On the Scene | December 2022

A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events

CHRISTMAS LIGHT SPECTACULAR
Florida Horse Park
Dec. 1-30

This drive-thru Christmas light show includes kids’ activities, live music, train rides, slides and inflatables and a visit with Santa. New this year is ice skating. Food trucks will be onsite. Ticket prices are per carload. For more info, see ocalamarion.com/events/ocala-christmas-light-spectacular

 

WINTER WONDERLAND AT WEC
World Equestrian Center
Dec. 1-24

An outdoor winter holiday celebration takes place Thursday through Sunday nights at the Grand Plaza. There will be more than 1 million lights, larger-than-life Christmas ornaments, carolers, balloon artists, face painting, live entertainment and Santa. This is a paid parking event and some experiences require purchase. See wecwinterwonderland.com

 

Symphony Under the Lights: Photo by Maven Photo + Film

SYMPHONY UNDER THE LIGHTS
Tuscawilla Park
Dec. 2

The Ocala Symphony Orchestra offers a free holiday concert with lively tunes, classic pieces and a surprise or two. Bring your chairs and picnic basket for a fall evening under the stars. The performance will include the Ocala Youth Symphony. Go to reillyartscenter.com

 

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
Downtown Ocala
Dec. 2

Enjoy the holiday lights and decorations, along with artists, performers and craftspeople. Food and snacks will be available from restaurants and vendors, and stores stay open late for shopping. For more info, ocalafl.org

 

DUNNELLON CHRISTMAS PARADE
Dunnellon
Dec. 3

The Dunnellon Christmas Parade, which has a theme of Christmas Across the Decades, will begin at  6pm at Dunnellon Middle School and travel south and east, ending on San Jose Boulevard. To learn more, go to dunnellonchamber.com 

 

URBAN COWBOY NIGHT
Quail Roost Arena, Citra
Dec. 3

Put on your cowboy boots and hats for this unique fundraiser for Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center. There will be dancing with the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, a mechanical bull for riding, silent auctions and a Dolly Parton look-alike contest. Suggested donation is $75 per person; for tickets, see stirrupsnstrides.com/events/urban-cowboy-night

 

LIGHT UP LAKE LILLIAN!
Lake Lillian, Belleview
Dec. 3

Vendor booths, arts and crafts, kids’ activities and more. Food options available. Bring your chairs and watch this annual holiday tradition. For more details, ocalamarion.com/events/light-up-lake-lillian2

 

POPS! GOES THE HOLIDAYS
Reilly Arts Center
Dec. 3 & 4

The Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert is an Ocala tradition. Holiday music and touching tributes make this a night to remember. Tickets are $15-$40; see reillyartscenter.com for more info. 

 

BELLEVIEW CHRISTMAS PARADE
Lake Lillian to 110th Street, Belleview
Dec. 4

This South Marion County tradition starts at Lake Lillian and Robinson Road and ends at 110th Street. For more info, belleviewchristmasparade.com

 

Photo of Magic courtesy of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses

HERO HORSE: A MAGICAL TRUE STORY
Marion Theatre
Dec. 7

Magic, a tiny celebrity therapy horse, will walk the red carpet (in a tuxedo) to her film debut. Hero Horse tells the stories of the Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses and premieres in Ocala before going out to film festivals across the U.S. General admission is $25. VIP tickets, $125, include a pre-show party, photo op, movie swag bag and more. Go to reillyartscenter.com/events/hero-horse-a-magical-true-story

 

THE NUTCRACKER BALLET
Reilly Arts Center
Dec. 7-9

The Dance Alive National Ballet performs this holiday classic as Clara meets and saves the Nutcracker Prince and they make a musical journey to the Kingdom of the Sweets to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy. Magical sets and sparkling costumes. Tickets are $10-$35 from reillyartscenter.com

 

RUN FOR THE RIBBONS THOROUGHBRED TRANSFORMATION EXPO
Florida Horse Park
Dec. 9-11

Thoroughbred horses coming off the job need new careers and Run for the Ribbons is a charitable group helping to train and place these equine athletes. This show will feature a variety of disciplines and $28,000 in prizes. For more info, runfortheribbons.org

 

NEVER GIVE UP ON COUNTRY CONCERT
World Equestrian Center, Ocala
Dec. 9

This benefit concert for the Travis Mills Foundation features Colt Ford and Kidd G, with headliner Jimmie Allen. A pre-concert party with Chris McNeil will have contests, food trucks, a parachute show and more. The foundation supports injured veterans and their families. Tickets are $78-$202. For more info, travismillsfoundation.org

 

Ocala Christmas Parade: Photo by Bruce Ackerman

OCALA CHRISTMAS PARADE
Silver Springs Boulevard to Tuscawilla Park
Dec. 10

This is one of the largest nighttime parades in the nation. This year’s theme is Hometown Christmas. For more info, ocalachristmasparade.org

 

ASSISTED LIVING: THE MUSICAL, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Reilly Arts Center
Dec. 17

The holiday version of Assisted Living: The Musical revisits the Pelican Roost Assisted Living Home, with a vaudevillesque show full of humor and Christmas and Hanukkah senior silliness. Tickets are $15-$35. See reillyartscenter.com for more info. 

 

GIVING GALA
Licciardello Farms, Summerfield
Dec. 17

The third annual gala will raise money for the Landon Yerk Memorial Scholarship. The casual indoor/outdoor party includes a raffle, live auction, tapas, drinks and more. RSVPs encouraged. For more info, call Madison Licciardello at (352) 653-7397.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE JAMBOREE
Morgan’s Music Junction, Summerfield
Dec. 29

Drinks, finger foods and more. Enjoy local talent in an intimate setting. Advance tickets are $17; $20 at the door. See morgansmusicjunction.com for more info.

 

ORANGE BLOSSOM OPRY NEW YEAR’S EVE
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
Dec. 31

The OBO Band will ring in the new year with a showcase of classic country and Southern rock tunes. Tickets are $27-$40 from obopry.com

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