I firmly believe that “happenings” are a way of life, especially in central Florida.
Sure, the tourist bureau and the chamber of commerce in the municipalities continually schedule events, which are mainly geared for the snowbirds.
But even as the season slows down and senior citizens — I like to call them more-experienced adults — head north, there is still a flurry of activities that appeal to just about everyone.
Thursday evening we took the opportunity to attend a jazz festival in downtown Lake Wales. It was held in an old church, possibly a mission church at one time, which had served as a Catholic church until a larger structure was built a few miles away.
The Jewel of the Ridge Jazz Festival is an annual event that is sponsored by Polk State College. In fact, the old church has been converted to the arts center at the college. It houses the administrative offices and has a gallery displaying works of the local artists.
The jazz festival is a four-day event, Thursday through Sunday, and each day from noon to 1 p.m. the artists perform outdoors at the Polk State center located in the center of town.
From 5:30 to 9 p.m. the artists are on stage at the arts center. That’s where we saw them.
Maybe some of you jazz enthusiasts have heard of the Randy Corinthian Quartet, John Ambercrombie (guitar), Orquestra Aragon, Vistoria De Lissovoy Ensemble or Charlie “Topp Hines.” I haven’t.
But they did serve good food between sets in a gallery downstairs.
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Visitors to Tower Lakes Park this week included Homer City residents Nick “The Polka King” Kanyan and his wife, Linda.
Nick, of course, has the two-hour polka show every Sunday morning on WCCS 1160.
The Kanyans have been park residents here in past years and were hosted for their short stay this week by other Homer City residents, Bill and Maxine Bartlebaugh.
Here’s a tip: Unless you are a single-digit handicapper, don’t make bets with the Polka King on the golf course. He’s tough.
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According to the call I received, the IUP baseball program will be spotlighted the weekend of Sept. 5 and 6.
Bob Johnson, an IUP alum from the Pittsburgh area, has put together a committee to organize a baseball alumni weekend that will include a golf event and dinner on Friday and then a ceremony at halftime of the IUP-St. Augustine football game.
Most of the former head diamond coaches are expected to attend.
This includes Arch Moore, Carl Davis, Tom “Bird” Kennedy, J.J. Johnston, Bob Letso and possibly Jerry Hand and Kevin McMullan. McMullan is the coach at the University of Virginia.
Working with Johnson is Gary Wurm of Ebensburg RD, and Wally Stapleton is coordinating the event with IUP.
Of course, all baseball alumni are invited and during the halftime ceremonies will be asked to stand with their former head coaches who will be recognized.