AND THEN CAME MAUDE – City of Winter Haven officials will officially cut the ribbon on the grand re-opening of Lake Maude Park. Festivities start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Upgrades and improvements to the tune of over $4 million began in January and include new fields, concession area, and restrooms.

JUNIOR JACKETS – Bartow parks and rec will be firing up its popular “Junior Jackets” youth basketball program right after the holidays. It will run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 16 and is open to kids ages 5-14. Participants will learn fundamental skills of shooting, dribbling and rebounding along with offensive and defensive strategies. Players will then be drafted onto teams to play games. Registration fee includes jersey and shorts. Call 863-534-0120 for more details.

LET'S GET TROPICAL – The Florida Tropics of the Major Arena Soccer League will kick off their third season of high-flying, high-scoring professional indoor soccer Saturday night when they host the St. Louis Ambush. The team is looking for an “Orange Out” for the opener. Expect plenty of goals and lots of fun as the Tropics bring the world's game indoors for all of Polk to enjoy. Team and game details at www.fltropics.com

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