Avon Park, Florida
The City of Charm
Location of Avon Park in Highlands County, Florida.
|Incorporated (city)||1 January 1926|
|• Mayor||Garrett Anderson|
|• City Manager||June Fisher|
|• Total||10.06 sq mi (26.05 km2)|
|• Land||9.74 sq mi (25.22 km2)|
|• Water||0.32 sq mi (0.82 km2) 12.4%|
|Elevation||121 ft (37 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,098.16/sq mi (424.01/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0278007|
Avon Park is a city in Highlands County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 8,836, and in 2018 the estimated population was 10,695. It is the oldest city in Highlands County, and was named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
The first permanent settler in Avon Park was Oliver Martin Crosby, a Connecticut native who moved to the area in 1884 to study the wildlife of the Everglades. By 1886, enough people had followed that the town of "Lake Forest" was founded. As president of the Florida Development Company, he recruited settlers to the area, many of whom were from England, including many from the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, who gave the town its name.
In 2006, then-mayor Thomas Macklin proposed City Ordinance 08-06, which would have blocked the issuance or renewal of city licenses to businesses that hired illegal aliens, fined any property owner who rented and leased property to illegal aliens, and established English as the city's official language, banning the use of other languages during the conduct of official business except where specified under state or federal law. The ordinance was defeated by the city council, on a 3–2 vote.
Avon Park is located in northwestern Highlands County at  27/98 is the main highway through the city, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Lake Wales and south 10 miles (16 km) to Sebring. Florida State Road 17 (Main Street) leads east through the center of Avon Park, then south 10 miles to the center of Sebring. Florida State Road 64 leads west from Avon Park 19 miles (31 km) to Zolfo Springs.(27.594418, -81.503437).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Avon Park has a total area of 8.2 square miles (21.2 km2), of which 7.1 square miles (18.5 km2) are land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 12.43%, are water. The city is located in a karst landscape underlain by the limestone Florida Platform, and numerous circular lakes are either within the city limits (Lake Tulane, Lake Verona, and Lake Isis) or border the city (Lake Anoka, Lake Lelia, Lake Glenada, Lake Lotela, Lake Denton, Little Red Water Lake, Pioneer Lake, Lake Brentwood, Lake Byrd, Lake Damon, and Lake Lillian).
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2000 census, there were 8,542 people, 3,218 households and 2,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,841.8 per square mile (710.8/km2). There were 3,916 housing units at an average density of 844.4 per square mile(325.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58.90% White, 29.2% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 8.35% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.71% of the population.
There were 3,218 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.08.
Age distribution was 26.5% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.
The median household income was $23,576, and the median family income was $27,617. Males had a median income of $21,890 versus $18,678 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,897. About 21.3% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.
At the 2010 census, there where 8,836 people, 3,337 households, and 4,162 housing units in the city. The racial make up of the city was 55.5% white (41.3% non-hispanic white), 28.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.2% of the population. 12.9% of the population was foreign born.
The Median household income was $28,496, the per capita income was $14,911, and 36.2% of the population lived below the poverty line. 51.8% of the population was female.
Avon Park operates under a council-manager form of government, with a city manager who operates under the direction of an elected four-member council and mayor. As of December 2013 the mayor is Sharon Schuler, and the city manager is Julian DeLeon. The city provides fire protection, utilities, and sanitation service to its residents. The city's police and the county sheriff work jointly to provide law enforcement.
- Avon Elementary School
- Park Elementary School
- Memorial Elementary School
- Avon Park Middle School
- Avon Park High School
- Walker Memorial Academy
- Central Florida Academy
- Parkview Pre-K LLC
- Community Christian Academy
- Cornerstone Christian Academy
Avon Park is located in a fringe viewing area; its television stations originate in distant cities. Local television services offer signals from WFTV, the ABC affiliate in Orlando; WINK-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Myers/Naples; WFLA-TV, the Tampa Bay area NBC affiliate; and WTVT, the Tampa Bay area Fox affiliate.
Avon Park is in the Sebring radio market, which is ranked as the 288th largest in the United States by Arbitron. Radio stations broadcasting from Avon Park include WFHT/1390 (Lounge), WAPQ-LP/95.9 (Religious), WWOJ/99.1 (Country) "OJ99.1" & WWMA-LP/107.9 (Religious).
Local print media includes the News-Sun, a newspaper published on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Highlands Today, a daily local supplement to The Tampa Tribune that covered events in Highlands County, was bought by and merged into The Highlands News Sun in 2016.
Points of interest
- Dee Gordon, Major League Baseball, Seattle Mariners second baseman
- Nick Gordon, a professional MLB shortstop in the Minnesota Twins organization
- Tom Gordon, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Fred L. Lowery, Southern Baptist pastor and author, formerly resided in Avon Park
- Hal McRae, Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame
- Conrad Henry Moehlman, Baptist author and emeritus professor of church history
- The father of the perpetrator Melinda Loveless, accused of murdering Shanda Sharer lived there after he divorced
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Avon Park has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.
- "Avon Park, United States Page". Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Avon Park city, Florida". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Kevin M. McCarthy, African American Sites in Florida, p. 95
- "Avon Park Ordinance 08-06" (PDF). City of Avon Park. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Hutchinson, Bill (5 August 2006). "Avon Park's debate far from finished". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- U.S. Census Bureau, TIGERweb, accessed April 28, 2017
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Ratings–Sebring Market". Arbitron. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Climate Summary for Avon Park, Florida
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Avon Park.|