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 Christmas Parade 2016: Miracle on Main Street

On Thursday, December 1st, 2016 the 36th Annual Lakeland Christmas parade, sponsored by The Junior League of Greater Lakeland FL, will kick off at 7:00 pm with a fantastic fireworks display over Lake Mirror. Over 100 organizations will be participating in this year’s event!  The Lakeland Christmas Parade will run rain or shine!

Please note that streets along the parade route will be closing at 5 PM.


Chairs & Parade Viewing Spots

  • Chairs may be placed along the parade route, but NOT more than 24 hours in advance.
  • Chairs obstructing any roadways, driveways, entrances, etc. will be removed.
  • For safety, please do not completely block sidewalks or entrances to buildings and parking lots. 
  • Please allow enough room for pedestrians and those in wheelchairs to pass through on sidewalks and pathways 
  • Please do not leave chairs directly in front of the fire station, blocking the driveway that fire engines use to respond to emergencies.

Food and Drink

    • Please feel free to bring your favorite snacks and non-alcoholic drinks with you!
    • No open containers (alcoholic drinks) are permitted.
    • Please do not bring glass bottles and containers.
    • If you brought it with you, bring it with you or throw it away—help keep Lakeland clean and beautiful!


      • Take a look at our Downtown Lakeland Parking Guide for information on all street parking, parking garages, metered/pay by space parking, and free all day parking.  
      • All metered, pay by space and permitted lots are FREE after 5 pm and all day on weekends.  This does not apply to privately owned parking lots and garages.  
      • Handicapped Parking: All garages and lots have designated handicapped parking (see parking guide above.)
      • Parade watchers will want to watch the parade on the same side of the route as they park.  For example, if you are watching on the North side of the route (say Lake Mirror), but are parked down by Lake Morton you cannot cross the parade route to get to your car. You will have to wait until the parade finishes coming up Orange. 

      Lakeland Fire Department Tips

      • If you are seated near the Firefighter Commemorative/Memorial Statue, please be respectful of the green around the statue—no climbing or placing chairs in the reflection area or near the statue.
      • Please do not leave chairs directly in front of the fire station, blocking the driveway that fire engines use to respond to emergencies


      See Something, Say Something

      In an effort for the City of Lakeland to provide a safe environment in which to enjoy the Lakeland Christmas Parade, the Lakeland Police Department would like to encourage you to call for help; if you See Something, Say Something.  

      For emergencies, call 911.  For non-emergency matters, call (863) 834-6900.

      Watch Live Online/TV

      • Watch pre-show festivities on Facebook Live throughout the day of the event!
      • Watch LIVE on LGN here
      • Watch LIVE on Spectrum (formerly Brighthouse) Channel 643
      • Watch LIVE on Frontier FiOS Channel 43
      • On-Demand (after the parade) on

      Lakeland, FL
      (November 21, 2016) – Animal and firefighter lovers everywhere can rejoice this holiday season because SPCA Florida and the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) are presenting the ultimate stocking stuffer – The Rescued Pets 2017 Calendar! The calendar features actual SPCA Florida rescued pets and buff Lakeland firefighters beautifully photographed at famous landmarks throughout Lakeland. Each month of the year also features helpful safety tips and information from both organizations.

      The high quality calendars can be purchased for a $10.00 donation and make the perfect gift for the upcoming holidays. 

      Calendars may be purchased:

      Online at SPCA Florida

      In person at:

      • SPCA Florida Campus | 5850 Brannen Road, S Lakeland, FL 33813
      • Lakeland Fire Department Administration Building | 701 E Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801
      • Wellness Wagon weekly route stops| Locations 

      Cash and checks are accepted at all sites. Credit cards are only accepted online at and at SPCA Florida’s Medical Center, Adoption Center, and Administration buildings.

      Partnership for Pets

      A major highlight of the partnership between both organizations has been the Rescued Pets Calendar. Proceeds go directly to helping rescued animals in Lakeland.

      Last year’s calendar was a great success, generating nearly $10,000 to pay for the medical care of animals encountered on human emergency scenes by the Lakeland Fire Department and treated at SPCA Florida’s McClurg Medical Center. Additionally, the funds raised allowed for the purchase of new animal oxygen masks to replace existing masks for Lakeland Fire Department apparatus.

      The annual calendar is a fun and philanthropic cornerstone of the partnership. It is a great way for SPCA Florida to expand on its mission of helping animals while the Lakeland Fire Department can show its compassion and care for all of the living creatures in its community.

      Firefighters featured in the calendar and SPCA Florida representatives are available for interviews. Please contact each respective organization’s communication contact for more information. 

      View more photos at


      Janel Vasallo, Public Relations & Information Manager, LFD | 863/834-8219 |

      Paula Creamer, Director of Marketing, SPCA Florida | 863/577-4608 |

      Lakeland, FL (November 22, 2016) - On November 21, 2016, at approximately 8:50 PM , the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) responded to the Old Navy store, located at 919 Lakeland Park Center Drive. An employee in the store stated that four suspects had entered the store, concealed merchandise into bags and attempt to exit the store. When confront at the exit and after passing all points of sales, the suspects dropped three of the bags of merchandise which contained at total of $1075.94 in merchandise. On suspect identified as Ashli Adams, struck the employee in the face as another suspect ran out the store with a bag of merchandise totaling $331.04. The employee was unable to get a look at the vehicle or provide a direction of travel for the suspects.

      At approximately 9:00 PM, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gann was conducting a traffic stop on a 2010 Mercury Milan in the area of Kathleen Road and Interstate Drive due to the vehicle having a seize tag order. During a search of the vehicle, deputies observed numerous items of clothing from the Old Navy Store that still had the security devices on the merchandise. Deputy Gann contacted LPD and determined that they were conducting a robbery investigation at Old Navy that occurred 20 minutes earlier.

      The employee that was battered was transported to the scene by LPD and she positively identified the four suspects. The officer who investigated the robbery also noted that the four suspects were wearing the same clothing as captured on video in Old Navy at the time of the incident. The video is not being released at this time.

      • Donovan Brown, 19 years of age, Tampa, FL – Charged with Grand Theft
      • Ashli V Adams, 19 years of age, Tampa, FL – Charged with Robbery without a Firearm.
      • Rashonda Milton, 19 years of age, Tampa, FL – Charged with Grand Theft
      • Alexis Lee, 18 years of age, Tampa, FL – Charged with Grand Theft

      Media inquiries should be directed to (863) 583-2357.

      Lakeland doesn't have Golden Gates or Amusement Parks. It's not marked by its Walk of Fame or defined by any one specific thing.

      Lakeland is wonderfully eclectic, diverse, and filled with history (...and swans). So often when we ask people what they love about Lakeland, it's the intangibles that they say they love--the feeling of the City, the atmosphere....

      So much of Lakeland's identity comes from its....VIBE.

      The City of Lakeland will be producing a new video series, “VIBE”, that will showcase what is great about Lakeland and attempt to capture what Lakeland truly is and why we really LOVE Lakeland. Each video will feature a different theme and will showcase elements of Lakeland that add to our City’s vibe. We would like to feature original local music as the soundtrack for the VIBE videos. 

      Entry Details

      Musicians must play and submit original music. Musicians must live in the Lakeland area. Musicians or bands that are interested in submitting songs for consideration, please send music files/links by email to

      Please Include:

      • Musician/Band Name
      • Song Title(s)
      • Contact Email
      • Contact Phone Number
      • Permission for us to use your or your band's song(s)