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Recreation, including Special Events & Exercise

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The LAMP Amphitheatre,
Contact Parks & Rec staff, here.

Any updates will be posted here, on our Facebook page, Twitter page, and Comcast's Ch. 19.

There's more!
For information on the Lakeland Dance (monthly), gyms, martial arts, paintball, golf, mini golf, here. Horseback riding, here.

Youth & Adult Sports, click here. (

lions_club_logo.jpgSpecial Thanks to the Lions Club...

The Lakeland Lions Club has been recognized by City of Lakeland officials for the depth and breadth of their support to Lakeland. They volunteer at and sponsor most Lakeland city events. These include the Easter Egg Hunt, Children's Fishing Rodeo, Halloween Festival, Christmas Tree Lighting, and anything else the city needs. They have built two park pavilions and provided play equipment for several playgrounds. They replaced the I.H. Clubhouse floor and funded needed repairs as well as donated appliances, etc. to the Senior Center next door. Visit their website for more info.

A Few Past Parks & Recreation Events:

Lakeland's Annual Fishing Rodeo, 5/18/19


more photos

Christmas Festival 2018
Friday, December 7th, 2018, IH Clubhouse, 4523 Canada Rd.

-by Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center Manager & City Special Events Coordinator


City of Lakeland staff thanks everyone for coming out to the annual Christmas Festival tonight.

We hope you enjoyed all the fun activities, and the visit with Santa!

Special thanks to Papa Murphy's & Starbucks for donating pizza and coffee, and tea.

Halloween Festival 2018

Sunday, October 21st, 2018 IH Managerial Park Lake, 4523 Canada Rd.

-by Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center Manager & City Special Events Coordinator

A peacock, a pineapple, a couple of lady bugs, a firefighter, and The Claw, were among the many costumed kids and adults decorating IH Park, Sunday, Oct. 21, as thousands came out to Lakeland to join the fun of the annual Halloween Festival.

Cool temps and sunshine made for a record turnout of attendees at the festival, as youngsters made their way around the park, visiting local vendors setup and serving as trick-or-treat stations. Each vendor gave away candy and/or treats throughout the event, and many offered games for added fun.

Additional activities for the crowd included a gigantic inflatable slide, Mr. Mike the Balloon Man, face and pumpkin painting by Arlington High School Honors Art students, costume contests, and pumpkin pie eating contests.


Winners of the costume contests by ages:

2 and Under: First-place, Micha McCullough (peacock), 2, Lakeland; Second-place, Ezra McCrory (cereal), 1, Southaven; Third-place, Evie and Ellie Joesel (lady bugs), 3-mos., Bartlett.

3 to 6: First-place, Trey Joesel, (Zombie Doctor). 5, Bartlett; Second-place, Dorian Berlin (firefighter), 3, Germantown; Third-place, Kazzandra Meeks (pineapple), 6, Cordova.

7 to 9: First-place, Sam Mora (pumpkin head), 8, Lakeland; Second-place, Noah Allen (shark), 7, Lakeland; Third-place, Brayden Deluca (skeleton dog), 7, Cordova.

10 to 13: First-place, Collin Kee (Bob Ross), 11, Bartlett; Second-place, Langston Estes (Donald Trump), 10, Bartlett; Maya Zelimski (avocado), 13, East Memphis.

14 to 18: First-place, Kylee Kee, 14. (No other winners in this category).

Family: First-place, Angie Strickland and daughter Destiny, 6 (The Claw)
Second-place, Joshua, Rainorah, 6, Roman, 2, and Lyndsey Pare (Lord of the Rings).
Third-place, Chris Shelby, Creed, 8, Heidi, 4, Tate, 10, and Sadie Scoggins, 6 (Batman).

Winners of the Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest:
Cha’Rell Love of Memphis, Sadie Scoggins of Millington, and. Michael Haines of Millington.

Annual Children's Fishing Rodeo

Saturday, May 19th, 2018 IH Managerial Park Lake, 4523 Canada Rd.

-by Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center Manager & City Special Events Coordinator

Warm temps and calm winds had youth reeling 'em in early on the morning of Saturday, May 19, 2018, for Lakeland's annual Children's Fishing Rodeo, hosted at the 5-acre lake at IH Park. The event was hosted by Parks and Recreation Department staff, and sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Lakeland Lions Club.

Approximately 800-lbs of catfish were stocked in the lake earlier in the week by the TWRA. The City of Lakeland was awarded 300-lbs of catfish and prize giveaways by the TWRA, for the fishing rodeo. 

(See below for captions)

Seven-year-old, Ella Burnett of Lakeland, and eight-year-old, Leo Kimery of Mason, Tenn., reeled in the first two fish of the morning within minutes of dropping their lines.   

Ella, was not only the first girl to catch a fish, she also won the “Most Fish Caught, Girl,” category, and the “Longest Fish,” category. The big catch of the day measured in at 20.5”. The second grader at Lakeland Elementary went home with a stringer of seven catfish, and two trophies for her fishing efforts.

Six-year-old, Hudson Tapp, found himself a nice fishing hole and took home the trophy for the “Most Fish Caught, Boy,” category. He reeled in 20 catfish for the day. The Lakeland Elementary kindergartner, caught the most fish of anyone at the rodeo. His granddad, Donny, caught two hefty catfish himself, when TWRA officer, and emcee of the event, Andy Tweed, gave grandparents a chance to fish. All in all, it was a pretty good day of fishing for the Tapp family, and others coming out for the event.

The TWRA manages the fish and wildlife habitats throughout the state. They foster safe and lawful activity through law enforcement, education, and access.

