February Calendar

CFCC International Film Series (Feb. 2, 16, March 2). This popular Central Florida Community College film series is held at either the CFCC Bldg. 8, Room 110 or the Appleton Museum through March 2. The remaining films in the series include Persepolis (France) on Feb. 2, shown at 2pm at the Appleton and 7pm at CFCC; Departures (Japan) on Feb. 16, shown at 2pm at the Appleton and 7pm at CFCC; and I’ve Loved You So Long (Belgium) on March 2, shown at 2pm at the Appleton and 7pm at CFCC. Free admission at CFCC; cost of admission at Appleton. cfccfoundation.org or (352) 873-5808.

Marion County’s Citizens Academy (Through Feb. 5). Marion County Administration is still accepting applications for its Citizens Academy, an eight-week interactive program that offers citizens a behind-the-scenes look at many Marion County services and departments. Selected applicants will tour the Baseline Landfill, shadow a Marion County firefighter, and much more. The academy runs from March 4 to April 20, and is free but limited to 25 candidates. marioncountyfl.org or (352) 438-2300.


 


Father-Daughter Valentine’s Dance (Feb. 6). Girls ages 3–13 are invited to enjoy a special Valentine’s Day-themed evening with their dads sponsored by Ambleside School at the Holiday Inn and Suites. A live DJ will be on hand as well as refreshments and a craft. Times are 4–6pm or 7:30–9:30pm, and tickets are available at The Learning Wheel, The Blakely House, or Ausley Construction. $30 per couple and $10 per additional daughter. (352) 694-4759.


 


Kimberly’s Cottage Fundraiser (Feb. 8). Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Polished Salon & Boutique are teaming up to raise funds for Kimberly’s Cottage, Marion County’s children’s advocacy center. Head to Beef ‘O’ Brady’s on Silver Springs Boulevard any time between 6pm and closing on the day after the Super Bowl and not only will you be served by Polished’s fun salon team, but 10 percent of your bill plus 100 percent of your tip will go to the non-profit. (352) 854-3456.

New Solutions for Fibromyalgia (Feb. 9). The Foundation for Wellness Professionals presents this workshop on fibromyalgia in Room B of the Marion County Public Library’s headquarters. Admission is free, but attendees must reserve their seats. 6:30pm. (352) 622-4428.

“Have You Read This Book?” Book Club (Feb. 11). Read any good books lately? If you’ve read a good mystery, biography, poetry, inspirational, or political book and just can’t wait to share it, check out this Dunnellon Public Library book club. Participants have the opportunity to talk about their favorite books at 11am at the library on Robinson Road. (352) 438-2520.

Pill Box Plop (Feb. 12). Tossing or flushing old medications can be hazardous. Bring your outdated and unused medications to the 8th Avenue Senior Center from 9am to 1pm or the Ocala Senior Activity Center from 1pm to 5pm for proper disposal. Blood pressure checks and fire safety information will also be available at the 8th Avenue Center in the morning. (352) 401-3916.

Military Vehicle Show (Feb. 12–14). A range of military vehicles from different eras will be on display all weekend long at the Market of Marion on Hwy. 441 in Belleview. Awards will be presented for the top 10 vehicles, and a trail ride is scheduled for Friday evening as well as an auction on Saturday evening. Admission is by donation. Themarketofmarion.com or (352) 245-2208.

Friends of the Ocala Public Library Book Sale (Feb. 13). This quarterly book sale from 10am to 4pm in the main library building on Silver Springs Boulevard features hardcover books in all categories for 50 cents and paperbacks for 25 cents. Arrive early for best selection. (352) 368-4591.


 


Holistic Health Expo (Feb. 13). Start the new decade off right with vitality and focus. The Ocala Inner Center hosts its first health expo at its 205 South Magnolia location from 11am to 6pm. Information on acupuncture, massage therapy, HemiSync meditation, vegetarian cuisine, reiki, and more will be available, as well as health seminars. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children. (352) 857-9398.


