January Calendar

LOCAL EVENTS


 


Crystal Gayle (Jan. 2). The beloved singer of “Brown Eyes” and a Grammy, CMA, ACM, and AMA award-winner, Crystal Gayle performs live for Ocala at Silver Springs just after New Year’s. Don’t miss this country concert! 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.

Festival of Lights (Through Jan. 3). Silver Springs attraction will be awash in more than one million lights and neon displays again this season every Friday and Saturday night from dusk to 8:30pm. Other activities will include Miss Molly’s Storytelling at the Silver River Theatre, holiday music by local choirs, the lighted boat parade, and even a visit with Santa himself. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Magnet Expo (Jan. 7). Not familiar with the magnet programs and schools in Marion County? Learn more about the opportunities available to your child during this fourth annual expo at Central Florida Community College’s Klein Conference Center. Many elementary, middle, and high schools will participate in the event. Admission is free. 5-7pm. marion.k12.fl.us or (352) 671-7700.


 


Bunco Babes Ocala Tournament (Jan. 8). Guests at this fun girls night out of Bunco-playing and laughs at the Ocala Hilton will help support “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.” Tickets are $30, and prizes will be awarded for “Dice Diva,” “Survivor Diva,” “Most Buncos,” “Most Games,” and “Biggest Loser.” Doors open at 6pm, and games start at 7pm. buncobabesocala.com or (352) 361-7983.


 


Marion County Veterans Council Memorial Service (Jan. 9). Honor the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces during this quarterly memorial service at the Ocala/Marion County Veterans Memorial Park at 10am. The hour-long program specifically honors those veterans who have passed away in the past three months, and usually 100 to 250 names are read. The sheriff’s office will give the final gun salute. (352) 288-9344.


 


Ford & Mustang Roundup (Jan. 9-10). From Mustangs and Shelbys and Saleens to T-Birds and vintage pickups, the 16th annual Ford & Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs is a car lover’s dream. Over 1,000 vehicles are expected on the premises, and visitors will also enjoy attractions like the Lighthouse Ride and Fort King River Cruise. $20 general admission and $15 for kids ages 3-10. silversprings.com or (352) 861-8701, ext. 4207.


 


CFCC International Film Series (Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 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 Little Children (U.S.) on Jan. 12, shown at 2pm at the Appleton and 7pm at CFCC; The 400 Blows (France) on Jan. 26, shown at 2 and 7pm at CFCC; and Persepolis (France) on Feb. 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.


 


Artist Within V (Jan. 16). This gala, auction, and dinner held at Golden Hills Gold and Turf Club and hosted by the Marion Cultural Alliance benefits arts in Marion County. $75 per person; $65 per MCA member. mcaocala.com or (352) 369-1500.


 


Magic with Brian LaPalme (Jan. 16). Join this acclaimed circus magician as he razzles, dazzles, and delights at the Belleview Public Library. Seating is limited. 1pm. (352) 438-2500.


 


The Classic (Jan. 16–18). The Public Education Foundation of Marion County and the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Ocala host this annual charity golf tournament at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club to raise scholarship money for Take Stock in Children. Since 1998, the event has brought in nearly $870,000, including the dollar-for-dollar match by Florida Pre-Paid. The Classic includes a Kids Golf Scramble and a Sunday Mexican Fiesta. pefmc.org or (352) 671-4167.


 


Florida’s American Heritage River: Images from the St. Johns Region (Jan. 17). After perusing thousands of images from the St. Johns River region, authors Mallory M. O’Connor and Gary Monroe have collected 200 paintings, sketches, sculptures, and photographs and compiled them into this breathtaking book, which they will present and discuss at the Marion County Public Library headquarters at 2pm. Admission is free. library.marioncountyfl.org or (352) 629-7397.


 


HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Circuit (Jan. 20–March 21). The 29th annual HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Circuit gets underway this month with the Ocala January Classic Jan. 20–24 and the Ocala January Festival Jan. 27–31. The public is invited to watch as these equine athletes and their riders compete, and don’t miss the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix on March 21. Visit hitsshows.com for a complete schedule or call (352) 620-2275.


