Downtown Lake Wales

The Polk County Tourist Development Council recently released a list of county events that would receive money collected from the annual county “Hotel Tax.” Tax money from hotel stays and short-term leases is given to non-profit organizations that host events which lead to more overnight guests to the county.

Of the $999,909 dollars allocated, $399,395 were allocated for events that will take place in Lake Wales.

“We did well this year in Lake Wales,” Lake Wales Library Director and Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee member Tina Peak told the Lake Wales City Commission Sept. 10. “It looks like you will see some wonderful activities, programs and concerts.”

The Lake Wales Arts Council received $93,460 to support the 2020 Citizens Bank and Trust Lake Wales Arts Festival and the 2019-20 concert series. Lake Wales Museum received $115,935 to support the Pioneer Days Festival and museum exhibitions. Lake Wales Rotary received $50,000 to support the Orange Blossom Review festival.

Bok Tower Gardens received $190,000 to support four events.

The Arts, Cultural and Heritage Committee is back to supporting the Ritz in Winter Haven again. A couple of years ago, members of the committee decided to stop supporting the theater because paperwork was not being turned in as requested. Now that a judge replaced the former board with a new group, the committee approved $40,000 to support the Ritz.

Theatre Winter Haven received $92,500 to support several events. Ridge Art Association received $10,000 for the Central Park Art Festival and $5,650 for the 70th Fine Art Exhibition.

In Bartow, the committee allocated $15,000 for the 49th Annual Bloomin Arts Festival, $15,000 to support Bartow Chalk Walk and $10,000 for SYFY Bartow.


Contact Charles A. Baker III at


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