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Polk County

Community Calendar

This Community Calendar Page was designed to post announcements of events around the Polk County area. The announcements are listed according to the date of the event.

Click here, If your club or organization would like to post an announcement on this page.

Ritz Stages Murder Mystery Dinner Production, July 19

Sometime between an office encounter with an aspiring actress and scene two, fictional TV station owner Norman Sneer meets an untimely death. Of course, none of it’s real. It’s all staged and part of the fun of a murder mystery dinner theater production set for Sunday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the historic Ritz Theatre in Winter Haven. What’s unique about this production is that several well-known talented locals, most of whom have long histories with the stage, are part of the show.

The title role of Lizzie is played by Whitnie Bell (Ft. Meade). Bell, daughter of Robbie and County Commissioner Melony Bell, has graced the stage many times, including an appearance as part of the cast for Lakeland Community Theater’s 2013 production of Chicago. The rest of the cast includes two former entertainment professionals -- Bartow General Contractor Bob Pfeiffer and Bartow Vice Mayor Trish Pfeiffer; two local attorneys – Ralph Schofield, Jr. (Lakeland) and Allen R. Smith (Winter Haven); Webber University Track and Field Coach Dave Andrews (Babson Park) and Polk County Fire Rescue Chief David Cash (Lake Wales), who will help facilitate the fictional murder investigation. The only actor who is not technically a local is Tara Rodriguez, a stage and dance veteran currently residing in Tennessee. But Rodriguez is a Florida native with 6th generation roots in Polk County through her mother, and show director, Cindy Rodriguez. All actors are volunteers.

The action in this comedic production of “Murder is on the Air,” takes place on the television set of “The Lizzie Show” (based roughly on the “I Love Lucy” sitcom) and offers the audience a chance to watch the plot unfold, tap into their sleuthing skills and potentially solve the murder mystery. All of this is served up with a delicious four-course meal and a healthy portion of laughter!

The interactive murder mystery format gained popularity several years ago and continues to enjoy a loyal following with both long-time devotees and new audiences alike. According to production director, Cindy Rodriguez, “It kind of feels like you’re part of a real-life parlor or board game in a setting where friends, families and even new acquaintances form investigative teams to solve the mystery and have a blast while doing it!” The audience gets engaged by questioning the suspects, who often respond in humorous ways, to help solve the crime. “This show, because it’s based on a hit TV comedy, is particularly funny with lots of subtle and not-so-subtle comedic moments. Get ready to laugh – a lot!” said Rodriguez.

The Ritz is a 501-c3 Not-for-Profit organization and programs such as this are made possible by continued support from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners’ Tourism & Sports Marketing Arts and Culture grant program. This show is also supported by Badcock and More Home Furnishings.
If you go:  
Where: Ritz Theatre – 263 W. Central Ave. Winter Haven
When: Sunday, July 19. Show starts at 1:30pm (doors open 1:00pm)
Tickets: $30 per person (includes four-course meal and show)
Purchase online:
Group rates available:  Call 863.295.9900 
Parking: Free parking available just behind the Ritz in the city parking garage
More information

8th Annual Scenic 17 Sprint Triathlon, July 26

Entries are coming in as the 8th Annual Scenic 17 Sprint Triathlon returns to Babson Park. This year's event is presented Road and Trail Bicycles of Lakeland and hosted by Webber International University. It all begins on Saturday, July 25, 2015, as registration opens in the Yentes Center, at 3:00 p.m. The race is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2015. On Saturday, competitors may use the course for practice after they complete their packet pick up. Competitors that can't arrive on Saturday may pick up their packets on race day, as registration will be open from 5:00 a.m. until 6:45 a.m.

The Scenic 17 Sprint Triathlon is partnered with USMC toys for tots. If you bring and donate a new unwrapped toy to registration or the event you will receive a $20 dollar discount to the registration fee for next year’s triathlon in 2016.

Again this year, in the Scenic 17 race there will be a sprint duathlon. The Scenic 17 Sprint Duathlon will start with a 1.25 mile run, a 15 mile bike ride, and a finish with a 3.1 mile run.

