimated economic impact of $753 million each year. In Lakeland, that translates to approximately $45 million—last year bringing 111,561 fans to the games at our newly renovated Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The majority of these fans are from out of state—bringing new money into our area!

As a result of the stadium renovation and the new contract, Lakeland will now host Spring Training for the Detroit Tigers for more than 100 years. This new offering celebrates the Tigers relationship with the City of Lakeland dating back to 1934, the longest-standing relationship between a major league team and a current Spring Training host city.  Lakeland is the only city to host a “Welcome Back BBQ!”

The Detroit Tigers spring training home, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland will show off an array of improvements since the 2017 season. Fans will find more shade, more box seats, more concession stands, a new 1,800 square foot merchandise store and more premium and group seating including the 34 Club.  For Spring Training ticket information and special group pricing, call the Lakeland ticket office at (863) 686-8075 or visit


Health Care Industry Job Fair Slated for Jan 10th in Auburndale

Polk County, Florida, Jan 2, 2019 – The Central Florida Media Group will host the Central Florida Health Job Fair for healthcare professionals on Thursday, Jan 10th between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The job fair will be held at the Auburndale Civic Center at 115 W Park Street in Auburndale located near the park in downtown Auburndale.

Top area healthcare employers are looking to fill a wide variety of healthcare related positions including physical therapists, medical assistants, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, licensed health Insurance representatives, home health aides and administrative staff.

Employers will be looking to fill both entry-level and experienced positions.  The Health Care Job Fair will also offer job seekers looking to get started in the healthcare industry the opportunity to explore training programs.

For more details about the event visit

About Central Florida Media Group

Central Florida Media Group is a marketing, advertising, and publishing company located in Winter Haven, Fla. They publish seven award-winning magazines, including Central Florida Health News, which connects the consumer to the local healthcare community. For more information, go to


Upcoming “Festival of Fine Arts Series” Events Bring Theatrical, Musical, Visual Arts to FSC


LAKELAND (November 29, 2018) – The 59th season of Florida Southern College’s outstanding “Festival of Fine Arts” series continues to delight members of the community with an array of performing and visual arts events. The following offerings will be presented through the end of January:

Kiss Me, Kate
Opened Nov. 15, continues Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. (Sundays at 2:30 p.m.)

Passions run high as a leading lady and her actor/director ex-husband battle onstage and off in a production of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes hijinks, the Tony Award-winning musical Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humor of two brilliant writers, Shakespeare and Cole Porter, who provided the music and lyrics. Among the show’s ever-popular numbers are “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “I Hate Men,” and “Brush up Your Shakespeare.” Directed by Paul Bawek with musical direction by Bradley Vieth, the run of this show is being performed at the Loca Lee Buckner Theatre. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students.


’Tis the Season: The Christmas Gala

Dec. 8, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
FSC’s Department of Music performs a collection of holiday favorites, featuring choral, instrumental, and string groups, along with other special musical selections. Among the featured seasonal highlights will be “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song,” music from The Nutcracker (orchestra and a trio of dancers from FSC’s dance program, choreographed by Erin LaSala), “O Holy Night” (three pianists, vocal soloist, and choruses), and “It’s Christmas,” a Christmas carol audience sing-along with FSC’s Symphony Band. Join us for a spectacular evening of traditional tunes and surprises. Tickets for this event at Branscomb Auditorium are $8 for adults and $4 for students. Florida Southern is proud to have Heath Funeral Chapel join the College in presenting this popular event for our community.
Annual All-Student Exhibition

Opened Nov. 16, continues through Dec. 7

This celebration of recent works created by Florida Southern College art majors showcases the exceptional skills of talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all media. It features ceramics, paintings, digital illustrations, prints, and sculptures. This exhibition in the Melvin and Burks Art Galleries is free to the public.

John Briggs: Casting for the Unknown

Jan. 18-Feb. 22 (Opening reception Jan.18, 7 p.m.)

