Incorporating listings from the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce calendar.

Lakeland Square Mall Carnival
Jan 18 – Jan 21 all-day

This family-friendly event features midway rides for all ages, from kiddie rides to thrill rides, carnival games and favorite fair food. Carnival admission and parking are free. Single-day unlimited ride wristbands (for riders 36 inches and taller) are $25 on Thursday, $30 Friday – Sunday, or $15 online in advance (until 5 pm Jan. 18). Ride tickets are $1.50 each, $25 for 20 tickets, or $50 for 50 tickets plus 1 free ride. (Rides take 3 or more tickets each.) Visit the website for coupon savings on ride tickets, wristbands and food. Carnival hours are 5 to 11 pm Thursday and Friday, noon to 11 pm Saturday and noon to 10 pm Sunday. For more information, call 866-666-3247.

Presences: New Work by Yolanda Sánchez
Jan 19 @ 9:00 am – Feb 23 @ 5:00 pm

A translation of the sensory experiences and transience of nature onto canvas and paper.

Play It Forward Polk 2018
Jan 20 @ 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Play It Forward Polk is a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization raising money for musical instruments for kids in our public schools who cannot afford them. There will be a 50/50 raffle, Cooler of Cheer raffle, Frostproof H.S. Jazz Ensemble, George Jenkins Rockestra, Winter Haven H. S. Messengers Jazz Ensemble, B.Haven, and The Play It Forward Polk Super Band! You won’t want to miss this show!

Gianni Schicchi
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The ISO annual opera production welcomes opera professionals to Lakeland for a two-week rehearsal and performance schedule including special workshops for students. Puccini’s hilarious Gianni Schicchi, sung in English, is a comic opera based upon an incident in Dante’s Divine Comedy where Schicchi is condemned to Hell for impersonating the rich Buoso Donati in order to make Donati’s will favorable to Schicchi. The short, one act opera will be preceded by famous choruses. Subscriber Tickets: $60 $40 $15 students Save on ticketing fees as a Series Subscriber. Series Subscribers receive the best value with up to 20% off single ticket prices! Subscriptions start at $44 and include parking and ticket concierge.

Imperial Symphony Orchestra Presents: A Night at the Opera – Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with Florida Southern College, is pleased to present this year’s annual Night at the Opera, Puccini’s delightful comic opera tale, Gianni Schicchi. Spinning a charming story based on greed, deception, and of course – love – the cast members create an unforgettable work based on an incident from Dante’s Divine Comedy, where the lead character, Gianni Schicchi, is condemned to hell for impersonating the rich Buoso Donati. What a tangled web we weave! Come join the ISO’s remarkable cast of characters, outstanding artistic staff, extraordinary orchestra, and FSC’s students, faculty, and alumni in this beautiful show.
Venue: Branscomb Auditorium

Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Subscriber Tickets: $60, $40
$15 students

Opera: Gianni Schicchi at Branscomb Auditorium
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 11:59 pm

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra presents A Night at the Opera on January 20 at 7 p.m.

Puccini’s hilarious Gianni Schicchi, sung in English, is a comic opera based upon an incident in Dante’s Divine Comedy where Schicchi is condemned to Hell for impersonating the rich Buoso Donati in order to make Donati’s will favorable to Schicchi.

In the opera, dear Uncle Buoso’s will is discovered to leave his wealth to the church, so the family must act to regain control. Gianni Schicchi is the only man for the job, but does he have their best interest in mind?

The short, one act opera will be preceded by famous choruses with guests Mark Thomsen, Christina Sale and the Lakeland Choral Society.

Lakeland Electric Customer Appreciation Night
Jan 20 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Lakeland Electric values their customers and loves the City of Lakeland. To show our appreciation, Lakeland Electric is giving back to the community by hosting a Free Customer Appreciation Night at the Florida Tropics SC on Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 PM.

Admission is free! Starting January 8th bring your utility bill (Paper or Electronic) to the RP Funding Center box office and receive up to 4 free tickets for entry. Or, log onto and receive digital copies right from the comfort of home or a mobile device.

The first 100 customers to arrive at the game will receive a free team spirit gift. So, mark your calendars for January 20th! And thank you Lakeland for being a great place to work and live. We’ll see you at the game!