The adult races will begin at 7:00 a.m. The youth race, for those 14 and under, will begin at 9:30 a.m. Entry fees are: Youth - $35.00; adult individuals - $80.00; Duathlon - $70.00; relay teams (2 or 3 participants) - $160.00.

Awards will be given to overall and Masters male and female winners. In the standard 5 year age divisions, first through third will be honored. In the Clydesdale/Athena divisions, first through third will be awarded.

The Relay Team division may consist of two or three members. There are three divisions: male, female, and mixed.

All participants must be members of USAT. If you are not, you must pay a one day membership when you register. The Scenic 17 Sprint Triathlon is a sanctioned USAT event.

For those of you not registered, you may do so online. You may register at or at If you have an entry form and are paying by check, please make checks payable to Webber Track Boosters. Entries and payments can be sent to: Webber Track/XC office, 1201 N. Scenic Hwy., Babson Park, Florida, 33827.

For more information, please contact the event chair, Coach James Simpson. He may be reached at

9th Annual Crickette Club Yard Sale, August 7

Bartow's Crickette Club Everyone is invited to the 9th Annual Crickette Club Yard Sale on Friday, August 7, from 7:00am to 3:00pm. The yard sale will be at the Girl Scout House on North Wilson Avenue in Bartow, right across from City Hall. Free admission to the sale, with a presale on Thursday, August 6, from 5pm to 7pm. Admission to the presale is $5.00 at the door. Proceeds support the Girl Scouts and other community related activities. To donate gently used items for the sale, please call 863-581-5571, or 863-944-5110 or 863-660-7072.

Webber Golf Classic, August 22

Join us on Saturday August 22 for the Webber Football Golf Classic at the Oakwood Golf Club in Lake Wales. Shotgun start at 9am. This fundraising event supports the Webber Warrior football program.

Entry fees are $60 per player, and lunch will be included along with drinks on the course, plus prizes.

For more information please call 863-734-1508. More information

Main Street Bartow Honey Bee Festival & Craft Fair, November 4

Bartow’s annual Craft Fair, now in its 24th year, is adding a Honey Bee Festival this year. Main Street Bartow, Inc. has partnered with the Ridge Beekeepers Association to bring a day full of education and fun, along with the local craft show the community looks forward to annually, on Saturday, November 14. The event will be held from 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M., in downtown Bartow, and is sponsored by Main Street Bartow, Inc. and the City of Bartow. Applications are currently being accepted.

The Craft Fair will feature handmade, all-season crafts. Space size is 12 feet by 12 feet, and there is a $55.00 entry fee.

An area with children’s activities will be included, and food will be available for purchase from vendors on the street as well as from Bartow’s downtown restaurants. An open car show and an antique fair will also be part of the event.

For an application or further information, call Main Street Bartow, Inc. at 863-519-0508, or email

Winter Haven Nautical Club

WINTER HAVEN NAUTICAL CLUB meets the 1st Wednesday of every month -We are a group of people that own boats or love to associate with boaters that cruise out Florida water ways.

New people that would like to explore membership, please call Bill at 863-965-7915 or join us at a meeting. New meeting location is at the rear Room 2 Winter Haven Complex with the pool, corner of US 17 and Cypress Gardens Blvd. Meeting begins at 7 PM.

Updated Polk County Directory of Services Now Available

Polk County Government The latest update of the Polk County Directory of Services is now available. The county Directory of Services is a biennial publication produced for the residents of Polk County to provide easily accessible information on county services. The booklet features a guide to county government, contact information for congressional and state representatives, a directory of county services, details for the recorded information line, and other features on government services. Hard copies of the directories are most commonly available at local government centers, public libraries and area chambers of commerce. A web and mobile-friendly directory is available at For more information or if your organization would like to receive directories, contact the Polk County Communications Division at 863-534-6020.

New Restrictions Allow For Two Days of Watering a Week

Polk County Government As part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s extended watering restrictions, Polk County Utilities water customers and those in unincorporated Polk County are allowed lawn and landscape watering from groundwater sources two days a week. These restrictions apply to everyone receiving water from Polk County Utilities, private wells, surface water sources or reclaimed water, and are effective through July 31, 2013.

