Pilot Club of Ocala Fashion Show (May 1). This first annual fashion show presented by the Pilot Club of Ocala will showcase community projects that the club has completed and will feature fashions by Belk’s at the Elk’s Club on 25th Avenue. The event, which includes a luncheon, starts at noon, and tickets are $25 per person. (352) 875-1033.
Friends of the Belleview Library Book Sale (May 1). The Friends of Belleview Library Book Sale will take place from 8am to 5pm at its new location—the Book Nook in the old Belleview Library building on Earp Road, behind Shepherd’s Lighthouse. Thousands of paperback and hardback books will be available to choose from at bargain prices. friends-of-belleview-library.org or (352) 438-2500.
Equine and Wine! (May 1). A festive evening of food sampling and delicious wines from area restaurants, “Equine and Wine!” at the Florida Carriage Museum & Resort invites guests to watch the Kentucky Derby on large screens, dance to live music, relax in the VIP lounge, and visit the carriage museum. Tickets are $55 for general admission and $75 for VIP, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Veterans Equine Assisted Therapy Program. 5–10pm. fcmr.org or (352) 750-5500, ext. 221.
Friends of the Ocala Public Library Book Sale (May 1). 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.
“Fight for Air” Asthma Walk (May 1). The American Lung Association’s Regional Daytona Beach office hosts this fundraiser walk at Jervey Gantt Park at 10am. The event will raise money to fight asthma and lung-related diseases in all its forms through education, research, and advocacy. All participants are encouraged to raise money, and day-of registration opens at 9am. lungfla.org or (386) 255-6447.
2010 Spring Parade of Homes (May 1–2). The Marion County Building Industry Association’s annual Parade of Homes showcases 18 beautiful homes for potential homebuyers and remodelers to view. Several leading local companies are participating in this year’s event, including Armstrong Homes, Center State Construction, Bennett Construction Services, Dream Custom Homes of Citrus, Florida Leisure Communities, Holiday Builders, Hutchinson Development, ICL Builders Group/Nadeau Construction Unlimited, Marco Polo Homes, Murphy Kaufman Builders, Pulte Homes, and T.L. Carlson Construction. The homes are open Saturday, 11am–6pm and Sunday, 1–5pm. To learn more, visit mcbia.org or call (352) 694-4133.
Spring Polo Season (May 1–29). Every Saturday this spring, polo players, ponies, and enthusiasts gather at the Florida Horse Park for an afternoon of equine athletic fun. Gates open at 2:30pm and the match begins at 4pm. Admission is $5, and children ages 12 and under get in free. Food and drinks are available for purchase. thefloridapoloclub.com or (352) 978-7656.
Coach Jimbo Fisher Tour (May 4). The Marion County Seminole Club welcomes Coach Jimbo Fisher to Marion County with a special golf tournament at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club and dinner banquet at the Ocala Hilton. The tournament, which gets underway at 9am, includes continental breakfast, lunch, drinks, and a goodie bag. The fee is $110 per player. The banquet, which starts with cocktails at 5:30pm and then dinner at 7:15pm, will feature a speech by Coach Fisher as well as a meet-and-greet session. Advance tickets are $45 per adult and $20 per child. marionseminoles.org or (352) 390-3472.
IHMC Lecture (May 5). Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, will discuss how religion works in a society shaped by science and technology during his “God’s Mechanics: The Religious Life of Techies” lecture at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition on Osceola Avenue at 6pm. A reception will start at 5:30pm. Admission is free, but seating is limited so reservations are recommended. ihmc.us or (850) 202-4406.
Mom’s Nite Out (May 6). Moms of Marion County, head to Ocala’s Paddock Mall for a Thursday night celebration of motherhood during this nationwide, second annual event. Moms will enjoy social networking, fun interactive activities, food tastings, giveaways, and much more from 6pm to 8pm. momsniteout.com or (352) 237-1223.
Movie in the Park: Old Dogs (May 7). Bring the whole family—plus a lawn chair or two—to Tuscawilla Park for a special showing of Disney’s Old Dogs at 8:15pm. Admission is free, and free popcorn and drinks will be served. A perfect outing for kids and parents alike! (352) 629-8444.
