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(377) stories found containing 'downtown lake wales'


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  • Free Downtown "Squeeze" Shuttle Service Off to a Fast Start

    Robert Connors|Updated May 24, 2024

    The newly-bricked and landscaped Park Avenue served as the backdrop for a recent ribbon cutting marking the official start of service by the new downtown shuttle known as The Squeeze. A happy crowd of citizens and officials representing Lake Wales Main Street, the Citrus Connection, the City of Lake Wales, and the Community Redevelopment agency shared the moment, celebrating the rapid changes coming to the city. The service is already earning great reviews from shoppers and lu...

  • The "Squeeze" Starts Service on Monday, Making Getting Around Downtown a Breeze

    Robert Connors|Updated May 9, 2024
    1

    Lunch-hour diners and shoppers will find getting around downtown Lake Wales a breeze beginning Monday as the newest city service arrives in town. Described as "fast, frequent, and fun," The Squeeze will offer free transportation around the city's center, ranging between Central and Crystal Avenues between First Street and Market Street. The service will utilize new 8-passenger open-air "golf cart" style vehicles to shuttle guests to and from area businesses. The shuttles will...

  • City Files For Final Judgement to Regain Walesbilt Hotel Title

    Robert Connors|Updated May 8, 2024

    Attorneys representing the City of Lake Wales have filed a motion for final judgement in their two-year pursuit of a lawsuit against Dixie Walesbilt LLC. The motion seeks to dismiss all counts in the suit beyond the two already decided in favor of the city. The two counts already decided by the court concluded that Dixie Walesbilt principal Ray Brown had committed "fraud in the inducement" to trick the city into assigning the title to his firm. The city had granted title to th...

  • Yeoman's Celebrates 111 Years in Lake Wales

    Robert Connors|Updated May 6, 2024

    The oldest business in Lake Wales is celebrating yet another significant date. On May 15 the venerable Yeoman's Feed and Seed marks its 111th year and its first year under the ownership of John and Chuck Elam, who purchased it from Richard Jahna. The company has remained in continuous business in Lake Wales since 1913. The Orange Avenue operation is receiving high marks from area residents for the many improvements the brothers have brought to the operation. The business...

  • Park Avenue Streetscape Project Advances, Only Tip of the Vast Connected Plan Effort

    Robert Connors|Updated May 6, 2024

    A new Park Avenue is steadily emerging in downtown Lake Wales as work continues on the first phase of a multi-million dollar reimagining of the city's heart. The ongoing work is creating a shady pedestrian oasis in the heart of the city, replete with rows of spreading live oaks, new benches, lighting, wider sidewalks, and brick-paved streets and parking areas. The stretch of Park Avenue between First and Market streets is rapidly nearing completion, offering business owners an...

  • Mardi Gras Awards $20,000 to Area Non-Profits

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    Eleven local non-profit organizations benefitted from grants distributed recently by the Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee. Several dozen representatives and community members gathered at the Lake Wales Arts Center for the annual check presentation. The Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee and Lake Wales Mardi Gras President Joshua Curchy presented a total of $20,000 from proceeds raised in the 2024 Mardi Gras event. The Mardi Gras celebration, now planning for its 41st year, draws t...

  • City Anticipates $23 Million Grant to Complete "Connected" Project

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    A grant application for the "Complete Streets redesign of remaining portions of 1st Street, Central Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue" has been given a high probability of success by a grant consultant working for the City of Lake Wales. The application seeks 100 percent funding for the redesign and reconstruction of most of First Street North, Lincoln Avenue, and single blocks of Central Avenue and A Street. The total project costs included in the application are $22,930,000, which...

  • Polk State College to Offer Career Expo

    Madison Fantozzi|Updated Mar 29, 2024

    Setting students on a path toward success has long been a goal of Polk State College. On April 10, that vision will extend to the entire community. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the College will host a Career Expo in the gymnasium on the Winter Haven Campus. The job fair-style event is free and open to all Polk State students and community members. The Career Expo will feature more than 30 vendors from various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, government,...

