November 2021
Common Ground Playground Will Close December 6th - 10th For Tree Trimming And Park Maintenance

Common Ground Playground, located at Publix Charities Park (1000 East Edgewood Drive), will close December 6th through the 10th to complete much needed tree trimming. The Parks & Recreation team will also work on other maintenance projects in the park space during the closure. 

Director of Parks & Recreation, Bob Donahay said, “We know the park will be heavily utilized during the Christmas holiday break so this a good time to get this maintenance work done. We have some trees that really need to be trimmed for the health of the trees and for safety reasons. Our crews will also complete routine maintenance on some of the equipment and park amenities during the five-day closure.”
Lakeland Christmas Parade Kicks Off Holiday Events

The Lakeland Christmas Parade is a time-honored tradition, enjoyed by the community for generations. The parade takes place on Thursday, December 2nd. The parade starts with a fireworks display over Lake Mirror at 7 p.m. As the first firework is launched, the parade officially begins. Leaving the RP Funding Center, the parade travels down Lemon Street toward downtown. The parade then turns at Main Street to Cedar Street and winds around Lake Mirror, going up Orange Street and ending at the RP Funding Center.

The City asks that no chairs be placed on the parade route until the day of the parade. Each year, many of those attending the parade start staking their claim earlier and earlier. Fire Chief Doug Riley says, “We understand people want a good vantage point to watch the parade. Unfortunately, we have chairs blocking sidewalks and crosswalks days before the parade.” Police Chief Reuben Garcia adds, “This causes a major hazard, especially for those in our community that use wheelchairs and walkers to get around.”

The City will remove/relocate chairs that are totally blocking sidewalks, in the way of crosswalks and hindering the use of disabled parking spaces. We understand the excitement of this yearly event, but we also want to keep in mind the safety of all our citizens. Riley and Garcia say, “Please, no chairs on the parade route before Thursday, December 2nd.” Chairs, tape, blankets and other materials used to save viewing spaces will be removed if placed in public right-of-way before the day of the parade.
Thursday, December 2 • 7PM
Downtown Lakeland
Saturday, December 4 • 5-9PM
Frances Langford Promenade
at Lake Mirror
Saturday, December 11 • 7AM
Cleveland Heights Golf Course
Saturday, December 11 • 10AM-1PM
Hollis Garden
Lakeland History And Culture Center:
Fundraising Campaign Ending Soon

The Lakeland History and Culture Center is currently being constructed at the Lakeland Main Library (100 Lake Morton Drive). Once completed, the new 1,400 square foot space will feature visually appealing exhibits with narratives that tell Lakeland’s story. The Inaugural exhibit, opening in Spring of 2022, will outline the importance of the railroad and how it was a core component that helped shape Lakeland’s early history.

The self-guided story will be told using display graphics, artifacts, narratives, and interactive touch screens. A portion of the Lakeland History and Culture Center’s curated budget for displays is sponsorship driven with charter organizations and members of the community contributing to the space. The Lakeland History and Culture Center Committee has been busy fundraising and the group is very close to reaching their goal. Charter members who contribute $500 or more to the project will have their name or company’s name on the donor wall that will greet visitors as they enter the Lakeland History and Culture Center. The deadline for being a part of the donor wall is December 31, 2021.
Cops for Kids
Toy Donations 
Now in its 15th year, the Cops for Kids toy donation program, with the help of generous community donors, allows families to provide their children with a happy holiday. New unwrapped toy donations for children up to 12 years of age can be dropped off at any of the following locations:
  • Lakeland Police Station / 219 N. Massachusetts Ave.
  •  Lakeland Libraries (Main & Jackson Branch) / 100 Lake Morton Dr. and 1700 N. Florida Ave.
  • City Hall / 228 S. Massachusetts Ave.
  • Lakeland Electric / 501 E Lemon St.
  • Kelly Recreation Complex / 404 Imperial Blvd.

Monetary donations are also accepted and can be mailed to:
Attn: Crime Prevention Unit
Lakeland Police Department
219 N Massachusetts Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801

Please notate Cops for Kids on the memo line of your check or money order. 
YOUR CITY NEEDS YOU! Serve on a Board or Committee today!

Advisory groups play a critical role in municipal government. Some boards are required by state law and others were created by the Lakeland City Commission to be advisors in specific areas. Citizens play a major role in local government by serving on a board or committee. Board members make key decisions from reviewing construction requirements and design review in the Historic Preservation Board to deciding on the types of development taking place in the community through the Planning & Zoning Board. The City of Lakeland has 19 City Boards & Committees that focus on a number of topics that include: arts, beautification, development, design review, code enforcement, historic preservation and more. Go to to learn more about each board and how you can make a difference by lending your voice to local government. The web link also has an application and a list of current board openings. Time commitment varies, but most committees meet once per month and a term is held for three years. Residents are encouraged to participate in these groups or nominate those who want to serve. 
Public Notice: Main Street Pathways Project To Be Completed Spring 2022

Multi-use trail between Interlachen Parkway and Longfellow Boulevard

The City of Lakeland recently started the Main Street Pathway project that includes the construction of a 10-foot-wide asphalt multi-use trail on the south side of Main Street between Interlachen Parkway and Longfellow Boulevard. The project scope includes the installation of ADA-deployment and bench pads for six Citrus Connection mass transit stops along the way. The project also includes updated traffic signalization at the Longfellow Boulevard intersection.

The pathway project is 100% funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The total estimated cost for the Main Street Pathway and Transit Enhancements project is $802,004.48. This includes design, construction, engineering, and inspection costs. The pathway project will provide a completely new bicycle/pedestrian facility on the south side of Main Street that does not exist today, filling in an important missing gap between Lake Bonny and Longfellow Boulevard, where Polk County’s new sidewalk begins and continues east. The project is currently underway and is projected to be completed in April 2022.