Kids, Cops & Firefighters (May 8). Kids can enjoy a day in the park with Ocala’s men and women in uniform—law enforcement and emergency rescue staff—getting to know what they do and how they help our community. The event takes place from 10am to 1pm at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, and admission is free. (352) 368-5550.
Wild Caving Experience (May 8). Take a walk on the wild side during the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department’s “Basic Wild Caving Experience” for families (ages eight and up) at White Cliff Cave in Brick City Adventure Park. Caving requires climbing and crawling on stomach, hands, and knees on rocky surfaces and in tight spaces so participants should wear long pants and sturdy footwear. The cost is $30 per person, and the program is limited to eight participants. 9am–2pm. (352) 671-8560.
Letter Carriers’ Food Drive (May 8). Help “Stamp Out Hunger.” Postal customers in Marion County are asked to hang a box or can of nonperishable food in a bag on their mailboxes before their letter carrier delivers the mail on May 8 as a donation to local food banks, pantries, and shelters. This nation-wide event has become the largest one-day food drive in the U.S. with 73.4 million pounds collected last year. nalc.org.
Hospice Mother’s Day Luncheon (May 8). Hospice of Marion County hosts this delicious Mother’s Day lunch at noon at Bonefish Grill with all proceeds benefiting its children’s programs. The menu features grilled Atlantic salmon, chicken marsala, or a vegetarian entrée, and entertainment will be provided by The Good Vibrations Quartet and the Ocali Storytelling Guild. Tickets are $25 per person and doors open at 11:30am. hospiceofmarion.com or (352) 854-5218.
Poker Ride-A-Thon (May 8). Saddle up! Sun Country Trail Blazers hosts this third annual riding event to benefit the Horse Protection Association of Florida at the Ross Prairie Trailhead in Dunnellon. The minimum donation per rider/horse team is $10, and registration starts at 8:30am with riders up by 9:30am. The group will meet back up at the trailhead at noon for lunch, entertainment, and raffles. suncountrytrailblazers.com or (352) 867-7802.
Operation Shoebox Run (May 8). Gas up your bike and head out to the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Hwy. 25 in Belleview for this motorcycle benefit ride to raise money for Operation Shoebox, an organization that sends packages to our troops overseas. The run takes place from 9am to 12pm, and the minimum donation is $10. operationshoebox.com, (352) 687-1675, or (352) 454-4678.
Hunter-Jumper Series (May 8–9). The Florida Carriage Museum & Resort in Weirsdale hosts Horse Shows in the Park’s hunter-jumper series, which kicked off last month and continues through October. This month’s event is May 8–9, and the talented horse and rider teams start going over the obstacles at 9am each day. fcmr.org or (352) 750-5500.
Ocala Farm & Garden Show (May 8–9). Bring your mom to this second annual show featuring all things farm and gardening at the Ocala Equestrian Complex on 60th Avenue. Plus, plants, plants, and more plants! Admission is free, and the event will be open 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. (352) 812-0088.
Mother’s Day Dance (May 9). Let Mom enjoy live entertainment and homemade cooking at this Belleview General K. Pulaski Club event on Mother’s Day. The dance will feature Northern Sounds Band and home-cooked dinner served at noon. Dancing is scheduled for 1:30pm to 5pm, and tickets are $13 for club members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are required. (352) 854-6193.
The Centers Celebrates (May 11). The Centers in Ocala is celebrating and you’re invited! Proceeds from this evening fundraiser—featuring live entertainment, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction at the Ocala Hilton—benefit its Adolescent Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program. The cocktail reception is 6–7pm with the main event beginning at 7pm. Tickets are $75 per person, $100 per person for select seating. thecenters.us or (352) 291-5462.
“Ditch of Dreams” Book Discussion (May 12). University of Florida history lecturer Steven Noll and Santa Fe College associate professor of history David Tegeder discuss the Cross-Florida Barge Canal and their book, Ditch of Dreams: The Cross-Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future, during this Friends of the Ocala Public Library program. The discussion begins at 2pm in Room C of the Ocala Public Library’s main location on Silver Springs Boulevard. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. friendsoftheocalalibrary.org or (352) 368-4591.
MRMA Golf Tournament (May 13). The Ocala Golf Club is the place to be Thursday, May 13. The Marion Regional Manufacturers Association’s seventh annual golf tournament supports Marion Technical Institute’s Industrial Engineering Academy and costs $60 per player. Registration begins at 11:30am with lunch at noon and the tee-off at 1pm. (352) 291-4410.
