A Quick Q&A With Gerrie Gerthe
If you’ve lived in Marion County long enough, you’ll probably remember the agricultural fair coming and going over the years. The original Peanut Festival/Marion County Fair last opened to the public in 1996 before a group of kids decided to take on the monumental task of once again putting on a county-wide fair in 2017. The non-profit organization Florida Kids Helping Kids began as a small group of kids looking to make a difference and has evolved into a group of very special area youth who make great contributions to their community and peers. Gerrie Gerthe, founder of Florida Kids Helping Kids, took some time to tell us a bit more about the youth group and upcoming Marion County Fair.
How did Florida Kids Helping Kids get its start? My daughter trained on a Relay for Life team a few years ago to raise funds for a charity of her choice. Some friends got involved, and it took off from there.
What kind of fundraising do the kids organize? It started with four kids and a hotdog cart. They put on small carivals to raise money for less-fortunate kids in the area and organized a lot of community projects.
Why bring back the Marion County Fair? We are the only youth group in the entire country to run a county-wide fair! We also filed to be our own fair organization, so these kids are definitely busy. The fair is really a community project. We don’t want to compete with the other fairs, just hold a fun event for the community.
Are the kids doing a bulk of the work to get the fair up and running? Five kids are basically doing it all right now, from maintaining the fields where it will be held to making signs for parking. It’s really amazing.
What can fair attendees expect? We will have creative art projects and showmanship classes, an alpaca and llama show, an “I Am Enough” pagent and a giant, 5-acre midway with helicopter rides on the weekends. The public doesn’t see how much work goes into it, but these kids are working hard to make this a great event.
Learn more › The Marion County Fair runs October 26 through November 4 in Belleview. To learn more about Florida Kids Helping Kids and the Marion County Fair, visit the fair’s Facebook page, marioncountyfairfl.com or florida-kids-helping-kids.com or call (352) 347-0883.
The Ocala Film Foundation’s Cinema Sunday allows attendees the rare opportunity to screen impactful, independent films at the historic Marion Theatre while engaging in discussion and dialogue with the filmmaker. Each independent film, aired monthly, features an educational program followed by a Q&A session directly with the filmmaker. The Ocala Film Foundation was selected as one of only five screening partners in the state to take part in the Tour of Independent Film Makers. This month’s selection, Las Sandinistas!, tells the untold tales of the women involved in combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinistas revolution. All screenings will take place at 3:30pm. For a complete listing of upcoming films, visit ocalafilmfoundation.org.
Palaces On Parade
October 18-21, 25-28
Tour some of the area’s finest homes during the annual Marion County Building Industry Association’s Fall Parade of Homes. Top trends in interior design and layout will be highlighted throughout the various homes selected for this year’s fall tour. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or just looking for remodeling insight, there’s something for everyone to take in along the route. For a complete list of homes or more information, visit mcbia.org.
Shoppers on the Run
Head to the Paddock Mall sans your shopping list but with running shoes laced up. The first annual Marion County Halloween Run will feature a 5K and 10K option followed by a post-run after party with food trucks, live entertainment, costume contests and more. The race is No. 3 and a designated “Super Race” in the Big Hammock Race Series, where runners earn vaulauble points toward year-end awards. The 10K kicks off at 4:15pm followed by the 5K at 4:45. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Children’s Alliance. For more information or to register, visit the Big Hammock Race Series Facebook page or bighammockraceseries.com.
Calling All Brides!
The 2018 Ocala Style Bridal Showcase, presented by The Lady Jeweler, will be held at the College of Central Florida’s Klein Center on October 24 from 5-8:30pm. Brides-to-be can visit with close to 100 vendors covering all aspects of the wedding industry, from venues, photographers and cakes to gowns, formalwear and catering. Food, wine and dessert samples will be available, and models will be showing off the latest wedding gown fashions throughout the evening. For the first 50 brides through the door, special VIP bags loaded with samples and other goodies will be waiting, and throughout the evening, attendees will have the opportunity to win some great prizes, including weekend getaways, home and kitchen products, small appliances, high-end purses and so much more. Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $10 by visiting ocalastyle.com or at the door for $15 (cash only). Visit the Ocala Style Facebook page at facebook.com/ocalastyle to stay up to date on all the happenings surrounding the upcoming event. For vendor or sponsorship information, call (352) 732-0073.