 


CFCC Hampton Center Film Series (Feb. 18). This month’s selection in the free film series at Central Florida Community College’s Hampton Center on Silver Springs Boulevard is Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank. Admission is free, and the film begins at 6:30pm. (352) 873-5881.


 


King of the Wing Competition (Feb. 18). This fourth annual competition showcases local restaurants to determine who has the best wings in town. Admission is $15 per person and includes unlimited wings, beverages, music, and free give-aways. Portion of proceeds benefits ARC Marion on Maricamp Road, where the event will be held. 5:00–7:30pm. mcbia.org or (352) 694-4133.


 


Hospice of Marion County Trail Ride (Feb. 20). Horseback riders from as far away as Jacksonville and Tampa will converge on the Central Florida Greenway at the Florida Horse Park for a few hours of scenic riding to benefit Hospice of Marion County. Lunch, live entertainment, and door prizes will follow. Minimum donation to ride is $25 and $10 tickets available for all non-riders. First ride leaves at 9:30am. hospiceofmarion.com or (352) 854-5218.


 


Mardi Gras Party & Silent Auction (Feb. 20). Tickets are on sale now for this ninth annual fundraiser to benefit The Arnette House. Doors open at 6pm at Central Florida Community College’s Ewers Center, and tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. (352) 622-4432, ext. 229.


 


African American Read-In (Feb. 21–26). February is African American History Month, and this year is the 21st anniversary of the National African American Read-In. The Marion County Public Library System will host three of the events locally to celebrate African-American authors: at the Ocala Public Library Feb. 21 at 1:30pm, the Freedom Public Library Feb. 23 at 5pm, and the Belleview Public Library Feb. 26 at 10:30am. (352) 671-8551.


 


Ocala Royal Dames’ 24th Annual Tiara Ball (Feb. 27). It’s “An Evening at the Opera” at the Ocala Royal Dames’ 24th annual Tiara Ball to benefit cancer research. The Ocala Hilton will be decorated in purples, reds, and golds, and a silent and live auction will be held. ocalaroyaldames.org or (352) 622-7363.


 


Destination 352 Expo (Feb. 27). If you live in the 352 area code and want to learn about the best your area has to offer, then head to the big tent on the grounds of the Crystal River Mall. The latest in fitness, technology, health, fashion, and cooking will be showcased. 10am–3pm. destination352.com or (352) 249-9184.


 


Symphony of Horses (Feb. 27). The lights will dim at the Ocala Equestrian Complex at 6pm, music will play, and extraordinary equine-rider performances will begin as part of this signature fundraiser for the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. For years, the local organization has coupled horses and persons with disabilities to improve the quality of life for riders of all ages. General admission is $25 per person, and box seats are available. mtraocala.org or (352) 732-7300.


 


Randall Jenkins Memorial Golf Tournament (March 1). Hurry and secure your place now for this fifth annual fundraising golf tournament held at beautiful Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto. The event benefits the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation and sells out quickly every year. cmhfoundation.com or (352) 344-6560.


 


2010 Ocala/Marion County NGA Classic (March 1–7). For the first time, The National Golf Association’s Hooters Professional Golf Tour arrives in Ocala at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club. The week-long event includes the Hooters Store Scramble, NGA Shootout, Junior Clinic, and NGA PRO-AM Shotgun Tournament earlier in the week and the four-round 2010 Ocala/Marion County NGA Classic starting on Thursday. Playing spots are available. hooterstour.com or (803) 348-3045.


 


HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Circuit (Through March 21). The 29th annual HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Circuit continues this month with exciting hunter/jumper competitions that the public is invited to enjoy. Don’t miss the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix on March 21. For a complete schedule of events, see page ______. hitsshows.com or (352) 620-2275.