Tweed was presented a plaque by the Parks and Recreation Department for his dedication to the annual fishing rodeo in Lakeland for more than 10 years. Tweed has emceed the community-wide event since its existence. “The fishing rodeo is a great day for families who like to be outdoors,” said Tweed. “It’s a pleasure being part of this event. I look forward to every year.”

Photo collage, above

Top left: Hudson Tapp (left), 6, caught 20 catfish, the most fish of the day, at the annual Children’s Fishing Rodeo, Saturday, May 19, 2018. His dad, Howell Tapp, gave a helping hand getting a fish off the line.
Top right: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer, Andy Tweed, took official measurement for the “Longest Fish,” award at the annual Children’s Fishing Rodeo, Saturday, May 19, 2018, hosted at IH Park. Tweed also emceed the event, and was awarded a plaque for more than 10 years of dedication to the event in Lakeland.

Bottom left: Six-year-old, Hudson Tapp, waits his turn to have his biggest catfish measured, at the annual Children’s Fishing Rodeo, Saturday, May 19, 2018, hosted at IH Park.

Bottom right: Ella Burnett, 7, clung on to the trophies she earned for “Most Fish Caught, Girl,” and “Longest Fish,” at the annual Children’s Fishing Rodeo, Saturday, May 19, 2018, hosted at IH Park.

Christmas Festival 12/8/17

-by Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center Manager & City Special Events Coordinator12.8.17_collage.jpg

It’s Christmas time in the City of Lakeland. The spirit of the season filled the air as Santa Claus made a special trip to I.H. Clubhouse to see who was on the nice list.

He cruised from the North Pole to Lakeland in his Corvette convertible – to light the big outdoor Christmas tree with his magic.

Inside the clubhouse, he heard all the wishes of all the good little boys and girls.

Children also enjoyed making homemade crafts, face painting and balloon art by Mr. Mike the Balloon Man. Papa Murphy’s and Starbucks provided pizza and drinks.

Santa headed back to the North Pole with a long list of names on his nice list and plenty of wishes.

Halloween_Fest_2017_collage.jpgTrick-or-Treaters get their fill at Halloween Festival!

Princesses, villains, and superheroes, packed I.H. Clubhouse, Sunday, Oct. 22, for the City of Lakeland’s annual Halloween Festival hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department. Droves of animated and ghoulish characters filled their bags with goodies as they made their way around the perimeter of the Clubhouse as local vendors greeted the youngsters with games, candy, and prizes.

More than a dozen Arlington High School National Honor Society students were on hand to help vendors host games and give out goodies. Among vendors this year were the Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Redbirds. Even Rockey the Rockin’ Redbird joined the fun. He was among other friendly characters, like Gummy and Spider Man, that greeted kids throughout the event.  

Making their way to the Recreation Room of the Clubhouse, more fun awaited them. There, they had the opportunity to get their face painted by Arlington High School art students or get wacky and whimsical balloon characters created by Mr. Mike, the Balloon Man.

Outside on the deck of the Clubhouse, trick-or-treaters picked out pumpkins, until all 250 were gone. Some lucky pumpkin pickers spotted a dot on their pumpkin indicating they were winners of one of many donated prizes given away at the festival. Prizes included a Memphis Incredible Pizza certificate for food and games for a family of four, a 45-minute experience at River City Escape Rooms for up to 8 participants, and passes to Jumping World Memphis.

Those of all ages got into the fun. Kids and adults participated in the judged Halloween Costume Contest divided by age categories. All first-, second-, and third-place winners went home with a trophy - earned by the highest points on the judge’s score cards. Fluffing his feathers, Rockey the Rockin’ Redbird entered the contest himself. The friendly redbird took losing well. He traded in trying to win a trophy for handing out trophies to the winners of the contest.

The Grand Prize trophy went to the family category of the contest. Judges gave the highest points to the Pare family, dressed as superheroes. In addition to the biggest trophy of the afternoon, the Pares also won a family membership to Children’s Museum of Memphis.

“All-in-all, despite having to move the event indoors because of inclement weather,” said Kevin Rooney, Parks and Recreation director, “trick-or-treaters went home with a bag full of goodies, along with great big smiles. We accomplished what we set out to do. If they leave happy, we’re happy.”

Winners of the Costume Contests:

Two and under: Micah McCullogh, 1st. Dixie Canady, 2nd and Bijou Brown, 3rd

Ages 3-6: Brenner Brown, 1st, Rainorah Pare, 2nd and Alex and Chris Nordboy, 3rd

Ages 7-10: Libby Smith, 1st, Chloe Cadwell, 2nd and Colin Grunew, 3rd

Ages 11-14: John Reeber, 1st, Sanbrya Jones, 2nd and Hudson Shuford, 3rd

Ages 15-18: Karesa Barns, 1st and Martarius Boyd, 2nd

Family Category: Grand prize to the Pare Family, 2nd to the Abidi Family and 3rd to the Hunt Family

~by Kim Odom, Lakeland Senior Center manager and city events coordinator.
~Photos by Kier Hull, a senior art student at Arlington High School and student volunteer at the event.

Lakeland Currents

Annual Children’sFishing_Rodeo_5.20.17_collage.jpg Fishing Rodeo

Sat, May 20th, 2017
IH Managerial Park Lake, 4523 Canada Rd.

-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

Go Fish! Nearly 100 young anglers dropped their lines on cue at the City of Lakeland's Annual Children's Fishing Rodeo sponsored by the TWRA. Breleigh Bunker, 10, caught the first catfish of the day and the longest of the day, measuring in at 24 1/2 inches in length. Leo Kimery, 7, of Mason, TN., caught the most fish (boy) with 6 catfish on his stringer, and Ella Burnett, 5, of Lakeland caught the most fish (girl) reeling in 8 catfish for the day.