Harvest Holler Corn Maze
Jan 21 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Harvest Holler Corn Maze is family entertainment on a working family farm.

Open Mic Night
Jan 21 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Passion fuels passion. Come share yours at our Open Mic, hosted every 3rd Sunday at Just Dance Studios in Downtown Lakeland. This month, instead of bringing a published writer to speak, we want to take a look back on 2017. Viewing the most moving viral spoken words, the most praised nouvelle authors and more! Free registration and entry plus beer, wine and other lite refreshments available with donation. Talent welcomed from Polk and surrounding county’s. Talents include (but certainly aren’t limited to): – Authors – Spoken Word – Poets – Literary Arts – Comedians – Music Artists – Acoustic Guitar Players – String Instrument Players – Vocalists – Singers – Music Groups Disclosure: Those interested in performing must be tasteful; no ILLICIT or EXPLICIT or DEGRADING content. Basically… don’t go over the top with deragorory material, keeping it kid friendly because this is a family event! Performers with digital needs: Please place your musical tracks on a usb drive or on cd in .MP3 format. Ambitious Diva ENT partnered with Just Cares Inc & Platform Art to Present #LKLDspeaks Open Mic Night, bringing local and live entertainment to the City of Lakeland! To learn more about Just Cares Inc please visit their FaceBook page

Planning Meeting for Swantoberfest
Jan 22 @ 4:15 pm – 4:55 pm

Committees forming at the first planning meeting for the Lakeland Chamber’s new event Swantoberfest (scheduled for 9/22/18) on Monday, 1/22/18 at 4:15 pm, at the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce in the Main Floor Conference Room. Swantoberfest is scheduled for Saturday, 9/22/18 in Munn Park and replaces the Big Event. Please RSVP to Rebecca ( or register here by clicking “Register Now”

River Cruising the Wine Region of Bordeaux: Informational Meeting
Jan 22 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Join us on Monday, January 22, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. to hear about our Fall trip: River Cruising the Wine Region of Bordeaux

Sail on two of France’s mighty rivers and the Gironde estuary with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and Jet Vacations on a 9-day, 7-night river cruise from October 21-October 29, 2018 through the beautiful scenery of the Bordeaux region and the valleys of the M doc, Libourne, and the Entre-deux-Mers.

Unpack only once as you enjoy the unfolding views into the heart of some of the most breathtaking scenery in France from the comfort of your cabin aboard a luxurious riverboat. Come join us for this amazing Bordeaux discovery cruise and explore some of the world’s most famous vineyards, sample renowned wines, and learn the history of medieval cities on several guided tours. This fabulous trip includes your accommodations, sightseeing, meals, and airfare from Tampa. An optional pre-extension to Spain is available!

In 2011, the Lakeland Chamber launched its international travel program on a tour to China and has since hosted trips to Italy, Cuba, Ireland, Australia, and Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany on its first river cruise adventure along the Danube.

Knit One, Crochet Too!
Jan 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Join us every Monday at 6:30 pm for Knit One, Crochet Too! in the Training Room at the Lakeland Public Library. Registration is not required and the club is open to all levels of experience.

Hats Off! to Chamber Members hosted by Florida Technical College
Jan 23 @ 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

ENGAGE. CONNECT. Mark your calendars to participate as the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce presents Hats Off! Every year, Chamber volunteers distribute membership packets to more than 1,400 member businesses. These dedicated volunteers personally visit each member business and provide the Chamber with important feedback from members.


Volunteering for Hats Off! offers you a unique opportunity to visit businesses as a Chamber representative while still promoting your company. In one afternoon, each volunteer will deliver up to 20 packets with the new membership materials to our valued members. Your day begins at 8:00 am with breakfast and your packet pick-up. By 8:30 am, you’re delivering packets! Return delivery receipts to the Chamber office at 35 Lake Morton Drive.


Get added recognition for your company as a “Secret Hat” Company. Just let us know that you’re interested, and then decorate a hat (any type of hat!) with either $25 cash or $50 in merchandise / gift certificates. When your volunteer arrives, award them the “Secret Hat”! Be sure to take a picture or two! “Secret Hat” Companies will be promoted in our e-newsletter. Sign up to be a “Secret Hat” by filling out and returning the form by clicking here.


