Ocala Events – December 2017

A Quick Q&A With Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett’s groundbreaking comedy series debuted in 1967 and went on to become one of the best-loved shows of all time. The legendary lady herself gave us the inside scoop on The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special, which airs December 3 from 8-10pm on CBS.

What does it feel like to be marking the show’s 50th anniversary?

 I just can’t believe it’s been 50 years. Where did it go?

What can fans expect on the special?

It’s like coming home. It’s the punctuation on what we did. We have a lot of fun clips. We had so many to choose from. We’ve chosen some really funny ones that maybe people haven’t seen since they aired and some that people want to see again and again.

We hear you have some amazing folks like Jim Carrey, Jane Lynch, Harry Connick Jr. and Kristin Chenoweth stopping by to help celebrate?

It’s so great! The people we have coming, I mean ‘Woof!’ We’re going to have guest stars on the show that are going to reminisce a bit about what they remember. We have Bernadette Peters, who was the first guest we signed on our show.

What don’t people know about the show?

We have been accused of breaking up on purpose, but that was not the case.

What do you think makes your show such an enduring classic?

We went for the laughs. We weren’t edgy. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a place for just good fun that the whole family can watch.

Films to Watch

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

December 15

A menacing darkness threatens beloved characters, old and new, in the next chapter of this epic saga—setting up a battle for the ages in the final film of the trilogy.

Pitch Perfect 3

December 22

The Bellas are back for one last chapter, reuniting for an overseas USO tour. Expect big laughs and some feel-good musical moments.

The Greatest Showman

December 25

No matter how you feel about the circus, this musical celebration inspired by P.T. Barnum’s visionary imagination is a family-friendly spectacle to behold.


Good Reads

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

By Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant 

Facebook COO and bestselling author Sheryl Sandberg has something profound to share about resilience—that indescribable quality that allows some people to experience life’s greatest traumas and come back stronger than ever. She joins forces with Adam Grant, a psychologist and friend, to explore deeply personal stories that offer powerful life lessons for handling grief and adversity. Although they acknowledge that no one can avoid misfortune, loss or heartbreak, they offer resilience as a compelling Option B.

Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives

By Leigh Gilmore
We are living through a momentous period in our history, when many women have chosen to step forward and pull back the curtain on the predatory behavior of men in power across many industries and government agencies. Gilmore’s book is essential reading for this moment, as it explores how women have historically been discredited and treated as tainted witnesses—ultimately finding themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believe what they say—when they have previously come forward.


Keep It Local

A Fight for Freedom: Attack on Fort King

December 2-3, 10am-4pm, 3925 East Fort King Street, fortkingocala.com

The city of Ocala and the Fort King Heritage Association have completed work on a full-scale replica of Fort King, on the spot it originally stood, at the Fort King National Historic Landmark and Visitor Center. Keifer Calkins, the city’s outdoor/historical resource program coordinator, spoke with us about the fort’s public opening.

What do you have planned? We are tying this grand opening to our annual reenactment and history festival: A Fight for Freedom: Attack on Fort King. This event will add context and provide an education to why this fort is so important historically to this area.

Why is it so important? The Seminole Wars have been much forgotten. This fort gives us the opportunity to revisit this history in a very real way. It opens up a dialogue about this time, about our country and the pain that, unfortunately, our past is built on. By reconstructing this fort and building this park, we confront the past, we ask it questions and we hopefully learn from it.

What will visitors experience? This event will tell the story not only of the fort but also the people affected by the Seminole Wars. Through first-person historical narrative, activities and demonstrations, visitors will be able to experience life in the 1800s. All sides of this very complex and costly war will be explored. There will be period vendors selling crafts and gifts, as well as food trucks to fill your stomach. At about 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, the event will climax with the reenactment of Osceola’s attack on Fort King. The reenactment will give visitors a sense of the danger and turbulence of the time.


Downtown To Dos

December 1 › First Friday Art Walk, downtown Ocala, 6pm

December 5, 7, 14, 19, 21 › Santa on the Square, downtown Ocala, 6pm

Arts, Crafts and Culture

Upcoming Exhibits At The Appleton › Mysteries of the Amazon: Visionary Artwork of Pablo Amaringo and His Students will feature approximately 95 paintings by Peruvian artist Pablo Amaringo and his students from the collection of Scott Olsen, Ph.D., on display through January 14. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.

Symphony Under the Lights (December 1) › A complimentary concert performed by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra will take place at Tuscawilla Park. The concert begins at 7:30pm at the Jenkins Auto Group Outdoor Stage. ocalafl.org or (352) 239-5888.

POPS! Goes The Holidays (December 2, 3) › This annual performance by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra will feature seasonal favorites along with the music of Mannheim Steamroller. Performances are held at the Reilly Arts Center and take place at 7:30pm on December 2 and 3pm on December 3. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606.