  • "Lake Wales Live" Continues to Draw Crowds to Downtown Music Series

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Downtown Lake Wales was a "happening scene" Friday as the sounds of the south Florida-based "The JamBand" filled the air as they performed from a special stage in Linear Park. The event drew a large crowd on a beautiful spring evening who danced, clapped along, and sometimes sang with the band. Numerous vendors and a food truck catered to the crowd. The free performance was another installation of "Lake Wales Live," a six-performance series intended to help bring more...

  • Court Clears Path for Redevelopment of Walesbilt Hotel, Rules in Favor of City

    Suzie Schottelkotte and Robert Connors|Updated Mar 12, 2024
    1

    BARTOW - A Circuit Court ruling Thursday has set the stage for reverting ownership of the historic Walesbilt Hotel in Lake Wales back to the city, ending a years-long legal battle for control of the 10-story building. Circuit Judge William T. Sites ruled that the current owner, Dixie-Walesbilt LLC's Raymond Brown, fraudulently induced the city into contracting with him to redevelop the property, and ultimately to sign the deed over to Brown, according to the ruling. The...

  • Gibson Lays Out History, City Position in Walesbilt Lawsuit

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    Despite a significant ruling in favor of the city, the future of the Walesbilt Hotel still hangs in the balance of an active lawsuit, Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson told the city commission during the boards' regular meeting Tuesday night. The ten-story boom-era hotel, constructed in 1926, is the dominant feature of the city's downtown and has been a topic of discussion by the commission for more than a decade. It has remained vacant since 1996. In a 33-minute presentation at...

  • Incumbents Are No-Shows at Commission Election Forum

    Robert Connors, managing Editor|Updated Mar 6, 2024
    2

    Three challengers seeking two seat on the Lake Wales City Commission held the stage at a Monday evening candidates forum after both incumbents failed to show up for the 90-minute event. The election is four weeks away, slated for Tuesday, April 2. Carol Gillespie, seeking seat 4 on the five-person commission, along with Brandon Alvarado and Crystal Higbee, both seeking seat 2, shared their ideas and responded to questions from the audience at the forum sponsored by the...

  • Two Forums Offer Voters Insight into City Election Choices

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Voters will have two chances next week to see and hear incumbents and candidates for seats on the Lake Wales City Commission air their views and positions on a wide variety of topics during two candidate forums. Events are planned for both Monday and Wednesday evenings, March 4 and March 6, giving registered voters within city limits extra opportunity to become informed. Five candidates will vie for two seats on the commission in the April 2 vote. Although candidates must...

  • Lake Wales Has a Good "Squeeze" Coming

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 17, 2024

    In an effort to help address the need for transportation around the downtown area, City Manager James Slaton and staff have brought another solution forward. The "Squeeze" is an eight-passenger open vehicle which has already proven successful in downtown Lakeland, according to Erin Killebrew, who presented the concept during a special presentation to the Community Redevelopment Agency board. The proposal would provide the vehicle as a free service to riders needing to move...

  • Mardi Gras Season in Full Swing in Lake Wales

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    The two-and-a-half weeks of the 40th annual Lake Wales Mardi Gras festivities are rapidly approaching their climax as hundreds of "krewe" members prepare for the combined parade on Saturday, February 10. The series of masquerade parties and musical events mark the days of the pre-Lenten "Carnival" season here. Last week's kickoff party, hosted by the Krewe Renaissance, will be followed by the Saturday, Feb. 3 Blacklight Ball sponsored by the Loyal Order of Wild Shiners....

  • Lake Wales Mardi Gras Events Begin This Week, Expected to Draw 20,000

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    The biggest outburst of fun and frivolity in the region, the Lake Wales Mardi Gras is preparing to offer its 40th year of festivities to residents and visitors from far and wide. The event draws an estimated 20,000 to the two-and-half-weeks of activities. Highlighted by a zany parade and two-day music festival, the celebration also features three masquerade dance parties offering live music, and a special "Mardi Gras Pre-Party" that will celebrate the 40 years of event...

