Thanks to our many sponsors . . .

Incoming President, Clint Edwards (aka Ricky Bobby of Talladega Nights), chose this year's Annual Meeting theme, "The Silver Screen."

At the Annual Meeting the presidential gavel was passed to Edwards, and new board members Chandra Frederick, Richard Dreyer and Dr. Orathai Northern, were announced.

The George W. Harris Leadership Bartow Award is given each year to a member of the Leadership Bartow Alumni or the Steering Committee, who has provided consistent leadership in enhancing Bartow’s quality of life. It is the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious award. The winner of 2016 George W. Harris Leadership Award is Howe Wallace of PalletOne, Inc. A special thanks went to the Retiring Board Members: Sharon Casey, Lea Ann Thomas of Board of County Commissioners and Shannon Medley of FIPR and Florida Polytechnic.

webphotoSponsors this year included the Prepromotion sponsors above, plus these event sponsors: PRESENTING SPONSOR: THUNDER Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; GOLD SPONSORS: A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Boswell & Dunlap, Central Florida Truss, Mosaic and Watson Clinic; SILVER SPONSORS: Kelley Buick GMC, Lennys Grill & Subs, Polk County Public Schools, SEMCO Construction; BRONZE SPONSORS: Bank of Central Florida, BayCare Bartow Regional Medical Center, City of Bartow, Bartow Ford, Bartow Community Healthcare Foundation, Bartow High School, CenterState Bank, Citizens Bank & Trust, PalletOne, Polk County News & Democrat, Polk State College, SunBelt Forest Products and Whidden-McLean Funeral Home.

Thanks also to our many companies and organizations that provided auction items / cash for the event!

Pre-promotion sponsors included: A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure; BayCare Bartow Regional Medical Center; Bartow Ford Company; Carla Meeks Webpro Realty; CenterState Bank; Crosswired Electric; Terrie Lobb Catering; Thunder Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; Spath Jewelers; SEMCO Construction and Evolve Contracting, Inc.



This event is an evening dinner and dance held at the Peace Valley Enterprise Barn in Alturas, and features a steak dinner provided by Texas Cattle Company, music and free beer & wine. A highlight of the event is the Leadership Bartow XIV Cornhole Tournament that gives annual bragging rights to the area's best players along with a giant trophy. This event has a casual country/western feel, and is very popular with Chamber members and their guests.

Location: Peace Valley Enterprise, Inc. Leland Young's Barn, 2905 Central Ave., Alturas, FL 33820



The Frost Van den Boom, PA Bloomin' Arts Festival is a juried Fine Arts festival and is Bartow's premier event of the year.  It is held on the first full weekend each March.  Originally called the Spring Art Festival, it has evolved into one of the top festivals in Central Florida and features artists from all across the country.

The festival is a collaboration of the Bartow Art Guild, Bartow Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Bartow.  Event Co-Chairs, Michel Githens and Lara Fredericksen, coordinate an all volunteer staff and workers consisting of members from all areas of the community.  These are dedicated, hard working volunteers and truly the backbone of the event.

The festival events include:

  • Over 100 artists
  • Car Show (Saturday Only)
  • RV Show (Sunday)
  • Quilt show
  • Flower Show
  • Student Art Show
  • Bicycle Race
  • Huge Kids Activities Tent
  • Entertainment On the Green
  • Sunday afternoon Free Concert
  • Original Artwork Raffle (Bartow Art Guild tent)
  • Food Trucks
  • Caricature Artists

The festival takes place along several blocks of beautiful, historic downtown Bartow and local businesses and restaurants are open to welcome festival goers.

Artist applications are accepted on  Applications are open from September through January.


Main Street Bartow, Inc. and Bartow Cycling Events are gearing up for the Bloomin’ Bike Ride on March 4th. The largest organized road tour in Polk County, this is an on-road cycling tour along the scenic back roads of southern Polk County. Gently rolling roads take the cyclists across the Peace River Basin through expansive citrus groves and around the old Florida backwoods. Additionally, this is a cycling event that sets Bartow apart by providing great cycling support via fully stocked rest stops with friendly volunteers, Sheriff Deputy escorts, trailing vehicles for assistance and aid, course photographer
Participating cyclists the chance to be the featured poster cyclist via an Artistic Motion Drawing through the registrations pulled the day of the ride. The winner is photographed on the course at some point and has a logo designed by LillyCat Design Studio, with his or her image, which then becomes the next year’s ride logo on all print media and the ride shirt. The cyclist also receives a wall hanging with the featured logo.
This year’s ride will feature a 65 and 35 mile road tour and a 17 mile family fun ride. Registration is on under Bloomin’ Bike Ride 2017, or one can download a registration form from website. Registration is also available the day of the race.The POWER PEDALERS program gives bicycles to kids who would like a bike but cannot afford one. The organizers think this is a great way to give back to the children of the community as well as a way to help them cultivate a healthy lifestyle and a love for cycling. Thanks to WalMart and Heartland for Children for helping to make this a reality. This past year’s Tour de Tow, the other of Bartow’s two cycling events, marked more than 100 bikes given away! How cool is that?
The staging area for the ride will be at Ft. Blount Park, at the corner of Main Street and Broadway Avenue in Bartow. Parking is behind the Sun Trust parking lot across from the park. Registration opens at 7:00 AM. The ride begins with a special presentation at 7:50 AM of new bikes to the POWER PEDDLERS. The ride takes off at 8:00 AM.For more information please contact, Trish Pfeiffer, Ride Director at 863.640.1024 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Follow these links for more information:

Main Street Bartow, Inc.

City of Bartow Parks and Recreation Dept.

Polk County History Center



February 10-11-12, 17th Annual L.B.Brown Heritage Festival

Lots of food vendors, entertainment, and a time to celebrate L.B. Brown, a man born into slavery who became a successful architect in Bartow and the surrounding communities. Learn about L.B. Brown here.


February 17, Friday Fest and Jeepin' With Judd!

The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. with Jeeps Jeeps and more Jeeps to see, food vendors, beverage tent, live entertainment, and more!


February 18, SYFY BARTOW!!

It's time to don your favorite Cosplay uniform and come on down. Last year, more than 10K visited our downtown. You won't want to miss this great "outdoors" convention. 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Lots to do on Bartow’s Main Street every month

Movies on the Lawn
Come watch a free movie on the lawn on the fourth Friday of every month. The movie begins shortly after dark on the corner of Main and Wilson at the grassy lot. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray and enjoy a popular movie outdoors with the family – there’s nothing like it! Usually one of the service clubs will have snacks available for purchase, or bring your own. See you at dark-thirty!

Community Yard Sale

Always the third Saturday every month, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., downtown Bartow.

Farmer’s Market
Each Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - except the week of Christmas, come to Fort Blount Park and find fresh vegetables plus other great item at the Main Street Farmer’s Market.

Friday, Friday, Friday
Friday Fest Street Party fun continues on February 17, 2017! Live entertainment, and great community fun.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday
Every second Saturday, find collectibles and treasures at the Downtown Antique Fair on East Main Street from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Main Street Bartow’s Uptown Community Yard Sale is on the third Saturday of each month on the corner of Wilson and Main. Look for bargains or sell your treasures from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on any Main Street Bartow events, call the office at (863) 519-0508. If you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Main Street Bartow is located at 180 South Central Ave.