City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!


LAKELAND, FL (June 12, 2017) - The City of Lakeland was recently designated a 2017 Playful City by the national non-profit KaBOOM! Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.


Lakeland was one of 258 communities recognized across the United States for making it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, the winning communities have more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4-million kids.


The City of Lakeland’s planning process ensures that play opportunities are dispersed throughout the City. Neighborhoods have balanced access to both play programming and park space. Partnerships with outside agencies and non-profits create great play spaces and demonstrate the commitment that our community has for improving and sustaining recreational spaces throughout the City of Lakeland.


Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation said, “Play is a critical component of a child’s well-being and therefore a stepping stone to enabling children to become productive future community leaders. We are dedicated to promoting life-long recreational opportunities to help further the advancement of our children and improve the quality of life for our adult population.”


As cities are becoming hotbeds for innovation, communities across the country are creating inventive ways to attract and retain residents. Playful City USA honorees are taking bold action to ensure kids have great places to play – all with the ultimate goal of making play the easy choice for all kids, no matter where they live.


“We are thrilled to recognize Lakeland for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM CEO James Siegal. “The health of our communities starts with the well-being of our kids and play is critical for them to thrive. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all kids get the childhood they deserve and Lakeland is doing great things.”


To see the full list of Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using#PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook.


About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids—particularly those growing up in poverty in America—the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit




Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | City of Lakeland | 863/834-6264





LAKELAND, FL (June 8, 2017) - The T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration will take place  at Lake Mirror along the Frances Langford Promenade on Monday, July 3rd from 6:00 p.m. - 9 p.m. with a breathtaking fireworks display dazzling the crowd at 9 p.m. The festivities will start with a live concert featuring the energetic Jah Movement blending their brand of reggae that includes iconic pop songs with an island feel.  


Jah Movement have the distinction of winning Creative Loafing’s ‘Best Local Reggae Band’ in the Tampa Bay Area.  The band commands the stage with Damie Caines, former lead vocalist of popular band ‘Democracy’. He provides his unique sounds that many local reggae artists can’t touch. He shares the spotlight with Shantel Norman, who is one of the most popular female vocalist in Southwest Florida. She can sing ANY genre of music and she certainly entertains the crowd. 


Jah Movement has established a well-known name and reputation throughout Florida with a passion for live performances. They bring their own sound that includes reggae with a touch of R&B, Soul and Funk. You never know what popular songs they will pull out the box at each show!


Tom Mims, President of T. Mims Corporation said, “We are very excited to sponsor Red, White & Kaboom again this year.  It is an excellent opportunity for our community to come together in celebration of our great country and it is free to the public.”  He added, “However, we ask all those attending to bring a canned food item that will help those in need. All non-perishable items benefit Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE).”


During Red, White & Kaboom there will be a variety of food trucks around Lake Mirror so bring a blanket, bring your appetite and enjoy the festivities in celebrating our great nation.  Food vendors for the event include: Becky’s Hot Dogs, Chick-Fil-A, Manolito’s Cubans, Gelati Joe’s, Thunder Hollow Kettle Korn, Mr. C’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Doughlicious – Edible Cookie Dough, Lakeland BBQ Company and IC Swirls – Rolled Ice Cream.


The event will conclude with a dramatic display of fireworks over the lake.  The evening is free to the public and everyone attending is encouraged to bring at least one non-perishable food item to benefit VISTE. Those attending can bring their own cooler but no glass bottles please.  Also, no pop-up tents or large beach umbrellas are allowed.


There will be a Snapchat geofilter for the event so all those attending are encouraged to use the filter and share their experiences through social media using #redwhiteandkaboom2017 and #RWK2017


All City parking garages will be open for T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom.


Kevin Cook

Director of Communications


Lakeland, FL (May 30, 2017) | Federal, state and local officials will cut the ribbon on the new NOAA Aircraft Operations Center facility at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla., on Fri., June 2. The brand-new facility, including its 58,000-square-foot hangar, will serve as the main base for NOAA’s fleet of nine specialized environmental data-gathering aircraft, including the agency’s “hurricane hunter” planes. 

NOAA AOC at Lakeland, Fla.

NOAA's new Aircraft Operations Center facility in Lakeland, Florida (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center ribbon-cutting ceremony

Friday, June 2, 10:30 a.m.

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center
3450 Flightline Drive
Lakeland, Florida 33811

Media interested in attending should register with David Hallby by 12 noon Thursday, June 1.


NOAA awarded a 10-year lease to ‚Äčthe City of Lakeland to house the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in November 2016. AOC is making the transition from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., in phases and expects to be complete the transition in July. Meanwhile, NOAA aircraft continue to conduct operations nationwide.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on






and our other

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David Hall, NOAA | | 240/429-8042