Homes and businesses with even addresses are allowed to water on Thursdays and Sundays. Odd addresses are allowed to water on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All common areas and properties where no address can be determined are allowed to water on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Watering is allowed between midnight and 10 a.m. or between 4 p.m. and midnight. Hand watering or micro-irrigation of landscaping (not including actual lawn areas) is allowed at all times.

Further information about watering restrictions is available online at Residents with questions or concerns should contact the Polk County Utilities Water Resource Enforcement Office at 863-298-4211.

Barbershop Singers- The Sentimental Journeymen, Thursdays

Did you know that the Winter Haven area has a men’s Barbershop Chorus which is licensed through the Barbershop Harmony Society? We are the Winter Haven chapter and are known as the “Sentimental Journeymen” Chorus.

Our desire is to attract men of all ages but with an emphasis on younger singers who may fear being associated with the stereotypical handlebar mustaches, straw hats and bow ties. We in-fact have several members in their 20's and have worked hard to "modernize" the barbershop image.

The chorus, and quartets which are formed from within the group, are available for performances and we welcome all male singers who would like to participate in our four part, a cappella style of singing.

We meet and rehearse every Thursday evening at the Saint Matthew Catholic Church, 1991 Overlook Dr. Winter Haven, Fl. at 7pm.

For more information, please visit or call 863-661-2235.

SPCA of Lakeland

SPCA of Polk County Each month SPCA Florida provides over 200 pets in the community with supplemental pet food and supplies through its Ani-meals program. Due to increasing community need, SPCA Florida is asking the community for donations of cat food and litter. Donations can be dropped off at 5850 Brannen Road South in Lakeland, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit or call (863) 646-SPCA for more information.

The SPCA, Inc. in Lakeland is in desperate need of cat litter. Any type of cat litter is welcome. Donations can be dropped off from 11am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the SPCA at 863-646-7722.

Citrus Lake Chorus of Polk County

The Citrus Lakes Chorus of Polk County, invities all men in the area who have a desire to lift their voices with other men who enjoy singing in barbershop fashion, please come and be with us... any Monday at 7:00pm at the Lakeland First Methodist Church on Lake Morton Drive in Lakeland. We meet in the adult choir room.

For more information please call President Al Smith at 863-815-9783 or visit our website at

Auditions not required, but provided by trained directors, if desired, for your voice placement.

New Hazardous Waste Collection Program Available for Small Businesses

Polk County Polk County businesses that produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month can properly dispose/recycle it the third Wednesday of each month by appointment-only at the North Central Landfill’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. The first collection day will take place February 16.

Quotes will be based on the quantity and types of waste materials to be disposed/recycled. Participants must complete a registration form and inventory sheet and may need an onsite inspection prior to participating. Waste materials being collected include: paint, solvents, waste ink, fluorescent lamps, used oil, antifreeze and other hazardous waste.

For more information, paperwork and appointment schduling, visit or Contact Andrea at (863) 284-4319 ext.203,

The North Central Landfill is located at 5 Environmental Loop South in Winter Haven.

PCSO and Florida Refuse Partner Together to Fight Crime Through Waste-Watch

pull over to the CyberStation Waste-Watch is a partnership between the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Florida Refuse Service workers in which employees of Florida Refuse assist law enforcement by observing and reporting suspicious activity while out in neighborhoods during the normal course of their duties collecting refuse.

The idea for this partnership grew from Operation Bright Eyes, a partnership between law enforcement and Bright House networks technicians. The goal of partnerships like these is to enhance the safety of our communities by training those workers who spend their entire workday in our neighborhoods to be alert to their surroundings and anything that would be considered a crime or suspicious in nature. In a county as large as Polk, it is difficult for law enforcement to be everywhere they need to be. Programs such as Bright Eyes and Waste-Watch expand our public safety resources, resulting in increased safety for those who live, work, and play in Polk County.

So far, 185 Florida Refuse workers have been trained by PCSO to observe and report suspicious activity, through Waste-Watch.

For more information about Waste-Watch, please call the PCSO Crime Prevention Unit at 863.534.6677.

Civil Air Patrol

The Polk County Composite Squadron SER-FL. 274 of the Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary of the United States Air Force will meet at the Summerlin Academy JROTC Class Rooms located at Bartow High School, Tuesday Nights starting at 6:30 PM till 9:00 PM.

