Love Was In The Air During Downtown Lakeland Date Night
by James Coulter
Roses are red. The soil is brown. Date night was fun at Lakeland Downtown. Valentine’s Day certainly was great, when all of the stores were open late.
Hundreds of couples and other guests were able to peruse the streets of Downtown Lakeland and visit many of the local establishments during the area’s bi-annual date night.
Twice a year, various local stores and eateries remain open after hours in Downtown Lakeland, allowing visitors to check out their establishments during a special date night.
The first date night this year, poetically enough, was hosted on Valentine’s Day, allowing for an especially romantic evening. Couples and other attendees could ride horse-drawn carriages, take a selfie with cupid, and even receive a free rose.
Many stores offered half-off specials and even free samples, while many resturaunts provided discounted specials, many for meals for two. Another date night is planned for later this summer.
Whenever these date nights are planned, they draw in many curious visitors, many of whom have never frequented these local businesses involved, explained Brittany Melson, Marketing & Events Manager for Downtown Lakeland.
“It is a way for people to explore stores that normally aren’t open late, and it adds a little extra fun for nighttime people in Downtown,” she said.
Previous date nights have incorporated special activities that allow guests to better explore and appreciate the downtown area. The previous date night in July incorporated a scavenger hunt, while another event hosted a runway show with clothing provided by local boutiques.
“If you haven’t checked out Downtown Lakeland, you should. We have resturaunts and some really good retail stores and it is a fun place to be,” Melson said.
One local store participating that evening was Top Buttons, a local boutique that sells used clothing to help raise money for various local non-profit organizations such as PACE Center for Girls and Porchlight.
Last week’s event was the first time that Michelle Sells, a staff member of the store, participated. She saw many young women and even couples visit the store that evening.
“We love being able to visit with people and get to know people, and it is neat for the husband and wife teams come out,” she said. “We usually see many of the women teams come in together with their friends, and so it is neat to see their husbands and wives come in tonight.”
Aaron Mueller, Co-Owner of Lakeland CBD Wellness, also participate that evening with his business. His store offered free samples of their ice cream, infused with CBD isolate.
As the name of their store suggests, CBD Wellness offers many items with cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical extract from hemp that does not contain the addictive and harmful tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana. As such, CBD offers the positive health benefits of marijuana without the high.
Their store sells everything from ice cream and gummy candies to bath bombs and face balms. Mueller had the opportunity to market their products to the public while educating them about the benefits of CBD.
“A lot of people came in either trying ours samples or educating themselves on CBDs in general,” he explained. “It has been pretty good. We have a pretty decent turnout. Everyone else seems to be happy, sharing a lot of time with loved ones.”