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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.

Women's Care Center in Bartow

Bartow's Women's Care Center The Women's Care Center is finding their pantry food supplies dwindling down very low and they are in real need for toiletry items such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

The Women's Care Center of Bartow is a non-profit organization. It provides a transitional living center for homeless women and their children.

For more information please call 863-534-3844. Donations can be drop off at the Care Center, located at 490 E Boulevard Street in Bartow.

If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, please mail your contributions to:
Women's Care Center
P.O. Box 1041
Bartow, Florida 33831 
Thank You, and for more information please visit,

Emergency Home Energy Assistance Available for Elderly

Polk County Government Polk County Elderly Services seeks eligible applicants for limited emergency home energy assistance for low-income, elderly residents with overdue utility bills.

At least one household member must be at least 60 years old and a Polk County resident. Applications must include proof of identity, age and residence for all household members, household income, and over-due utility bill.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 863.534.5320.

Free Diabetic Classes

Polk County Government The Indigent Health Care division has announced additional free Diabetic Classes for Polk County residents on Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and Dec. 18. To reserve seats, residents should call 863-519-2041 or 863-519-2066. “With diabetes being a serious problem in Polk County, the Indigent Health Care division felt it was important to offer free Diabetic Classes to residents,” said Marilyn Sylvia, a community nurse for the county. “We strongly believe the best way to reverse the damage diabetes has caused our residents is to arm them with the knowledge they need to combat the disease.” Diabetic Classes include a general overview of the disease process, highlighting ways to prevent, detect and treat the complications of diabetes. Educators will discuss the importance of nutrition, physical activity and weight management in dealing with the disease. The class will also highlight blood glucose monitoring, cover the different medications available and look at ways to schedule diabetic check-ups. Classes are scheduled for:
  • Thursday, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. to Noon, Haines City Public Library, 111 N. 6th St., Haines City
To reserve seats for either of these free classes, call 863-519-2041 or 863-519-2066. Transportation is available for Polk HealthCare members through Transit Services by calling 863-534-5500 x 4.

November Happenings at the History Center

Polk County Government Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:
  • Nov. 18, 12:15 to 1 p.m. - Lunch and Learn - “Florida’s Holiday Foods” presented by Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon and Katie Farmand, the authors of “Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs and Artisans.” Heather McPherson is the past president of the Association of Food Journalists and a food editor and restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel, where she writes four weekly columns on food and dining trends. Pam Brandon is a food and travel writer and managing editor of Edible Orlando magazine. She is the author of numerous books, including “Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas.” Katie Farmand is a food stylist and Orlando-based recipe developer. She is editor of Edible Orlando magazine and is the author of the blog The Thin Chef. The Lunch and Learn lecture series occurs the third Tuesday of every month, January through November.

  • Nov. 21, 6 to 9 p.m. - Festival of Wreaths Opening Night - Photos with Santa – 7 to 9 p.m. - Take in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy the Annual Festival of Wreaths. The striking wreaths that fill the halls of the History Center are decorated and donated by local businesses, individuals and organizations. Do you see a wreath that you want to hang on your door for the holidays? Cast a bid in the 2014 silent auction with proceeds benefiting the History Center. On opening night, the History Center will have extended hours and will be offering photos with Santa from 7 to 9 p.m. ($5 suggested donation)

  • Ongoing Events:

    Come experience a new permanent exhibit featuring Jacob Summerlin’s walking stick. Originally presented to Jacob Summerlin in 1887 at the cornerstone dedication ceremony for the Summerlin Institute in Bartow, the cane features a gold head, wood body and brass tip. Jacob Summerlin Jr. was instrumental in the founding of downtown Bartow and its designation as the county seat. A shrewd businessman, Summerlin was one of the wealthiest cattle barons in Florida for more than two decades. His wealth allowed him to purchase land and later donate it for the creation of cities, churches, government buildings and schools in Polk County.

    A new permanent kiosk is now in place in the 1908 courtroom. The panels feature information on the history of the 1908 courtroom, the Florida Bar, a timeline of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court, a sampling of photos and the story of a famous trial that took place in the Old Polk County Courthouse.

    The Civil War exhibit, ‘Edge of Wilderness: Polk County in the Civil War,’ remains on view through April 2015, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

    The photography exhibit, ‘Picture Polk History,’ remains on view through Nov. 2014. This exhibit features images of historic and cultural heritage sites on the Polk County Heritage Trail. Visit the new concierge center for ideas on local cultural heritage sites to visit during the fall.

    Docent-led tours of the History Center and Museum every Friday at 11 a.m., beginning in the rotunda.

  • Recent Museum Acquisitions - In addition to Jacob Summerlin’s cane, the History Center recently received two exciting new artifacts. Daniel Spessard Holland, grandson of both Sheriff John Logan and Spessard Lindsey Holland, and his wife Kathleen Shimeta, have donated Senator Holland’s cane and Sheriff Logan’s service revolver to the History Center’s permanent collection. The 32 Long CTG Smith & Wesson revolver was carried by John Logan during his tenure as sheriff. Logan was elected sheriff in 1909, holding the office for sixteen years, longer than any other sheriff in the history of Polk, retiring only because of failing health. The revolver is on permanent display in the History Center’s Community Gallery.
About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming.

