February is a full month in Polk County.
There are a ton of exciting events in our community this month. As I was glancing at my own calendar of things that I want to attend, I realized it’s really too much. So I figured ranking them would help me sort through things and maybe help you, as well.
Here’s the countdown:
5. The Warrior Dash (February 2nd)
This is really short notice because it’s taking place tomorrow, but this third annual event in Lake Wales is as unique as you’ll find. Hundreds if not thousands of people dress up in costume, run 3 miles through mud and obstacles and have a great time. Spectators are welcome.
4. Southeastern University Conference (February 11th-13th)
Held at the Polk Theatre in downtown Lakeland, this second annual event is free and open to the public. I’m a little biased because I work at SEU, but the school is bringing in some top-notch speakers and will offer incredible worship at two sessions each day. Speakers are Christine Caine, Carl Lentz, Stovall Weems, Chad Veach and SEU Campus Pastor Andrew Gard.
3. Polk Senior Games (February 23rd)
This two-week competition that takes place throughout the county with senior athletes participating in events such as archery, racquetball, powerlifting and shuffleboard. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.
2. Lakeland Kiwanis Pancake Festival (February 9th)
This is such an awesome event. The lines are long, but the pancakes are good and it’s a blast to see almost the entire community present. I used to volunteer in the batter room when I was in Key Club in high school, so this event has a special place in my heart (and stomach).
1. Detroit Tigers Report to Spring Training (February 12th and 15th)
Thousands of people will be making the trek to see the reigning American League champions, who happen to be Polk’s lone remaining Spring Training residents. Their relationship with Lakeland is the longest running in the sport, and the tradition becomes more special every year. Even if you can’t make it to a game, it’s fun to just go and watch the workouts. These guys are some of the best players in the game, including MVP Miguel Cabrera and perennial Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander. The chance to see them up close won’t last forever.
Honorable mention: Barkley, Bean, Bryant and Friends at The First Tee (February 22nd); Polk Museum of Art Gala (February 23rd); 67th Annual Tigers BBQ (February 19th)
What did I miss?