 


Literacy Council Spelling Bee (Jan. 22). The Marion County Literacy Council hosts its sixth annual Adult Spelling Bee competition between teams of corporate employees and community groups at the Ocala Hilton. The event includes a catered buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, and a chance drawing. Tickets are $50, and proceeds benefit MCLC. marionliteracy.org or (352) 690-7323.


 


Exploring Art (Jan. 22). Kids ages 8 to 13, have fun exploring your artistic side at the Discovery Center on this Teacher’s Workday. Create beautiful works of art through painting and a variety of hands-on projects. Supplies provided. $20 per participant. Limited to first 25 registrants. 10:00am-1:30pm. (352) 401-3900.


 


Tot Trot/Fun Walk (Jan. 23). Hands of Mercy Everywhere (H.O.M.E.), a Christian residential and outreach program for teens and their babies, is hosting this family-friendly Tot Trot/Fun Walk at 10am at Lake Lillian Park in Belleview. Tickets are $10 pre-registration. teenmothershome.org or (352) 347-4663.


 


Ocala Camellia Show (Jan. 23–24). Some 2,000 camellia blooms will be on display and will be judged in competition during this annual show presented by the Ocala Camellia Society. The public is invited to submit flowers, and entries will be accepted Jan. 23, 7:00–10:30am. Event takes place Saturday, 2–5pm, and Sunday, 1–4pm, at the Pioneer Garden Club at the Appleton Cultural Center Complex on East Silver Springs Boulevard. camellias-acs.com or (352) 595-3365.


 


Community Memorial Park and Reflection Pond Groundbreaking (Jan. 26). Head to Ocala’s Jervey Gant Parkfor this special groundbreaking ceremony presented by M.O.M.S. (Memories of Missing Smiles), an non-profit organization founded by two local mothers who lost their sons in car accidents in 2008. The five-acre parcel will be developed into a memorial park filled with beautiful water features, pathways, and sitting areas with benches. Special guests will be in attendance, and the public is invited as well. _____pm. (352) 369-MOMS.


 


CFCC Hampton Center Film Series (Jan. 29). This month’s selection in the free film series at Central Florida Community College’s Hampton Center on Silver Springs Boulevard is Stormy Weather. Admission is free, and the film begins at 6:30pm. (352) 873-5881.


 


Ride Roll Run Relay (Jan. 30). Whether you’re a runner, a bike rider, or a horseback rider, Ocala’s fourth annual Ride Roll Run Relay is the race for you. The relay starts and ends at the Land Bridge Trailhead south of Ocala, and each discipline has separate trails. Check-in is at 8am, with the equestrians starting their 7-mile course at 9:30am, followed by the bikers on their 10-mile route and then the runners on their 3.5-mile trail. Ages 14 and older. Entry fee monies benefit the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation. riderollrunrelay.com or (352) 266-1526.


 


Custom & Classic Car Show and Parts Swap (Jan. 30). This third annual event, hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police—Lodge 145 at Market of Marion in Belleview, features 50 “Best in Show” trophies, goodie bags, door prizes, 50/50, and a concession stand. Registration fee is $20. 9am-3pm. (352) 362-2753 or (352) 694-6381.


 


Five Points of Life Kids Marathon (Jan. 30). The Five Points of Life and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers invite kids in grades kindergarten through fifth grade to run a marathon of their own in conjunction with the Ocala Marathon. Participants complete 25 miles, one at a time, leading up to the final 1.2 miles on Jan. 30 at 9am at Boyd Marketplace, behind the Paddock Mall. Registration is free before Jan. 1, $5 before Jan. 25, and $10 Jan. 25–29. lifesouth.org or (352) 224-1728.


 


Ocala Marathon (Jan. 30–31). Ocala’s best runners—and a few from around the state—will lace up and head out on a beautiful 26.2-mile course through the heart of Ocala’s horse farm country Jan. 31 during the annual Ocala Marathon, now a Boston qualifier. A 5K and kids’ marathon takes place Saturday, and the big races—both the full marathon and the half-marathon—start Sunday morning. citrusrunners.org or (352) 854-1400.


 


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.


 


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.

FESTIVALS/FAIRS


 


Organic Food & Film Festival (Jan. 10). Head to the Ocala Civic Theatre for organic food, a screening of the film Food Matters, and a mini trade show attended by holistic practitioners with their services and goods. 6-10pm. (352) 629-4000.