Both Cadets (must be at least 12 years and no older then 18) and Seniors (Starting at 18) are invited to attend from throughout the Polk County Area.
For more information contact either: 
Captain Jon R. Petersen, CAP 
SER-FL 274 Squadron Commander 
Telephone Number: 863-221-4231 
1 Lt Robert-Gregory Gibson,CAP 
Telephone Number 863-632-7081 
For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit the CAP website:

Alzheimer's Support

The Lake Wales Alzheimer's Support Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month, from 1 to 2 pm , at the Lake Wales Care Center, 140 East Park Avenue. This group formerly met at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Family, friends, and caregivers of Alzheimer's or dementia sufferers are welcome.

KnitWits Monday Meetings

The Polk County Chapter of The Knitting Guild of America, the KnitWits, meet each Monday from 10am to Noon at the First Presbyterian Church located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland.

Knitters of all ages and levels, beginner to advanced, are welcome to join the group. For further information, call 863-944-2806.

Viewing of Adoptable Pets

pull over to the CyberStation The Polk County Sheriff's Office, in an effort to help adopt out as many eligible animals as possible, has added a new feature to their website The link, located at the bottom of the home page, is titled "Animal Services Section".

The "Pet Harbor" is a brand-new feature offering viewers a searchable database of adoptable pets, in and out of Polk County. Customers can select whether they are looking for a dog or a cat, an age range, a gender and even a size. Photos of the animals are available at the click of a button, and are updated on a routine and timely basis.

The section also has a wealth of information such as laws, rabies, spaying/neutering and is very user-friendly.

Winter Haven Optimist Club

The Winter Haven Optimist Club invites everyone to attend there club meetings at Perkins Resturant on Cypress Gardens Blvd. in Winter Haven each Monday night at 6:30pm. Come enjoy great speekers on Community events. Service to youth has been the foremost principle of the Optimist Club for more than 70 years. Our motto " Freind of Youth" is exemplified by the various projects our club sponsors every year. Some of our projects include Essay Contest, Youth Appreciation, Oratorical Contest, Youth Sports as well as Scholarships to graduating Seniors to Winter Haven, Lake Region and Auburndale High Schools. Fund rasing events include our Christmas Tree Sale which we have done since 1972 at the Orange Dome in Winter Haven. For further information please call (863) 293-7972.

American Red Cross

American Red Cross The Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering Community Disaster Education presentations to the community, free of charge. The Community Disaster Education program teaches people how to prepare themselves, their families and their property for disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

For more information about the program, or to schedule a presentation, call the Polk County Chapter at 863-294-5941.

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts Adult volunteers can have just as much fun as the Girl Scouts they serve. Adults can volunteer as troop leaders and advisors so that they work with the same girls all year. Volunteer opportunitites also exist for guest speakers, teachers for specific skills and projects, advisory committee members, and a wide range of other volunteer services to girls and Girl Scouting.

To find out more about becoming a Girl Scout volunteer, contact the Lakeland office at 863.688.7648.

Bartow's VFW Post 2405

Bartow's VFW Post 2405 is known throughout the State of Florida as a Christian post. Our post is involved in many veteran and community activities. If you are a Veteran of Foreign War, we need you as a member. Please contact one of the following men for more information: James Slaughter, Commander 863-533-9381, J. B. Sellers, Quartermaster 853-533-6267, or Andrew L. Ford, Chaplain 863-533-3445.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Polk County The Polk County Board of County Commissioners' Hazardous Waste Section collects household hazardous waste Monday through Friday 7:45a to 3:45p, and Saturday 8a to 5p at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. The facility is located on SR 540 at the North Central Landfill, four miles east of highway 98.

At the facility, the county accepts household paints. aerosol cans, motor oil, gasoline, antifreeze, kerosene, diesel fuel, pool chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, cleaners, polishes, paint strippers, paint thinner, fluorescent tubes, mercury containing devices, household and auto batteries.

All household items are accepted during these times except biohazardous materials, i.e. hypodermic needles or lancets. No explosives or radioactive wastes will be accepted at this location. No waster generated by businesses will be accepted for disposal. For more information call the Polk County Household Hazardous Waste Section at 863-499-2771 or 863-499-2689.