Tag Archives: things to do in lakeland


Southeastern University Homecoming Set for October 26 & 27

seu news

LAKELAND, FL: Southeastern University will welcome alumni back to campus for its annual Homecoming weekend on October 26 and 27.

“With over 2,700 alumni living in the Polk County area, we believe Homecoming is the perfect opportunity for them to come home and continue to be a part of what we are doing at Southeastern,” said Dr. Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern.

Activities will kick off on Friday, October 26, with an alumni dinner at 6:30 p.m. Alumni can purchase a weekend package for an early bird price of $40. The package includes entrance into the dinner, as well as a meal at tailgating and a football game ticket the following day. Additional activities include a campus tour and campus-wide scavenger hunt. The early bird price ends on October 5. Tickets can also be purchased separately for individual events.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our alumni home to see all of the new developments on campus,” said Joel Johnson, director of alumni relations. “This is a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with former classmates, faculty and coaches.”

The School of Honors at Southeastern will also host a 10-year reunion following the alumni dinner on Friday night.

Additionally, a class reunion lunch will be held for the classes of 1968 and 1993 on Saturday, October 27, as they celebrate their 25th and 50th reunions.

Tailgating will begin at 4 p.m., with kick off at 7 p.m. The Fire football team will be playing Edwards Water College.

Registration is available online at seu.edu. Registration closes on October 19. For questions, contact the Alumni Office at 863.667.5400 or email alumni@seu.edu.


Upcoming Festival of Fine Arts Series at FSC Features Dynamic Performances, Exhibition


LAKELAND (September 20, 2018) – As the 59th season of Florida Southern’s outstanding “Festival of Fine Arts” series takes flight, members of the community will be treated to an exciting array of performing and visual arts events. The following offerings are to be presented through the end of October:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sept. 27-30 and Oct. 4-7, 7:30 p.m. (Sundays at 2:30 p.m.)
Set in the Mississippi plantation home of Big Daddy Pollitt, this powerful exploration of a southern family in crisis earned writer Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play explores themes such as greed, suppressed desires, and sibling squabbles surrounding desperate attempts to secure the family inheritance. This eight-performance run, directed by Mary T. Albright, will be presented at the Loca Lee Buckner Theatre. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students.

Los Trabas … In Concert!
Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
The Sarasota Orchestra’s principal bassoonist and flutist — FSC adjunct professor Fernando Traba and his wife, Betsy Hudson Traba — return to perform an evening of seldom-heard woodwind duets, featuring pieces by composers such as Oleg Miroshnikov and Astor Piazzolla. This free performance will be presented at Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall and is supported in part by a generous grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

Music Under the Stars
Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Members of the Florida Southern Symphony Band and Jazz Ensemble, led by Symphony Band Director J. Jossim and Director of Jazz Studies Jeffrey Benatar, perform a free outdoor. This free event will take place at the L.N. Pipkin Bandshell, with Branscomb Auditorium as the rain location. Listeners are invited to bring chairs or blankets, or to lounge on the grass. Included in this evening of music will be pieces conducted by senior music education majors as they prepare for prospective positions as band directors.

Great Expectations
Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Conductor Beth Gibbs leads the FSC Chamber Singers through an evening of choral music at Branscomb Auditorium, defying conventional expectations by presenting remarkable music by composers such as Sydney Guillaume, Adolphus Hailstork, and Rihards Dubra. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for students.

/Dance: Fall into Dance 2018
Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 28, 2:30 p.m.
For Florida Southern’s annual fall dance concert, Artistic Director Erin LaSala showcases an eclectic display of choreography from dance faculty and guest artists. The diverse and innovative program will range from ballet to contemporary dance styles, as performed by talented students from the FSC dance program. Tickets for this event at Branscomb Auditorium are $18 for adults and $9 for students.

Sad Tropics
Sept. 21 through Nov. 2
Inspired by Claude Levi-Strauss’s book Tristes Tropiques, this site-specific multimedia installation produced by New Orleans artists and Florida natives Cristina Molina and Jonathan Traviesa examines the psychological landscape of Florida and the tropics through photographs, murals, and videos. The first collaborative exhibition with the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College, this installation in the Melvin and Burks Art Galleries is free to the public.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Festival of Fine Arts events, go to www.flsouthern.edu/ffa, 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 72 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 382 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.


