City News Blog


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City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

Breitling Jet Team Practicing At

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport


Lakeland, FL (April 8, 2015) — Residents in the surrounding areas of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport may notice an increase in air activity over the next two weeks. The Breitling Jet Team based out of Dijon, France will be practicing team flights in the skies above South Lakeland in preparation for their North American Tour and much anticipated performance at the upcoming 2015 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In & Expo. The team’s appearance at Sun ’n Fun will mark their first-ever performance in the United States.

The Breitling Jet Team is the world’s largest professional civilian flight team known for their prestigious aerobatic displays. The first and largest of its kind, the team is comprised of seven L-39 C Albatros jets that can reach speeds up to 465 mph. Every appearance of the Breitling Jet Team is a breathtaking vision as each aircraft gracefully weaves through the sky at incredible speeds, sometimes flying to within a few feet of each other.

Visitors can catch the team’s full show at the upcoming 41st Annual 2015 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, April 21st – 26th at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Aviation enthusiasts know it as the 2nd largest air show in the world and Florida’s largest convention. More than 200,000 people converge in Polk County to see daily air shows, visit 500 exhibits, attend workshops and forums, introduce children to the world of aviation and view more than 4,500 aircraft from homebuilts to warbirds on the 1,000 acre Sun n Fun campus.  Visit for event schedules and information.



Want a SUMMER JOB that makes a difference AND HAVE FUN while you work? Camp Blast is your answer!

We are looking for energetic, motivated, kid-friendly staff members who will help make this year's summer camp program our best, yet!

We are seeking two types of positions:

Playground Coordinator – This position is the site supervisor (we have six elementary sites this summer). Starts $11.60 Per Hour

Playground Instructor - Starts @ $8.65 Per Hour

Positions begin June 10th and continue through August 7th (Monday – Friday) from 7:30am – 5:30pm. (That means no nights and no weekends! YES!) We are looking to solidify our staff by mid to late April AT THE LATEST!!

Don't Miss Your Chance - Apply Today!
(look for Playground Coordinator or Playground Instructor links)


LAKELAND, FL (March 27, 2015) - Join the City of Lakeland on Friday, April 3rd as we celebrate 10 new sculptures located along the Lemon Street Promenade in downtown Lakeland that are part of the 15th Annual Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition. Lakeland, Winter Haven and now Sebring are participating with the installation of new art to be enjoyed.


In Lakeland, the sculptures are displayed along Lemon Street and there will be a chance for art lovers to vote on their favorite outdoor sculpture for the coveted “People’s Choice” award from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. during the April 3rd  First Friday event that will take place in downtown Lakeland.  The winners of the “People’s Choice Award” will be announced at 8 p.m.  The band Free Time will play at the corner of Kentucky Avenue and Lemon Street along Lemon Street as they set the mood with soothing jazz.  


The artist, the name of their pieces of art and the materials used to make the sculptures are listed below.


Ray Katz, Pontiac, MI

Around the Gate, 2010

Hanna Jubran, Grimesland, NC

Summer & Spring


Bob Dorsey, Lakeland, FL

Self Portrait as Armadillo, 2014


Carl Billingsley, Ayden, NC

Connectarc,  2014


Adam Walls, Hope Mills, NC

Tree, 2014

Joni Younkins-Herzog, Sarasota, FL

Delilah, 2014


C.R. Gray, Key West, FL


James Westermann, Morrisville, VT

Trike, 2010


Roger Halligan, Chattanooga, TN

Yellow Tail, 2008   


Jack Howard-Potter, New York, NY

Winged Glory


The sculptures are selected by a committee of comprised of community members and Polk Museum of Art staff for the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition. The sculptures are displayed for a year in downtown Lakeland, Winter Haven and Sebring. An independent judge selects the Best of Show, Second Place and Honorable Mention awards for the pieces of art.  The winners along with the “People’s Choice” award will be announced at the April 3rd  First Friday event.  There will also be live music so come out and enjoy First Friday and vote for your favorite piece of art!



LAKELAND, FL (March 27, 2015) -- The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce Anthony (Tony) C. Camarillo as the newly appointed Director of The Lakeland Center. Camarillo succeeds former Lakeland Center Director Mike LaPan, who retired in January.

Camarillo most recently served as Director of Sales and Services at Navy Pier working for SMG, the largest manager of Convention Centers and Arenas in the US.  Navy Pier Chicago originally opened as a shipping and recreational facility in 1916 and has evolved into a premier family entertainment center. It also provides state-of-the-art space for meetings and trade shows. With over 250,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Navy Pier accommodates public shows, tradeshows, concerts, meetings and events.

Camarillo has over 20 years experience in the event management industry; he began his career with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in 1990 as an Event Manager at McCormick Place, at the time the largest Convention Center in North America.  Camarillo has consistently advanced within the management team, as McCormick Place and Navy Pier both changed management structures.

Camarillo said, “I am ecstatic about this incredible opportunity.  The Lakeland Center has a great reputation in the industry and I can not wait to be a part of the team.”  He added, “There are a number of similarities between Navy Pier and the Lakeland Center including the meeting space the ballroom. The facility has the distinct advantage of having four separate buildings under one roof and I consider myself lucky to lead The Lakeland Center’s great staff into the future.”

City Manager, Doug Thomas said, “We conducted a national search and we were very pleased with the quality of the pool of applicants.  A selection committee that included several City of Lakeland senior staff in addition to Mark Jackson, Director of Tourism and Sports Marketing for Polk County (Visit Central Florida), Jackie Johnson, Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau (Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce) and John Ball,Director of Volunteers and Events, First United Methodist Church and former General Manager, Hyatt Place all came to the same conclusion that Tony is the right fit to carry The Lakeland Center into the future. We were all impressed with his track record at Navy Pier, and believe his sales experience, demonstrated partnership development, energy, and personal enthusiasm for the profession will contribute to the success of the Lakeland Center going forward."

The Lakeland Center was originally built in 1974 and received a major face-lift in 1996 with a renovation project that included the addition the Exhibit Hall as well as a redesign that connected all four buildings under one roof.  The Lakeland Center includes the Jenkins Arena, Youkey Theatre, Sikes Hall and the Exhibit Hall.  The facility offers over 100,000 square feet of convention and exhibit space, a grand ballroom, a 2,296 seat theatre, a 10,000 seat arena and an all suites on-site hotel.

Camarillo who is 48 years old, graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Leisure Studeies/Program Management from the Department of Applied Life Studies.  His wife Adele and his three daughters will be joining him in Lakeland at the conclusion of the school year.  Camarillo will start as Director of The Lakeland Center on April 13th and will be paid a yearly salary of $130,000.