All three anglers took home a trophy for their efforts. Plenty of other prizes were given to the first catch, boy and girl, of each 15-minutes session. Additional prizes were given randomly to various young anglers. Thanks to those that came out for the annual event!

Thanks to all the volunteers that spent their Saturday morning with us! Last but not least, thanks to TWRA staff, Andy Tweed & Jeff Peach for their support during the event! TWRA donated 300 of the 700 lbs. that stocked the IH Lake for the fishing rodeo.   

Lakeland's Annual Easter Egg Hunt
-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

The Easter Bunny was escorted to the City of Lakeland's annual community-wide Easter Egg Hunt at IH Park, on April 9th, 2017, by the Lakeland Lions Club. On the Easter Bunny's mark (Ready, Set, Go!), youngsters began filling their baskets with prized eggs.

Youngsters winning golden eggs went home with prizes and Easter baskets filled with generous gifts donated by various local businesses, including the Agricenter, Andy B's Entertainment, Baskin Robbins, Battlefront Lase Tag, Bricks N Minifigs, Howard's Donuts, Cordova Bowling Center, Cordova Skating Center, Jump N Jamz, Jumping World, TCBY, Sonic Drive-in Lakeland, and more.

There were more opportunities for prizes inside the IH Clubhouse after the egg hunt. Youngsters made their way from game to game filling up on fun and excitement. Goody bags and gift cards were also given away.

Special thanks goes out to the Lakeland Lions Club for sponsoring this year's event & for being on hand to help direct traffic and escort guests to the park by golf cart. Thanks to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department for directing traffic. Thanks to Pop-A-Lock, USPTA Tennis, Bartlett Pediatric, and Papa Murphy's for joining us for the Easter celebration. Lastly, thanks to all the parents and grandparents who brought the kids out for the Easter celebration. We appreciate all those who were part of this community event!

Nature’sCandyStore_2.18.17.jpgNature's Candy Store (Youth Workshop)
-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

How sweet it is! A dozen youth, in grades 1-6, got a lesson in nature’s plants that produce some of the finest ingredients used to make some of their favorite candies during the Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department and Memphis Botanic Garden, “Nature’s Candy Store,” workshop held at IH Clubhouse Saturday, Feb. 18.
Memphis Botanic Garden representative, Kristen Zemaitis, led kids on engaging experiments including making their own colonial mint candies and sampling class-made chewing gum.
Using their sense of smell, youth were asked to close their eyes and guess what ingredient they could identify by smelling a piece of candy given to them. An impressive number of youth used their sharp sense of smell to identify a variety of ingredients.
Participants learned about various trees and the plant origins of chocolate, vanilla, licorice, and cinnamon, all ingredients in some of our favorite treats. Among the many lessons of nature’s plants, the class learned that the sapodilla tree is the source of the chicle, a sticky sap, which is a component of chewing gum. They got a close up look at how chicle, syrup and a little cherry Kool-Aid come together to form, delicious cherry-flavored chewing gum.
Although not all the youth were impressed with the taste of the colonial mint candies (mint leaves dipped in sugar) sampled during class – the chewing gum delighted their youthful palettes. Rolling the bit of sample given to her, between her fingers before popping the gum in her mouth, Madison Smith, had what looked just like a piece of bubble gum. The nine-year-old gave the gum a big thumbs up on taste.
At the end of the presentation on nature’s plant origins, youth put on their smocks and decorated their own candy pizzas with many of the ingredients they had just learned about. Each participant received a pizza crust made of melted chocolate, Rice Krispies cereal, and marshmallows. They were provided a variety of candies to decorate with including M & M’s chocolate candies, gummy bears, gum drops, candy corn, and more. Once all the pizza creations were complete, each youth participant was awarded a Junior Master Chef hat for their creative abilities.
Peter Aguilar said of the Nature’s Candy Store workshop, “This is the best day of my life.” The eight-year-old said he was happy to learn so much about the ingredients of some of his favorite candy, and added, “I am happy because I got to make my very own candy pizza.”

The class fee was $35 (included all supplies).

Christmas Festival 2016

Families gathered, Friday, Dec. 9th, for the city of Lakeland’s second annual Christmas Festival hosted at International Harvester Clubhouse as they listened to the Lakeland Elementary Recorder Club play Christmas tunes. Under the direction of Dianne Davis, music specialist at Lakeland Elementary, the students played as the audience faced frigid temperatures waiting for Santa to arrive and light the outdoor Christmas tree.

Santa was escorted in Shelby County Fire Engine 61. As he exited the truck he was greeted with lots of hugs and high fives by the children as he made his way to the Christmas tree located in front of the Clubhouse on Canada Road. Santa lit the tree with his magic on a countdown led by (then) Mayor Wyatt Bunker.

After the tree was lit, (then) Mayor Bunker invited everyone inside to enjoy crafts, face painting by Erika Bomarito and student volunteers, balloon magic with Mike the Balloon Man, and a visit with Santa. Thanks to event sponsors, Starbucks and Marco’s Pizza, guests sampled hot fresh pizza, coffee and tea. City staff and student volunteers served hot chocolate for the kids.

At one of the craft tables, five-year-old Breanna King wrote Santa a Wish List before visiting him in his workshop setup inside the facility’s newly opened Rec Room. On her Wish List for Christmas were a Roller Skating Minnie Mouse and Princess Poppy Troll.

