Snowbirds to Lake Placid FL; Diary Entry 22; COOL Town, Cool Murals, HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

Tomorrow mom wants to head to Lake Placid so I am gathering last minute details to go with the general research I did before I ever left Kentucky. Those of you who know me well, studious was always a descriptor and that has not changed. Now I study about an area before I go so I can try to capture pictures while I am there. (Side Note: Poor Dennis, on our honeymoon, we got to go to Hawaii. That is a long story I won’t delve into only to say a hurricane carried St Thomas away so Delta flew us to Hawaii and the Marriott put us up on Kauai instead of our original reservations.  The AMAZING photo opportunities overwhelmed me! Dennis got his first REAL lesson about me and my camera immediately upon marriage, during this honeymoon to the Kodak Moment isle of my dreams! He learned first hand about my innate NEED to capture the waves, the water, the foliage, the rain forest, EVERYTHING  on film! He was a little, okay A LOT, overwhelmed to discover the picture opportunities were stiff competition for him in this situation.)

Back to Lake Placid. In my preliminary research, I learned two things about Lake Placid that intrigued me. First, it is known as the Caladium Capital of the WORLD and as the Town of Murals. Both descriptors seem to offer photographic options I don’t want to miss. Then, of course, mom wants to try to find flea markets and antique stores. AS I was reading, one web site claims Lake Placid has dozens of antique & gift stores, quality restaurants and accommodations. Tomorrow we shall see about those claims. Lake Placid is home to many award winning murals, gracing buildings in our area. Our Mural Society has also commissioned many whimsical trash containers, and a Birds Around Town program.

Quoting from the  Greater Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce web site at

“Lake Placid Florida has so much to offer; it’s no wonder more and more people are calling it home! Known as the Caladium Capital of the World, Lake Placid has 27 freshwater lakes, beautiful Murals around town depicting our history, Toby’s Clown School and the historical Happiness Tower which rises 270 feet above ground. 

There is always something to see or do in Lake Placid.  October through April, the Saturday Morning Market is held on the 2nd Saturday of the month.  Annually, we have our Country Fair and Caladium Festivals.  Enjoy a historically good time at the Depot Museum which is the home of the red caboose and local history artifacts displayed by the Lake Placid Historical Society.”

Researching for details, I discovered the Caladium Festival  is in August. Simultaneously the Annual Car Show brings vintage and special cars, trucks, motorcycles and antique tractors for display and competition. Upon first glance, it appeared that there was nothing for me to see in January in regard to caladiums. Looking at their schedule of events there is  HIGH TEA at 2PM Sunday by reservation only at the Caladium Arts & Crafts Co-op 699-5940. On January 29, from 9 – 4, there is an Annual Art Show at the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Agri-Civic Center, on US 27, Sebring. We just might check on those two events. .

I definitely want to find the Caladium Arts and Crafts Co-op, Caladium Bulbs for Less, Inc, HAPPINESS FARMS, INC which is the world’s largest commercial caladium farm. Henscratch Farms’ Country Store and Winery with vineyard tours and tasting, Depot HIstorical Museum which is in renovated railroad depot, and Lake PLacid Embrodiery where they make unique tee shirts. In February and March , Mom might want to catch The Lake Placid Saturday Morning Market. It is held the second Saturday, October through April, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The market located at Stuart Park, in uptown Lake Placid.  

For Mom I find:


Jackie’s Nic-Nacs

244 East Interlake Boulevard, Lake Placid – (863) 699-0215

Suzanne’s Antiques 

Lake Placid – (863) 464-0912

Piggott & Stone Estate Sales

170 Pearl Road, Lake Placid – (863) 386-0300


For future reference and for others visiting the area, the Caladium History is worthy to note.

Caladium History (
Caladiums were first grown in the Lake Placid area in the early 1940’s. The industry began to expand in the 1950’s and today consists of over 1200 acres. This acreage is owned and managed by 14 families, some of which have been producing caladiums for over 40 years. Several of the families have the third generation in the business. Caladiums are increasingly popular as landscape plants as their use is becoming more widely known. Much of the popularity is due to the bright color of the leaves, the versatility of the plant, and its simple growing requirements. They are a shade loving plant from the rain forests of the Amazon basin. The plant has no pests and does not require any insecticide treatment or fertilization. The leaves are its feature and they are odor free. Potted plants as well as cut leaves make beautiful arrangements and are long lasting with proper care.

The caladiums are grown in large fields which have been compared to the tulip fields in Holland for their beauty during the summer months.  Many visitors have stated that the drive by the fields is worth the trip to Lake Placid. The patchwork of color of over 40 varieties of red, white, and pink, and all combinations of the colors is truly a handiwork of art, 


I found the Town of Murals encourages visitors to take self-directed walking tours through town to see these beautiful murals.  Mural books are available for purchase at most shops and explain the history of the murals and the biography of the artists. The Mural Society handles much in regard to the murals, publications and and preservation the town’s history. 42 murals are to be found around town on the sides of buildings and and even the trash containers, which the Mural Society commissioned to have whimsical themes.Color brochures containing mural history and location maps are available from local retailers or at the Society’s offices located in the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center. I visited the Mural Society’s web site at and found the names of the murals I will be looking for:


Cracker Trail Cattle Drive  Airboat Dr. Melvil Dewey Honoring Early Physicians Prairie Dwellers Caladium Fields Lake Placid Drug Lost Cub Turpentine Industry Layers of Time Birding The Post Office The Talk of The Town Captain Webb Tea At South Winds Flushing Woodies Lake Placid Country Fair Eddie Mae Henderson – Sharing & Caring Jennie Reninger – A Remarkable Woman Tropical Bank Robbery Turkey Hunt – The Lost Opportunity Florida Beautiful God Bless America (Sand Hill Cranes Dawn Patrol Watching From The Past Our Citrus Heritage Rare Resident-Florida Panther   Train Depot The Rose Man Bassin’ Istokpoga Lake Istokpoga Village  Toby’s Clown School Ink Spots Dr. Charles Akes Eagles Serene  The Scrub Jay’s world The Trail to Eagle Scout Jewels of Highlands County Richard Archbold & Archbold Biological Station Annie Hill – Nurse Mid-Wife Decades of Green Dragon Basketball The Art of Clowning

Other Exciting Links

Toby’s First Clown School




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