 


Hoggetowne Medieval Faire (Jan. 30–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 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.


 


 


MUSEUMS/EXHIBITS


 


The Art of the Chopper (Through Jan. 10). If you love bikes, you’re going to love the Appleton’s newest and most-unlikely exhibit featuring 30 choppers from such famed builders as Indian Larry, Rick Fairless, Jerry Graves, Ron Finch, and Mike Brown. See for yourself how a motorcycle can truly be a work of art. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.


 


Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches (Through Jan. 17). Visit seven ports of call along the most biologically diverse river in the world—the Amazon—during this ongoing exhibit at Gainesville’s Florida Museum of Natural History. Guests will encounter such creatures as the piranha, anaconda, stingray, and pink dolphin. $8 for adults ($7 for Florida residents), $5.50 for ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and under. flmnh.ufl.edu or (352) 273-2054.


 


The New Reality: The Frontier of Realism in the 21st Century (Jan. 23–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.


 


Charles R. Knight: Studies of Lost Worlds (Through Jan. 31). Seven study paintings by Charles R. Knight, the first and most renowned “paleo-artist” ever, are on display in the Hall of Florida Fossils at Gainesville’s Florida Museum of Natural History. These creations include many animals that once live in Florida. flmnh.ufl.edu or (352) 273-2054.


 


 


MUSIC/THEATER

David Leighton (Jan. 9). David Leighton, conductor and artistic director of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra since 2005, performs selected works of Beethoven, Scott Joplin, and George Gershwin during this fundraising concert for Temple Beth Shalom in Ocala. Performance held at CFCC Fine Arts Building 4 at 7:30pm. $15 for adults and $5 for students. (352) 351-8419 or (352) 873-6262.

Johnny Maestro (Jan. 9). Johnny Maestro—former lead singer for The Crests, whose hits included “Sixteen Candles” and “Trouble in Paradise”—performs live at the Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. Tickets range from $22 to $27 per guest. 7pm. csculturalcenter.com or (352) 854-3670.

Forbidden Broadway (Jan. 10–11). Central Florida Community College’s Performing Arts Series continues with New York’s longest-running musical comedy review, Forbidden Broadway. Performed at CFCC’s Lecanto campus on Sunday, Jan. 10 and at the Ocala campus on Monday, Jan. 11, this production pokes fun at both Hollywood and the Great White Way. cf.edu or (352) 854-2322, ext. 1416.

Foreigner (Jan. 16). If you love “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” and “I Want To Know What Love Is,” don’t miss Foreigner live in Ocala at Silver Springs during this special one-day-only concert. 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Appleton Museum Spring Concert Series (Jan. 17). Robin Speilberg performs traditional melodies at 1:30pm at the Appleton Museum as part of its 2010 Spring Concert Series. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Through Jan. 17). The show that took the world by storm, not to mention took home a few Tonys, too, arrives at the Ocala Civic Theatre. This charmingly quirky tale follows a group of misfits who discover their place and their voice when competing in a spelling bee. Please note that this play contains profanity and is not recommended for young audiences. Inquire about ticket prices. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.

Chris Cagle (Jan. 23). Country singer Chris Cagle, whose hits include “What a Beautiful Day,” “Chicks Dig It,” and “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” performs live at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


The Duprees (Jan. 23). Head to On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center to hear The Duprees sing their hits, including “You Belong to Me,” “My Own True Love,” and “Have You Heard.” Tickets range from $18 to $24 per guest. 7pm. csculturalcenter.com or (352) 854-3670.


 


Move Over, Mrs. Markham (Jan. 27-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 Oak Ridge Boys (Jan. 30). One of country music’s preeminent groups, The Oak Ridge Boys round out the month of live performances at Silver Springs. Hear the Boys, who have sold over 30 million albums, pick and play at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.


 


Dance Party (Jan. 30). Send the first month of the new decade out with a bang at On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center when Kathleen Kane and The 007 Band play all the James Bond movie hits, plus more favorites from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. $10 for residents and $12 for non-residents. 7pm. csculturalcenter.com or (352) 854-3670.


 


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.


 


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.


 


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.


 


 


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.


 


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.


 


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.


 


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.


 


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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