Santa had some special helpers in his workshop, helping him out as hundreds of kids shared their Christmas wishes. Ten-year-old Stephanie Cifuentes, Miss Memphis Junior Pre-Teen, made sure each child got a toy and candy cane. Miss Memphis and Grizz Girl, Chessie Biggam, helped youngsters put their wish lists into the mailbox to be mailed to the North Pole so Santa doesn’t forget what’s on their lists.

The McDaniel family has lived in Lakeland since 2005. “This is the first time we’ve come to an event here (at IHC),” said mom, April. “We’ve walked the trails at the park, but never been inside. It’s a really nice facility and the event is a great way to bring Lakeland families together. The kids are loving it.”

Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator


  First time for Santa Sightings!

Poking_in_the_Pond class_11.12_collage.jpgPoking in the Pond Nature Camp
-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

Poking around had never been as much fan, as it was for kids participating in the Poking in the Pond camp hosted Saturday, Nov. 12, at International Harvester Managerial Park in Lakeland. The City of Lakeland’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Lichterman Nature Center partnered up to teach kids that ponds and lakes are rich habitats that support a diversity of life.

The elementary students tried mocking the sounds of various types of animals living near water. Eight-year-old, Jesse Grammer, had a pretty good duck call.

A nature walk around the IH Park and 5-acre fishing lake led to many discoveries on what types of animals live near the fresh water lake and how they survive living in the wild. The inquisitive campers quickly spotted clam shells and crawfish holes around the bank near the water.

Campers had the opportunity to see a beaver's skull, a heron's skull, and made friends with a red-eared slider turtle that volunteer naturalist instructor, Mavis Negroni, brought with her for show and tell. The group even got a close up look at living animals from the lake, when they filled up trays with lake water and observed the water, looking for living animals using magnifying glasses. Negroni, led an interactive nature class for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.  

Scroll down to July 2014 for previous kids' art/science camps...

Halloween Festival 2016

-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

Halloween_Fest_2016_collage.jpgThree hours of fun and excitement whizzed by as hundreds filled International Harvester Park for the annual Halloween Festival hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department, Sunday, Oct. 30th, 2016.

There were plenty of games, crafts, and contests planned for families at this year’s event. Trick-or-trick bags filled up quickly as more than 20 vendors joined in on the festival of fun by serving as candy and game stations throughout the event. The perimeters of vending stations lined up in front of the park’s stage started with Lakeland Lane featuring booths for Lakeland PTA, Lakeland Parks and Recreation, Lakeland Stormwater, Lakeland Currents, and the Lakeland Lion’s Club. Youngsters received goodies from additional vendors including Sprouts, AT&T, MemPops, and the Memphis Redbirds. Redbird reps were gave out baseball caps and schedules for next year’s season.

(Facebook photos: link, link2, link3, and link4).

First, second, and third-place trophies were awarded to winners of the costume contests for each age category and a Grand Prize trophy was awarded in the Family Category. The Tipler family of Lakeland went home with the biggest trophy of all, as grand prize winners all dressed up like the characters of The Wizard of Oz. Judges for the day, Patrick Robbins, Sue Lipscomb, and Nancy Koch, had their work cut out for them as they narrowed down the scores on their scoring cards. “It was hard to judge the kids,” said Lipscomb, city receptionist for Lakeland. “They are all so cute. It makes it challenging for sure.”

The Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest was quiet entertaining. First the kids took the stage and were given two minutes to dive into their very own pumpkin pie with their hands behind their backs. The participant eating the most of his/her pie in the time allotted was declared the winner of the contest. Maya Zelinski, 11, of Memphis, made a strike by winning a certificate for a family evening of bowling and pizza at Cordova Bowling Center.

The same rules applied for the adults competing for a $25 restaurant gift card. Faces were deep into pumpkin pies as the one-minute time clock ran out. Visual signs of pie filling from forehead to chin paid off for Eric Johnson of Lakeland, who was declared the winner of contest. 
By 4 p.m., when the event ended, all 200 pumpkins were picked from Lakeland’s Great Pumpkin Patch, all the pumpkin pies were eaten, and there wasn’t a sign of candy or goodies left behind. Kids got their fill of fun, games, and prizes, and candy.

Michele Dial, (then) City of Lakeland Commissioner and Parks and Recreation Board liaison, kept everything on time and running smoothly by emceeing the event. Dial said of this year’s festival, “What a wonderful day we had. Thanks to all the volunteers and contributors who made this day possible.”

“Seeing children dressed up, excited, and having such a wonderful time, that’s what events like this are all about,” she added.

Concert Series
The latest (plus archives) on the The LAMP Amphitheatre at IH Park,

October 22: Seeing Red
September 24: 
The Dantones plus Ted Horrell & the Monday Night Card

The Super 5 at IH Park / The LAMP Amphitheater
500 people attended!
Saturday, August 27th, 2016
IH Managerial Park / The LAMP Amphitheater

-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

8.27.16_concert_collage.jpgThanks to everyone who came out to The Super 5 concert. What a great crowd! Thanks to The Super 5 band for rocking the night away in Lakeland.

Food and treats available by Central BBQ and Kona Ice of Memphis were delicious.

The kids took home lots of cool stuff thanks to our generous sponsors: Pop-A-Lock, Boomerang Escapes, and Mark Louderback with Edward Jones Financial.

An extra special thanks goes out to the Shelby County Sheriff's Officers and EMTs for directing traffic and keeping everyone safe!