St. Theresa’s Annual Golf Tournament (May 14). This third annual golfing event at SummerGlen Golf Course benefits St. Theresa Catholic Church’s soup kitchen in Belleview. The fee to play is $50, which includes range balls, a golf cart, coffee, goodies prior to play, and a barbecue luncheon afterward. (352) 753-5326 or (352) 259-1742.
Miss Ocala/Marion County Breakfast (May 15). Join Miss Ocala/Marion County Kelly Redoutey for a special breakfast fundraiser benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network at Gator’s Dockside from 8am to 10am. The cost is $6 per person, and tickets may be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by e-mailing email@example.com. missamerica4kids.org or (352) 342-2973.
Celebration of New Beginnings (May 15). Marion County Community Services hosts this free event from 10am to 2pm for the public to view the first homes available for purchase through Marion County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Citizens who meet the income eligibility may purchase these homes—located in Silver Springs Shores, Marion Oaks, and Rainbow Park—at discounted prices. Maps and locations are available on request. marioncountyfl.org or (352) 671-8770.
USA Dance Charity Ball (May 18). The USA Dance Ocala Chapter 6027 hosts this charity ball fundraiser to benefit Hospice of Marion County from 7pm to 10pm at the Pioneer Garden Club on Silver Springs Boulevard. The semi-formal event features live entertainment, professional dance exhibitions, free dance lessons by Joe Mounts, and doors prizes and raffles. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for VIP admission. (352) 629-0837 or (352) 509-4317.
Marion County Fire Rescue Community Event (May 19). This free, community-wide event hosted by Marion County Fire Rescue at the McPherson Complex will let citizens come face-to-face with local EMS personnel to learn about what they do and how ambulance service is continually evolving to better serve them. The event will run from 10am to 1pm. (352) 291-8094.
Wild Game Feast (May 20). Help Ocala hit a homerun! The Rotary Clubs of Marion County hosts this first-annual fundraiser to assist in bringing the 2010 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series to Ocala in August. The feast, featuring wild game like venison, hog, and gator tail, a live band, and wine and beer, will be held at the Super Flea Market on 44th Avenue beginning at 5pm. Tickets are $50 per person and must be purchased in advance. clubrunner.ca/ocala-silversprings or (352) 843-3614.
Polyester Prom (May 21). Tune in! The eighth annual Polyester Prom, hosted by Big 92.9FM, at the Ocala Hilton is shaping up to be another wildly successful party, but the only way you can get tickets is by winning them through the station. The event features disco-era music, lots of dancing, and plenty of fun starting at 8pm. The group Paradise will perform live. wmfq.fm/ or (352) 732-0079.
Star Wars Weekends (May 21–June 13). Star Wars Weekends return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a giant gathering of Star Wars’ most popular characters—Wookiees, droids, Jedi, Ewoks, Queen Amidala—all roaming the streets of the theme park for meet-and-greets. disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends or (407) 939-6244.
Frank Polack Memorial Ride (May 22). Bike ride for 30 or 62 miles through some of the prettiest land in the heart of horse country in support of the Hospice of Marion County. This memorial ride, which over 160 participated in last year, is held in honor of Dr. Frank M. Polack, a pioneer in ophthalmology and a passionate artist who received hospice care in his final days. Registration is $40 ($45 after May 13), and participants are encouraged to collect pledges. Individual donation web pages can be created through active.com, and special awards will be presented to high earners. A post-ride lunch will be provided to all participants. hospiceofmarion.com or (352) 854-5218.
Mother-Son Dance (May 22). Moms and sons (ages 3–10) are invited to this special evening of dancing and live DJ music at First United Methodist Church on Silver Springs Boulevard. The event, which runs from 7pm to 9pm, will feature refreshments and professional photo opportunities. Tickets, which are limited and available beginning May 3, are $20 per couple and $5 for each additional son. All proceeds benefit MOPS of Ocala. (352) 362-3306.
Mid-Florida Duck Derby (May 22). The Children’s Home Society of Florida Ocala Auxiliary invites you to its inaugural Mid-Florida Duck Derby at Tuscawilla Park. Held from 11am to 4pm, the event will feature vendors, food, family activities, and an exciting rubber ducky race. For a $5 suggested donation, you can adopt a duck and get a chance to win great prizes. chsfl.org, (352) 620-3474, or (352) 572-8567.