FESTIVALS/FAIRS


 


Hoggetowne Medieval Faire (Through Feb. 7). Step back in time, young and old, to the magical medieval ages during this 24th annual fair at the Alachua County Fairgrounds in Gainesville. Held over two weekends, the event features a mounted knight’s joust, street jugglers, dancers, minstrels playing, and a bustling marketplace. Admission is $14 for adults, $7 for kids ages 5–17, and free for ages 4 and younger. Hours are 10am–6pm on Saturdays and 9:30am–3:00pm on Sundays. gvlculturalaffairs.org or (352) 334-ARTS.


 


Trinity Catholic High School Carnival (Feb. 18–21). The grounds of Trinity Catholic High School will be alive with twinkling lights, whirling rides, and plenty of food and laughter during the school’s annual winter carnival. Discounted ride tickets can be purchased in advance at the school. Hours are 5–11pm, Feb. 18–19; 11am–11pm, Feb. 20; and 11am–9pm, Feb. 21. trinitycatholichs.org or (352) 622-9025, ext. 6047.


 


Southeastern Youth Fair (Feb. 21–28). The premier event for 4-H and FFA students in Marion County for the past 69 years features goat and lamb shows, a dog agility show, tractor driving, a steer auction, horse and swine shows, a BBQ contest, and more at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. seyfair.com or (352) 629-1255.


 


Snow Festival (Feb. 20). Let it snow! The Friends of the Ocala Public Library, Marion County Parks and Recreation, and Ocala Recreation and Parks hosts a fun-filled afternoon at the McPherson Complex Field from 11am to 1pm. Slide down a toboggan run, play snowball golf or target throw, plus a ton of other snowy activities. (352) 671-8551.


 


Florida Strawberry Festival (March 4–14). Strawberries, vendors, and music, this 75th annual Florida tradition in Plant City is a bonafide family affair featuring fair rides, craft vendors, a pageant, parades, plenty of food, and a star-studded line-up. Acts include Roy Clark, Billy Currington, Julianne Hough, OneRepublic, Heidi Newfield, Darius Rucker, Mel Tillis, Bill Engvall, Debbie Reynolds, Josh Turner, REO Speedwagon, Patty Loveless, Clay Walker, Sara Evans, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Flstrawberryfestival.com or (813) 752-9194.


 


Master Gardener Spring Festival (March 13–14). One of the biggest plant and gardening expo in the area, this festival features a variety of plants and garden décor, educational booths, in-garden talks, and seminars, including “Growing Local, Eating Local,” “Solutions to Common Lawn Problems,” and “Dooryard Fruit Production,” at the Marion County Extension Service. Admission is $1 and free for kids 12 and under. 8am–5pm on Saturday and 9am–4pm on Sunday. No pets. (352) 671-8400.


 


 


MUSEUMS/EXHIBITS


 


Morgan Samuel Price (Feb. 13–April 11). This special temporary exhibition at the Appleton Museum by award-winning Florida plein air artist Morgan Samuel Price will feature 45 oils and watercolors inspired by outdoor scenes. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.


 


The New Reality: The Frontier of Realism in the 21st Century (Through March 21). This Appleton exhibit of 65 paintings from the U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, Korea, Russia, France, Iceland, Romania, Norway, and Finland and organized by the International Guild of Realism examines the state of realism in the world today. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.


 


 


MUSIC/THEATER

Friends of the Ocala Public Library Scholarship (Through Feb. 3). Two scholarships for high school seniors will be awarded this spring by the Friends of the Ocala Public Library—one for $3,000 and the other for $1,500. Applicants must submit a 250-word handwritten essay describing how use of the library has helped them achieve academic goals or how libraries have influenced their lives. The deadline is Feb. 3, and other rules apply. Learn more at marion.k12.fl.us/dept/gtr/scholarships.pdf or e-mail Sallie Collins at salligator53@yahoo.com.


 


Move Over, Mrs. Markham (Through Feb. 7). A scheduling snafu at the apartment of children’s book publisher Philip Markham puts four couples awkwardly in the same place at the same time. Enjoy the performance and dinner at Central Florida Community College’s Webber Center as part of the college’s 12th annual Dinner Theatre. $50 per ticket. cf.edu or (352) 854-2322.