Swingin' Leroy at IH Park / The LAMP Amphitheater
300 people attended!
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
IH Managerial Park / The LAMP Amphitheater

-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator


Lakeland Annual Children’s Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
IH Managerial Park Lake

A little rain couldn’t stop 125+ young anglers from fishing as on and off again showers fell during the City of Lakeland’s annual Fishing Rodeo this morning at IH Park. The youth reeled em’ in - almost faster than they could count for the first 45 minutes of the competition. There were steady bites that kept kids reeling throughout the morning.

There were plenty of handy fish-accessory prize giveaways throughout the rodeo. Congrats to trophy winners Hadley Herron, 4, Most Fish Caught (Girl); Leo Kimery, 6, Most Fish Caught (Boy). There was a tie for Biggest Fish Caught. Winners were Charles Triplett, 7, and Jackson Brown, 6. Brody Woodall, 9, won a tackle box with accessories for guessing how many fish were in a jar filled with Gold Fish crackers. There were 966 crackers in the jar. Brody guessed 967. Great job to all the young anglers who came out today for a fun time. Thanks to parents and grandparents that weathered the rain – staying to the very end.

Special thanks to the Lakeland Lion’s Club, TWRA & the Shelby County Sherriff’s Department for helping to make this community-wide event a fun and safe event!

-Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

Tour_de_Lakeland_5.14.16.jpgTour de Lakeland &
Lakeland Spring Festival 
May 14th, 2016

Some of the landmarks of the Tour included:
Covered bridge at ChrisLeigh farms     
Trinity Farms Equestrian Center
Beautiful Garner Lake
IH Clubhouse and Pavilion
Lakeland Leather Works
Memphis Propbusters – hobby aircraft flying center
Lakeland Elementary School
Future site of Lakeland Middle School
Scenic back roads and farms of north Lakeland

Events that were open to festival attendees and riders:
Live bands, tethered hot air balloon rides, face painting, inflatables, obstacle courses, adult beverage sampling, and kayak and paddle board activities. Plus food, prizes, and more!

Proceeds benefited the Lakeland Education Foundation. More info at

2016 Easter Egg Hunt
by Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator

Egg_Hunt_collage_3.19.16.jpgFamilies turned out in groves Saturday morning (3/19/16) to hunt for eggs and participant in fun and games at Lakeland’s Easter Egg Hunt presented by the Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by the Lakeland Lion’s Club and Trustmark Bank.
The Easter Bunny hopped into town making a stop in Lakeland to count down the start of the egg hunt at I.H. Park. On cue youngsters, ages 10 and under, began filling their baskets with plastic eggs scattered across three sectioned off parts of the 65-acre park. In a matter of minutes, 1,250 prized eggs were gathered. Every colored egg was filled with candy or an assorted toy. A few eggs had prize cards inside for either a complimentary Lego minifig set or a $5 gift card donated by Bricks and Minifigs.

After the egg hunt, families went inside of I.H. Clubhouse to participant in various games such as bean bag toss, basketball shoot, Pick-a-Duck, Pick-a-Carrot, or they spent time at the craft table making a take-home craft or wearing a festive temporary face tattoo. 

Cell phones snapped as families took photos with the Easter Bunny in front of a delicately-decorated lattice backdrop that made for a great family photo opportunity. The biggest smiles came from the children as they earned Bunny Bucks at every game station, then spent their Bucks at the 6-ft prize tables picking out just the right prize for them. Baskets quickly filled up with Yo-Yos, paddle balls, paint by number sets, mini Rubik’s Cubes, stuff animals, and various assorted toys.  

The Ashworth family of Lakeland, Will (dad), Mary (mom), Charlie, 2, and Max, 1, took advantage of the opportunity for a family portrait as they posed for the camera. Will Ashworth said the family enjoyed all activities offered at this year’s event. “It was a lot of fun. There’s nowhere else we’d rather be right now,” he added.

A ticket drawing brought more excitement to the event as numbers were called out for the family-giveaway prizes donated by local businesses including Andy B’s, Pump It Up, Memphis Incredible Pizza, among others.

More than 30 volunteers including students from Arlington High School, Macon Road Baptist School, and St. Benedict, assisted during the event. Student volunteers earned community service hours for their part in the community-wide event. Volunteer judges scored the baskets and bonnets picking a first-, second-, and third-place winner for the Basket and Bonnet Decorating Contest. Gift baskets and special prizes were awarded to the winners.

Youngsters were all smiles hunting for eggs, playing games and making crafts, or in front of the camera with the Easter Bunny. Leaving out, they were still smiling as they inspected their baskets full of prizes.
“That’s what these events are all about,” said Jim Atkinson, (then) City Manager. “That’s why we plan and organize these community-wide events. It is for the kids, parents and grandparents. It brings the community together and provides us an opportunity to serve the citizens of Lakeland in a family-friendly environment.”

2015 Christmas Festival

by Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator
Christmas2015.jpgDashing through the suburban community, over the hills Santa rode, on a red fire truck all the way to the Canada Road’s North Pole. A courtesy ride abroad a Shelby County fire truck, Santa reached
his destination at I.H. Clubhouse, Dec.
4th, Friday evening for the Lakeland’s Christmas Festival. The event was presented by the Parks and Recreation Department. The festival replaced the Winter Fest & Tree Lighting event held
last year at Lakeland Elementary.

Left photo by Jim Willis; Right photo by Kim Odom

Families gathered outside the Clubhouse enjoying live music by Eddie Harrison and food by Food Geek, while sipping on hot chocolate served by festival volunteers as they waited for Santa to arrive. Youngsters were also entertained with inflatables until his arrival.

