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Avon Park is a city in Highlands County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 8,836, and in 2015 the estimated population was 10,086. 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°35′40″N 81°30′12″W (27.594418, -81.503437). 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.
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