Summerlin Academy's Color Guard at the Welcome Home Ceremony of the 2023 Polk Veterans Council Flight to Honor. | Kimberly C. Moore, LkldNow
Summerlin Academy's Color Guard at the Welcome Home Ceremony of the 2023 Polk Veterans Council Flight to Honor. | Kimberly C. Moore, LkldNow

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, which was originally called Armistice Day. It is an official national holiday marking the end of major hostilities in World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. Polk County Public schools are closed, as are government offices.

There are several Veterans Day events taking place in Lakeland this holiday weekend.

Friday, Nov. 10

Starting at 7 a.m., the five Lakeland Rotary Clubs join forces to host their annual Salute to Veterans Breakfast at Heritage Baptist Church, 4202 Pipkin Creek Road.  Veterans eat free and all others are $10.  Money raised supports the “Flight to Honor” and other veterans’ services.

At 8 a.m. there will be a flag-raising ceremony at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children at 1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd. Light refreshments will be served as Lakeland Regional Health expresses its gratitude and respect to “those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom.”

At 5:30 p.m. the Lakeland Elks Lodge will have a silent auction followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the Veterans Fundraiser and Dinner are $22 and include a meal of pork tenderloin, potatoes, Kentucky flat green beans, salad and dessert. There will be a live band playing music, 50/50 drawings and raffles. Proceeds will benefit projects that support veterans.

Saturday, Nov. 11

At 10 a.m., the city’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park at 701 West Lime Street, between the RP Funding Center and Lake Beulah. While the ceremony honors all veterans, this year’s will highlight the service of Korean War Veterans. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

At 11 a.m., immediately following the ceremony, the annual Veterans Day Parade begins. It will depart from the RP Funding Center and travel east along Lemon Street into downtown Lakeland. Then it will head north on Kentucky Avenue and end in the Munn Park parking lot. The parade will feature marching bands, veteran groups, JROTC units, scouting groups, cadets and other civic organizations.

From noon until 10 p.m., Swan Brewing will have a day of live music for its Salute to Veterans event.

Sunday, Nov. 12

The all-volunteer Lakeland Concert Band will kick off its 2023-24 season with a Salute to Veterans concert at Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium, featuring patriotic music. The doors open at 1:15 pm., the pre-show begins at 1:45 p.m. and the main concert will be at 2:30 p.m. The concert and parking are free.

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Kimberly C. Moore, who grew up in Lakeland, has been a print, broadcast and multimedia journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to LkldNow in the spring of 2022, she was a reporter for four years with The Ledger, first covering Lakeland City Hall and then Polk County schools. She is the author of “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak," published by University Press of Florida. Reach her at or 863-272-9250.

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