Ho! Ho! Ho! with the Po Po

DAVENPORT — If you’re looking for some family-friendly holiday fun this weekend, head down to Polk County to visit the sheriff’s office.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is hosting two special events on Saturday, one for holiday lovers and the other for pet lovers. On Saturday night, the office of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is hosting their third annual “Ho! Ho! Ho! with the Po-Po” celebration from 6-9 p.m., at the Northeast District Command in Davenport as a free Christmas event for the public.

What is the Ho! Ho! Ho! with the Po-Po Bash?

Organized by deputies and other staff members employed at the PCSO substation, 1100 Dunson Road, this event is back by popular demand, Judd noted.

“The feedback we have received from people who have attended previously has been very positive,” Judd noted, “and I think a part of the success of the event comes from the enthusiasm of everyone who works hard to put it together. They have a lot of fun doing this for the families, and especially the children.” 

The fun will include lots of photo opportunities since the parking lot of the command center will be transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” featuring Santa and his elves, and performances from a local dance troupe. Members of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming club, will be on hand, and more than 30 vendors are participating, handing out cookies, candy canes, cocoa and other sweets and treats.

Parking is east of the substation at the Ridgeview Global Studies Academy middle school, and free shuttle service will be available.

The sheriff’s office’s Animal Control unit also has some fun planned on Saturday as well.

What is Polk County Animal Control’s Pet Fest?

Polk County Petfest

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Polk County Animal Control is hosting its annual Pet Fest at their facility, 7115 De Castro Road in Winter Haven.

If you’re looking for a pet to adopt, this is the event for you, since all pet adoptions will be free and include spay/neuter, rabies vaccination, microchipping, and the county license. 

“For those who already have pets, TLC Petsnip will be there offering $10.00 vaccinations for dogs (while supplies last) and Fi Nano is donating free microchips for pet owners,” Animal Control noted in a news release. “Tons of vendors will be on-hand, including food and drink trucks and pet-friendly products. Kids’ activities include: face painting, pony rides, and train rides.”

And since this is the holiday season, Santa Claus will be on hand for taking “Pets with Santa” photos.

To learn more about the fun awaiting you at Pet Fest, Here’s a video short of Sheriff Judd!

For more information about Pet Fest, call 863-577-1762.


Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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