Fire truck sirens sounded, as Shelby County Sheriff’s officers directed traffic upon his arrival. Climbing down from the fire truck Santa greeted the crowd of bright-eyed children anxiously waiting to see him.
The jolly ole’ elf was all smiles as girls and boys rushed in, surrounding him with hugs and happy faces.

Santa made his way to the pre-decorated 18-ft. Christmas tree located on the grounds in front of I.H. Clubhouse on Canada Road. On a count down by the crowd, Santa lit the enormous tree with his holiday magic, then went inside where he setup to meet all the good little girls and boys of Lakeland to hear all their Christmas wishes.

Inside there was plenty of fun and activities, with multiple craft tables manned by volunteers assisting children as they made take-home Christmas crafts, played Pin the Nose on Rudolph, had their face painted by professional artist Erika Bomarito, and wrote Santa a Wish List to hand-deliver when they visited him in a newly-opened room at the clubhouse. Six-year-old Bryce Roberson filled out his top three Christmas Wishes to give Santa, wishing for a remote control BB-8 (Star Wars droid), Nerf guns, and a Disney Infinity 3.0 game.

In the clubhouse’s new room, Santa’s workshop was setup in a winter wonderland showcased with glittery snow, flashing lights, adorable wintry animated characters, Christmas music and red carpet leading them straight to Santa and one of his many friendly Christmas elves. Claus heard every child’s aspiration as they took turns sharing their Christmas wishes.

After sharing their wishes, youngsters were given a candy cane and gift from Santa’s toy box. Santa’s helper made sure children remembered to put their wish lists in Santa’s mailbox – just so he doesn’t forget the wishes of good little boys and girls of Lakeland. Upon his return to the North Pole, Santa intends to send letters to all those who left addressed wish lists in his mailbox.

Halloween_Fest_2015_276KB.jpgBig pumpkins, little pumpkins...all sorts of pumpkins, were picked from the pumpkin patch at Lakeland’s Halloween Festival, Saturday, Oct. 24th, hosted on the field behind City Hall.

Thanks to the generosity of Tom’s Farms and Priddy Farms, the festival’s pumpkin patch was full of various types of pumpkins in all sizes and colors. There were even a few gourds in the pumpkin patch.

Despite uncertain weather, families came out for some festival fun, and they got it. Weather cooperated and the rain moved out, just in time for the outdoor Halloween festival and all its games and prizes.

Youth dressed up in their Halloween costumes and came out to decorate pumpkins, play games, participate in the judged costume contest, and possibly win a bike donated by Lakeland Lion’s Club during a drawing giveaway.

More than a dozen of talented Arlington High School art students showed off their skills by painting pumpkins or painting the bright cheery faces of youngsters at the festival. The art students earned community service hours to add to their college portfolios.
Vendors, including Pop-A-Lock, 4 Way Insurance, Mark Louderback with Edward Jones Financial, and Angie Franceschini representing Bartlett Pediatric Dentistry, played a huge role in the fun of the festival by handing out candy and goodies to youngsters throughout the afternoon and evening.

Thanks to many sponsors and donations made by various businesses and organization around the area, there were prizes galore for those of all ages and gender. The event wouldn’t have been as successful without their generosity.

Sponsors included Belz Enterprises, 4 Way Insurance, All-American Inc., Fireworks City, A2H, Lakeland Lion’s Club, Homer Skelton Ford of Millington, Trustmark Bank, Target, Republic Services, ATC Fitness, Memphis Incredible Pizza, Lenny’s Subs, Pink Palace Museum, Massage Paradise, Arlington Automotive, Sam’s Club, Priddy Farms, Tom’s Farm, Shelby Farms Park, Delta Blues Winery, Auto Zone, Salon Allure and Sprouts.

The cost was $5 for family of 3 or less, $8 for family of 4 or more.

-by Kim Odom, Special Events Coordinator for the city of Lakeland.

Here's the aerial photo/map and flyer.

6.6.15 Fishing Rodeo collage.jpgLakeland Annual Children's Fishing Rodeo
By Kim Odom

Top left: Catching four nice-size catfish, Ayden Wing, 6, was declared the winner of the Most Fish Caught-Boy category of the fishing rodeo. He took home a trophy for a job well done.

Bottom left:
Trey Simons, 6, won the Longest Fish trophy with his catch of the day measuring in at 19.5 inches.

Top middle: Jacob Ortiz, 7, stopped to check out PAL, mascot and friend of Pop-A-Lock of Memphis. Owner, Jimmy Wilkins, gave out balloons, pens, coloring books and more neat gifts, to help fill up the goody bags handed out to participants of the annual Fishing Rodeo.

Middle: Wildlife officer Andy Tweed measured each catfish caught during the fishing rodeo to declare a trophy winner for Longest Fish Caught for the day. 

Bottom middle: Kaylee Elizabeth Grunden, 5, won a trophy and other prizes for Most Fish Caught-Girl category.

Top right: Maya McCreary, 9, won a tackle box in a tie for first-place for having the Longest Fish Girl category.

Bottom right: Veronica Tsao, 4, caught more than a fish at the rodeo tying for first-place for the Longest Fish Girl category, she also made friends with a dragon fly during the event.

About the Event:
Things heated up early, Saturday, June 6th, 2015, at the annual Fishing Rodeo, co-hosted by the city of Lakeland and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at I.H. Managerial Park. Lakeland Lions Club members offered cart rides around the 5-acre lake where participants picked out there favorite spot and got ready to compete for the big catch of the day.