 


The Watoto Children’s Choir (Feb. 4). The Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda, which is made up of 23 parentless children ages 7–12 and has traveled around the world, will perform a special concert at Fort King Presbyterian Church from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed to support the children. watoto.com or (352) 694-4121.


 


The Big Bang (Feb. 4–28). Why not write a musical about the history of the world? That’s the premise behind this hilarious two-man show at the Ocala Civic Theatre. The writers end up creating the most expensive and longest production ever! ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.


 


Tracy Lawrence (Feb. 6). From “Alibis,” “Time Marches On” and “Texas Tornado” to “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” more recently in 2006, country recording artist Tracy Lawrence’s career spans nearly 20 years and over seven million records. The performer takes the stage at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Organists Concert (Feb. 7). Organ students of Dr. Laura Ellis from the University of Florida will perform a free concert at 3pm at Ocala’s First United Methodist Church, located on Silver Springs Boulevard. Open to the public. (352) 537-0207 or (352) 622-3244, ext. 350.


 


America (Feb. 13). This multi-platinum selling group—“A Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair”—has toured for nearly 40 years, performing some 100 shows each year. America performs at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Gretchen Wilson (Feb. 13). The Grammy Award-winning singer of “Redneck Woman” and “Here for the Party” takes the stage at Ocala’s Midnight Rodeo at 7pm for a one-night-only concert. Tickets are $25 and available at ticketweb.com and RCC Western Store (Wishful Thinking Western World) on 10th Street. (352) 425-8480.


 


The Turtles (Feb. 14). Spend Valentine’s Day with Flo and Eddie of The Turtles as they perform an intimate evening of music from the ’60s and ‘70s live at the MTI Auditorium. 7pm. turtlesocala.com or (800) 595-4849.


 


Marion Civic Chorale (Feb. 14, 21). The Marion County Chorale performs two multi-cultural concerts this month featuring spirituals and Brazilian and African music. The group will be at Countryside Presbyterian Church on SR200 in Ocala at 3pm on Valentine’s Day and Zion United Methodist Church on Martin Luther King Avenue at 3pm on Feb. 21. (352) 261-1170.


 


The Kingston Trio (Feb. 19). Head to On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center to hear this ‘50s and ‘60s hit group perform such memorable classics as “M.T.A.,” “Honey,” and the Grammy Award-winning “Tom Dooley.” Tickets range from $22 to $27 per guest. 7pm. csculturalcenter.com or (352) 854-3670.


 


Neal McCoy (Feb. 20). Country music veteran Neal McCoy, singer of “Wink,” “No Doubt About It,” and “They’re Playing Our Song,” performs live at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Inspired by the Stage (Feb. 20–21). The Ocala Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Matthew Wardell present this concert tribute to the great theatrical compositions of the past—from Peter and the Wolf to Platoon—at the Ocala Breeders Sales auditorium. 7:30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606.


 


Starship (Feb. 27). This hugely popular group, with such hits to its credit as “We Built This City,” “Winds of Change,” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” performs live at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Flamenco Vivo (Feb. 27–28). Watch as one of the top Spanish dance companies in the country portrays love, sorrow, and pride with the incomparable flamenco as part of Central Florida Community College’s Performing Arts Series. Performances held Saturday at the Ocala campus at 7:30pm and Sunday at the Lecanto campus at 3pm. $22 for reserved seat. cf.edu or (352) 873-5800.


 


Irish Variety Show (March 5). Enjoy an evening of Irish entertainment, including music, dancing, comedy suitable for all ages, desserts, and a cash bar, at the Ocala Breeders Sales Auditorium starting at 7pm. Call for ticket information. Proceeds benefit Blessed Trinity Catholic Education. (352) 629-8092.


 


Aaron Tippin (March 6). County music’s ironman Aaron Tippin, best known for such hits as “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” “That’s as Close as I’ll Get to Loving You,” and “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” sings live onstage at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


The Seussification of Romeo & Juliet (March 6–14). This light-hearted production by the Theatre for Young Audiences at the Ocala Civic Theatre puts a happy ending on Shakespeare’s tragedy. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.