Downtown To Dos
October 5 › First Friday Art Walk, downtown Ocala, 6pm
October 5 › After Dark in The Park Movie Series, Citizens’ Circle, 8pm
October 6 › Ocala Latin Music Festival, Citizens’ Circle, 11am
October 11 › Concert on the Square, downtown Ocala, 8pm
October 13 › Thrill the World Ocala, downtown Ocala, 4pm
Upcoming Events In The Villages
October 1-2 › Menopause the Musical, Savannah Center
October 6 › An Evening With Pete Rose Live, Savannah Center
October 7 › Villages Philharmonic Orchestra Opera Gala, The Sharon
October 10 › There’s No Business Like Show Business, Savannah Center
October 12 › Howie Mandel, The Sharon
October 14-16 › Sweeney Todd, Savannah Center
October 17 › George Thorogood and The Destroyers Rock Pary Tour, The Sharon
October 20 › October Cruise In Car Show, Spanish Springs Town Square
October 25-26 › The Modern Gentlemen, Savannah Center
Arts, Crafts and Culture
Appleton Museum Of Art Exhibits › Myth, Mother, Muse: The Paintings of Matthew Bennett explores his relationships with women as an artist, friend and husband. The exhibit runs through November 25. Flourish: The Ceramic Artistry of Beth Garcia features flower-like sea anemone forms that create fantastical imagery. The exhibit runs through January 13. La Dispora: Keepers of Heritage includes paintings, prints, sculptures and mixed media by members of the Puerta Rican Dispora Orlando. The exhibition runs through January 20. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Internship Opportunity (Ongoing) › The Marion Civic Chorale will offer an internship oppportunity to high school singers. Students will be paid an hourly rate to rehearse and perform with the chorale at their annual Veterans Day and Christmas concert performances. Application materials are available from area high school choral directors. marionchorale.org or (352) 537-8833.
Appleton After Hours (October 4) › The Appleton Museum will host an evening event featuring live entertainment, samplings from local restaurants and displays from the Ocala Art Group. Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455 ext. 1831.
International Film Series (October 9, 23) › The Appleton Museum will present two international films this month. The Second Mother will air on October 9, and The Fencer will air on October 23. Both films will begin at 2pm and are free for Appleton members and included with museum admission for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 873-5808.
Figurative Painting Workshop (October 11) › The Appleton Museum will host a special workshop featuring visiting artist Pedro Brull. Students will examine how light affects objects and create their own depictions. The workshop will run 1-4pm and is $50 for members and $75 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Student Shows (October 12-13) › Students from West Port High School will present a number of student-directed one-act plays at the school’s performing arts center. The shows begin at 7pm, and tickets are $7. (352) 291-4000.
Dunellon Concert Singers Performance (October 21) › The Dunnellon Concert Singers present Songs From The Big Band Era at 3pm at the First Congregational UCC Church in Ocala. Admission is free; donations accepted. (352) 419-8796.
Inspired Speakers Series (October 21) › The Appleton Museum will host Jill Sonke of the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine. The presentation will explore the link between art and health. The event will run 2-4pm, and admission is free for Appleton members and CF students and $10 for nonmembers. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
Macey Mac Concert (October 25) › Macey Mac will peform live at the Marion Oaks Auditorium. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Pre-sale tickets are $5 and $8 at the door. The concert is a cash-only event. Doors open at 6pm; show starts at 7pm. (352) 438-2830.
Ocala Arts Festival (October 27-28) › The annual Ocala Arts Festival will be held in downtown Ocala from 10-5pm. The event features 155 professional art displays, live entertainment, food trucks, a student art show and more. Admission is free. fafo.org or (352) 867-0355.
Craft Show (November 3) › St. John Lutheran Church will host a craft show featuring handmade arts and crafts, bake sale, lunch and door prizes. The event will run 8am-2pm, and proceeds benefit the church, school and missions. (352) 629-1794.
Rainbow Springs Art Festival (November 17) › The Rainbow Springs Art Festival will take place in historic downtown Dunnellon from 10am-4pm. The event will include numerous arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, food vendors and more. Artist booths are still available. For more information, visit the Rainbow Springs Art Festival Facebook page or call (352) 445-8547.
Outdoor & Athletic Endeavors
Marion County Senior Softball Fall League (Ongoing) › The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department will host a fall softball league for men over age 55 and women over age 50. Games will take place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Ralph Russell Park. Registration is $25. marionparksrec.org or (352) 671-8560.
Archery Classes (Ongoing) › The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department will host a series of archery classes for adults and children. Beginner and intermediate courses will be offered. marionparksrec.org or (352) 8871-8560.
Group Bike Rides (Ongoing) › Brick City Bicycles offers group bike rides throughout the week and weekend. brickcitybicycles.com or (352) 369-9400.
Basic Wild Caving Experience (Ongoing) › The Brick City Adventure Park will host a beginner caving experience for ages 8 to adult the first Saturday of the month at 9am. The event requires strenuous physical activity, and participants require long pants, gloves and sturdy footwear. Caving gear will be provided. Registration is $35 per person. marionparksrec.org or (352) 671-8560.