On a countdown announced over a bullhorn, children ages 4-12, began fishing. The lake was stocked with 300-pounds of catfish just a few days before the event. Hooks set with various types of bait hit water and waited for a fish to bite. The tradition repeated itself throughout eight 15-minute sessions or a little longer if a winner wasn’t declared after the allocated time. Each session declared a First Catch-Boy and First-Catch-Girl winner and each received a prize. Among prizes given to winners were tackle boxes, lures, bobbers, brand new rod and reels, caps, and more.

Additional fish caught during the 15-minute sessions were strung and officially measured and counted at the end of the rodeo by TWRA officer, Andy Tweed, deciding the first-place trophy winners of the Longest Fish Caught; Most Fish Caught-Girl; Most Fish Caught-Boy.

Tweed said of the annual fishing rodeo, “We’ve been doing this rodeo for roughly 12 years. It’s a family-friendly event and everybody has a good time and goes home a winner.”

Youth participants were given a goody bag upon registering with gifts and surprises mostly geared toward fishing. Business owner and Lakeland resident Jimmy Wilkins of Pop-A-Lock of Memphis, and a standup version of the company’s mascot PAL supported the event by offering balloons, pens, coloring books, and other prizes to youth. PAL was also there to inform families of a free community program that Wilkins’ company offers called PAL Saves Kids and PAL Saves Pets.  Anytime a child or pet is locked in a car, Pop-A-Lock staff will come and unlock the car for free.  “This is totally for child and pet safety awareness,” explains Amy Wilkins, “especially during the hot summer days where heatstroke among children locked in cars is mind-blowing.”

Once youth received their goody bags it was time to cast out and try for another prize – the big catch of the day. Shortly after their lines were set, eight-year-old Hayley Simons, got a bite. Although the fish got away, the Simons clan left the rodeo happy fishermen. Fishing with worms, the Simons found a hotspot that concluded with Hayley’s young brother, Trey, six, taking home the winning trophy for Longest Fish Caught with his catfish measuring in at 19.5 inches. Even three-year-old Avery Simons caught a catfish before the rodeo ended. Hayden Simons, dad of the three children said, “We came out here with neighbors to give it a try.” He was joined by two neighbors and their children who normally fish on Garner Lakeland where they all reside. “It was a great day. We had lots of fun,” he added.

Jim Atkinson, (then) Lakeland’s city manager said, “That’s what this event is about. It’s an opportunity to come out with your family and make memories. We are always thrilled to see our families bring the kids out for a day of fun.”

Winter_Fest_12.2.14-.jpgWinter Fest 2014

Lakeland's first ever Winter Fest kicked off at 6:30 p.m. on December 2nd at
Lakeland Elementary, 10050 Oak Seed Lane.

Over 200 came out for the visit with Santa, Christmas music (including then Public Works Director Bristol Roberts), a bagpipe performance by George Malone, seasonal craft making, and more.

FREE hot pizza samples were provided by Papa Murphy's of Lakeland. There was hot chocolate, too.

Several Commissioners attended including (then) Vice-Mayor Sherri Gallick and (then) Commissioners Clark Plunk and Gene Torrey. (Then) City Manager Chris Thomas attended with family but didn't mind pitching in to help dish out free Papa Murphy's pizza to the long line of people!

(Then) Mayor Bunker spoke before the lighting of the beautifully-decorated 16' Christmas tree. The display was spectacular and many children ran towards the shooting streamers in the air! The streamers were donated by Kevin Bailey at Fireworks City.

The event was sponsored by the City of Lakeland's Parks & Recreation Department. Special thanks to Brenda Lockhart, interim director for Parks & Recreation, as well as her crew of Lakeland employees and volunteers that helped make the evening a success.

The tree will be lit every night until the New Year!

Dessert Mystery Theater
: “Dastardly Deed at Dry Gulch”

Dessert Mystery Theatre collage2.jpg
The Lakeland Senior Players gave a great performance on Nov. 7th, 2014 at IH Clubhouse before approx. 200 people!

The first ever senior play production called “Dastardly Deed at Dry Gulch” featured nine Lakeland seniors.
Toddlers to grandmothers and all ages in between attended the 7 p.m. performance. The attendees watched the play and had to guess who killed the sheriff as the finale of the evening. Dessert was provided at intermission.

Cast members included Cecil Tompkins, Bobbi Cornett, Barbara Hyatt, Bob Hamilton, Marie Wells, Ken Gurley, Trudy Scholten, Jeanne Hamilton, and Glen Payton. Mark Louderback, a friend of the cast and Arlington resident, was also in the play. And the culprit -- it was Sally Forth, played by Bobbi.

Thank-you to the Dessert Mystery Theater cast & crew for a wonderful performance! We appreciate all your hard efforts. A special thank-you to Director Jeanne Hamilton for donating her upright piano to the Senior Center after the performance.

Annual Veteran's Day Celebration
Veterans_at_LES_Nov2014.jpgLakeland Elementary School held its annual Veteran's Program on Nov. 7th with over 225 veterans listed on the Honor Roll.

A veterans slide presentation was accompanied by music by the Arlington High School Band. The American Flag was presented by the Shelby County Fire Department Color Guard accompanied by the drum and bagpipe corp.

The LES Glee Club performed the National Anthem. After the pledge of allegiance, Superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell and Principal Joretha Lockhart made opening remarks. (Then) Mayor Wyatt Bunker spoke about the price of freedom and gave respect those who have sacrificed. Then, the Glee Club sang "Heart of America."

There were veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The service songs of the different branches were played: Army, Coast Guard, Marine, Air Force and Navy. A lone trumpet playing Taps was followed by a moment of silence to honor of those who gave their lives for our freedom.

