Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Mobile Office for Staff of Senator Marco Rubio Comes to Polk August 18

Senator Rubio’s staff will be holding “office hours” in six of the Gulf Coast region’s nine counties this week. It is an opportunity for citizens of Florida to interact firsthand with Congressional staff on issues (immigration, IRS, Medicare, Social Security, veterans, etc.) related to the federal government.

Thursday, August 18 – 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Polk State College

LTB 1295

3425 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland FL

For additional information, please contact the Gulf Coast Regional Office at (813) 977-6450.


Greater Lakeland Multicultural Festival to Feature Reggae Band “Democracy”

The City of Lakeland will play host to the Greater Lakeland Multi-Cultural Festival, September 16, 2011 when the reggae band Democracy takes the stage from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. during the FREE music and cultural event.

The Multi-Cultural Festival will take place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is in-between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is free to the public and families are encouraged to attend. The Multi-Cultural Festival will include ethnic food vendors and displays.  There will be additional cultural entertainment that will take place during music breaks.

Democracy will bring their energetic form of island music to the stage as band leader Oswald Caines leads the group into crowd pleasing favorites. The band really knows how to work an audience and for more than a decade, Democracy has been one of the finest, most innovative reggae bands to hit the greater Tampa Bay area. They have supported reggae superstars such as Pato Banton, Yellowman, Inner Circle, Steel Pulse, Third World and Shabba Ranks.

Democracy has won numerous awards including the Best Reggae/Caribbean band in the Tampa Bay area and they have performed in Jamaica as part of the Air Jamaica Festival.  Democracy always leaves the audience wanting for more and this Friday night will be no different.

The Greater Lakeland Multi-Cultural Festival is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department, Center Door Productions and the University of South Florida. Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center’s parking lot and in the Iowa Street parking garage. No glass bottles within the park please. For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at (863) 834-6264.


Leadership Lakeland Welcomes Class XXIX

With more than 200 alumni and friends in attendance at Thursday’s Opening Reception, Class XXIX Chair Steve Bissonette (Class IX, City of Lakeland) introduced the members of Leadership Lakeland Class XXIX.

Congratulations to the following members:

David M. Brown, SunTrust Bank

Brian Charles Carroll, Southeastern University

Lesley Verplanck Chambers, Harrison School for the Arts

James R. Chastain, III, Chastain-Skillman, Inc.

Eugene Conrad III, C.M., Lakeland Linder Regional Airport

Timothy Benjamin Darby, Darby Law Group, P.A.

Celeste M. Deardorff, City of Lakeland

Dr. Edward Andrew Fazekas, Foot and Ankle Associates

Kathryn S. Haines, Lanier Upshaw, Inc.

Paula Higgins, Lakeland Regional Medical Center Foundation

Douglas B. Johnston, Saddle Creek Corporation

Jennifer Kincart Jonsson, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.

Adil Kahn, Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, P.A.

Calvin Knight, Ledger Media Group

Michelle B. Ledford, Madden

Bradley T. Lunz, Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects

Maggie McKeel Mariucci, University of South Florida Polytechnic

Daniel Medina, Medina Law Group, P.A.

Marijo Lynn O’Dell, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida

Gabrielle O’Toole, Koala Outdoor

Samantha A. Parker Hopkins, Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc.

Michael A. Riskin, CPS Investment Advisors

Palemeschia Rivers Powell, Polk Museum of Art

Angelia Rossiter, Watson Clinic, LLP

Mandy Elizabeth Sanders, LarsonAllen, LLP

Jeffrey Dale Stephens, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Sozon Costa Vatikiotis, Miller, Crosby & Miller, P.A.

John Kyle Vreeland, Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty

Stacy Williams, Achievement Academy

William Brian Yates, CenterState Bank

Together, these class members will complete a rigorous schedule of monthly day-sessions from October through May. Each session features hands-on experiences that engage class members in all aspects of Lakeland and Polk County’s community.

Leadership Lakeland is an annual program designed to identify leadership and enhance existing leadership in our community. The program unites leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to improve their ability to lead effectively, offering its members a broad range of experiences and insights about the community, its people, its needs and its services.


College & Career Campaign Meet & Greet August 4

You may have seen information on our blog about the College & Career Campaign. This group of Public School boosters has set out to save the College & Career services provided to students in many Polk County high schools.

With just weeks to go before the start of the school year, these counseling services are still at risk of discontinuation. The College & Career Campaign Committee has organized an event to put us all face-to-face with the counselors and learn more about the benefits and services they provide to local students.

Everyone is invited to attend!

Thursday, August 4 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Garden Club Building (corner of Lake Avenue & Orange Street in Downtown Lakeland)

Appetizers, wine & more

For more information about the Campaign, visit


Local Bands Featured at Free Music on the Promenade

The August 19, 2011 Music on the Promenade will feature three up and coming Lakeland bands as part of a local music showcase.  This FREE event is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade.

The Brian Sutherland Trio will open the show with their eclectic blend of musical styling.  Sutherland is a singer, songwriter who will easily switch from cello to guitar as he plays his own version of folk, pop, acoustic rock.  He is joined by band mates Zach Rogers and singer Adrienne Kneebone.  This group of Florida Southern students makes up a sound that audiences have struggled to categorize.  Their blend of styles and freedom to improvise places them in more than one genre.  Covering the great artists like Nat King Cole and George Gershwin, all the way to modern day crooners Jason Mraz and Michael Buble.  They are crowd pleasers wherever they play.

Walking Catfish, another local Lakeland band, will take the stage with music that blends the attitude of early classic 70’s punk, the spirit of early 60’s surf music, the mathematical tendencies of krautrock and some curious electronic noises that intertwine melody and harmony into a unique homespun sound. Walking Catfish are a band that makes music on their own terms. The culmination of the eclectic crew and years of experience inspire a blue collar approach to indie rock.

What started in a garage as three to four friends collaboratively writing and rehearsing simple acoustic folk songs has evolved into a band known as the California Baseball Band.  While the songs written by the band are not necessarily themed around California or even baseball for that matter, they have built upon the quaint acoustic folk set with more volume and more instruments.  The California Baseball Band has managed to keep the banjo and mandolin in the forefront of many of their songs; maintaining the simple folk vibe that a wide demographic can enjoy.  The band is literally 6-7 friends having fun doing what they love. Their set will contain most of the songs of their newly completed EP ‘Deep Creek’ which can be heard by logging onto

The music series takes place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is FREE to the public and families are encouraged to attend. There will be food and drink vendors on site so bring a blanket and enjoy the lake setting with music under the stars.

Music on the Promenade is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland.  Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center’s parking lot and in the Iowa Avenue parking garage.  No glass bottles within the park please.  For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at(863) 834-6264.