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!

Grand Opening August 3rd at 10:30am

LAKELAND, FL (July 27, 2015) - The City of Lakeland’s Webster Park has received a facelift thanks to a $190,000 donation from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company and a $17,000 donation from the Midtown CRA.  Improvements include a new playground with several themed pieces of equipment that features a full range of slides, climbers, ladders and play activities. A grand opening of the new park will take place August 3rd at 10:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The new playground has elements for preschoolers and elementary aged children.  Renovations to the park also includes swings, two picnic pavilions, a drinking fountain, fencing, benches, trash cans, resurfaced basketball court, basketball backboards, bike racks and ADA access. 

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company has an iconic red elephant as their logo and the new Webster Park uses a number of zoo animals as a theme including a red elephant.

Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks said, “The City of Lakeland was able to replace Webster Park’s playground equipment that was originally installed in 1994 with brand new equipment designed to enhance the experience for those visiting the park.”  She added, “We thank Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company for their generous donation to make the vision become reality.  We could not have completed the park without their assistance and as a thank you, the public will see the red elephant prominently displayed in a piece of playground equipment.  We also are very grateful to the Midtown CRA for their support as well.”


LAKELAND, FL (February 23, 2016) - Starting Monday, February 29th, the Lakeland Skatepark at Fletcher Park on Lake Bonny will close at 8 p.m.  The park’s new hours will be 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

City of Lakeland staff met with members from the Lakeland Skate Alliance on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 to discuss issues that are taking place at the park.  Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “We have fielded a number of complaints from parents regarding illicit behavior taking place after sundown.  We’ve had staff members that have been threatened when trying to enforce the rules.”  He added, “We met with representatives from the Lakeland Skate Alliance and the group is in concurrence that closing the park at dark is the first step in curbing the behavior.”

The Lakeland Skatepark is owned and operated by the City of Lakeland. It opened on May 18, 2013 at a cost of $1.3 million.  The 22,500-square-foot facility has quickly gained notoriety as being one of the best skateparks in Florida. Donahay said, “We designed the park to be free and user friendly with the idea that it would not have a full-time attendant.  Unfortunately, because of the bad behavior from a few, we are having to modify the hours of operation as a last resort before looking at the possibility of having a full-time attendant at the park.” Donahay elaborated, “With today’s budgeting process, we would have to charge users in order to pay the attendant.  We don’t want to do that and we are hoping the behavior will stop.”

This skate park is unsupervised and all users assume full risk in entering the facility. Helmets are required for all skaters under the age of 18 and on-site adult supervision is required for all skaters under the age of 12. Skaters are asked to adhere to the following rules and guidelines when using the Lakeland Skatepark:

  • Helmets and pads are required for anyone under the age of 18.
  • Be patient and wait for your turn in the park.
  • Be courteous to others.
  • Exercise caution in wet areas they are slippery.
  • Food or drink is not allowed in the skate able areas.
  • Illegal drugs, tobacco or alcohol are NOT allowed in the park.
  • Keep the park free of litter and graffiti.
  • Those using profanity, abusive language, or fighting will be asked to leave.
  • Skating is only allowed during the posted hours of operation. 




The Lakeland Public Library System offers two monthly book discussion groups, Books Sandwiched In and Discussions at the e.  Books Sandwiched In (BSI) is a monthly book discussion group, which meets every first Tuesday in the Main Library (100 Lake Morton Drive) meeting room at 12:15 p.m. Discussions at the E (DATE) is a monthly book discussion group, which meets at the elibrary South Lakeland on the first Thursday of every month at 12:30 p.m.


Each month’s selected book can be purchased for $2.00 at the respective libraries during the preceding month while supplies last. Coffee/tea and books are underwritten by the Friends of the Library. Please feel free to bring a bag lunch.


Books Sandwiched In


July 7

Bee Season 

Myla Goldberg


August 4

Birds of Paradise

Diana Abu-Jaber


September 1

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens


October 6


Kathryn Harrison



Discussions at the e


July 9

The Marriage Plot

Jeffrey Eugenides


August 6

Compulsory Happiness

Norman Manea


September 3

Girl Reading

Katie Ward


October 1




The programs at the Lakeland Public Library (100 Lake Morton Drive) are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Brenda Patterson at (863) 834-4276 and or and


To request a sign language interpreter at any library event or program, please contact Brenda J. Patterson at (863) 834-4276 or at least 7 business days prior to the event.




LAKELAND, FL (June 3, 2015) - The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that the T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration will take place with live music at Lake Mirror along the Frances Langford Promenade on Friday, July 3rd from 6:00 p.m. - 9 p.m. with a breathtaking fireworks display dazzling the crowd at 9 p.m.

A live concert featuring the energetic Clemons Road blending Country music with an island feel or vice versa, the band always starts a party as soon as the first note rings! Pulling their influences from Sublime to Alan Jackson, Dave Matthews to Jimmy Buffet, or Lynyrd Skynyrd to Zac Brown Band, Clemons Road will keep heads bobbing and feet moving.  Clemons Road features an extremely talented and charismatic front man, grammy award winning music producer Cliff brown on lead vocals and guitar.  He is backed by a formidable group of highly talented and seasoned professional band members that are ready to light up the stage!  Their sound includes fiddle, banjo, piano, guitar, bass and drums that will keep the audience dancing and having a great time.   Brown said, “We want to be a band that crosses cultures and breaks age barriers. We want to make people feel good and give them songs to use for the soundtrack of their lives. We can’t wait to play before the Lakeland crowd at Red, White & Kaboom.”
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." Mims added, "We will be continuing our Chow for Now canned food drive to benefit Volunteers in Service to the Elderly so we want each spectator to bring at least one can of food for VISTE." There will be Chow for Now volunteers with grocery carts circulating through the park collecting canned goods.

Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) is a community-based, non-profit organization serving Lakeland, Bartow, Mulberry and Ft. Meade. Established in 1983, the primary goal of VISTE is to enable frail elderly persons to continue living independently and safely in their own home.

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.  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 food item to benefit Chow for Now. All City parking garages will be open for T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom.