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Welcome to

Okeechobee

2012

Official Guide

To Our Community

Compliments of Okeechobee Pennysaver


2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


O

Welcome To Okeechobee

keechobee lies on the northernmost point of the second-largest freshwater lake in the United States, a perfect place for a relaxing and enjoyable winter vacation or a perfect place to call home. It has warm, sunny and gentle winter weather, wonderful fishing and a growing cultural environment. Its central location in the state allows easy access for exploring other parts of Florida. Okeechobee is just 70 miles from West Palm Beach, 105 miles from Orlando, 115 miles from Tampa and 135 miles from Miami. This location allows day trips to many Florida sites. Okeechobee is a vibrant growing community, rich in history while offering many community events, attractions and points of interest. This guide will help you navigate the “who, what, where and when” of our community. It will give you information on Okeechobee, from its early history to present day. If you are looking for a restaurant or hotel accommodations you will find them here. From arts and enrichment to recreation and sports, you will find what you need within the pages of this guide. Read about our community boosters, the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce, Okeechobee Main Street and the Tourist Development Council on pages 17-18 and search for that special event on pages 20-21. Publisher Maureen Budjinski Editor/Writer Raye Deusinger Art Director Bridgette Waldau Graphic Artist Rafael Pacheco Cover Photo Sharon Cannon Office Manager Tamra Cunningham Bookkeeper Rose Brennan Account Executives Trish Grygo Gail Lockwood Distribution Larry Sterling, Manager Jessica Smith

If you are a serious fisherman or a beginner, you will enjoy reading Capt. Michael Shellen’s article about fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Important telephone numbers you need to know are in this guide for your convenience. You will find emergency numbers on page 35, clubs and organization on page 31 and places of worship on page 37. We are proud of our community. If you live here, please enjoy this publication and share it with friends and family. The Welcome Guide is published annually by Direct Hit Marketing & Design, LLC, which also publishes the Okeechobee Pennysaver. We hope you will find this guide informative and urge you to keep it on hand as a reference. We welcome all visitors and newcomers to our community and hope your stay is memorable. We thank the many advertisers who make this free publication possible. Published by: Direct Hit Marketing and Design, 111 NE 2nd St., Okeechobee, FL 34972, phone (863) 763-7283, fax (863) 763-1674, website www. okeechobeepennysaver.com.

Accommodations......................13 Advertisers Index..........................41 Aid and Emergency......................35 Airports......................................10 Animal Control..............................14 Arts/Enrichment.........................15 Attractions...............................22 Cable TV........................................10 Calendar of Events........................20 Chambers of Commerce ................17 Churches....................................37 City, County, State Officials ..........28 City, County, State Offices ...........32 Civic Clubs/Organizations..............31 Climate..........................................8 Economic Council of Okeechobee ...17 Emergency Management...............27 Emergency Shelters.......................27 Fishing on Lake Okeechobee.........19

Florida Facts....................................9 Highways....................................10 History..........................................6 Hospice Care ................................16 Media ............................................12 Okeechobee County Library..........15 Okeechobee Historical Society.....16 Okeechobee Main Street...............18 Points of Interest..........................23 Schools Private.......................................31 Public........................................ 30 Railroads....................................10 Raulerson Hospital.........................40 Sports Complex.............................16 Restaurants................................38 Tourist Development Council........18 Utilities........................................10 Waste Collection ...........................10

Neither the advertiser nor the publisher are responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, typographical errors, etc. herein contained. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without written permission from the publisher.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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History of Okeechobee Past to Present

O

kee Chobee, Miccosukee for “big water,” has a long history involving differing peoples, ideas and economics.

The lake has gone by different names throughout the years. The original name was Laguna del Esperitu Santo (“Lake of the Holy Spirit”). Having been considered myth and legend for almost 300 years, it has also gone by the names Mayaimi (an early Indian tribe), Lake Mayacco, Lake Mayoco and finally Lake Okeechobee. Until the late 1830s, the lake was considered a myth due to the wild untamed landscape to its north, which kept exploration at bay. During the Seminole wars, the Indians had only one avenue of escape — to the south. A group of Seminoles were pursued by the U.S. Army to the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee in an event that would later be referred to as “Col. Zachary Taylor’s Christmas Party.” On Dec. 25, 1837, the Battle of Okeechobee was fought, pitting the Seminole Indians, led by Chief Osceola, against Col. Zachary Taylor and the U.S. Army. A memorial commemorating the battle can be found on U.S. Hwy 441 SE just a few miles south of the city. Following the victory of the Indians, the dense, marshy region on the lake’s northern coasts remained unexplored until the 1880s, when Hamilton Driston brought dredges and began work on the Kissimmee River in an attempt to open the land for development. At that time, only wild game, birds and Native Americans occupied the region. The land was populated with water oak, cypress, rubber and palmetto trees. Driston began work on a route he planned from the City of Kissimmee south to Lake Okeechobee. Page 6

Southland Hotel was located on the corner of Parrott Avenue and Park Street. c.1948

Soon after the dredging began, people took notice of the land along the top of the lake. In October 1896, Peter and Louisiana (Chandler) Raulerson made their way toward Taylor Creek, a few miles north of the lake. During the 1890s, Raulerson stretched 30 miles of fence from Taylor Creek to the Kissimmee River, enclosing the river’s bend. Shortly after the Raulersons came, other settlers began to find their way to the area. W.A. “Buster” Ferrell built a home just west of Taylor Creek, and Samuel L. Gray paddled his way down the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee in 1899. A year earlier, the Raulersons, wanting their children to receive an education, built the first school house at the river’s bend. Needing six children to start a school, the Yates children were “borrowed” from Fort Drum to the north. The first teacher was Dr. George M. Hubbard, a Connecticut Yankee the children nicknamed “Mother Hubbard.” The government sent Henry Hudson Hancock and his brother James to survey the lake. He became the second school teacher at the Bend. The third teacher of the school was Tan-

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


tie Huckabee, a well-educated lady from South Carolina after whom the school took its name. Her name was also given to the first post office, and the town began to be known as Tantie. More and more settlers began making their homes in Tantie due to a thriving economy. Numerous industries such as hunting, citrus and farming were already growing, but none as much as the catfish industry. In 1906, the steamer Success carried 6,000 pounds of fish from the lake on its first haul. In 1912, Robert Upthegrove settled Upthegrove Beach, which became a large fishing site, on what is now Hwy 441 SE. In 1911 the St. Lucie County Tribune announced that work would soon start on a branch line of the Florida East Coast Railway to run from Maytown (north of Titusville on the east coast) to the north of Lake Okeechobee. Because of the new developments in and around the town, on Oct. 4, 1911 the name Tantie was deemed inappropriate and was changed to Okeechobee. Later that year, P.L. Jenkins enlisted a civil engineer to lay out and survey the new city. Many of the street names would come from the area’s Indian heritage: Okeechobee, Seminole, Osceola, Hicpochee, Miami, Kissimmee, Parrott, Tallahassee, Cherokee, Hiwasee, Micanopee, Meridith and Oklosnokee. Those names would remain until the 1970s, when streets and avenues were given new names or numbers. Continuing the now-entrenched tradition of change, South Florida Railroad Company owner Henry Morrison Flagler initiated a re-design of the city to include wide streets, a central park and many wooden buildings, some of which still exist. He envisioned it becoming the “Chicago of the South.” The boundaries of Okeechobee County and the incorporation of the city were formalized on June 4, 1915. In 1919 the name was changed slightly, from Okeechobee City to the City of Okeechobee. The county was created from portions of Osceola, St. Lucie and Palm Beach

counties in 1917. Florida Gov. Park Trammell (1913 to 1917) appointed municipal officers that included Mayor Peter Raulerson, Clerk of Accessory Henry Chandler, and councilmen L.M. Raulerson, W.L. Coats, Dr. C.R. Darrow, S.J. Drawdy and C.L. Hatch. The first city council meeting was held on July 13, 1915. The first police chief (city marshal) was Benjamin F. Hall. He was succeeded by J.W. Raulerson and William E. “Pogey Bill” Collins. Today Okeechobee is a crossroads town linking the east and west coasts of Florida. The county comprises 771 square miles with a population of approximately 40,000 — 5,500 of whom live in the City of Okeechobee. It is known for its dairy and beef cattle, and fishing and tourism industries. The industrial park located next to the county airport is a growing area that provides excellent advantages to manufacturers. The lake itself is a nationally known tourist attraction. It covers roughly 730 square miles with an average diameter of 45 miles and an average depth of 14 feet; the deepest point being 22 feet. The lake is bisected by the Okeechobee Waterway, which runs from Fort Myers on the West Coast of Florida, up the Caloosahatchee River, through the lake and eastward through the St. Lucie Canal to Stuart on Florida’s East Coast. The lake is surrounded by the Hoover Dike, begun in 1929 after the devastating hurricanes of 1926 and 1928. The dike protects areas around the lake from flood damage during hurricane seau

The Bank of Okeechobee, 1926, located on Park Street.

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son. Lake Okeechobee is the water lifeline for South Florida because it stores and supplies water to many cities and agricultural communities to its south. Locks located approximately every seven miles, provide fishing and boating access to the lake. The lake is encircled by an excellent road system with many scenic-view points. Campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants and recreational facilities are easily accessible to travelers. Okee Tantie State Park and Scott Driver Park, located across from each other on Hwy 78W, provide facilities for hikers, boaters, campers and fishermen. Immediately across the Kissimmee River on Hwy 78, is Glades County and the community of Buckhead Ridge, whose residents work, attend school and otherwise participate in the life of Okeechobee. Further south on Hwy 78W, is the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation, which encom-

Photo by Rafael Pacheco

Downtown Park Street today.

passes 35,000 acres of rich land that is farmed, fished and hunted by the Seminole. The reservation boasts a state-of-the-art rodeo arena, a casino complex and modern centers for education and sports. The reservation school, Pemayetv Emahakv, expands the normal curriculum with the teaching of the history and language of the Seminole. The reservation is open to the public.

Climate Okeechobee has a moderate climate, with summer temperatures ranging from 72 to 93 with occasional afternoon thunder showers from June through September. Winters are mild with bright, warm, sunny days and cool nights. Midwinter temperatures average from 49 to 73. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Annual rainfall averages 53 inches per year. Outdoor activities are part of daily life due to the moderate climate; year-round gardening is a welcome benefit. Also because of the mild climate, thousands of tourists visit Okeechobee during the winter and spring seasons. Page 8

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Florida Facts State Motto State Tree State Flower State Stone State Gem State Shell State Nickname State Song State Mammal State Bird State Animal State Reptile State Fish State Insect

“In God We Trust” Palmetto Palm Orange Blossom Agatized Coral Moonstone Horse Conch or Giant Band Shell Sunshine State “Suwannee River” Florida Panther (land) Manatee (freshwater) Porpoise (saltwater) Mockingbird Florida Panther Alligator Largemouth Bass (freshwater) Atlantic Sailfish(saltwater) Zebra Longwing Butterfly

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Airports The Okeechobee County Airport, a former U.S. Air Force base, is located on Hwy 98, one mile north of Hwy 70. It has two asphalt runways, one 4,000 feet and one 5,000-foot lighted, that can accommodate most private and smaller commercial aircraft. Terminal building and radio communication is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The Okeechobee County Airport provides complete general aviation services, local information and a restaurant open to the public. For more information, contact Interim Airport Manager Kathy Scott at (863) 467-5505, the Okeechobee Jet Center at (863) 467-5888 or the Landing Strip restaurant at (863) 467-6828.

Railroads Amtrak stops in Okeechobee with south- and northbound trains. For times and schedules, call Amtrak at (800) 872-7245. The station is located just west of Hwy 441N at 8th St.

begin where Hwy 441S ends at the Lake. State Road 70 eastbound, Hwy 441 northbound and State Road 710 southbound all lead to connections with Florida’s Turnpike, I-95 and US Hwy 1.

Utilities Two electric companies service Okeechobee: Florida Power & Light serves most of the county, with Glades Electric serving the western section north of Basswood to the Viking Properties and several western communities. For information, call FPL at (800) 226-3545 or Glades Electric at (863) 467-5111. Water service is available through the Okeechobee Utility Authority, 100 SW 5th Ave., (863) 7639460. Gas is provided by three companies for commercial, residential, agricultural or industrial service: Central Gas Co., 119 NW 8th St., Okeechobee, FL 34972, (863) 763-3915; Ferrellgas, 204 SW 7th Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34974, (863) 763-7557; and Glades Gas Co., 804 N Parrott Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34972, (863) 763-2114.

Waste Collection For weekly garbage removal and information regarding pickup of ground debris or dumpster needs, contact Waste Management Inc., 10080 NE 128th Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34972, (863) 763-4818.

Highways Okeechobee is served by state and federal highways, many having four lanes within the city limits. U.S. 441 (N-S) and State Road 70 (E-W) each pass through the heart of the county, forming a crossroads that provides travelers easy access to any attraction around the state. Hwy 441SE leads east around the lake and Hwy 78 leads west around the lake; both

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Okeechobee Landfill Inc. is a Class 1 disposal facility located at 10800 N.E. 128th Ave. Waste disposal rates are based on tonnage. The minimum fee is $5 via check, credit, debit card or cash. For more information call (863) 357-0824 or visit www.wm.com.

Cable Television Cable is provided by Comcast Digital Cable, 107 NW 7th Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34972, (800) 266-2278, www.comcast.com.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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Media Print - Locally Owned Okeechobee Pennysaver, Okeechobee Welcome Guide Hurricane Guide

Direct Hit Marketing & Design, LLC. 111 NE 2nd Street (863) 763-7283 okeeads@gmail.com

Okeechobee The Magazine

111 NE 2nd Street (863) 467-0054 okeechobeethemagazine@embarqmail.com www.okeechobeethemagazine.com

Okeechobee News

107 SW 17th Street (863) 763-3134 okeenews@newszap.com

Radio

(English) WOKC-FM 100.9 FM, WOKC-AM 1570 AM, True Country (Spanish) WAFC-FM 106.1, Radio Fiesta. 210 WN Park St., Suite 102, (863) 467-1570 or (863) 467-1009 www.wokc.com

91.7 FM, WWFR, Family Radio (863) 763-0281

www.familyradio.com

WYFR – Short Wave

10040 NW 240th St. (863) 763-0281

90.5 FM, WREH, Reach FM (863) 467-8080, reachfm.org of Okeechobee, Inc.

Providing palliative care since 1983

For a special kind of caring in the comfort of your home or in the Hamrick House where we provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for respite, routine or intense level of care for crisis or symptom control.

Your Home-Town Hospice 411 SE 4th Street, Okeechobee, FL 34974 FOR INFORMATION VISIT OUR WEB PAGE WWW.HOSPICEOFOKEECHOBEE.ORG OR CALL 467-2321. A Florida non-profit and 501c(3) tax exempt corporation

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Accommodations Hotels and Motels (area code 863) DOWNTOWN

Budget Inn

201 S Parrott Ave., 763-3185

WEST AROUND THE LAKE

Angler’s Waterfront Motel 1010 6th St., (Buckhead Ridge) Okeechobee, 763-4031

Lakeport Lodge Motel & Restaurant, 11700 Hwy 78W, 946-2020

Economy Inn

EAST AROUND THE LAKE

Hampton Inn

2200 Hwy 441 SE, 763-8003 www.pier2resort.com

507 N Parrott Ave., 763-1148 1200 State Road 70 East, 824-0003, www.okeechobeelakeokeechobee.hamptoninn.com

Travelers Inn

601 N Parrott Ave., 763-3146

CLOSEST TO THE LAKE

Best Western

3975 Hwy 441S, 357-7100 www.bestwestern.com

Pier II Motel

RimCanal Motel & RV Park 1422 Hwy 441 SE, 467-2737

Travelodge Suites

1527 Hwy 441 SE, 824-3431 www.travelodge.com

Lakeview Inn & Suites

3225 Hwy 441 SE, 763-1020

Flamingo Motel

4101 Hwy 441S, 763-6100 www.motelflamingo.net

Holiday Inn Express

3101 Hwy 441S, 357-3529 www.hiexpress.com

Scottish Inns

3190 Hwy 441S, 763-3293

Assisted Living Facilities Grand Oaks, a VNA Community 203 SE 2 St., 824-6770 www.grandoaks.org

The Heritage Assisted Living, Elder Care 608 NE 2 Ave., 763-1700

Okeechobee Health Care Facility 1646 Hwy 441N, 763-2226.

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Animal Control Services Waters Edge is just minutes from downtown shopping, restaurants, golf, polo, the casino, movies and the rodeo at the fairgrounds. It is only a short distant to 1-95 and the East Coast of Florida with major mall, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, sport fishing, restaurants and theme parks. Photos by Rafael Pacheco

Rescued animals, Frank the Cat and Bon Jovi.

Okeechobee County Animal Control Services is located at 1480 NW 25th Dr. in the Airport Industrial Park (3050 NW 120th Trail), (863) 3573225. Supervisor Gary Barber said the agency will respond to complaints of missing or aggressive animals, animal bites, livestock loose on county roads, animal cruelty and other animal-related situations. Animals available for adoption are evaluated for temperament and health to reduce the number of animals euthanized; the agency adoptsout or sends animals to reputable rescue groups. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. An officer is on emergency call 24 hours a day.

Please contact us for additional information for bookings:

Bill Fitzsimmons - Director of Sales & Marketing

Phone: (863) 357-5757  Email: sales@wemcr.com 12766 Hwy 441 SE  Okeechobee, Florida 34974

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For Info:

WEMCR.com or

The Humane Society Pet Rescue, a non-profit facility located at 1203 Hwy 98N (PO Box 233, Okeechobee, FL 34973), (863) 357-1104, is a no-kill shelter that cares for animals until adoption. Its goal is the “ending of needless euthanizing of healthy animals,” Director Belinda Forlier said. The facility welcomes volunteer help as well as donated items for the comfort of the animals. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is closed Sunday, Wednesday and Monday. For more information, visit www.animalrescueokeechobee.org.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Arts and Enrichment The Okeechobee Community Theatre is in its 33rd year of presenting high-quality Broadwaystyle musicals, comedies, dramas, and mysteries. Performances are the first two weekends in March and November, with a third production usually scheduled for early December, at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus Auditorium, 702 SW Second Avenue, just west of Golden Corral Restaurant. Performers and production crew members are all local volunteer talent. For information on show schedules, audition dates, or volunteer opportunities, call Ron or Jacque Hayes at (863) 763-1307, or visit the theatre website, www.okeecommunitytheatre.com. The Okeechobee High School Drama Department has been an increasing favorite with its topquality productions put on several times during the year. For more information, call Deborah Raulerson at (863) 462-5025. The high school is located at 2800 Hwy 441N.

Photo by Rafael Pacheco

Third mural of Okeechobee Main Street’s mural program.

Okeechobee Main Street’s Art and Cultural Committee is dedicated to bringing fine arts to the community. The annual Top of the Lake Art and Music Fest showcases fine artists, children’s art activities, cultural presentations, performances by award-winning musicians, green market, food and more. The committee also oversees a city mural project that displays historical aspects on buildings. Call (863) 357-6246.

Okeechobee County Library The Okeechobee County Library system has been in operation since 1977. The modern library at 206 SW 16th St. contains more than 50,000 hardback books, 10,000 paperbacks and a variety of offerings of interest to children and adults alike. There are newspapers from around the lake region, a representative magazine (subscription) collection and audio and visual materials including DVDs. Research can be done online through library computers at no charge for Okeechobee residents.

Florida Humanities Council grant. Library Director Kresta King can be reached at (863) 763-3536. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed Sunday and Monday. There are three outside drop boxes for use when the library is closed.

The library is part of the Heartland Library Cooperative, encompassing Okeechobee, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Desoto counties, expanding the availability of requested material. Each year the library presents three to four Florida Culture and History presentations through a 2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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Okeechobee Historical Society Founded in 1973, the Okeechobee County Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Okeechobee County and the lower Kissimmee River Valley. It meets the third Monday of each month at noon in the Museum Display Building at the County Historical Park, 1850 Hwy 98N; visitors are welcome. Annual membership is $10. Located next to the museum, on two acres of county-owned property, is the historic, 103-yearold schoolhouse. The museum is open each Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment by calling President Betty Williamson at (863) 763-6226.

Recreation and Sports Complex The sports complex, open from dawn to dusk, is located at 580 NW 27th Lane. It features an Olympic-size pool, four youth baseball fields, a football/soccer field, six shuffleboard courts, two basketball courts, eight tennis courts, four racquetball courts, a picnic/restroom pavilion and a “wooden jungle” for children. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (863) 763-6950 for information about the sports complex and (863) 467-7667 for information about the pool.

Constructed in 1909, the historic Tantie Schoolhouse is sited on the property of the Okeechobee Historical Society Museum.

Hospice Care Big Lake Hospice

1203 N. Parrott Ave., 763-0707, www.biglakehospice.org. We provide you and your loved ones with comfort, support, and care by a team of physicians, nurses, aides, counselors, and chaplains so you may continue to enjoy the months and weeks ahead to the fullest extent possible.

Hospice of Okeechobee

411 SE 4th St., 467-2321, www.hospiceofokeechobee.org. Serving Okeechobee since 1983, your “Hometown Hospice” staff provides loving and compassionate care in your home or, when necessary, in our residence, The Hamrick Home located on SE 4th St.

Hope Hospice/Hope Connections

30082 Hwy 78W, 763-2404, www.hopehospice. org, serves Buckhead Ridge in Glades County with senior care (hot meals), activities and Hospice referral. Page 16

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Community Boosters Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Business members of the Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County are committed to fulfilling its mission to “engage business and community leaders to improve the business climate, economy and quality of life in Okeechobee.” The Chamber provides information about the community to residents, visitors and businesses seeking to establish a presence in Okeechobee.

Photo by Felicia Maxwell

Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County Board of Directors (L-R) J.D. Mixon, Mike Costopoulos, Maureen Budjinski, Terry Burroughs, Toni Doyle, Bill Blazak and Charlie Hukriede. Not pictured: Robert Lee and John Gurney.

A variety of networking opportunities are available, and Chamber committees consider issues critical to the business community. The Chamber, 412 NW 3rd St., also provides business, business relocation, and export assistance services. For information call 4676246 or visit www.OkeechobeeBusiness.com.

Economic Council of Okeechobee The Economic Council of Okeechobee is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan organization which promotes the sound and judicious economic growth of Okeechobee County, Florida. Its membership is composed of the top industry, business and professional leaders of the community. It is to be involved with the social, economic and political processes of the County and is to act as a catalyst between the public and private sectors to foster dialogue, planning and action. For information, call 467-0200 or visit www.ecok.org.

Photo by Sandra Pearce

Past and present ECO board members at the council’s 20th anniversary on Jan. 16, 2010 at the Pine Creek Sporting Club.

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Okeechobee Main Street In 1982 the Main Street program was started under the direction of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as a way of helping local cities and towns preserve and revitalize their past. Okeechobee joined the program in 2005 and became accredited in 2007. The mission of Main Street is to promote the prosperity and vitality of Okeechobee. Its work includes the preservation of local history and beautification projects in the downtown. Okeechobee Main Street oversees a city mural project that displays historical aspects on buildings in the downtown area. Three murals have been completed 23) with the fourth to be completed in 2012. Among other events, Okeechobee Main Street sponsors the Speckled Perch Festival/Parade, the Top of the Lake Art and Music Fest, the National Day of the American Cowboy, Labor Day Festivities/Parade, the children’s Halloween Celebration at the Agri-Civic Center and the Top of the Lake Christmas Festival and Parade. Main Street’s popular monthly Main Street Mixers are hosted by member businesses with an open invitation to the public. The Mixer schedule can be found on The Welcome Guide Calendar, page 20.

Photo by Rafael Pacheco

OKMS Board Members (L-R) Seated: Lisa Watts, Executive Director Cindy Birdashaw and Kathleen Shatto. Standing: Merrilee Berglund, Frank DeCarlo, Bridgette Waldau, Keith Stripling, Courtney Moyett and Paul Mitchell. Not pictured: Beth Lehman, Maureen Burroughs, John Creasman and Jeff Sheffield.

The twelve-member board is led by Main Street President Kathleen Shatto and Executive Director Cindy Birdashaw. The office is located at 111 NE 2nd Street. For information call (863) 357-6246, visit our website at www.mainstreetokeechobee.com, or follow us on Facebook.

Tourist Development Council

The Okeechobee Tourist Development Council promotes Okeechobee County as a desirable tourist destination through marketing and advertising campaigns and local events. The nine-member council consists of a chairman, two elected municipal officials and six members involved in the tourist industry. The TDC office, located in the County Airport Terminal Building, (863) 763-3959, has full information on their web site at www.okeechobee-tdc. com. Page 18

As the sun rose, Anglers anxiously awaited take off on the bank at C. Scott Driver Park, at one of the many tournaments proudly hosted by the Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Fishing on Lake Okeechobee fight is on! Heavy tackle and good technique are required and of course, a little luck, and soon you will have a true trophy bass in the boat, briefly to weigh, photograph and release to be caught again by another lucky angler. In the springtime the bluegill and shellcracker fishing are second to none. Many different methods are used to catch the chunky panfish; my favorite is an old-school cane pole with a small bobber and a grass shrimp for bait. What great eating these fish are.

Captain Michael Shellen Shellen Guide Service

www.okeechobeebassfishing.co (863) 357-0892.

W

elcome to Okeechobee! Thanks to incredible spawns for the past few years, Lake Okeechobee is once again known as the premier bass fishery in the United States. Due entirely to a very wet fall, the lake is at a perfect level. The water is high enough to allow access to those who love to fish deep in the marshy areas, and just low enough that many of the fish are still hanging out near the outside-edge vegetation of the lake. Lake Okeechobee has once again returned to the fish factory that it once was, in fact, many anglers consider it to be better than it has ever been before. The lake has everything going for it right now. There are massive amounts of native vegetation growing in the water; eelgrass, peppergrass and Kissimmee grass abound on the north end of the lake. The vegetation grows profusely from J&S Fish Camp on the east side of the lake all the way to Observation Shoal on the far west shore. During the fall and winter seasons, the best way to catch one of Okeechobee’s huge bass is to fish a live wild shiner under a small cork near some very heavy vegetation. The shiner does all of the work, swimming furiously, until the bass inhales it and then the

Okeechobee County has much to offer in the way of food and places to stay. We feel that if you come visit us once you will return again and again and when you do go home you will tell your friends and they will want to visit us too. It’s a great place to be when the ground is covered with snow up north, or even during the summertime for some extraordinary fishing.

BATTERY

TIRE

OF OKEECHOBEE

Home of Honest, Reliable Service

Servicing & Installing Alignments on Cars & Pick-ups

Oil Change - Batteries for Everything - Brake Jobs - AC Work Bug Shields - Truck Accessories - Fuel Pumps - Tool Boxes & More

New & Used Tires For: All Farm Equipment Truck - Car - Lawnmower Tractor & Loader Tires

Located at

198 US 98 N.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

3 Service Trucks Available 24 Hour Mobile Repair Services 772-201-1594

863-357-2431 Page 19


Calendar of Events

Area code 863 unless otherwise noted. For details and information on listed or planned events, contact Main Street (MS) at www.mainstreetokeechobee. com or 357-6246, the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee (CC) at 467-6246, the Agri-Civic Center (ACC) at 763-1666 or Tourist Development Council (TDC) at 763-3959. Entrance to all Agri-Civic Center events is from State Road 710.

January

Jan. 12-22 – American Legion Free Fair, 501 SE 2nd St., 763-2950. Carnival rides, concessions. Jan. 19-22 – FLW Outdoors Everstart Fishing Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Jan. 20 – KOA Concert series, Motown Review, 7 p.m., 763-0231. Jan. 24 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Grand Oaks Assisted Living Facility, 203 SE 2 St. Jan. 28 -- 10th Annual Big Lake Bass Tournament to benefit the March of Dimes, sponsored by Seacoast Bank, at Okee-Tantie Park: Launch at 6:45 a.m. and weigh-in at 3 p.m. Jan. 28 – Winterfest Catfish Festival, sponsored by the Buckhead Ridge Volunteer Fire Dept. Booths, games, crafts. Just west of the Kissimmee River on Hwy 78. 467-8220. Jan. 28 -- Okeechobee Health & Safety Expo, Agri-Civic Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 100 booths by businesses, health organizations, hospital, nursing services, fire and police departments. Safety literature, demonstrations, blood donor bus. 763-1666. Jan. 29 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park.

February

Feb. 3 – Okeechobee Educational Foundation Dessert Mystery Theatre, Freshman Campus Auditorium, 7 to 9 p.m. 462-5000 x257. Feb. 4,5 – Florida Bass Federation 1st Qualifier, Okee Tantie Park. Feb. 4 – Battle of Okeechobee. A costumed re-enactment of the last battle of the Second Seminole War between the US Army and the Seminole Indians at the Battlefield Historical Site on Hwy 441SE about three miles southeast of Okeechobee. For information: Dowling Watford, 763-2121 or okeechobeebattlefield.com. Feb. 10 – 12 – Seminole Wind Blue Grass Festival at Brighton Seminole Reservation, 467-6039. Feb. 11 – Valentine’s Fund Raiser to help support newly-arrived wildlife at Arnold’s Wildlife Center. 14895 NW 30 Terr., 763-4630. Feb. 12 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie. Feb. 16-19 – 74th Annual Brighton Field Day Festival and PRCA Rodeo at Brighton Seminole Reservation. Seminole culture, costumes, crafts, booths. 467-6039, www.resrodeo.com. Feb. 18 –FLW-BFL Gator Division Fishing Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Feb. 19-26 – Florida Cracker Trail – a 120 mile horseback ride and cattle drive from Bradenton on Florida’s West Coast to Ft. Pierce on the East Coast, passing through northern Okeechobee. Commemorates Florida cattle heritage, www.crackertrail.org/ride.html. Feb. 21 – Speckled Perch Queen’s Pageant, Main Street office for further information, 357-6246. Feb. 22 – KOA Concert Series- Greg Bonham, vocalist; Brad Tassell, comedian. 763-0231. Feb. 23 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Law Office of Philip DeBerard, 1120 S Parrott Ave. Feb. 25 – Bassmaster Weekend Series Fishing Tournament, Okee Tantie Park.

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March

Mar. 2, 3 and 9, 10-- Community Theatre production of The Diary of Anne Frank, 8 p.m., 700 SW 2nd Ave. Information 763-1307. Mar. 5 – KOA Concert Series – 500 Club song and dance variety show, 763-0231 Mar. 10 – March of Dimes “March for Babies”, 763-3131, www.marchofdimes.com\florida. Mar. 10, 11 -- 44th Annual Speckled Perch Festival & Parade. Okeechobee is known as the “Speckled Perch Capital of the World” so it is only fitting that we hold an annual event in honor of this title. Food and crafts in the Park on Hwy 70. 357-6246. Mar. 10 -- Miss Okeechobee County Fair and Little Miss Pageant, Okeechobee High School, 6 p.m. Contact Donnie Arnold 634-6464. Mar. 10-19 -- Okeechobee County Fair at Agri-Civic Center. Animals, Crafts, Rides, Food judging, booths, 4H show and judging. Tickets available at 763-1666 or at the gate. Mar. 10, 11 -- The Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Spring PRCA Rodeo at the Agri-Civic Center. 634-7137. Mar. 11 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park Mar. 15-17 – Okeesimmee Bluegrass Festival at Okee Tantie Campground and Marina, Hwy 78W at the River. Thurs. opens at 3, Fri. and Sat. opens at 1. Information and reservations for campsites at 763-2622. Mar. 17 – BBQ Contest to benefit Okeechobee High School baseball team, noon at High School baseball field. Information call Jeff, 772-359-6949. Mar. 22-25 – Bassmasters Elite Series and Waterfest, Okee Tantie Park. Mar. 29 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by TD Bank, 1506 S Parrott Ave. Mar. 31 – 9th Annual Okeechobee Rotary Club “LOST” (Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail) Bike Ride atop the Herbert Hoover Dike, 763-5573, www.okeechobeerotary.org.

April

Apr. TBA – Main Street Mixer, 5 to 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Hoskins & Turco, 212 S Parrott Ave., 357-6246. Apr. 8 – Community-wide Easter Sunrise Service at the lake at Lock 7. Information at First United Methodist Church, 763-4021. Apr. 8 – Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast following Sunrise Service at both the Freshman Campus Auditorium, behind Golden Corral and at 1st United Methodist Church. Apr. 13, 14 – American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Association Rodeo Arena (opposite high school). Apr. 14, 15 – Top of the Lake Art & Music Fest, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Juried art show, entertainment, 5th mural dedication (old bank building), heritage and cultural presentations, food, green market. in Flagler Parks 3, 4, Hwy 70 W. Call for more information 357-6246. Apr. 15 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Apr. 27, 28 – Women in the Outdoors Event, Quail Creek Plantation, Information: 772-772-475-1158, marlinteeni@yahoo.com.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


May

May 5 – 5th Annual American Business Women’s Assn. (ABWA) “Oldies” Dinner Dance, KOA, 4276 Hwy 441S, 697-1807 or 467-4663. May 9,10 – AgVenture, a project helping 4th graders realize the need for agriculture, sponsored by TD Bank. More information at 824-6700. May 10 – Main Street Mixer,5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Rustic Style and Cabins, 505 NE Park St.,. 357-6246. May 11,12 – Come Kamp and Kare With Us Weekend, KOA, 763-0231. May 22 – Scholarship Night, High School, Heather Gillis 462-5025. May 27 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. May 28 – Memorial Day Service, Celebration and Ceremony, 10 a.m., Veteran’s Park, sponsored by American Legion. 763-2950.

June

June 3-8 – TBF Fed Southern State Fishing Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. June 5 – Red Cross-hosted Hurricane Preparedness Seminar with speakers from safety, health, financial planning, weather reporting and other ways of preparing for a storm, at Raulerson Hospital, 763-2151. June 10 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. June TBA – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, details TBA. June 16 – Arnold’s Wildlife Center Open House, 10 - 4, Animals, nature trails, butterfly haven, food and fun activities for the children. 14895 NW 30 Terr., 763-4630. June 23, 24 – Florida Bass Fed Last Chance Qualifier, Okee Tantie Park.

July

July 4 – Fireworks extravaganza, nightfall at Agri-Civic Center. Food booths, entertainment. 467-6246. July 13-15 – Florida Airboat Assn. Unity Weekend, Okee Tantie Park July 15 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. July 19 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by PNC Bank, 2801 Hwy 441S, 357-6246. July 28 – National Day of the American Cowboy features cattle drive through downtown to Agri-Civic Center. Ranch Rodeo competition, midway, food, entertainment, activities including story tellers, whip poppers, western artists and writers along with vendors displaying and selling western goods and foods. 357-6246.

August

Aug. 12 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Aug. 23 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Seacoast National Bank, 1409 S Parrott Ave., 357-6246. Aug. TBA – Tween Summit for parents whose children will be transitioning between elementary and middle school. Information 462-5000 x 257.

September

Sept. 1-3 – Labor Day Parade and Festival in Flagler Park with Cattleman’s Rodeo competition (paid admission) at the Agri-Civic Center Sept. 2 & 3, 467-6246. TBA – Okeechobee County Junior Golf Championship sponsored by Waldau’s Junior Golf, hosted by Okeechobee Golf and Country Club, information www.floridajuniorgolf.org and 763-6228 Sept. 13 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Morgan, Stanley, Smith, Barney. Site TBA 357-6246.

Sept. 15,16 – FLW-BFL Gator Division Fishing Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Sept. 22, 23 – Bassmaster Weekend Series, Okee Tantie Park. Sept. 30 – Xtreme Bass Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Sept. TBA – Okeechobee Educational Foundation Achieving Excellence Luncheon, public invited.

October

Oct. 6 – 2nd Annual Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta to benefit firemen. Information, J.D. Mixon, 634-1778. Oct. 8 – Annual United Way Golf Tournament at the Okeechobee Golf and Country Club. Marnie Lauter, 697-1970. Oct. 11 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Bass Funeral Home, 205 NE 2nd St., 357-6246. Date TBA – Boots and Pearls Dinner Dance, KOA, 6 – 11 p.m., information: www.hospiceofokeechobee.org. Oct. 20,21 – Florida Bass Federation Tournament, Okee Tantie Park. Oct. 31 – Halloween Celebration from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Agri-CivicCenter. Free event sponsored by Main Street, Board of County Commissioners, Okeechobee Sheriff’s Dept., City of Okeechobee and Okeechobee City Council. Businesses, government and individuals welcome all children to booths for treats, entertainment, costume competition, activities, haunted house. 357-6246.

November

Nov. 2,3 and 10,11 – Okeechobee Community Theatre Production, 8 p.m.. 700 SW 2nd Ave. Information 763-1307. Nov. 3 – Arnold’s Wildlife Center Open House, 10 - 4, Animals, nature trails, butterfly haven, food and fun activities for the children. 14895 NW 30th Terr., 763-4630. TBA – Waldau’s Junior Golf 21st Annual Golf Tournament to benefit junior golf, at the Okeechobee Golf and Country Club. For information call Bridgette Waldau at 467-7300 or go to www.floridajuniorgolf.org. Nov. 10 – Butch’s Family Festival, Okee Tantie Park. Nov. 10 – 6th Annual Craft Fair in the Woods, 9 – 4, swamp buggy rides BBQ dinners, crafts at Freedom Ranch, 11655 Hwy 441SE, 763-2678. Nov. 15 – Main Street Mixer, 5 – 7 p.m., public welcome,hosted by Okeechobee Golf and Country Club, 405 NE 131st Lane. 357-6246. Nov. 17,18 – 7th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup. Community-wid two-day blood-donor event supported by area businesses and volunteers. Goal is 600 or more donations in two days. Entertainment, prizes, gifts. 610-2176. Nov. 24 – Kid’s Fishing Tournament sponsored by Taylor Creek Bass Club, 467-2255. Nov. 26-Dec.18 – Hospice of Okeechobee Annual Festival of Trees and Christmas Store, 411 SE 4 St., 467-2321. Nov. 27 -- Tree Lighting in City Hall Park, Hwy 70 E. Children’s concert with representation from area’s elementary schools, 763-3372.

December

Dec. 8 – Top of the Lake Christmas Festival and Craft Show in Flagler Park, climaxed by a lighted evening Christmas Parade by Okeechobee businesses, schools and clubs. 357-6246. Dec. 8—Radio Auction on WOKC, sponsored by Kiwanis. Dec. 12 – Main Street Mixer, 5 - 7 p.m., public welcome, hosted by Raulerson Hospital, 1796 Hwy 441N., 357-6246. Dec. 17 (tentative) – Kiwanis sponsors pictures with Santa in the Park. 801-8277.

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Attractions Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Butterfly Garden Education-based wildlife care facility 14895 NW 30 Terr. 763-4630 or (800) 871-4403, or visit www.arnoldswildlife.org. Brahman Theatre Matinees and evening movies 1500 S. Parrott Ave., 763-7202 Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation and Casino Bingo, Poker, Slots Hwy 78W to Hwy 721N or take Hwy 70W to 721S Reservation is located in Glades County approximately 25 miles southwest of Okeechobee. Ft. Drum Crystal Mines 6655 NE 304 St. (863) 634-4579, www.gamineral.org

BOWLING

Lucky Lanes

1465 Hwy 441SE, (863) 467-1800

GOLF

Blue Heron Public Golf Course 1925 SE 8th Ave., 467-1651

KOA Resort

4276 Hwy 441S, 763-0231 okeechobeekoa.com

Okeechobee Golf & Country Club 405 NE 131 St. (863) 763-6228

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Okeechobee County Fishing Pier, Lock 7/ Jaycee Park Junction of Hwy 441S and Hwy 78 Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) 110-mile camping, hiking, biking trail on Herbert Hoover Dike encircling Lake Okeechobee (863) 983-8101 www.sal.usace.army.mil/sfoo/rec/trails. htm Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park 25 miles north of downtown Okeechobee. See website for directions or call (863) 462-5360, www.floridastateparks.org kissimmeeprarie/default.cfm. Birding, stargazing, hiking, biking and horse trails. Quail Creek Plantation Hunting, Sporting Clays Events and Lodging 2399 NE 224th St. (863) 763-2529 quailcreekplantation.com. Open Wednesday thru Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Veterans War Memorial Flagler Park, junction of highways 70 and 441 (863) 763-3959 Wagon Wheel Horse Farm “Old Florida” setting for trail and hay rides, petting zoo, pony rides. 634-6397 www.wagonwheelhorsefarm.com.

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Points of Interest Murals Depicting History of Okeechobee

Seminole/Cracker History 200 SW 6th St. Railroad comes to Okeechobee S. Parrott Ave. and 1st St. (west side) First Telephone Exchange S. Parrott Ave. and 1st St. (east side) Historic Williams’ Cattle Drive N. Parrott Ave., 2nd St.

Okeechobee County Historical Society Museum & Schoolhouse

Okeechobee Livestock Market Florida’s largest livestock market. 1055 Hwy 98N (863) 763-3127

Jaycee Park/Lock 7

801 N. Parrott Ave. (863) 763-3959

Park features a fishing pier, boat launch and opportunity to view the expansiveness of Lake Okeechobee. A wonderful place to bring the children to feed the pigeons which congregate there. Located at the southern terminus of Hwy 441, at the “top of the lake.”

Okeechobee City Hall

SIGHTSEEING

Built in 1907 and used until 1916. 1850 Hwy 98N (863) 763-4344 Tours by appointment only

Historic Train Station

Built in 1926

55 SE 3rd Ave. (863) 763-3372

Okeechobee County Courthouse

Built in 1926, modified and altered during the years and returned to its original state in 2010. The new courthouse just north of it was completed in 2007.

304 NW 2nd Ave. (863) 763-6441

Peter Raulerson Home

Built in 1923 by early merchant Abraham Freedman and now used as an office building.

600 S. Parrott Ave.

Capt. Chop’s Boat Tours, 763-2802 Capt. Don’s Airboat, Pontoon and Fishing Tours, 634-2109

Crappy Jack’s rides, tours, fishing guide, 763-7753 Eagle Bay Airboat Rides and Tours, 900 Hwy 78W, 824-0500., www.okeechobeeairboat.com.

Hillbilly Charters, Eco and Fishing Tours, 610-0440 John’s Guide Service, Pontoon boat history and information tours of Lake O, 532-1720

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Publix Safety Complex The Okeechobee Public Safety Complex is an Okeechobee County and Florida State Type 3 Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Under the direction of David McCain, it is located at 707 NW 6th St., Okeechobee, FL, 34972, (863) 763-3212, fax (863) 763-4565, www.okeechobeeeoc.com. Should a disaster strike Okeechobee County, the Public Safety Complex must be prepared for events caused by man or nature. This could be an expected hurricane, an industrial accident that would require immediate evacuation of the whole county or a particular area within the county or any other emergency involving the safety of the county. The Public Safety Complex includes the Office of Emergency Manage-

ment, Director Mitch Smeykal, as well as 911 emergency operators and the fire rescue administration. Emergency information would be broadcast on local radio stations WOKC-AM (1570), WOKC-FM (100.7), WQCS-FM (88.9), Fort Pierce and (Spanish) WAFC-FM (106.1), Clewiston.

Emergency Shelters and Capacities The “Osceola” and “South” shelters will serve as “initial-need” shelters. The Red Cross will determine and announce further shelter openings. 763-2488.

Osceola Middle School

Freshman Center Auditorium

South Elementary School

New Endeavor High School

Okeechobee High School

American Legion Post #64

Yearling Middle School

First Baptist Church

North Elementary School

Ft. Drum Community Church

Everglades Elementary School

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Seminole Elementary School

Okeechobee County Health Dept.

825 SW 28th St. (650)

2468 SW 7th Ave. (500) 2800 Hwy 441N (2,000)

925 NW 23rd Lane (700)

3000 NW 10th Ave. (500) 3725 SE 8th St. (700)

2690 NW 42nd Ave. (700)

610 SW 2nd Ave. (660) 575 SW 29th St. (500) 501 SE 2nd St. (200) 401 SW 4th St. (65)

32415 Hwy 441N (80) 701 SW 6th St. (500)

1728 NW 9th Ave. (50)

(a medical needs shelter)

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State and Federal Officials Governor

United States Senate

Rick Scott

(R) Marco Rubio (D) Bill Nelson

Lt. Governor

U.S. House of Representatives Tom Rooney (R-District 16)

Florida State Senate

17th District (R). J. D. Alexander 28th District (R) Joe Negron

Jennifer Carroll

State House of Representatives 77th District (R) Denise Grimsley 78th District (D) Steven M. Perman 79th District (R) Mike Horner

County Officials Okeechobee County (863) 763-6441

Chairman Margaret Garrard Helton Commissioner Joey Hoover Commissioner Bryant Culpepper Commissioner Frank Irby Commissioner Margaret Garrard Helton County Attorney John Cassels, Jr. Sheriff Paul C. May County Judge Jerald Bryant

Clerk of Circuit Court Sharon Robertson County Administrator Robbie L. Chartier Deputy County Administrator Jim Threewits Planning & Development Bill Royce Property Appraiser William Sherman Supervisor of Elections Gwen Chandler Tax Collector Celeste Watford

City Officials City of Okeechobee (863) 763-3372

Mayor Jim Kirk Councilman Mike O’Connor Councilman Clayton Williams Councilman Devin Maxwell Councilman Dowling Watford Page 28

City Administrator Brian Whitehall City Attorney John R. Cook Chief of Police Denny Davis Fire Chief Herb Smith City Clerk Lane Gamiotea

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Rita’s Furniture, Inc. Family Owned & Operated Since 1982

Storewide Sale Going On Now Inside Rita’s we now have Refurbished Furniture & Like New.

863-467-1555

You must see to appreciate.

704 North Parrott Avenue - Okeechobee, FL 34972 2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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Public Schools The Okeechobee County School Board serves approximately 6,469 students at 10 public schools with 413 full-time teachers (a total instructional staff of 461) and a total of 945 employees. Okeechobee County has a comprehensive high school education program that offers both academic and vocational courses, and dual enrollment with Indian River State College, which has an Okeechobee Campus at 2229

NW 9th Ave., 824-6000, www.okee.k12.fl.us. The district also provides exceptional student education, alternative education, Title I basic education and adult education classes. Board officials are Chair Kelly Owens, Vice Chair David Williams, Board members Joe Arnold, Gay Carlton and India Riedel.

Okeechobee County Schools Elementary (Pre-K through grade 5)

Central Elementary School 610 SW 5th Ave., 462-5077

South Elementary

2468 SW 7th Ave., 462-5087

Seminole Elementary

2690 NW 42 Ave., 462-5116

North Elementary

3000 NW 10th Ter., 462-5100

Everglades Elementary

3725 SE 8th St., 462-5108

Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)

Yearling Middle

925 NW 23rd Ln., 462-5056

Osceola Middle

825 SW 28th St., 462-5070

Grade 9

Freshman Campus

610 SW 2nd Ave., 462-5288

High Schools

Okeechobee High

2800 Hwy 441 N, 462-5025

Okeechobee Achievement Academy

1000 NW 34th St., 462-5125 Page 30

Registration Public instruction is offered from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Kindergarten is compulsory in Florida, and children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 1 of the current school year. To enroll a new student in a public school, you must provide the following: • A previous school record, such as a report card, indicating grade-level assignment, unless the child has never attended school. • A physical examination form from the student’s previous Florida school or, if entering for the first time, a form completed and signed by a physician within the past 12 months. • Proof of residence within the school’s attendance zone, such as a lease, utility bill or voter’s registration. • Proof of immunization against rubella, rubeola (measles), mumps, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough • A birth certificate.

For more information on new-student enrollment and school assignments, contact the Okeechobee County School Board, 700 SW 2nd Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34974, (863) 462-

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Private Schools Okeechobee Adventist Christian 412 NW 6th St., 763-0763, Seventh Day Adventist, john.sufficool@floridaconference.com.

Okeechobee Christian Academy 701 S Parrott Ave., 763-3072. Grades K4 through the eighth grade, www.okeechobeechristianacademy.net.

Peace Lutheran School

750 NW 23rd Lane, 763-7566, Lutheran, ksmith-peaceokee@embarqmail.com.

Redemption Ministries

3934 SE 29th Ct., 357-9083, Emotional, Behavioral, Disability, jerryleo@comcast.net.

Rock Solid Christian Academy 401 SW 4th St., 763-1847, Baptist, rocksolidca@embarqmail.com.

Civic Clubs and Organizations There are numerous clubs and organizations in Okeechobee that offer opportunities for locals and guests to become involved in community activities. All phone numbers have the area code 863 unless otherwise noted.

Alcoholics Anonymous, 763-1006 American Business Women’s Association, 763-3131 American Cancer Society, 467-2376 American Legion #64, 763-2950 American Legion Auxiliary, 763-4953 American Red Cross, 763-2488 Big Lake Hospice, 763-0707 Boys Scouts of America, 634-3342 Business Women’s Referral Network, 610-2176 Chamber of Commerce (Okeechobee), 467-6246 Chamber of Commerce (Area), 447-1114 East Coast Migrant Head Start, 467-0702 Economic Council, Okeechobee County, 467-0200 Elks Lodge, 261-8019 or 634-1605 (Red Hats), Foxy Divas, 763-5836 Fraternal Order of Eagles #4137, 763-2552 Fraternal Order of Eagles #4509, 467-1154 Friends of the Okeechobee Library, 763-3536 Girl Scouts, 763-4631 or 763-5102 Guardian ad Litem, 697-1717 Habitat for Humanity, 763-1371 Hope Hospice (Glades Co.), 467-3604 Hospice of Okeechobee, 467-2321 Kiwanis Club, 772-223-2414

Lions Club, 763-2111 Loyal Order of the Moose #2417 (South), 763-2250 Masonic Lodge #237, 357-0427 and 763-1610 Ministerial Association, 447-2715 Moose Lodge #1753 (North), 763-4954 Okeechobee Battlefield Friends, 763-2121 Okeechobee County Board of Realtors, 467-0004 Okeechobee County Education Assn., 467-1564 Okeechobee Golf Associations (Men’s & Ladies), 763-6228 Okeechobee Historical Society Museum, 763-4344 Okeechobee Main Street, 357-MAIN (6246) Okeechobee County Recreational Assoc., 763-6950 Overeater’s Anonymous, 763-7165 or 763-5324 Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 450-9402 Retired Teachers Assoc., 763-5755 Rotary Club, 484-0110 Shrine Club, 763-3378 Toastmasters Club of Okeechobee, 532-8289 Treasure Coast Builders Assn., Okeechobee Branch, 467-2007 VFW Post #4423, 763-0818 VFW Post #10539, 763-2308 VFW Post #9528, 467-2882 Waldau’s Junior Golf, 467-7300

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City, County and State Offices Phone Numbers Okeechobee County Area Code 863

Abuse, Elder & Child (800) 962-2873 Animal Control 357-3225 City Planning & Zoning 763-3372, ext. 218 City Hall 763-3372 City Street Dept. 763-3926 County Clerk, Courthouse 763-2131 County Commission Office 763-6441 County Finance Office 763-6553 County Judge’s Office 763-3193 County Planning & Development 763-5548 Dept. of Children & Families 462-5700 Division of Forestry 462-5160 Emergency Management 763-3212 Health Department 462-5819 Insurance: FL Dept. of Financial Services (800) 342-2762 myfloridacfo.com

Okeechobee Sports Complex 763-6950 Pool Complex 467-7667 Okeechobee Utility Authority 763-9460 or 763-3793 OUA After-hours emergency 357-0490 Parks & Recreation Dept. 763-6950 Physician’s Referral Service (24 hour) 763-9228 U.S. Post Office 1000 Hwy 70E 763-3616 3603 Hwy 441S (contract postal unit) Property Appraiser 763-4422 Public Defender 763-7977 Public Library 763-3536 Rehabilitation Facility 763-6226 School Superintendent 462-5000 Senior Services 462-5180

Indian River State College (IRSC) (Okeechobee campus) 824-6000

Social Security 800-772-1213 TDD 800-325-0778

IRSC (Main Campus - Ft. Pierce) (866) 866-4722

State Attorney 763-5557 Supervisor of Elections 763-4014

Mental Health Center 462-0040 After hours (888) 468-5600

Tax Collector 763-3084

Okeechobee Landfill 357-0111 Page 32

Veterans Service Office 763-8124

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


863-357-1820

Offices in Okeechobee and Sebring

www.insureokeechobee.com 2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Aid and Emergency Phone Numbers Okeechobee County Area Code 863

All Emergencies 911 Al-Anon, Alateen, N.A., Adult Children of Alcoholics & AA 763-1006 American Red Cross 763-2488 Coast Guard Marine & Air Emergency Fort Pierce (772) 464-6100

Hospital Raulerson Hospital 763-2151 Meals on Wheels 462-5183 Mental Health Services New Horizons 462-0040

Missing Children Information Clearinghouse (800) 342-0821 Consumer Affairs Complaint (800) 435-7352 Okeechobee Senior Services 462-5180 Driver’s Licenses 462-5225 Extension Service 763-6469 FBI (772) 461-6142 Fire Emergency 911 City Fire, business 467-1586

Poison Information Center (800) 222-1222

Police Emergency 911 City Police, business 763-5521 Pregnancy Center 467-8748

County Fire, business 763-5544

Public Safety Complex 763-3212 www.okeechobeeeoc.com Fish & Wildlife Enforcement (561) 357-4202 Sheriff Emergency 911 Fishing License 763-3421 County Sheriff, business 763-3117 FL Marine Patrol (561) 624-6935 TDD 763-0077 Forest Fire Reporting 462-5160 Project 1511 763-1511 Game & Fish Commission 462-5190 Toxic Chemical & Oil Spills Highway Patrol (800) 701-3212 (Voice/TDD) (800) 424-8802 Hospice of Okeechobee 467-2321 U.S. Secret Service, West Palm Beach (561) 659-0184 Big Lake Hospice 763-0707 Hope Hospice (Buckhead Ridge) 467-3604 2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Churches All phone numbers have the area code 863 unless otherwise noted.

African Methodist Episcopal

New St. Stephens AME, 1050 NE 16th Ave., 763-5018

Assembly of God

Abundant Blessings Assembly of God, 4550 Hwy 441N, 763-3736 Bethel Assembly of God, 1109 SE 7th St., 467-0060

Baptist

Bethel Baptist Church, 1258 NE 13th Ave., 763-6512 Brighton First Baptist Church, Brighton Reservation, 763-6626 Buckhead Ridge Baptist Church, 1043 Cypress St., 763-7532 Cornerstone Baptist Church, 18387 Hwy 441N, 763-3338, First Baptist Church of Okeechobee, 401 SW 4th St., 763-2171 First Baptist Church of Basinger, 19836 Hwy 98N, 763-0437 First Missionary Baptist Church, 906 NW 9th Ave., 763-0716 New Testament Baptist Church, 535 NE 28th Ave., 763-6682 Northside Baptist Church, 51 NW 98th St, 763-3584 Oakview Baptist Church, 677 SW 32nd St., 763-1699 Okeechobee Missionary Baptist Church, 4212 Hwy 441N, 763-7743 Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana, 5051 NW 30th St., 357-1300 Seminole Bible Baptist Church, 200 SW CR721, 824-6785 Treasure Island Baptist Church, 4209 Hwy 441SE, 763-0550 Trinity Freewill Baptist Church, 1840 NE 39th Blvd., 763-4962 Victory Baptist Church, 500 SW 9th St., 763-0669

Brethren

Grace Brethren Church, 701 S Parrott Ave., 763-3218

Catholic

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 701 SW 6th St., 763-3727 St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, 1027 Chobee Loop, BHR, 863-946-0696

Christian

Buckhead Ridge Christian Church, 21300 Linda Rd., 357-6500 Westside Christian, 8082 Hwy 70W, 467-2278

Christian Independent

Faith Farm Ministries, 7595 NE 128th Ave., 763-4224 Okeechobee Christian Church, 3055 SE 18th Terr., 467-7858

Church of Christ

Big Lake Church of Christ, 1115 SW 3rd Ave., 467-6758 Central Church of Christ 506 NE 6th Ave., 763-2513 Okeechobee Church of Christ, 1401 S Parrott Ave., 763-4477