Night at the Museum (December 8) › The Discovery Center will host a family-friendly event featuring hands-on activities for children ages 5-9. Registration is $15 per child. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900.

The Nutcracker (December 8-17) › Marion Ballet Theatre will present their rendition of The Nutcracker at the Ocala Civic Theatre for multiple performances this month. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for children under 12. For a complete schedule of performances, visit ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party (December 9, 16) › Children will have the opportunity to meet the cast of the Marion Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker for a special tea party served on the set of the performance. Attendees are encouraged to wear their Nutcracker finery or favorite prince or princess costume and will participate in a dance class as well. Tickets are $10 for each adult and $9 for each child. Both events take place at 10am. ocalacivictheatre.com or (352) 236-2274.

Central Florida Master Choir Concert (December 10, 15, 17) › The Central Florida Master Choir will present their seasonal concert “A Holiday Wreath” in three performances this month. The December 10 performance will take place at the Countryside Presbyterian Church at 3pm, the December 15 performance will take place at the Reilly Arts Center at 7pm and the December 17 performance will take place at the Dunnellon Presbyterian Church at 3pm. Admission to the concerts is free, but a free-will offering is encouraged. cfmasterchoir.com or (352) 615-7677.

Outdoor & Athletic Endeavors

Group Bike Rides (Ongoing) › Brick City Bicycles offers group bike rides throughout the week and weekend. brickcitybicycles.com or (352) 369-9400.

Nature Hike (December 16) › A guided nature hike through Silver Springs State Park will take place the third Saturday of each month through May. Each hike will start from a different location in the park and focus on different plants and wildlife. Free with park admission. silversprings.com or (352) 236-7148.

Skating Rink (Through December 31) › The Let’s Skate Ocala ice rink is located at Tuscawilla Park this year and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-9pm, Fridays 5-10pm, Saturdays noon- 10pm and Sundays 1-6 pm. Admission is $5 per person for a 30-minute session. ocalafl.org or (352) 368- 5517.

Out of the Darkness Walk (December 2) › The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will host a walk at Jervey Gantt Park. Registration begins at 8:30am, and the walk begins at 10am. afsp.com or (352) 817-8972.

Reindeer Run (December 9) › The 40th annual Reindeer Run will take place prior to the start of the Ocala Christmas Parade. The race begins and ends at CenterState Bank, and T-shirts are guaranteed for the first 500 registered participants and a special 40th anniversary ornament is guaranteed for the first 250 registered participants. The event will also include a Rudolph Dash for young children and a beer tent with complimentary beer for those over age 21. ocalareindeerrun.com or (352) 304-3217.

Other Fun Stuff!

Ocala Health Events › A diabetes support group will be held December 6. A seminar discussing fall prevention will take place on December 8, and a spiritual wellness discussion will be held on December 13. All programs will be held at the Senior Wellness Community Center in Ocala. Advanced registration is required. ocalahealthsystem.com or (800) 530-1188.

Shakespeare in the Park and Renaissance Faire (December 2) › A Renaissance festival celebrating the work of Shakespeare will be held at Tuscawilla Park from noon-10pm. The festival will be both educational and entertaining and includes live performances throughout the day. ocalafl.org or (352) 362-8548.

Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger Hunt (December 2) › This second annual event will begin at Back to Health Chiropractic at 9:30am. Teams of four are needed to complete a series of hunts to gather means to complete as many random acts of kindness as possible. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call (352) 512-0530.

Santa’s Calling (December 5-7) › Santa and Mrs. Claus will make calls to good little boys and girls through this program presented by the City of Ocala. Parents must register in advance. ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8389.

Dunnellon Christmas Parade (December 2) › The annual Dunnellon Christmas Parade and Celebration will take place in downtown Dunnellon at 5:30pm. The celebration will include live entertainment, bounce houses, slides and snow. dunnellonchristmasparade.com or (352) 489-0099

Ocala/Marion County Christmas Parade (December 9) › This annual parade is considered the largest nighttime parade in Florida. The route begins at the McPherson Complex on SE 25th Ave. and travels west along Silver Springs Boulevard and ends on NE Eighth Ave. The event kicks off at 5:30pm. ocalachristmasparade.org or (352) 897-0198.

Doggone Good Reading Program (December 9, 16) › Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to read to a Humane Society of Marion County dog at 11am. Children will select a book to read, which they can then take home. Advance registration is required. thehsmc.org or (352) 873-7387 x204.

After Dark In the Park (December 15) › Tuscawilla Park will air a showing of Elf at 7:30pm. Admission is free, lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5517.

Tiara Ball (February24) › Join the Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research for their 32nd Annual Tiara Ball, the organization’s largest fundraising event, which raises money for cancer research and education in North Central Florida. The event will take place at Circle Square Cultural Center. ocalaroyaldames.org or (352) 622-7363.



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