Movies on the Lawn, November 28

On the day after Thanksgiving, after your day of Christmas shopping and eating leftover turkey, gather the kids and head downtown to the movies. The hilarious Christmas film, “Elf”, will be the feature at Main Street Bartow, Inc.’s “Movies on the Lawn” on Friday, November 28, at dark on the northwest corner of Wilson Avenue and Main Street. “Elf” tells the story of one of Santa’s elves who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father, spreading Christmas cheer as he goes.

The event is free and suitable for the entire family. Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

For further information call the Main Street Bartow office at 863-519-0508.

Lake Wales Arts Council Presents 3rd Annual Make It Magical Holiday Extravaganza on Dec. 5

The Lake Wales Arts Council will present the third annual Make It Magical holiday extravaganza from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 with the new theme, "The Grinch."

"Downtown Lake Wales will be transformed into Who-ville with a professional actor starring as the Grinch," says Barbara Connor, Council vice-president, who helped create the event while serving as the president for three years. "Much like Who-ville's annual Who-bilation, you may see green face paint and Who-do hairdo’s during an evening that is sure to make hearts, especially the Grinch, grow three times larger."

Last year 29 stores and professional businesses decorated, served goodies and greeted customers with many holiday special offers. “We’ve added more twinkling lights and a professional lighting company will make the downtown shine even brighter,” says Chip Thullbery, Council president. “Stores will be open until 8 p.m. so you can do all your holiday shopping. Our goal is to keep our downtown alive by showing people everything our great merchants have to offer.”

Food will be available for purchase at the Arcade Coffee and Sandwich Shoppe, Lincoln Café, the Peanut Shack concession stand and WTF Concessions food truck.

Arabella Decker’s Caspian horses will delight children as they enjoy free carriage rides and then get to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus along with their elves.

Jazz performers Charlie “Topp” Hines and Randy Corinthian will perform along with fiddler Catherine Price at various locations throughout the evening. Entertainment also will be provided by the Lake Wales Chorale, Lake Wales Brass, choirs and others.

Known as the City of Bells, Lake Wales will be decorated with mache bells created from recycled paper by the Lake Wales High School art club and classes along with elementary schools.

“This is a grass-roots effort that unites the entire community to make beauty out of simple materials. The celebration belongs to everyone,” says Connor, about the artists and performers who are donating their time and talent.

Make It Magical is made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors: Bell & Associates CPA Firm; Citizens Bank & Trust; Duke Energy; Family Elder Law, Jason Penrod; Lake Wales News; Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce; Lori Draper’s Furniture; Main Street; Pat Cain Wealth Solutions/Raymond James; Peterson & Myers Law Firm; Polk State College; Jack and Amy Dykxhoorn; and an anonymous donor.

Visit, or call 863-676-8426 for more information.

About the Lake Wales Arts Council: The mission of the Lake Wales Arts Council is to build a community where art and culture thrive, enriching the lives of people. Its vision is to create a vibrant cultural arts destination. The Lake Wales Chorale chorus will perform "Songs of the Season: Joy and Wonder" at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center. Tickets: $15 adults; $5 students. Headquartered in the Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center, 1099 Hwy. 60, Lake Wales, Fla. 33853, the Council is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact 863-676-8426, or email for more information.

Glitter, Glisten & Snow, December 6

On December 6th Haines City Leisure Services will be hosting one of their most popular community events: Glitter, Glisten, & Snow. The event this year, for the first time in history, begins with a lighted parade that will step off at 6:30 PM and wind its way thru downtown, ending in Lake Eva Park at 555 Ledwith Avenue for the festivities.

This fun filled event brings families and children of all ages to participate in many activities, including visits and pictures with Santa, free chestnuts, cider, cookies and hot chocolate. From our popular snow slide to flakes falling from the sky, attendees will enjoy something we don’t always get to see here in Florida, SNOW. Local entertainment will include school children and community groups on stage until 10:00 PM.

For additional information, please contact the Haines City Leisure Services Department at 863-421-3700 or log on to the City’s website at Parade applications are now being accepted and may be printed from the City’s website as well as craft and concession vending applications.

Entrants being sought for Bartow's Christmas Parade, December 12

Entrants are being accepted to participate in Main Street Bartow’s 2014 “Magical Illumination” Christmas Parade on Friday, December 12 at 6:00 P.M. The parade will begin at Mosaic Park north of the Bartow Civic Center, go north on Broadway Avenue to Main Street, then east to First Avenue, where it will end. Trophies will be awarded for the best floats in six categories: Best School, Church, Government, Business, Non-Profit Adult, and Non-Profit Youth, as well as trophies for Best Decorated Car and Best Marching Unit. A nominal entry fee of $20.00 is being charged (no charge for non-profits). For a $250.00 sponsor fee, the entrant will have prime placement towards the beginning of the parade and receive extra publicity.

Entertainment will be featured after the parade, and Santa will be on hand to visit with the children. Vendors will serve food beginning at 5:00 P.M. in the vicinity of the Polk County History Center, and the downtown restaurants will also be open.

Entrants in the parade are required to have lights on their floats, and no live Santas are allowed, as the real one has already accepted. As a safety measure, no throwing of candy from the floats will be allowed. Walkers may hand out candy.

The parade is sponsored by Main Street Bartow, Inc., Bartow’s Community Redevelopment Agency, and the City of Bartow. For an application or more information, contact Main Street Bartow at 863-519-0508 or

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.