Stirrups & Stilettos Fashion Show (May 29). This annual Florida Thorobred Fillies charity fashion show, which takes place at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club from 11am to 3pm, will feature a silent auction, a luncheon of shrimp or chicken salad created by Golden’s chef, and a presentation of seasonal and equine wardrobes during the dessert course. Tickets are $40 per person or $60 per person plus one guest if purchased by May 1, and proceeds benefit the FTF’s numerous local charities and special-needs associations. (352) 361-8718 or (352) 401-0008.
Kids of Rock (May 31). Memorial Day in Ocala just got a whole lot cooler! This “Battle of the Bands” competition, featuring band members age 20 and younger, is decided by the audience, and food and vendors will also be on-site during the event at the ARC Marion campus. Admission is free, and the cost to participate is $25 per band. Proceeds benefit ARC Marion and its mission of helping people with developmental disabilities. hogforhope.com or (352) 351-2479.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ (June 4). Hog for Hope invites you to enjoy good music, good food, and an all-around good time during this special fundraiser at ARC Marion in Ocala. The event features a silent auction, raffles, and lots of barbecue courtesy of Outback Steakhouse. The fun starts at 6:30pm, and the winner of the 2010 Harley-Davidson Street Glide will be announced at 9pm. The $25 ticket price includes food, entertainment, and one drink. hogforhope.com or (352) 351-2479.
High Seas Expedition (June 13–17). St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church presents this free “High Seas Expedition” Vacation Bible School from 5:30pm to 8:30pm for children ages 5–12. The camp includes a meal. stmattocala.org or (352) 629-5948.
Ocala Karate Dojo Summer Camp (June 14–Aug. 20). Ocala Karate Dojo celebrates 20 years of summer camp this year with special pricing—four weeks at $95 per week. Camp, which is for boys and girls ages 5 to 12 and features karate lessons, self-defense, sports, and other games, meets weekly, 7:00am–5:30pm. ocalakarate.com or (352) 237-9076.
Arbor Day Festival (May 1). Celebrate the beauty and importance of trees in our lives during this city-sponsored event at Tuscawilla Park from 10am to 3pm. Live music, tree plantings, and care demonstrations are scheduled for this free event. (352) 368-5550.
Florida Folk Festival (May 28–30). Enjoy the diversity of Florida’s culture and history when residents share their food, music, dance, stories, and crafts during this 58th annual festival at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs. Watch the state fiddling contest and savor ethnic food and church supper favorites. Ticket prices and times vary. floridastateparks.org/folkfest or (877) 635-3655.
Blue Crab Festival (May 28–31). Florida’s largest Memorial Day celebration is now in its 22nd year! A variety of family activities, live music, crafts, food, fireworks, parades, and more will take place during this weekend-long event in downtown Palatka. The Florida Seafood Cookoff state championship gets underway at 10am on Saturday. bluecrabfestival.com or (386) 325-4406.
Latin American Festival (May 8). Enjoy a night of Latin flare on The Town Square at Circle Square Commons. This free festival, which runs from 4pm to 9pm, will feature live music by grupo Salsarengue, festival dancers, authentic food, and crafters. circlesquarecommons.com or (352) 854-3670.
2010 Student Art Showcase (May 1–5).This CFCC Webber Center exhibit includes artworks created by students from the Ocala and Citrus campuses during the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters. There will be a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works on display, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics. Many of the works are for sale. Tuesday–Friday, 11am–5pm; Saturday, 10am–2pm. (352) 873-5809.
Southern Journeys: African-American Artists of the South (May 1–23).This exhibition features 55 works of African-American artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Hughie Lee-Smith who have chronicled the history of southern culture from the 1940s to today. The artwork contains subject matter ranging from personnel experience, music, and folklore to southern traditions and religion. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
American Masters: John and Jean Wilkinson Collection (May 1–July 25). Nineteen selections from the private collection of John and Jean Wilkinson make up this Appleton Museum exhibit now on display, including pieces by Thomas Cole, George Inness, and Alfred Maurer. Regular daily admission is $6 per adult, $4 for seniors 55 and older and students 19 and older, $3 for youths ages 10–18, and free for members, CFCC students, children 9 and younger, and active military personnel and their immediate family. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Central Florida Master Choir (May 2). The Central Florida Master Choir performs this free concert at the beginning of the month, featuring a variety of vocal music from the Renaissance, baroque, Romantic, and 20th century periods. The concert will be held at Dunnellon Presbyterian Church at 3pm, and donations are always welcomed. (352) 873-0731.