  • Downtown to Resound With Free Lake Wales Live Concert Series

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Music and entertainment fans will welcome the news of a sensational series of free Friday night concerts that promise to infuse the community with camaraderie, live music, and entertainment. The series is planned for Orange Avenue in the heart of Downtown Lake Wales. The new Friday Night Live series is a collaboration of the Lake Wales Arts Council with the City of Lake Wales and Lake Wales Main Street. The Arts Council "is delighted to unveil the much-anticipated Lake Wales...

  • Lake Wales Documentary Selected for Film Festival

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    A documentary film about the creation of the Lake Wales Envisioned planning process has been selected for screening at the annual Redfish festival in Panama City, FL. The film, produced by Lee Dover of the Dover, Kohl & Partners planning film, is a recap of the effort and results of the six-month community-wide effort that resulted in a "roadmap" that may help prevent sprawling residential developments from overwhelming the city in the future. Numerous local residents and...

  • West Park Avenue Reopens to Traffic, East Park Closes as Project Advances

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 2, 2024

    While the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the newly reconstructed portions of Park Avenue and First Street remains in the planning stage, the newly-completed stretches of West Park Avenue and North First Street are now open to two-way traffic. The opening comes concurrent with the closure of the eastern portion of Park Avenue, a situation expected to last most of the year as the pavement is removed, utilities upgraded, and new sidewalks and brick streets are installed. Shoppe...

  • Second Bakery Draws Fans to Downtown Lake Wales

    Diego De Jesus, News Staff Writer|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    A desire to combine family and "flair" has resulted in a business that customers are describing as "a delight. Since opening less than two months ago Mimi's Bakery has quickly become a new favorite for an early-morning crowd that heads to downtown Lake Wales to enjoy artisanal baked goods to kick off the day. Cases filled with Danish pastries and artisanal breads emit a delicious aroma, accompanied by the fragrance of freshly-brewed coffee. "Where else can you get a cup of cof...

  • "Slow Roll" Great Way to Get involved in Care Center Bike Shop

    Catherine Price, News Correspondent|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    Area residents now have an opportunity to join their friends and neighbors on a "Slow Roll" thanks to the efforts of Care Center employees Dwayne Goldman and Chris Kinson. The duo run one of Lake Wales best kept secrets, the Lake Wales Care Center Bicycle Ministry, hidden inside a cavernous downtown garage at 201 North Scenic Highway at the corner of Orange Avenue. There, stacks of donated bicycles await volunteers eager to clean them up and put them in working order. Lake Wal...

  • Polk State College Lake Wales to Host Open House January 25

    Madison Fantozzi|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    Polk State College invites prospective students, their families, and community members to an open house at the Polk State JD Alexander Center on January 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 152 E. Central Ave. in Lake Wales. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Center's new Director, Von McGriff, as well as faculty and staff. Tours of the campus, assistance with admission and registration, and information about programs, financial aid, and scholarships will be available....

  • More Public Parking Downtown is Goal of CRA Purchase

    Robert Connors|Updated Jan 13, 2024

    More convenient public parking downtown, the subject of repeated merchant requests, will be addressed soon, according to city officials. Converting a private parking lot to a city-owned facility is on the agenda of the next meeting of the Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency The board will consider the purchase of the privately-owned lot at the corner of Park Avenue and First Street at their January 9 meeting. The move is viewed as part of the ongoing reinvigoration...

  • 100 Years Ago: The Highlander of January 9, 1924

    News Research Staff|Updated Jan 10, 2024

    A housing boom in Lake Wales is not an unprecedented thing, as 100 years ago the young city was experiencing the same thing as 78 new homes were built in 1923, without filling the demand. During the early 1920s Florida was in the midst of the Great Florida Land Boom, a speculative bubble that eventually collapsed but left Lake Wales and a hundred other towns with an enormous inventory of new buildings, including the unique collection of masonry structures that dominate the...

  • Brandon Alvarado to Seek Seat on City Commission

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    With only four months to go before Lake Wales voters will choose two candidates to serve on the city commission, the first challenger has announced his intention to win a three-year term on the five-member board. Lifelong resident Brandon Alvarado will seek the district two seat currently held by Daniel Williams. Alvarado, 27, is deeply engaged in civic organizations and in his announcement, he touts his experience as an example of his commitment to the city. "My experience wo...

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