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.
Andrew J. Semesco Foundation Benefit Dinner (March 5). The Andrew J. Semesco Foundation hosts its ninth annual benefit dinner at Central Florida Community College’s Harvey Klein Conference Center at 6:30pm. The evening will include a dinner, raffle, live auction, and reserve drawing, and all proceeds will benefit oral, head, and neck cancer research. Tickets are $50 per person, which includes dinner and beverages. (352) 895-3654.
Sportsmens’ Fundraiser Extravaganza/Airboat Swap Meet (March 5–6). United Sportsmen & Airboaters Alliance presents this Friday night fundraiser and all-day Saturday swamp meet at GTO Performance Airboats on Hwy. 326 in Ocala. The fundraiser social is from 5:30pm to 10:30pm and features barbecue dinner at 7pm, a live auction at 8pm, a gun raffle, and door prizes. Advance tickets are $25. Then on Saturday, guests will be buying, selling, and trading air boats parts from 9am to 5pm. Admission is $5. Proceeds benefit the USAA’s chosen local charities. unitedsportsmenairboatersalliance.com or gto-airboats.com. (352) 401-9070, (352) 873-8520, or (352) 867-5599.
New Solutions for Fibromyalgia (March 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.
Eagles Boxing Championships (March 13). Help knockout diabetes by attending this boxing match sponsored by Central Florida Boxing and Fraternal Order of Eagles #4216 at Ocala’s Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. Doors open at 6pm, and general admission is $10. Military, police, and fire as well as kids under 5 get in free; $1 for teachers and students with ID. Proceeds benefit the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa. Boxing celebrity Irish Micky Ward will be in attendance to sign autographs. (352) 625-3622 or (352) 817-5390.
Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment (March 13–14). History buffs, head for the mine! The Holcim Mine, that is—a property just eight miles north of Crystal River on US Hwy. 19—for the Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment. Gates open at 9am on both days, and battles begin at 2pm. Live fire demonstrations, authentic camps, and Civil War period merchants will be on-site. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for kids 8 and older, and free for kids under 8. crystalriverreenactment.org or (352) 527-7442.
Joel Seaton: Presidential Witness (March 14). The Friends of the Ocala Public Library hosts local author Joel Seaton at the main library location at 2pm to discuss his novel, Presidential Witness. The book mixes the JFK assassination, a Watergate-like break-in, and foreign espionage for a tale of filled with mystery and American political history. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. (352) 368-4591.
Appetite For a Cure Fundraiser (Through March 15). Popeyes in Ocala, located on Pine Avenue, is currently participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Appetite For a Cure” fundraiser, and patrons are encouraged to support the effort. Now through March 15, the restaurant will sell coupon cards worth $30 for only $1 to benefit MDA. The coupons are good for a free drink and discounts on future purchases. popeyes.com or (352) 732-3839.
CFCC Hampton Center Film Series (March 19). This month’s selection in the free film series at Central Florida Community College’s Hampton Center on Silver Springs Boulevard is Homeless to Harvard, starring Thora Birch. Admission is free, and the film begins at 6:30pm. (352) 873-5881.
Trail Ride at Goethe Trailhead Ranch (March 19–21). Reserve your spot now for these three days of camping and horseback riding in the Goethe State Forest. Barbecue dinner and line dancing is scheduled for Saturday night. Trailhead Ranch is located on Levy County Road 337 in Dunnellon. trailheadranchfl.com or (352) 489-8545.
Marion County Cattle Baron’s Ball (March 20). Gear up in your best western wear for this annual American Cancer Society fundraiser at Circle Square Cultural Center in On Top Of The World. “Denim & Diamonds” is this year’s theme, and silent and live auctions as well as a bachelor/bachelorette auction will be held. Live entertainment will be provided by Nite Call, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill will provide the dining. 6–11pm. ocalacbb.com or (352) 629-4727, ext. 5820.
Rats And Rods Car Show (March 20). Vehicles built in and before 1964 will be on display at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing for this show, including traditional rods, Kustoms, and bikes. The museum is located on 16th Avenue in Ocala. Gates open at 8am, and admission is $20. garlits.com or (871) 271-3278.
Bridal Show (March 21). Calling all brides, grooms, wedding party members, and family! Spend your Sunday at Harbor Hills Golf and Country Club in Lady Lake learning about local wedding service options, tasting catering creations, and viewing the latest in bridal fashion. Door prizes, entertainment, and casino-themed games will also be offered. $10 per person at the door or pre-register online for $9 per person. thecherishedbride.com or (352) 209-5805.