New Business 101
Jan 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

New Business 101

New Business 101
Jan 23 @ 9:00 am – Feb 10 @ 12:00 pm

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will host four sessions that will help businesses finalize their business plans and gain valuable information from city and county ombudsmen, bank officials, marketing professionals and local business mentors before opening their doors. All new businesses that complete the courses will receive a complimentary 6 month chamber membership, as well as a SCORE mentor to assist them in their business venture. The course will also help new applicants by feeding them in to the chamber programs that will most benefit their prospective business.

Hope & Healing Grief Series
Jan 23 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Hope & Healing Grief Series *Please note that this group meets on three consecutive Tuesdays: January 16th, 23rd & 30th 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Speaker: Rica Walker, LMHC

Business Plan Reviewers Needed for Young Entrepreneurs @ Online
Jan 23 @ 4:30 pm – Jan 30 @ 7:30 pm

Business Plan Reviewers Needed! No Experience Necessary!

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA! Polk) is excited to offer a volunteer opportunity for those interested in making a significant impact on the business plan development skills of a budding young entrepreneur and help increase business creation in our region!

Our students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy have been working diligently since October to finalize their business ideas and begin the hard work of writing their business plans. For the students to be successful at the Shark Tank Investor Panel on April 4th, it’s super important that we have people who are not very familiar with the student businesses to review their business plans. This will allow the students to see if someone who has not been in the class every week will understand what their business is all about. Attached please find photos & information about our students this year.

Ideally, we are looking for 14 Lakeland Chamber members to review 14 business plans. We are trying to confirm our business plan reviewers by Jan. 23rd, and then on Jan. 30th we’ll email them the business plan, and they have one week to return the plan (2/06).

The business plans are usually 4-6 pages long and would take approx. 30 minutes to read and write in / type in questions, comments, etc. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! Here’s what you’ll be looking for:

Do the students clearly explain what their business is?
Do they explain why they are passionate about it and why they decided to start it?
Do they explain why they are qualified?
Do they explain who their customers are, and how they will reach them?
Do they explain what they have already done for the business (contacts made, items sold, etc.)
Do they explain how they will make money?
Do they explain what the investment amount is, and how they came to that number?


Tuesday, 1/23/18: Verify commitment as YEA! Business Plan Reviewer. Additional information sent once commitment is verified.

Tuesday, 1/30/18: YEA! will email the Business Plan Reviewer business plan(s) to review.

Tuesday, 2/06/18: Business Plan Reviewer will email the business plan(s) back to YEA! with comments, suggestions, and feedback.

Business Plan Reviewers are an essential component to having all YEA! Polk students write great business plans! Business Plan Reviewers do not need to be people with experience in launching their own business specifically, but they do need to be people who want to make a significant impact on a young person’s life, and who will take a vested interest in the success of their students, and will be able to provide good ideas and suggestions for the student’s plans.

Thank you so much for considering this wonderful opportunity to make a real impact on actual business creation in our region and a young entrepreneur!

Big Orientation and Training
Jan 23 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

POLK COUNTY! Please join us on Saturday for an exciting orientation where you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of what it’s like being a Big and the role they play in helping area children in need. Our mission here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is to provide children facing adversity with professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that will change their lives for the better, forever. These information sessions for potential volunteers are a required part of the application process in order to become a Big. These sessions allow everyone to gain a better understanding of what it means to volunteer with BBBS and ask any questions about the process. Come out and bring any family or friends that might also be interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister!

EMERGE Runs (or Walks) with the Lakeland Runner’s Club
Jan 23 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join EMERGE at the FITNiche Tuesday Night Pub Run. This takes place at Bosko’s Clubhouse Grill (at Cleveland Heights Golf Course) every week at 6:00 PM. The 5K course allows running or walking at your own pace along the beautiful Three Parks Trail.

Start your new year off right and hold onto those New Year’s Resolutions with EMERGE!

FREE to participate. Draft beer specials all night.

Participants must sign a waiver prior to starting their run/walk, please arrive early.