Delve into the mysterious coastal landscapes of John Briggs in the Melvin and Burks Art Galleries. Simultaneously realistic and uncanny, familiar and eerie, the works in the artist’s latest series are inhabited by inexplicably nude fishermen casting nets in open water, inviting viewers to question the simplicity of the paintings. What exactly is going on here? How are the paintings connected? Is there a deeper meaning or symbolic story underlying these intriguing works? This exhibition in the Melvin and Burks Art Galleries is free to the public.

Florida Dance Theatre Presents: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker
Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m.
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the members of Florida Dance Theatre (FSC’s company-in-residence under the direction of Carol Erkes) bring their classic holiday tradition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the Festival of Fine Arts. This timeless holiday masterpiece will be performed by the troupe’s dynamic dancers in a production featuring colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, and entrancing choreography. Bring your family and enjoy the music, dance, and spectacle of this perennial holiday treasure. This special event will be presented at Branscomb Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and children under 12.

Imperial Symphony Orchestra presentation: A Night at the Opera, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
The Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s unique annual A Night at the Opera project welcomes opera professionals to Lakeland for a two-week rehearsal/performance schedule. It brings nationally and internationally renowned guest singers such as Joshua Kohl, Maria Kanyova, Eric Lindsey, and Teresa Castillo together with local professional, community, and FSC singers, as well as production staff and members of the ISO. Together, they will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in English, exuding the fantasy and fairy-tale side of the composer in this extraordinary – and magical – opera. This special event will be presented at Branscomb Auditorium. Tickets are available through

Julian Gargiulo, Pianist
Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.

Last seen at the Festival of Fine Arts in January 2017, this incredible piano virtuoso and Steinway Artist is back by popular demand to share his inimitable style, irrepressible humor, and brilliant musicianship. A delightfully unconventional concert experience that is guaranteed to entertain and educate, this special event will be presented at Branscomb Auditorium. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Festival of Fine Arts events, please visit, phone 863-680-4296, or visit the Branscomb Auditorium Box Office between 2 and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private comprehensive college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society.  FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.

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Central Florida’s Longest Running Economic Forecasting Event Sets Date for Mid-January

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (November 26, 2018) – Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce present Economic Forecast Breakfast 2019, for the 32nd year, on Thursday, January 17, 2019, from 7 to 9 a.m., at the RP Funding Center. With change being the only constant over the last year – including decisions on trade, taxes, and immigration – the 2019 forecast promises to be one to watch for insights into your strategic planning.

Nationally recognized Chief Economist Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors, L.P., returns as our guest speaker for the 32nd annual Economic Forecast Breakfast 2019 sponsored by Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. You can plan on hearing a perspective that is steadfastly germane to the economies and politics of the world we live in delivered in a dynamic and unwavering style.

Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., the oldest investment firm in Florida, will continue to provide Continuing Education Credits for Florida Certified Financial Planners™ (CFP®s) for attending the 32nd Annual Breakfast. The morning event will be held at the RP Funding Center on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Florida CFP®s interested in earning up to 2.0 credits for the event must pre-register online. At the event, they must specify their intent at the Allen & Company registration desk and receive a form that will need to be authorized at the registration desk after the event.

“This forecast breakfast originated from the idea that independent business owners needed exposure to economic intelligence.  The macro level of material that Mr. Wesbury shares translates significant concepts into easily digestable, relevant data that paints an economic landscape for businesses both small and large”, comments Ralph Allen, Chairman of Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. He further comments, “each year I feel the same way, that this year is the most critical in our countries history, and this year is no different.”

The doors will open at 6:45 a.m. for registration and breakfast at the RP Funding Center. Please register online at under the Events tab and there you will find all the details for the event.

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Contact:  Rebecca Fortier | (863) 688-8551 Ext. 229 – office |

About Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Since 1932 Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. has provided financial planning and wealth management services to the communities we serve.  Headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, with operations in Winter Haven and Viera, Allen & Company is Florida’s oldest investment firm.

About the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

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:  The Lakeland Area 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; and, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.