Marion Civic Chorale (May 2). The Marion Civic Chorale performs selections from Handel’s Messiah, including “Behold the Lamb of God,” “All We Like Sheep,” and “Hallelujah” during this concert May 2 at 4pm at Ocala’s First United Methodist Church. Admission is free but a $10 donation is suggested. marioncivicchorale.tripod.com or (352) 342-1796.
Ocala Youth Symphony (May 2). The Ocala Youth Symphony presents its last concert of the season at 3pm at CFCC’s Fine Arts Auditorium in Ocala. Musicians ages 8–18 perform selected works ranging from the classics to contemporary. All concerts are free and open to the public. (352) 351-3002.
Appleton After Hours (May 6). Don’t miss the final Appleton After Hours concert before the series goes on hiatus for the summer. Head to the Ocala museum for a Latin music performance by Grupo Congri. Doors open at 5pm and music begins at 5:30pm. Free admission for members; $8 for non-members. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455, ext. 1835.
Symphony Under the Stars (May 9). This Mother’s Day, treat Mom to a special outdoor concert presented by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra at the Ocala Golf Club. The program this year will feature music by The Beatles and, weather permitting, will conclude with a choreographed fireworks display. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 6–12, and free for kids under six. fafo.org or (352) 622-0007.
Peter Pan (May 13–June 13). The beloved tale of a little boy who doesn’t want to grow up, the Lost Boys of Neverland, the evil Captain Hook, and their adventures together will be performed onstage at the Ocala Civic Theatre starting this month. Tickets go on sale May 3. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.
You Deliver Me (May 15–16). Dance Divine School of Ballet presents “You Deliver Me,” a ballet based on the biblical story of Moses, at 1pm and 7pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday at the CFCC Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free. dancedivineocala.com or (352) 629-6038.
Mr. Richard Concert (May 19). Bring the kids to Olivia & Co. Kids downtown on the square for a special, free concert at 3:30pm by the popular children’s entertainer Mr. Richard! Richard Peeples, who was nominated for a 2009 Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Pick Award, plays more than 400 shows a year for kids and their families. (352) 622-4576.
Bill Allred Jazz Band (May 22). The Bill Allred Jazz Band is renowned for its resurrection of almost-forgotten, early jazz arrangements. The group performs live at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala. Doors open at 6pm and the show begins at 7pm. Tickets are $10 for residents and $12 for non-residents. ontopoftheworld.com or (352) 854-3670.
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.
I.O.R.G. Meetings (First and Third Mondays). The International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a girls’ service organization for ages 11–21 and a pledge group for ages 8–10, meets at 7pm at the Marion-Dunn Lodge on 36th Avenue every first and third Monday of the month. gorainbow.org or (3520 867-1047.
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.
Discover the Pirate Code (Tuesdays in May). Arrr! Prepare to board the “Flagship Discovery” at the Discovery Center in Ocala. Mates need to enlist in the scallywag crew to learn the tricks of piracy—ocean travel, ship design, celestial navigation, bountiful treasure hunting, and “The Pirate Code.” The classes, which run May 4–25 from 4:30pm to 6pm, are for kids ages 9–13, and the cost is $45 per participant. Participants must pre-register. (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, dermatitis 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.
Ballroom Dance (Fourth Tuesdays). Every fourth Tuesday of the month, head to Skatemania on Maricamp Road for an evening of ballroom dancing as well as Latin, country, and line dancing from 7–10pm. With the $8 admission, guests receive a complimentary lesson from 7pm to 7:30pm and snacks. (352) 624-4222.
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 house 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.
Water Conservation Protection (Thursdays in May). The St. John’s River Watershed Action Volunteers program is sponsoring free training sessions for volunteers ages 13 and older at the Discovery Science Center in Ocala. Rain barrels are available for $25. Classes are held May 6–27, 6:30–7:00pm, and participants must pre-register. (352) 401-3900.
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.
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.