As the Colors were retrieved, Lakeland Elementary students marched out and down the streets in their own parade. It was a fitting tribute to veterans here in Lakeland...and everywhere.

Lakeland's Walk to Remember11.1.14 Alzh Walk.jpg Alzheimer's

On Nov. 1st, 2014, Lakeland Elementary students, staff and families and Lakeland Senior Center members teamed up to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s presented by the Alzheimer’s Association. The Lakeland’s Walk to Remember team was among more than 1,100 participants walking 1.5 miles at the Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday, Nov. 1st, to bring awareness and raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

The Lakeland School System, with direction from the school health coordinator, and the Lakeland Senior Center manager teamed up to coordinate local participation.

Halloween_Fall_Fest_2014.jpgHalloween/Fall Fest 2014
On Friday, October 24th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., over 200 came out to IH Clubhouse for fun including 12 carnival games, candy & prizes!

The event was for ages 3-12 and their families. FREE hot pizza was provided by Papa Murphy's of Lakeland.

Kids and parents alike wore costumes and participated in various games for which candy and tickets were won and tickets turned in at the end of the evening for prizes.

(Then) City Manager Chris Thomas, (then) Commissioner Gene Torrey and wife Marty, and (then) Commissioner Clark Plunk were in attendance to help with the event. Several City employees participated including Kim Odom, who gave out prizes, and Rhonda Fink who welcomed children and their parents to the event.

Halloween/Fall Fest is sponsored by City of Lakeland and Lakeland Lions Club. Special thanks to Brenda Lockhart, Lakeland Interim Parks & Rec Director, the Lakeland Lions Club volunteers, First Baptist Church for use of their parking lot, and the Shelby Co. Sheriff Dept. for directing traffic and assisting participants across the road.

Smartycat Kids Mini-Camp

Smartycats ran a Junior Scientists Summer Program from July 7 -11, 2014 at IH Clubhouse. The camp ran Monday-Friday from 1 - 4 pm. The camp was for children entering Kindergarten through entering grade 5.

SmartyCats_kidcamps.jpgThe Junior Scientists camp was about bringing science to life and showing the campers how exciting science exploration and experimentation can be! They worked on projects and experiments such as creating chemical reactions that oozed, bubbled, fogged, or changed color; launched projectiles and explored physical forces; built and tested solar powered machines; studied Earth science and living organisms; tinkered with technology; and many more exciting, engaging, and fully hands-on activities!

More info at or call Smartycat Kids at 732-762-5022.

18th Annual Children’s Independence Day Parade

childrens_parade_2014.jpgAll Lakeland children and their parents were invited to decorate a bicycle, wagon or their favorite float to participate in the 18th Annual Children’s Independence Day Parade on July 4th, 2014.

Trustmark Bank, Cotton Cabin Fireworks City, Scott’s Nursery, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, and Windward Slopes sponsored the parade. The parade proceeded through Windward Slopes. Scott Munchow, from Scott's Nursery, brought his tractor to pull the big red wagon that sits on US Hwy 70 in front of his business and encouraged riders.

Lakeland Annual Children's Fishing Rodeo & Fun Fest

On Saturday, June 7th, 2014, nearly 100 children and their families came out to IH Managerial Park Lake for some family fun. The Annual Fishing Rodeo & Fun Fest is for children ages 4-12.

Many prizes were given out (see photo). The Fishing Rodeo also included a "Fun Fest." There were moon bounces, obstacle courses, slides, a petting zoo and camel rides (Hooker Farms of Milan, TN), as well as horse and pony rides. There were free drinks & hot dogs and free pizza by Papa Murphy's of Lakeland!

The Fishing Rodeo included seven, 15-minute sessions. Prizes were given during every session. Trophies were given out for the longest fish - boy (Warner Quinn), longest fish - girl (Laree Carter), most fish caught - boy (Leo Kimery & Joseph Opferman), and most fish caught - girl (Jordan Miller).

Lakeland appreciates (then) Commissioner Gene Torrey for planning and facilitating the event. Special thanks to the Lakeland Lions Club for offering golf cart rides to and from guest vehicles, helping with judging, and handing out prizes that were donated by several local businesses. Thanks to First Baptist Church of Lakeland for allowing participants use of their parking lot. Photos by Ken Glazer and Jim Willis.

egghunt2014.jpgLakeland Community Easter Egg Hunt
More than 120 children and their families brought Easter baskets to the Lakeland Community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at the First Baptist Church of Lakeland.

Children ages 2-10 participated in arts and crafts, face-painting, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and an egg hunt. The Lakeland Community Easter Egg Hunt was sponsored by the Lakeland Lions Club, Trustmark Bank in Lakeland, and the City of Lakeland. 


2nd Annual Outdoors Festival
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
I.H. Park at 4523 Canada Road

LakelandOutdoors2012.jpgFestivities included live music, fun children’s activities, and displays by local artists, clubs and businesses. Outdoor experts gave demonstrations on kayaking, fly fishing, tree climbing, camping, bird watching, mountain biking, and more!

The event, hosted by the City’s Natural Resources Board, is aimed at getting children and parents involved with outdoor activities. Exhibitors included Mid-South Trails Association, the Wolf River Conservancy, Mid-South Fly Fishers, the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, Tennessee State Parks, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, the Memphis Zoo, the Tennessee Ornithological Society, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the C.H. Nash Museum at the Chucalissa Archeological Site and more! See photos, here. Photos from 2012, here.

Questions, s
uggestions, or comments about our programs?

Contact Parks & Rec staff, here. Click here for info on Parks & Recreation/Natural Resources Board meetings, which are open the public.

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