A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
The monthly event features artists, entertainers and more, all around the downtown square. Food and snacks will be available from downtown eateries and vendors. Stores stay open late for shopping. For more info, ocalafl.org
FARMLAND PRESERVATION FESTIVAL
Majestic Oaks Farm, Reddick
This annual celebration highlights farmland preservation and showcases the value of all kinds of farm activities. A tractor and horse parade starts off the event, which will include entertainment, a farmer’s market, farm animals, arts and crafts vendors, and educational exhibits. Foodies can enjoy barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream treats, homemade desserts and more. The event is free to attend. Go to bit.ly/3KQqRwx for details.
BRICK CITY BEER AND WINE FESTIVAL
Downtown Ocala Citizens’ Circle
This festival will offer beer and wine to sample and purchase, entertainment, a 50/50 raffle, a variety of activities and food trucks. There will be live music and Wind FM is sponsoring a Battle of the Bands. The Ocala Silver Springs and Ocala Sunset Rotary Clubs sponsor the event and proceeds will benefit Interfaith Emergency Services, Marion County Literacy Council and Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection. Tickets range from $15-$55; some include drink passes. For more info, see brickcitybeerandwinefest.com
CF THEATRE PRESENTS XANADU
Dassance Fine Arts Center
The stage will be transformed into a roller disco when CF Theatre presents Xanadu. The musical is based on the 1980 film, which starred Olivia Newton-John. CF’s production features a cast of 28 students, with an array of goddesses, sirens, stunt skaters and poi dancers. The musical score includes all the hits from the film. Performance times are 7:30pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 3pm Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for non-CF students and can be purchased by calling (352) 873-5810. Tickets are free for CF students, faculty and staff with valid I.D. For more information, visit CF.edu/VPAEvents.
LEVITT AMP MUSIC SERIES
Webb Field at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex
This renowned music series returns to Ocala with free weekly concerts through June. The series offers a variety of musical genres and showcases two artists per show. Admission is free and spectators can bring chairs, blankets and food. Food and drink vendors will be on-site as well. The Ocala Recreation Mobile will present activities for kids. For more info, ocalafl.org/levittamp
Historic District, Dunnellon
This annual festival celebrates the history of Dunnellon. This year’s event includes a car show, beauty pageant, cowboy shoot-out and pie-eating contest, plus music from The Jake White Band, Final Note and the Keith Caton Blues Band. Booths will include clothes, jewelry, artwork, paintings, handmade items, food and more. For info, see dunnellonchamber.com
HOT CARS & COOL CATS
Nassivera Farm, Highway 326
This fundraiser for the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary (EARS) in Citra offers up a car show, food options, live music all day, a 50/50 raffle, vendor booths and more. Free for spectators; car entries are $10. Trophies and prizes will be awarded. earsinc.net/news-events has more info.
EARTHFEST: CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY
This family-friendly event includes tree giveaways, a youth fishing derby, rock wall climbing, butterflies, eco-friendly vendors, live music and food trucks. The park has playgrounds, ball courts and lots of shaded walking trails. Free to attend; for more info, ocalafl.org
GYPSY LIVE HORSE SHOW
World Equestrian Center, Arena 3
Gypsy Vanners are gorgeous and exotic looking horses, with feathered legs, long manes and tails, and striking color combinations. They excel at all types of disciplines. This show will feature this light draft breed in classes including English equestrian, Western pleasure, trail/ranch and dressage, plus halter, liberty and driving. Food and drink options onsite; some parking fees may apply. More info at worldequestriancenter.com
75th ANNIVERSARY CHAMPIONS DIAMOND GALA
Circle Square Cultural Center
Presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association, this party features the accomplishments of Marion County’s horse trainers, owners, breeders and horses. Tickets, which start at $150, include dinner, a cocktail reception and awards ceremony. Learn more at ftboa.com
Circle Square Cultural Center
This comedian is also a “master of vocal gymnastics” and recreates an astonishing array of sound effects using his voice. From Jimi Hendrix performing the Star-Spangled Banner to a battle scene from Star Wars, Winslow will keep you entertained. Tickets start at $31; see csculturalcenter.com for more info.
8TH ANNUAL GARDEN SHOW AND SPRING FESTIVAL
Cedar Lake Woods and Gardens, Williston
Stroll among dozens of plant vendors, grab some eats from food trucks and enjoy live music from local musicians throughout the day. The $10 admission fee includes a self-guided tour. This century-old former lime rock quarry has been filled with lush tropical garden displays, waterfalls, ponds, a tortoise habitat, ducks, swans and even a greenhouse-protected succulent display. Bridges cross the quarry, paths wind through growing plants and you can enjoy the unique gardens at your own pace. For more info, cedarlakeswoodsandgarden.com