Editors’ Picks

A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events. 

Red, White and OSO Blue: 

A Salute to Independence

Reilly Arts Center

July 4 | 3pm

Celebrate the 4th of July with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as they provide a tribute to our independence and all things patriotic. This annual special event always sells out, so reserve your seat in advance. www.reillyartscenter.org

God & Country Day

Golden Ocala

July 4 | 2pm-Dark

This year will be the 50th annual God and Country Day festival by the JCI Ocala Jaycees. Activities begin at 2pm and include old-fashioned kids’ games, train rides, inflatable water slides, bounce houses and more. Visit the arts and crafts expo and grab a bite to eat from the food vendors. When night falls, stay for the impressive fireworks display put on by Skylighters of Florida. There is a parking fee of $5. The festival will be held on Golden Ocala Property at 7340 US-27 in Ocala. www.godandcountryday.com 

Levitt AMP Music Series

Webb Field 

Every Friday through August 2

The third Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series will once again take place at the Martin Luther King Jr Recreational Complex’s Webb Field from 6-9pm. Presented by the Marion Cultural Alliance, this year’s lineup includes genres such as blues, jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, classical, Latin and R&B. Each event will also feature food trucks and vendors, craft and nonprofit booths, and beer and wine for sale. Each concert spotlights a local nonprofit organization. Headlining Acts: July 5 – The Foxies with opening act GUTS, July 12 – Mr. Sipp with opening act Sheba, the Mississippi Queen; July 19 – PJ Morton with opening act Mwiza, July 26 – Empire Strikes Brass with opening act The Greg Snider Quartet. www.concerts.levittamp/ocala

Museum Day

Appleton Museum of Art

July 6 | 10am-5pm

All ages are invited to enjoy the permanent art collection, special exhibitions and ARTSpace with free admission all day. The education department will host an open house where visitors can see art-making studio demonstrations and plein art painting in the courtyard, meet the staff and teachers, and create their own art. www.appletonmuseum.org

Lil’ LEAF Series

Sholom Park

July 9 | 10-11:30am

Children ages 4-10 can learn about, explore, appreciate and focus on Florida’s birds, reptiles and bugs with a lineup of guest speakers for an educational show and tell, interactive nature walk through the park and story time presented by Marion County Public Library. The event is free and open to the public but requires advance registration. For more information, contact Christina Shearer at christina_shearer@otowfl.com or (352) 873-0848, ext. 7371. www.sholompark.org

Summer Shorts: 

Fort King 

Environmental Days

Fort King

July 11, 18, 25 | 10am-12noon

Kids aged 5 to 15 are invited to experience various aspects of nature and outdoor life throughout the summer. July 11, the topic is pond life. July 18 is art in nature, and July 25 is discover hiking. For details on each of the topics and a description of the activities that will take place, visit www.ocalafl.org or call (352) 368-5535.

John & Jen

Reilly Arts Center

July 12 at 7:30pm | July 13 at 3pm

Insomniac Theatre presents this show brimming with intelligence and beautiful melodies, set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990. This is the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns in her life: her younger brother and his namesake, the son who is trying to find his way in a confusing world. John & Jen is a musical about connections, commitments and the healing of the human heart. www.reillyartscenter.com

City of Ocala Adult Softball Leagues

Ocala Regional Sportsplex

Tuesdays beginning mid-July

Participants are required to bring their own equipment and will play up to 30 games during the season. Games take place on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:30pm through mid-September at the Sportsplex at 3500 SW 67th Avenue Road. There is a co-ed league and a 50 and over men’s league. For more information, call (352) 358-5517. www.ocalafl.org/recpark

Art in the Attic

Brick City Center for the Arts

July 26-27 | 8am-4pm

Marion Cultural Alliance’s annual #yARTSale is a creative spin on the traditional yard sale. Collectors and artists donate artworks including paintings, prints, drawings and photographs, which are sold to the public tag sale-style. This fundraising event also offers a VIP champagne sip and shop presale on Thursday, July 25.  (352) 369-1500 or www.mcaocala.com

Crystal River Scallop Festival

Kings Bay Park, Crystal River

July 27-28

Family-friendly activities will include a karaoke competition, water balloon contest, live music, rock climbing wall, face painting, bounce houses and water slides, and the Miss/Mr. Kings Bay pageant. Beer and wine sale proceeds benefit Citrus County Blessings “Silencing Weekend Hunger” outreach. www.crystalriverscallopfestival.com

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