 


Leading Ladies (March 18–April 11). Discover what happens when two cash-strapped Shakespearean actors try to pass themselves off as a dying old woman’s long-lost relatives, only to learn the relatives in questions should be females! Ken Ludwig’s play arrives at the Ocala Civic Theatre. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.


 


 


ONGOING EVENTS


 


Domestic Violence Educational Workshop (Various Dates). The Ocala Police Department’s Victim Advocates regularly host free educational workshops on domestic violence. To learn more about upcoming presentations at the OPD, visit ocalapd.com or call (352) 369-7139.


 


Rainbow Porcelain Artists (First Mondays). Come paint with the Rainbow Porcelain Artists at 9:30am on the first Monday of every month at the Rainbow Lakes Community Center in Dunnellon. No admission charge. (352) 622-7660.


 


Alzheimer’s Support Group (First Mondays). The Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders support group of Ocala will meet from 3–5pm at the Medical Office Building at West Marion Community Hospital. For information, call (352) 401-1453.


 


Greater Ocala Woman’s Club (Second Mondays). The Greater Ocala Woman’s Club meets at 6pm for dinner on the second Monday of every month, and all women of Marion County are welcome to attend. The GOWC is a non-profit organization that promotes educational, philanthropic, and charitable activities. (352) 369-9131.


 


Scoop on Reading (Last Mondays). Parents and children ages 2–5 are invited to get the scoop on reading as the Discovery Center, Altrusa International of Ocala, and Blue Bell Creamery come together on the last Monday of every month November through March. Participants will enjoy a scoop of ice cream and a story. Admission is free, but participation is limited to the first 15 registrants. 10:00–10:30am. (352) 401-3900.


 


Green Market Tuesday (Tuesdays). Buy local, buy fresh every Tuesdays from 2–6pm at the Historic Village Shops of Dunnellon. Locally grown produce, fresh seafood, baked goods, herbs, native plants, and even crafts will be on sale. (352) 208-6789.


 


Greater Ocala Dog Club (First Tuesdays). Dog lovers, take note! Every first Tuesday of the month, the Greater Ocala Dog Club will meet at the Gander Mountain store in Ocala at 7pm. The AKC All Breed dog club welcomes new members and visitors. ocaladogclub.com.


 


Ballroom Dance (First and Third Tuesdays). The Ocala chapter of USA Dance invites the public to attend its bi-weekly dances at the Pioneer Garden Club on SR 40 in Ocala. Free dance lessons start at 7pm. Refreshments are served, and admission is $10. usadanceocala.com or (352) 558-4200.


 


Woman’s Club of Ocala (Second Tuesdays). On every second Tuesday of the month, the Woman’s Club of Ocala Day Group meets for lunch and a program at 11:45am at the Elks Club on 25th Avenue and the Evening Group meets at 7pm also at the Elks Club. All local women are invited to attend this educational, charitable organization’s meetings. (352) 629-7397.


 


Gluten Free Support (Second Tuesdays). Ocala Regional Medical Center hosts this monthly support meeting for those who have celiac disease, dematitis herpetiformis, and/or any other gluten intolerance, or who would like to learn about these diseases. Meetings held in Education room 6 from 6:00–7:30pm. (352) 854-1100 or (352) 843-7116.


 


The Compassionate Friends: Bereavement Group (First Wednesdays). A monthly bereavement meeting for families that have experienced the death of a child. 7pm, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church Elder Care Building. (352) 369-6665.


 


Ocala Accordion Club (Last Wednesdays). The Ocala Accordion Club meets every last Wednesday of the month from 5:30–9:00pm at the Cherrywood Club hours at 6253 SW 100th Loop in Ocala. (352) 208-5245.


 


Sweet Adeline’s Chorus (Thursdays). Women 18 and older are invited to visit weekly rehearsals at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summerfield to learn and sing four-part harmony, barbershop style. The Summer Springs Chorus, under the direction of Judi Styger, welcomes anyone who likes to sing or hum, or has sung in a church choir or glee club. (352) 821-2778.