Good Shepherd Hospice Philanthropy Group to Hold 3rd Annual Seasons of Service Luncheon

Good Shepherd Hospice Philanthropy Group to Hold 3rd Annual Seasons of Service Luncheon

Featuring a Panel of Community Women

TAMPA, FL (September 20, 2018): The Hospice Women of Giving, a philanthropic group that supports  Good Shepherd Hospice, will hold its third annual “Seasons of Service” luncheon featuring a panel of community women on Thursday, October 4, 2018. The luncheon is scheduled to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lone Palm Golf Club, 800 Lone Palm Golf Drive in Lakeland.

Guided by Erica Sirrine, PhD, serving as master of ceremonies, three women will share the extraordinary lessons they have learned as leaders in their field: Donna McWilliams, DVM,  owner of My Pet’s Animal HospitalSusan Roberts, JD, retired Circuit Court Judge; and Seretha Tinsley, owner/CFO of PenGeo, Inc.

The following are the biographies of the master of ceremonies as well as the panelists:

Erica Sirrine, PhD, serves as the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Southeastern University. Before entering academia, she worked as the clinical manager of Good Shepherd Hospice’s Bethany Center and continues to volunteer at the center and Camp Brave Heart. She is passionate about educating mental health practitioners on bereavement counseling interventions and provides trainings of this type throughout the United States.

Donna McWilliams, DVM, had a childhood dream to become a veterinarian. She graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology before earning her doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2002, all from Virginia Tech University. Dr. McWilliams married her best friend Kevin, and in 2007, the couple and their pets moved to Lakeland and purchase My Pet’s Animal Hospital. In 2009, Dr. McWilliams added Sarasota Animal Hospital to her practice and welcomed a daughter to her family. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and Lakeland Rotary Club, in addition to holding membership in several professional organizations.

Susan Roberts, JD, is a retired circuit court judge and had been a leader among women in the judicial field throughout her career. She was a member of the first class at Florida State University Law School and was the first woman graduate of the program in 1969. After practicing law and serving as a municipal judge, she became the first woman elected as a Polk County judge in 1977. Judge Roberts retired in 2004 but remained in the Circuit Court as a part-time senior judge for several years. She is active in her rotary club and her church. Judge Roberts was married to the late Dan Brawley for 35 years and has one adult son.

Seretha Tinsley has been a trailblazer her entire life. She was the first African American female to attend and graduate from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1971. In the early 1980s, Mrs. Tinsley became one of the first African American female general managers in radio, and in 2008, she became the first African American president of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Mrs. Tinsley is the owner/CFO of the Winter Haven-based family businesses, PenGeo, Inc. (KFC): Tinsley Family Concessions, Inc. (airport concessions); and co-founder/executive director of Chain of Lakers Achievers, Inc. She is a trustee at her church and involved in community service. Mrs. Tinsley and her husband George have two adult children.

The cost per person is $40 and includes lunch. Space is limited. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Chapters Health Foundation Office in Lakeland at 863-551-4827 or foundation@chaptershealth.org for more information.

About Good Shepherd Hospice

Good Shepherd Hospice, an affiliate of Chapters Health System, is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that supports about 4,000 patients each year in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties as they face the challenges of advancing age and illness. Since 2008, the organization has been accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s premier healthcare accrediting body and recently earned deemed status. In 2015, Good Shepherd Hospice was named a Hospice Honors recipient by Deyta, an industry leader in data-driven management. In addition, Good Shepherd Hospice first received accreditation from the National Institute for Jewish Hospice in 2007, which means that the staff has undergone specialized training to better serve the needs of patients and their families across the entire range of faith traditions and observance within the Jewish religion. To learn more, visit www.chaptershealth.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About Chapters Health System

Founded in 1983 as a compassionate not-for-profit organization, Chapters Health System provides choices, education and guidance for those affected by advancing age or advancing illness through its managed affiliates: Good Shepherd Hospice, HPH Hospice, LifePath Hospice, and Chapters Health Palliative Care, located in Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties. In 2018, Chapters Health was certified as a great workplace in the Aging Services category by the independent analysts at the Great Place to Work® Institute. In addition, Chapters Health operates HPH Home Health, which serves the needs of patients in Pasco and Pinellas counties. Learn more at www.chaptershealth.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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 rfortier@lakelandchamber.com  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:  LkldNow.com, 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 https://bit.ly/2JlSL0m. To learn more about the event, visit the website at SwantoberFest.com.


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: suncoastcreditunion.com, Facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion 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.