Kayak and Paddleboarding (Ongoing) › The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department will host numerous kayak and paddleboard outings each month, including morning, evening and beginner sessions. marionparksrec.org or (352) 671-8560.
Audubon Bird Hike (October 5, November 2) › The Marion Audubon Society will host a monthly hike from the Fort King National Historic Landmark. The hike will run 8-10am and is free and open to the public. ocalafl.org or (352) 622-2850.
Evening Walk (October 6) › An evening walk will be led by the City of Ocala Park Rangers from 6-8:30pm. The walk will leave from the Heritage Nature Conservatory, and rangers will discuss native owls and bats. The event is open to all ages, and registration is free. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5533.
Adult Basketball League (October 9-November 15) › An adult basketball league will be held at the E.D. Croskey Recreation complex for ages 18 and over. The league will host play Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9pm. Registration is $15. ocalafl.org or (352) 401-3920.
Ride for the Cure (October 13) › The Sun County Trailblazers will host a poker trail ride at the Landbridge Trailhead. Registration begins at 8:30am, and riders can ride at will and return at noon for a BBQ lunch. Registration is $30 and includes the ride, one poker hand and lunch. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. (352) 422-4706 or (352) 272-8707.
Shining Sneaker (Through November 30) › A low-impact cardio walking/running program will be held at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Complex Monday through Friday at 9am for ages 17 and older. The prorgram is free and open to the public. ocalafl.org or (352) 401-3920.
Lillian Bryant Fitness Club (Through October 8) › A walking group will meet Mondays at 8:30am at Lillian Bryant Park. The program is free for adults ages 18 and older. ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8389.
Marathon Kids Running Program (Through October 11) › A running program for children ages 6-18 will be held at the Lillian Bryant Recreation Complex Mondays at 6pm. The group will explore various running/walking routes throughout Ocala. ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8389.
Interpretive Nature Walks (October 3, 17) › Walkers will meet at Brick City Adventure Park at 8:30am to travel to walk location. October’s walks will be held at Ross Prairie on October 3 and the Landbridge on October 17. Resgistration is $2. marionparksrec.org or (352) 671-8560.
Snacks and Facts (October 17) › Fish with the Ocala Recreation and Parks rangers at the Conservation Center in Silver Springs. The rangers will teach proper techniques and discuss the different species of native fish. The program runs from 9am-3pm, and pickup is at 8am at the Eighth Avenue Adult Recreation Center. Registration is free. (352) 629-8548.
Other Fun Stuff!
Ocala Health Events › A diabetes support group will be held October 3, and a gall bladder seminar will take place October 5. A back pain workshop will take place October 10, and a thyroid function seminar will be held October 19. All programs will be held at the Senior Wellness Community Center in Ocala. Advanced registration is required. ocalahealthsystem.com or (800) 530-1188.
Public Library Programs (Ongoing) › The Marion County Public Library System hosts a number of programs for children, teens and adults. marioncounty.org or (352) 368-4508.
ESL Classes (Ongoing) › Free English as a second language classes will be held at the First Baptist Church of Ocala Wednesdays at 6pm. Three levels of courses are available, and child care is offered. (352) 629-5683.
Life Skills Program (Through November 30) › A life skills program will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays for kids ages 10-18 at the Lillian F. Bryant Community Center. The program will focus budgeting, interview skills, hygiene and more. ocalafl.org or (352) 629-8389.
Adult Education Courses (Ongoing) › Master the Possibilities will host a number of courses and seminars this month, including the future of NASA, remembering 9/11, an American bald eagle seminar as well as many others. masterthepossibilities.org or (352) 861-9751.
After Dark in the Park Movie Series (October 5) › The City of Ocala will host this family-friendly event at Citizens’ Circle with a showing of the film The Pursuit of Happyness. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase, and guests are asked to bring a lawn chair or blanket. The event is free. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5540.
Corn Maze Festival (October 5-November 4) › Timberline Farm in Belleview will host its annual Corn Maze Festival Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through November 4. The festival features music, pony rides, face painting, vendors and more. timberlinefarms.net or (352) 454-4113.
Ocala Pride Festival (October 6) › The annual Ocala Pride Festival will be held at Tuscawilla Park from 11am-7pm. The festival is free and open to the public. ocalafl.org or (352) 426-2263.
Bump, Baby and Beyond Expo (October 7) › The 4th Annual Bump, Baby and Beyond Expo will be held at the Hilton Ocala from 10am-3pm. The event features numerous baby and child vendors, demonstrations, activities and more. General admission is $10; VIP tickets are $35. bumpbabybeyondexpo.com.
Fish Fry and Classic Car Fundraiser (October 12) › The Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center will host a fried fish meal and classic car show from 5-7pm. The event will also feature live entertainment, giveaways and an auction. Admission is $10. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5517.
Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial (October 12) › A memorial service for firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty will take place at the Florida State Fire College. The ceremony begins at 9:30am, and admission is free. (352) 369-2815.
Programs In the Parks (October 12, 26) › A free natural resource program will take place each month at a different area park. October’s programs, Silent Fliers and A TREEmendous Day, will both be held at Scott Springs park at 10am. Participants will learn about owls native to the area on October 12 and discuss different trees and partake in a scavenger hunt on October 26. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5533.
Outreach Event (October 13) › The Draw All Men Ministries will present a mini concert and preaching event on the stage at Tuscawilla Park. The event will be held 11am-4pm, and admission is free and open to the public. ocalafl.org or (352) 300-6653 or (352) 553-9695.
Historic Homesteading (October 13) › The Fort King National Historic Landmark will host a broom-making workshop from 10am-noon. Participants will create their own broom from traditional and native materials. fortkingocala.com or (352) 368-5533.
Ocala Health Harvest Fest (October 13) › Ocala Health will host a family-friendly festival located in the field across from West Marion Community Hospital. The event will feature bounce houses, a pumpkin patch, potato sack races, a petting zoo, food trucks and more. For more information, visit the Ocala Health Facebook page. (352) 401-1158.
Grand Affair (October 13) › The Centers will host a fundraising event featuring live entertainment, dinner, a silent auction and more. The event will be held at the Circle Square Cultural Center beginning at 5:30pm. Tickets are $85. thecenters.us or (352) 291-5419.
Fort King Haunted Trail and Movie (October 17) › The Fort King Historic Landmark will host a family-friendly haunted trail complete with candy stations and spooky tricks. The film The Addams Family will air on the outdoor screen. The event runs 8-10pm. ocalafl.org or (352) 368-5517.
Fort King Lecture Series (October 19) › A different monthly lecture focusing on the environmental, social and historical issues of Fort King and the Seminole Wars will take place at the Fort King Historic Landmark. fortkingocala.com or (352) 368-5533.
Spooktacular Bootastic (October 19) › The Marion Oaks Community Center will host this free event featuring safe trick-or-treating, games, music and more. Food and beverages will be available for cash-only purchase. The event runs 6-8pm. (352) 438-2830.
McIntosh 1890’s Festival (October 20) › The anual McIntosh 1890’s Festival at Van Ness Park will feature over 280 vendors, demonstrations, children’s activities and much more. Admission is free, and the event runs 8am-5pm. friendsofmcintosh.org or (352) 591-4038.
Parents’ Night Out (October 20) › Parents are invited to leave children ages 8-12 at the Discovery Center for an evening of fun, science-based activities while they enjoy a concert at the Reilly Arts Center. The event will run 7-10pm tickets are $15 with a ticket to the concert or $20 for non-concertgoers. Pizza and drinks will be served. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900.
Stories Under the Stars: Phantoms in the Fort (October 20) › The Fort King National Historic Landmark will host a storytelling event outdoors around a fire. The stories will get spookier as the night progresses. Seating is limited, and participants are encouraged to bring their own chairs. The event will run 7-9pm and is free for the public. (352) 368-5535 or (352) 438-2500.
Owl-Ween (October 21) › The Avian Reconditioning Center will host a talk and presentation about the native owls and raptors of the area. The event will be held at Carney Island at 4pm and features owls, hawks and raptors, children’s craft activity, eco tram tours and refreshments. Registration is $3 plus park entrance fee. marionparksrec.org or (352) 671-8560.
Dining in the Dark (October 26) › The 5th annual Dining in the Dark, hosted by Florida Center for the Blind, will take place at Hilton Ocala from 5-9pm. The event features a dinner served in total darkness to raise awareness about vision loss. This year’s event will also feature a Dining in Dim service as well. Tickets are $75 per person, $140 per couple. flblind.org or (352) 873-4700.
Ocala Championship Wrestling (October 27) › Ocala Championship Wrestling will host a wrestling event at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center. The event will run 7-9pm. ocalafl.org or (352) 292-2900.
TEDxOcala (November 3) › TEDxTalks bring together people from around the world and around the corner. This year’s event will be held at the Reilly Arts Center from 10:30am-4:30pm. The theme, It’s Time, will feature a number of speakers presenting short, powerful talks revolving around education, customer service, the arts, mental illness and much more. To learn more about the event and this year’s presenters, visit the TEDxOcala Facebook page or visit tedxocala.com.
Marion County Chili Cook-Off (November 3) › Now in its 37th year, chili afficianados will make their way to the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion hoping to compete for top prize. Attendees can sample and vote for their favorite concoctions, and the annual dessert contest will feature numerous creative confections. The event willl be held from 10am until 5pm, with proceeds benefitting The Cornerstone School. marioncountychilicookoff.com or call (352) 351-8840.