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, visit hitsshows.com or call (352) 620-2275.
Beauty From Within (March 24). This free informational class on alopecia, hair loss prevention, and cancer patients is presented by PHR Professional Hair in Ocala. Dr. Cherie Hansen will speak about the importance of hormone balance, women’s health, and how to prevent hair loss and help with alopecia. 6pm at PHR Professional Hair on 3rd Avenue. (352) 622-3300.
Movie in the Park: Where The Wild Things Are (March 26). Bring the whole family—plus a lawn chair or two—to Jervey Gantt Park for a special showing of Where The Wild Things Are at 7:30pm. Admission is free, and free popcorn and drinks will be served. A perfect outing for kids and parents alike! (352) 629-8444.
Southeastern Pro Rodeo (March 26–27). Saddle up, Ocala! The rodeo’s coming to town. Contestants will compete in saddle bronc and bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, and the most dangerous eight seconds in sports—bull riding—in this 17th annual event sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Gates open at 6pm and the action begins at 8pm at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion on Old Jacksonville Road. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the gate. Kids under 5 get in free, and special family packs and reserved box seats are available. ocalarodeo.com or (352) 401-5900.
SECO Scholarships (Through March 26). Now through March 26, Sumter Electric Cooperative will be accepting applications for its 2010 scholarship program, which will award $2,500 grants to selected students for their higher education. In order to qualify, graduates must reside in a home being served by SECO and be enrolled in an accredited college, university, or vocational/technical school by the end of 2010. Applications are available at area high school guidance office and any of SECO’s customer service centers in Marion, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus counties. secoenergy.com, (352) 357-5600, or (352) 793-3801.
Cycling For Success Lakes and Lanes Challenge (March 27). This scholarship ride benefiting Take Stock in Children and sponsored by the Public Education Foundation of Marion County takes cyclists through some of the most scenic roads in Central Florida, including around Lake Weir and over some challenging hills. The routes are either 62.5 miles or 32 miles, and the entrance fee is $40 per rider, which includes breakfast and lunch, rest stops, and bicycle repair. The event starts at 8am at Belleview High School. For more information, visit pefmc.org or active.com, or call (352) 671-4167.
Hands Are Not For Hurting Expo (March 27). Clowns, arts and crafts, live entertainment, prizes, and IDs for kids are in store at this free annual expo at the Paddock Mall. The event is designed to create awareness about child abuse and neglect in the community and kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Children’s Alliance. 10am–2pm. breakthesilenceonviolence.org or (352) 438-5990.
March for Nutrition (March 27). Lace up for a good cause at this Munroe Regional Medical Center charity 5K/1 Mile Walk to benefit United Way and Meals on Wheels. The route for participants will be the Baseline Road to Marshall Swamp Trail at the Cross Florida Greenway. Registration begins at 7:30am, and the race starts at 8:30am. The fee before March 18 is $15, and the day-of fee is $20. marchfornutrition.com or (352) 402-5295.
Emergency Vehicles Past and Present Car Show (March 27). How did and how do our first-responders get to emergencies? Find out at this popular show, which attracted well over 300 people last year, at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Operations Center on 30th Avenue. The event—also open to all vehicles—benefits the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Foundation and its community services, such as the Neighborhood Watch program. 9am. marionso.com or (352) 732-8181.
Anchor Runway Fashion Show (March 28). Trinity Catholic High School’s Anchor Club hosts this fashion fundraiser in its gymnasium from 1pm to 3pm in conjunction with several other Marion County high schools: St. Johns, Belleview, Forest, North Marion, West Port, and Hale Academy. The event, which will feature gently used formal dresses for sale at $5 and up, live and silent auctions, food, and a DJ, benefits PACE Center for Girls. Tickets are $10 each or $30 for four, and are available at Trinity Catholic. Dress donations welcomed. (352) 622-9025, ext. 2217.
Run, Walk, or Crawl (March 28). Planet Fitness sponsors this first-ever 5K inside walk or 10K outside run at Paddock Mall, starting at 8am. Awards will be presented to first-, second-, and third-place winners as well as the schools with the most participants, and T-shirts guaranteed for everyone who registers before March 17. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Children’s Alliance. (352) 624-7301.
YMCA/Live Oak International Cross Country Races (March 28). Now for the second year, the Ocala YMCA will participate at the Live Oak International horse event by hosting its off-road 5K run, 10K run, and 5K walk. The cross country-style run is challenging and fun, winding through Marion County’s famed horse farm country. The races start at Live Oak Horse Farm on 110th Avenue at 8:30am with registration beginning at 7:30am. Runners and walkers may pre-register through March 14 at the Ocala YMCA or at active.com. centralfloridaYMCA.org or (352) 368-9622.
PAAS Eggstravaganza (April 3). This fun, family tradition sponsored by PAAS and hosted by the City of Ocala provides free Easter fun for little ones at Tuscawilla Park. Kids will enjoy several Easter egg hunts, plus plenty of other activities. 10am–2pm. (352) 629-8444.
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.
O’Cala’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival (March 13). Head to Ocala’s downtown square from 5pm to 9pm for a family-friendly celebration of all things Irish the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day—from music and dancing to food, crafts, and fun activities for the little lads and lassies. Admission is free. (352) 629-8444.
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.
Bach Festival (March 21). The Marion Civic Chorale’s annual Bach Festival falls right on the composer’s birthday this year. Head to the First Presbyterian Church in Ocala at 3pm for this special musical event, featuring vocal and orchestral performances. (352) 261-1170.
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.
Morgan Samuel Price (Through 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.
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.
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.
Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band 20th Anniversary Celebration (March 6–7). The Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band performs with trombonist Harry Watters for this “Platinum Memories” 20th Anniversary Celebration. Musical selections include “Flight of the Bumblebee,” “Embraceable You,” “Fanfare & Allegro,” and “Wearing of the Green.” The concerts will beheld at the Marion Technical Institute at 2pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Admission is free. kingdomofthesunband.org or (352) 624-9291.
Ocala Youth Symphony Recital (March 7). Enjoy a free recital by the Ocala Youth Symphony at First Christian Church on Fort King Street. These talented musicians range in age from 8 to 18, and selected works for the program range from the classics to contemporary. 3pm. (352) 351-3002.
Eric Church (March 11). Capitol Nashville recording artist Eric Church, whose hits include “How ‘Bout You,” “Guys Like Me,” and “Love Your Love the Most,” will perform live at Midnight Rodeo as part of his Jagermister Country Tour. Doors open at 7pm and advance tickets are $22.50 each. (352) 425-8480.
Randy Travis (March 13). County music traditionalist Randy Travis, who has sold over 25 million records, had 22 number-one hits, and been awarded six Grammys, sings live onstage at Silver Springs at 3pm. silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.
Steve Morse Band (March 14). Grammy-nominated Steve Morse and his band play live at the Ocala Civic Theatre for one night only. Morse is considered one of the most accomplished guitarists in the world and is renowned for his stylistically diverse playing skills. The band’s new CD, Out Standing In Their Field, will be available for purchase at the concert. The show starts at 7pm, and tickets are on sale now—$25 for VIP seating, $15 for adults, and $10 for children under 18. 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.
Anton Del Forno (March 21). As part of the Appleton Museum’s 2010 Spring Concert Series, Anton Del Forno presents a solo performance of classic and modern guitar at 1:30pm at the museum. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Dr. Cook’s Garden (March 25–April 2). From Ira Levin, author of The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby, Dr. Cook’s Garden explores what happens when a young doctor returns to his sleepy hometown in Vermont and begins questioning how perfect everything seems. One week only at the Ocala Civic Theatre. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.
Shhhh!!! (March 26–28). The Omega Theater Company, part of the Marion County Center for the Arts at West Port High School, unveils a brand new, original musical featuring a variety of song styles. Showtimes are 7:30pm on Friday, 2pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday at the school. $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. westportwolfpack.org or (352) 438-8368.
A Season To Remember (March 27–28). Saturday night at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoon at 3pm, the winners of the 19th Annual Young Artist Competition will perform with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Auditorium on 60th Avenue. The orchestra will perform Smetana’s The Moldau and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606.
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 at the Ocala Hilton 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) 236-6226.
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.
Belleview Fish Fry (Fridays in March). Every Friday this month, St. Theresa Hall in Belleview hosts this annual fish fry. Enjoy fried or baked tilapia, French fries, coleslaw, a dessert, and a drink for $7.50 from 4pm to 7pm. sttheresacatholicchurch.org or (352) 245-2458.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.