 


Circle Square Commons Farmers Market (Thursdays and Fourth Saturdays). Now open on the fourth Saturday of every month as well as every Thursday, the Circle Square Commons Farmers Market is chock-full of fresh, seasonal produce like blueberries, corn, herbs, oranges, and tomatoes, as well as baked goods such as bread, pies, and pastries. Vendors added weekly. 8am–12pm at On Top of the World. Free parking. circlesquarecommonsfarmersmarket.com.


 


KOS/Military Officers Association of America (First Thursdays). The Kingdom of the Sun Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. KOS membership is open to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former commissioned and warrant officers of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (352) 237-3139.


 


Canoe/Kayak and Coffee (First and Third Thursdays). A fun social outing for adults in the great outdoors! This paddling trip takes place twice a month at various locations. Designed for beginners, but experienced paddlers welcome. Coffee and conversation follow. $5 fee includes equipment and refreshments. Park admission, if applicable, not included in fee. Marion County Parks and Recreation. (352) 671-8560.

Open Mike Night (Second Thursdays). Participate in or just enjoy an evening of spoken word and song at the Brick City Center for the Arts every second Thursday of the month, from 8:00–9:30pm. $5 for Marion Cultural Alliance members or $7.50 for non-members. mcaocala.com or (352) 369-1500.


 


North Magnolia Merchants Farmer’s Market (Fridays). From 8am to 1:30pm every Friday, the North Magnolia Business Merchants’ farmer’s market offers fresh produce, eggs, jams, honey, barbecue sauces, and homemade crafts to the public for purchase. The market is located at 834 North Magnolia Avenue. (352) 207-4551.


 


Silver Spring Shores Table Tennis Club (Fridays). Join members of the Silver Spring Shores Table Tennis Club at the Community Center on Silver Road in Ocala every Friday from 12pm to 3pm. Table tennis is a great way to get exercise and socialize with friends. (352) 687-0164.


 


First Friday Art Walk (First Fridays). Mark your calendars! On the first Friday of the every month, this art walk through downtown Ocala will feature artwork, artists on-site, and live demonstrations. Admission is free. 6–8pm. (352) 629-8444.


 


Gospel Open Mike Night (First Fridays). If you can play gospel music, head to the Forest Assembly of God located at 17530 E. Hwy. 40 in Silver Springs for Open Mike Night every first Friday of the month at 6:30pm. (352) 230-1253.

Art Club of Belleview (First Fridays). The Art Club of Belleview was established to promote art in the Belleview area and bring creative people together. Membership in the club is $12 per year, and meetings are held at 4pm on the first Friday of every month at the Belleview Library. artclubbelleview.zoomshare.com or (352) 245-4728.

Super Science Saturdays (Saturdays). Live demonstrations, hands-on activity tables, special science workshops, guest lecturers, and more offered each Saturday at the Discovery Science & Outdoor in Ocala. Free with $2 paid admission. All ages are welcome. Call (352) 401-3900 for schedule of activities.


 


General K. Pulaski Club Dinner/Dance (Second Sundays). Grab those dancing shoes! The Belleview General K. Pulaski Club hosts a dinner/dance on the second Sunday of every month. Homemade dinner is served at noon, followed by ballroom, polka, waltz, and American dancing music from the Gen. K. Pulaski Band from 1:30–5:00pm. The club is located on 113th Street in Belleview. $13 for members; $15 for non-members. Reservations required. (352) 245-9378.


 


Ballroom Tea Party (Second Sundays).A variety of dance music from waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha cha, swing, polka, salsa, and merengue to practice your dancing. $5. 5–7pm. Dancin’ Around Studio on South Pine Avenue. (352) 690-6637.


 


Star-Gazing Party (Second Saturdays). See the night sky in all its glory. Join members of the Ocala Astronomy Club and learn about stars, planets, and more. Insect repellent, a lawn chair or blanket, and binoculars are recommended. Call the Silver River State Park in Ocala for exact times. (352) 236-7148.


