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CHANUKAH FESTIVAL & MENORAH LIGHTING
Mayor & Sheriff to attend 3rd annual Chanukah Celebration

LAKELAND, FL (December 9, 2012) – It’s that special time of year again: Chanukah, the eight-day festival of light, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.  Chabad Jewish Center invites members of the Polk County community to participate in the third annual public Menorah lighting in downtown Lakeland. The fun starts Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 pm at LAKE MIRROR AMPHITHEATER, which is located at 121 S. LAKE AVE LAKELAND, FL 33801.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

When they sought to light the Temple's menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.

Chabad Jewish Center invites members of the Polk County community to participate in the third annual public Menorah lighting in downtown Lakeland. The fun starts Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 pm at LAKE MIRROR AMPHITHEATER, which is located at 121 S. LAKE AVE LAKELAND, FL 33801.

Attendees will enjoy lively Chanukah music, chocolate Chanukah Gelt (coins), an exciting new Chanukah shop, an amazing fire show, and activities such as face painting, balloon twisting, guess the Dreidels game, arts & crafts and a raffle. Hot dogs, potato latkes, sufganiyot (Israeli-style jelly donuts), and beverages will be available for sale.

At 5:30 pm the giant 9-foot Menorah will be kindled, overlooking beautiful Lake Mirror, followed by a few words from our honored guests, Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

This is a community-wide public event and admission is free.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, or to volunteer to help at the event, please contact Chabad Jewish Center at (863) 510-5968.

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Children in and around the Lakeland Community will be able to take advantage of a very special holiday opportunity Tuesday, December 11tj from 5:30 to 8:00pm ... Santa and his elves will be taking time out of their busy holiday schedule to make phone calls to lucky children. 

Download an application

Applications are due by Monday, December 10th. They can be faxed to 863.834.1310 or delivered to Kelly Recreation Complex. Please call 863-834-3284 with questions. 


The weather reports are in – snow is in the forecast!  The City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department is proud to host the 32nd Annual Snowfest at Lake Mirror Saturday December 8, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This year's event will feature the traditional Snow Mountain and also a Snow Slide!  A visit from Santa Claus, children's entertainment, inflatables, arts & crafts vendors and food vendors will complete the day.

Price for admission to the Snow Mountain and Snow Slide will be a donated canned food item or a $1.00 donation. All canned food items will be donated to Polk County Senior Orphans charity. Admission to the inflatables will be $1.00.

For more information, go to www.lakelandgov.net/parkrec or contact Julie Adams, 863-834-8228 or julie.adams@lakelandgov.net.

 


Mayor Gow Fields invites local residents to attend the next Mornings with the Mayor event that will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 6th  at the north side IHop Restaurant located at 3427 US Highway 98 N, Lakeland.

Citizens that attend these informal breakfast sessions get to hear from the Mayor about key issues and initiatives taking place within the City before he invites questions from the audience.  This is a chance for residents to converse directly with Mayor Fields on a topic of interest or concern.

Mayor Fields said, “Accessibility is one of the keys to local government and Mornings with the Mayor provides the opportunity for our citizens to share their views, ask questions and provide feedback on issues that are directly affecting them.” He added, “We have successful asked for public engagement during these events and I look forward to spending valuable face to face time with our residents listening to the concerns that they feel are facing our community.”

Those attending will have to pay for their own breakfast.  IHop Restaurant features a breakfast menu with a host of items starting at around $5. The premise behind the Mornings with the Mayor program is to make elected officials more accessible to residents in the community and to promote one-on-one communications.

This program allows residents an informal and comfortable forum in which to meet with the Mayor to talk about issues, ask questions, voice concerns and offer comments or suggestions.  Mayor Fields said, “It’s also an excellent way for us to gather candid feedback about how people feel things are going in our City; what amenities they particularly enjoy, areas they feel could use improvement, or what they’d like to see in the future.”