Musical Thrones
Jan 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Lakeland, FL Fans of the most talked about show on television can now get their fantasy fix live on stage with the hilarious send-up MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody coming to the RP Funding Center January 23rd at 7:30 p.m. Composed by the hysterical mad men behind the long-running SILENCE! THE MUSICAL, Jon and Al Kaplan, MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody brings your most beloved and be-hated characters to life as you journey through all 6 seasons of the Emmy Award Winning Game of Thrones series. Sing and dance along with Daenerys and her dragons, Tyrion, Joffrey and all the jolly members of the Lannister and Stark families in this love letter to fans.

Musical Thrones
Jan 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Lakeland, FL— Fans of the most talked about show on television can now get their fantasy fix live on stage with the hilarious send-up MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody coming to the RP Funding Center January 23rd at 7:30 p.m.
Composed by the hysterical mad men behind the long-running SILENCE! THE MUSICAL, Jon and Al Kaplan, MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody brings your most beloved and be-hated characters to life as you journey through all 6 seasons of the Emmy Award Winning Game of Thrones series.
Sing and dance along with Daenerys and her dragons, Tyrion, Joffrey and all the jolly members of the Lannister and Stark families in this love letter to fans.
You will be transported to Thrones’ magical locations (if you close your eyes) where bloodthirsty musical theater comics leave no joke unturned in serving up Thrones’ notorious violence, power struggles, manipulation and sex – plus worse yet – a ballad or two. This show is preparing for battle so saddle up and come on down to King’s Landing – and hold onto your swords!
Tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices are $49, $38 (other fees may apply) and are available by visiting the RP Funding Center Box Office or calling toll-free 888-397-0100, and online at

Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine: Nod to Nonprofits Tour Series
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Join us at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, to learn more about Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine.

Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine

When a few key Watson Clinic physicians realized that a great number of Polk County community members were medically underserved, with no access to healthcare, they began to look for a solution. Led primarily by these physicians and the Watson Clinic Foundation, Lakeland came together to find a unique way to meet the healthcare challenges of the greater Lakeland community.

Inspired by the Volunteers in Medicine model started by Jack McConnell on Hilton Head Island, Dr. Glen Barden brought the idea to Lakeland and the dream became a reality.

On Valentine’s Day 2001, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine opened its doors in the historic John Cox Grammar School on Lakeland Hills Boulevard. Today, LVIM is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a local Board of Trustees.

At LVIM, patients gain a medical home and have access to doctors’ visits, diagnostic testing, lab tests, ultrasound scans and x-rays at no charge. More extensive diagnostics, such as CT’s and MRI’s, are also available through a network of participating ancillary providers who volunteer their facilities, staff and professional time also at no charge to LVIM or the patients. Additionally, LVIM operates a full-service pharmacy, funded by United Way of Central Florida, filling approximately 30,000 prescriptions a year. The Prescription Assistance Program within LVIM secures almost $3 million of brand name prescriptions for patients at no charge. At LVIM, the treatment is free; the care is priceless.

Alligator Walk
Jan 24 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Requires sign up. Please join our volunteer guides on a hike through the Marsh. Learn about the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a keystone species of Circle B Bar Reserve! This will be a great time of year to observe alligators and learn some facts about them and their behavior, so do not miss out on this hike!! Bring binoculars and a camera, because you never know what gators will be stopping in at the Marsh! *To sign up for this hike please call 863-668-4673 ext. 205. Limit 10 people.

Total Joint Replacement Pre-Operative Education Class
Jan 24 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

This class is designed to inform patients and their families about what to expect when considering elective total joint replacement surgery, from pre-operative preparation to post-hospital recuperation. The class is led by an interdisciplinary team of physical therapists, social services and orthopedic nurses. Topics include pain management, daily routine, ambulation, exercises and discharge planning.

Central Florida SCORE Optimize Your Website
Jan 25 @ 7:45 am – 9:00 am

Join us for Weave Your Own Web with Linda Jezard, Owner of Advantage Positioning, to optimize your website! Linda has worked for 30 years in the fields of search engine optimization, web design, branding and social media marketing. She will share with you:

Understanding basic internet and website technology
Building a website that brings business and can grow with you
Optimizing your website for better search engine rankings

Now is the time to start thinking about growing your small business!

Registration is open at: Central Florida SCORE Website

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