 


Coffee with the Birds (Third Saturdays). Join an experienced birder for a mild hike through the woods in beautiful Central Florida. Bring binoculars, field guide, and bug spray. $3–$4. 9am. Silver River State Park, Ocala. floridastateparks.org or (352) 236-7148.


 


Free Self Defense/Safety Classes (Ongoing). Free self-defense and personal safety classes for women ages 13 and older and children ages 5–12 are now offered locally through RAD and radKIDS instructors. Call (352) 216-8452 for class times and locations. radkids.org or rad-systems.com.


 


Ocala Recreation & Parks Sports (Ongoing). From soccer and golf camps to tennis programs, T-ball, and flag football, Ocala’s parks are the place to be this fall for youth sports. Head to Jervey Gantt Park, Ocala Regional RecPlex, and the Ft. King Tennis Center are just some of the Ocala Recreation & Parks places where kids can get active. ocalafl.org/recreationandparks or (352) 368-5550.


 


Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides (Ongoing). Ocala’s only guided trail rides through the Florida Horse Park and Greenway trail system is now open! Guests can ride Cactus Jack horses or bring their own for a fun, safe, and affordable trail ride. Rides available every day. Teens and older. thefloridapoloclub.com or (352) 978-7656.

Marion County Mustangs (Ongoing). This new youth sports organization in town is now offering a new 2010 American Youth Football & Cheer program for ages 5–15. No weight restrictions and no redcapping. leaguelineup.com/marioncountymustangs or (352) 426-1100.


 


Dunnellon Library Series (Ongoing). The Dunnellon Public Library currently offers a wide range of programs at its facility for patrons to utilize, including a Master Gardeners’ series, family and consumer science programs, movie matinees, computer classes, a health series, and children’s story time. (352) 438-2520.


 


Florida Trail Association (Ongoing). The Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Trail Association hosts local hikes, walks, meetings, paddle trips, bike rides, and other nature activities every month. Nearly every event is free and open to the public. floridatrail.org/Chapters/central-florida or (407) 332-7790.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers (Ongoing). The LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Bloodmobile travels to different locations throughout Marion County to accommodate donors. To find out more about the Bloodmobile’s schedule, visit lifesouth.org.

Florida’s Blood Centers (Ongoing). Florida’s Blood Center has an urgent need for all blood types. Giving blood is a simple process and takes under an hour. Every donor receives a mini-physical and screening with each donation. Visit floridasbloodcenter.org or call (888)-9DONATE for center locations.


 


Home School Outdoor Recreation (Ongoing). Marion County Parks and Recreation offers an Outdoor Recreation Program for families that home school their children. Activities can include guided wildlife walks, canoe and kayak opportunities, nature crafts, and outdoor games. Fees are reasonable and based on age and number in group. E-mail cathy.norris@marioncountyfl.org or call (352) 671-8560.


 


Volunteer Drivers Needed (Ongoing). The American Cancer Society has an urgent need for volunteer drivers to transport cancer patients to doctor appointments. (352) 376-6866, ext. 5063 or (888) 295-6787, ext. 5063.


 


Moms of Marion (Ongoing). Meet friendly local moms to talk about your kids and have fun! Membership dues are $15 per year. meetup.com/momsofmarion/


 


American Cancer Society Support Groups (Ongoing). The Marion County chapter of the American Cancer Society offers many support groups for those affected by the various forms of the disease, from breast cancer to prostate cancer. To find out about available resources, visit cancer.org or call (352) 629-4727, ext. 5820.


 


The Ocala Horse Show (Ongoing). A major hub of activity in the equestrian world, Ocala now has a TV show dedicated entirely to the area’s horse industry. Tune in Friday mornings at 10am on Cox Channel 21 and every Friday late night at 2am on FOX51. Learn about important equine people, upcoming events, and much more. ocalahorseshow.com or (352) 746-1848.

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