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 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 ​the 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

social media channels


David Hall, NOAA | | 240/429-8042

Who:   City of Lakeland leaders will be joining citizens, local church leaders and youth organizations in a display of solidarity during the Refuse to Lose - Summer of Safety Awareness March.


WHAT:  A project of the City of Lakeland, FL - Government and Mayor Howard Wiggs Refuse to Lose-Gang Task Force initiative, the awareness march is being held to show unity and support for our youth this summer.  The goal is for every parent to be aware that there are a number of programs and activities that will help keep children busy this summer.


WHERE: Participants will meet at the City of Refuge Church of God in Christ, located at 1105 North Ruth Avenue.


WHY:  Research indicates that parents play a pivotal role in keeping young people out of gangs and children that are subjected to negative influences have a higher risk of joining a gang. Members of the Gang Task Force want all children to have the opportunity to be involved in positive summer activities and programs.  Information on the variety of Summer of Safety programs will be made available during the Refuse to Lose march.  Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We are very excited to walk in unison to show our young people that we care about them and for the parents, it will be a great time to learn about the many resources that are available to help keep our youth busy during the summer months.”

<div xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:m="" xmlns="">


WHEN: Thursday, May 18, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Groups will be meeting in the parking area of the City of Refuge Church of God in Christ at 1105 North Ruth Ave. The march will kick-off at 6:00 p.m.


For additional information about the event, contact Lynne Simpkins at 863.834.6027 or by email at

NOAA Hurricane Hunter Hangar Will Be Filled With Foam as Part of Fire Suppression Testing

Who: Lakeland Linder Airport Director, Gene Conrad.

What: High expansion foam generator test at NOAA Hangar. The hangar will fill up with foam to approximately 12 feet in height. The test only lasts about three minutes but because of the hangar size (58,000 SF), there will be a great deal of foam.

Why: High expansion foam is a fire suppressant system that totally floods a space to help secure three-dimensional fires that could occur from such sources as flammable liquids storage. The test is required by code prior to occupancy of the tenant.

When: Tuesday, May 9th at 9 a.m.

Where: NOAA Hangar at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport located at 3450 Flightline Drive, Lakeland Florida 33811. Parking will be available along Flightline Drive.

On Tuesday, May 9th at 9 a.m. there will be a great opportunity for the media to see something that doesn’t happen very often. A fire suppression system that disperses high-expansion foam will be tested at the NOAA Hangar at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport located at Flightline Drive, Lakeland, FL 33811. Event is open to the media only.

The 58,000 square foot facility will be filled with foam. The test will last approximately three minutes. Gene Conrad, Director of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and Carl E. Newman, Executive Officer, NOAA Aircraft Operations Center will be on hand to answer questions about the test and they will be glad to answer questions about the new home of NOAA’s hurricane hunter operations. Tours of the entire facility will not be available at this time due to the final completion schedule.

Applications suited for high-expansion foam include aircraft hangars, hazardous waste storage, paper product warehouse, tire warehouse, flammable liquid storage, mining, ship holds and engine rooms, power stations, gas turbine generators, cable tunnels, engine test cells, transformer rooms, basements, cellars and enclosed spaces, and communications switching stations.