Church of God

Church of God, 301 NE 4th Ave., 763-4127 North Okeechobee Church of God, 15949 NW 30th Ter., 467-1066

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 310 SW 6th St., 467-2425

Church of the Nazarene

Church of the Nazarene, 425 SW 28th St., 763-3519

Episcopal

Church of Our Savior, 200 NW 3rd St., 763-4843

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 8250 Hwy 70W, 763-9229

Lutheran

Peace Lutheran Church, 750 NW 23rd Ln., 763-5042

Methodist

First United Methodist Church, 200 NW 2nd St., 763-4021

Nondenominational

Back Porch Church, 3121 SE 32 Ct., 763-4843 Believers Fellowship, 300 SW 6th Ave., 763-6848 Calvary Chapel, 1963 NW 38th Ave., 467-0863 Dunklin Memorial Church, 3342 SW Hosanah Ln., 772-597-5060 Ft. Drum Community Church, 32415 Hwy 441N, 467-1733 Fountain of Life, 1302 SW 32nd St., 763-8945 Freedom Ranch, 11655 Hwy 441SE, 763-9800 The Gathering, 1735 SW 24th Ave., 357-4418 Gideon’s – Okeechobee, PO Box 2205, 610-6863 More 2 Life Ministries, 605 SW Park St., Suite 214, 467-0796 Resurrection Life Church, 1803 SW 3rd Ave., 763-7770

Pentecostal

Bible Church of God, 3666 Hwy 70E, 357-2264 Haven of Rest, 2945 SW 3rd Terr., 357-3053 Living Word of Faith of Okeechobee, 1902 S Parrott Ave., 763-6869 United Pentecostal Church, 405 SW 10th Ave., 763-5300

Presbyterian

Okeechobee Presbyterian Church (USA), 312 N Parrott Ave., 824-0013, okeechobeepresby.com

Seventh Day Adventist

Seventh Day Adventist Church, 412 NW 6th St., 763-0655

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

Page 37


Restaurants All phone numbers have the area code 863 unless otherwise noted. Alice’s Restaurant 17410 Reservation Road NE, 467-2226 Arby’s 417 S Parrott Ave., 763-0581 Azteca #3 619 NE Park St., 467-8588 Backyard BBQ 105 SE 6th St., 824-0880 Barracudas Sports Grill 10017 Hwy 441N, 357-6883 Beef O’Brady’s 608 S Parrott Ave., 763-7300 Blimpie Subs & Salads 3609 Hwy 441SE, 763-7629 Brahma Bull 2405 Hwy 441SE, 467-0050 Brewski’s 3495 Hwy 441SE, 763-1028 Burger King 604 EN Park St., 763-5900 Chen Chinese Restaurant 605 N Park St., 467-2688 Cowboy’s Steak & BBQ 102 SW 14th St., 467-0321 Crossroads Restaurant 5050 NE 128th Avenue, 763-8333 Dairy Queen 1212 S. Parrott Ave., 763-6675 Dee-Stefano’s, Indiantown 15510 SW Trail Dr., 772-597-5600 Ding-A-Ling Deli 2197 Hwy 441SE, 357-DELI (3354) Domino’s Pizza 1700 S Parrott Ave., 763-5565 Five Guys Burgers 301 N Parrott Ave., 357-8732 Gladys’ Restaurant 511 WS Park St., 763-9985

Page 38

Golden Corral Restaurant 700 S Parrott Ave., 763-0444 Hungry Howie’s Pizza 3248 Hwy 441S, 467-2222 Jersey Mike’s Subs 611 WS Park St., 467-8100 Joey’s Pizza and Subs 107 WS Park St., 763-8383 Josiah’s Brighton Indian Res. 467-9998 Kahootz Drafthouse 702 WN Park St., 357-6101 Kentucky Fried Chicken 3387 Hwy 441S, 763-2239 King House Chinese Restaurant 3399 Hwy 441S, 357-7777 LaGranja Peruvian Restaurant 1100 S Parrott Ave., 824-2210 Landing Strip Cafe 2800 NW 29th Trail, 467-6828 Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant 10430 Hwy 78W, 763-4276 Lodge at the Lake 1111 S Parrott Ave., 357-5634 LosCocos Mexican Restaurant 107 NW 7th Ave., 467-0922 Lunker’s Sports Grill 4825 Hwy 441S, 763-1900 Mama Flego’s Italian Rest. 202 NE 2nd St., 763-6235 McDonald’s 401 N Park St., 763-5826 McDonald’s 4151 Hwy 441S, 763-5856 Mom’s Kitchen 909 S Parrott Ave., 763-7553 Office Bar & Grill 6315 Hwy 441SE, 467-8232

Okeechobee Country Club 405 NE 131st Ln., 357-1880 Pat’s Country Kitchen 32601 Hwy 441N, 763-8900 Pizza Heaven 208 S Parrott Ave., 763-9299 Pizza Hut 2777 S Parrott Ave., 763-1800 Pogey’s Restaurant 1759 S Parrott Ave., 763-7222 Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits 822 NE Park St., 467-8891 Pueblo Viejo Mexican Restaurant 3415 Hwy 441S, 357-9641 Rio Bravo Mexican Rest. 151 NW 36 St., 467-6655 Roper’s Paradise Cafe 112 SE Park St., 763-9613 Shenanigans 2232 NW 32nd Dr., 357-6100 Speckled Perch Steakhouse 105 Hwy 98N, 763-9983 Subway 422 NE Park St., 467-6966 Subway in Wal-Mart 2101 S Parrott Ave., 467-7827 Subway South 8605 Hwy. 441 SE, 467-8512 Taco Bell 3498 Hwy 441S, 467- 4444 Uncle Larry’s Rim Ditch Cafe 2117 Hwy. 441SE, 763-5794 Village Square Restaurant 301 WS Park St., 467-0067 Wendy’s 502 NE Park St., 763-8181 Zippy’s Zesty Wings 117 SE 8th Ave., 763-1399

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


R BLUFF E V I R Fishing Resort

Located on Beautiful Kissimmee River

Nicely Furnished One & Two Bedroom Rentals Nitely - Weekly - Monthly Laundry Room - Game Room - Bath House Boat Ramp - Boat & Dock Rentals

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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Page 40

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


Advertiser’s Index Badcock & More.........................................13 Big Lake Eye Care.........................................3 Blue Heron Golf Course................................36 Brennan Eye Care.......................................11 Captain Mike Shellen..................................42 Chappy’s Country Store...............................34 Community Income Tax.................................9 Dan’s Golf Cart Repair ..................................9 Diamond R Fertilizer.....................................8 Ferrellgas...................................................36 Gateway Medical Group..................................2 Gator Pools ...............................................39 Gilbert Chevrolet ........................................41 Gilbert Golf Cars ........................................11 Hi Tek Auto................................................12 Hospice of Okeechobee ............................ 12 KOA Resort.................................................31 Law Office of Gerald Lefebvre......................39 Lake Okeechobee Insurance......................33

Mobile Home Depot.....................................34 Murray Insurance Services............................11 Okeechobee Okeechobee Okeechobee Open MRI of

Discount Drugs......................4 Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep...........43 Health Care ............................4 Okeechobee...........................36

Perfect Kuts ...............................................34 Quik N’ Easy Self Storage............................33 Rita’s Furniture...........................................29 River Bluff RV & Fishing Resort...................39 Rustic Styles and Cabins...............Back Cover Skull Hill Steel...........................................39 Solid Waste Authority...........................24,25 St. Lucie Battery & Tire..............................19 Superior Water Works................................29 The Okeechobee Building Co......................29 The Shoe Box.............................................9 Tree Locators............................................26 Water’s Edge Motor Coach Resort..............14 Zachary Taylor Resort................................33

2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide

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2012 Okeechobee Welcome and Tourist Guide


HOME DECOR - GIFTS ANTIQUES

505 NE Park St. Okeechobee, FL CUSTOM METAL BLACK SMITHING

LOG HOMES

Okeechobee Welcome Guide  

Welcome to Okeechobee | 2012 Official Guide To Our Community Compliments of Okeechobee PennysaverOkeechobee lies on the northernmost point o...

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