On the Scene – February 2020

A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can't miss events.

Villages Balloon Festival

The Villages Polo Club
Feb 7-8 | Friday, 2-9pm; Sat, 6:30-9am & 2-9pm

Pilots launch colorful hot-air balloons into the sky for a fanciful sight not to be missed. Meet the balloon pilots at “balloon glows” each evening. Tethered rides, food trucks, vendors, a free kid’s zone, music and an antique car show are also slated. All balloon activities depend on favorable weather conditions. For tickets and dos and don’ts, visit www.thevillagesballoonfestival.com

Ocala Cattle Drive & Cowboy Roundup

Downtown Ocala and Tuscawilla Park

Celebrate Central Florida ranching and cattle history by watching real cowboys drive Florida cracker cattle through downtown to Tuscawilla Park. Once at the park, enjoy live music by Brett Bass and Melted Plectrum and watch the Six Gun Territory gunslingers. Craft vendors, food trucks, tractors and trailers, farm animals and more. www.ocalafl.org

Duck Derby

Tuscawilla Pond

Adopt a duck for a chance to win cash prizes at the Marion County Rotary Clubs’ inaugural Duck Derby fundraiser. Get your ducks for $5 per duck, $25 for a “Quack Pack” of six ducks and $100 for a “Flock” of 24 ducks. First prize duck “parent” gets $2,020; second place, $1,010; and third, $520. For more information, visit www.mydiscoverycenter.org

Dr. Jean Twenge at CF

CF Ewers Century Center

Generation Z researcher Dr. Twenge reveals her insights on the generation born after 1995. At this free public talk, she’ll give tips for finding a balance with technology and making time for activities that benefit physical and mental health to combat unhappiness, anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation. For more information, call (352) 854-2322, ext. 1485.

Abstract Spain Project Show Opening

8th Ave Gallery

After a whirlwind trip to Spain, visiting 12 cities in a month, artist/gallery owner Seth Benzel will unveil a series of abstract paintings inspired by his adventure. However, he doesn’t want you to get lost in the meaning of a painting.

“The meaning is not the important thing,” he says. Instead, he wants you to feel the emotion of a moment in time. “It is a representation of the emotion, the occurrences in life that are all around us.”

Benzel’s patrons fund his trips. He’s been to Dubai, Los Angeles and, this summer, aims to get inspired in Paris. His patrons track his travels on Instagram and Facebook and when he gets back, he completes a painting for each one of them, using acrylics and mixed-media on canvas, paper and wood.

This show will feature about 10 to 12 from the series, including a painting that will take up an entire wall, a first for Benzel.

For more information, call (518) 681-9347.

Winter Carnival

Trinity Catholic High School
Feb 20-23

This family-fun fundraiser features midway rides for all ages, from enchanting kiddie rides to exhilarating thrill rides, carnival games and fair food favorites. Carnival parking and admission are free. Games and rides extra. New: Armbands required for entry Saturday after 6pm. Carnival hours: 5-10pm Thursday, 5-11pm Friday, 11am-11pm Saturday and 11am-9pm Sunday. Visit www.trinitycatholichs.org/carnival for more information.


Ocala Winter Circuit

HITS Post Time Farm
Feb 4-9; Feb 18-23; Feb 25-March 1 | 8am-4pm

Grab lunch at the HITS Restaurant and find a grassy spot on the grounds to eat while watching some of the world’s best show jumping. www.hitsshows.com

Ocala Winter I Horse Trials

Florida Horse Park
Feb 6-9 | 8am

About 600 dressage, cross country and show jumping horses will be participating in the trials. Spectators welcome. www.flhorsepark.com

Majestic Oaks Ocala & Englert-Farren Sporthorses Schooling Jumper Show

Majestic Oaks Ocala
February 11 & 25 | 8am

Come watch riders practice stadium jumping. Fence poles start at ground level and go up to four feet. Food trucks will be on hand. Free entry for spectators. www.majesticoaksocala.com

Southern Draft Association Horse Pull

The Villages Polo Club

Watch 45 teams of muscular workhorses compete in pulling thousands of pounds. Tickets, $8 and $10 at the gate; children 12 and under, free. No pets. Rain or shine.


Hunt Country Horse Show

The Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale
Feb 29 & March 1 | 9am-5pm

Come see hunters and jumpers soar over fences, water obstacles, and solid jumps. Events take place at the Covered Arena, Fiber Arena and Racetrack Arena. Free. www.thegrandoaks.com


After Hours Concert: Chris McNeil

Appleton Museum of Art

Country music singer Chris McNeil “is a talented inspirational singer—his voice and his lyrics will touch your heart.” www.AppletonMuseum.org

First Friday Art Walk

Ocala Historic District

Stroll downtown shops, restaurants and art displays and meet local artists. Inverness-based The Mudds Jazz & Blues Band will perform.



Reilly Arts Center

From the high desert of New Mexico, Artrageous dance troupe combines fine art, music, singing, dancing and humor for an interactive art and music performance. www.reillyartscenter.com

HeArt in the Park

Ocala Tuscawilla Park

Bring the kids to create art in the park and the whole family can enjoy yard games and food trucks. This fundraiser benefits R.E.A.C.H., the Junior League’s project with Marion County Public Schools.

Season Reveal Party 2020-2021

Ocala Civic Theatre

Enjoy a sneak preview of songs and scenes from the 2020-2021 season at this first-ever reveal party. Space is limited; RSVP to (352) 236-2274. www.ocalacivictheatre.com


30th Annual Winefest

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
Feb 7-9 | 10am-5pm, Friday and Saturday; 11am-5pm, Sunday

Sip Lakeridge Winery’s full range of award-winning table wines, from dry to sweet, while enjoying live music on an outdoor stage. www.lakeridgewinery.com

Big Hammock Race Series Miles for Meridian 5K

Tioga Town Center, Newberry

All ages and skill levels are welcome to walk/run/roll through the Town of Tioga. The race benefits nonprofit Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. www.BigHammockRaceSeries.com

Chocolate & Cheese Festival

Kings Bay Park, Crystal River
Feb 8-9 | 10am-7​m & 10am-5pm

Food trucks bring their chocolate and cheese-themed menus, while beer and wine sales benefit Keep Citrus County Beautiful. Fleetwood Max tribute band plays Saturday.

Heart of a Hero Male Fashion Show

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

This fundraiser features a keynote speaker and a diverse group of local male heroes, from firefighters to high school vice principals. They appear in their uniform first and then model fashions by Dillard’s. “These guys put on a show, let me tell you,” says Tuesday May, one of the organizers. May’s husband Albert will emcee. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres served. Visit

www.facebook.com/GFWCGreaterOcala for more information.

2nd Annual Love for Life Event

Red White and Blues Farm, Williston

Live music and performers, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting and more. Bring the family and some chairs to enjoy the live entertainment. www.loveforlife.ticketleap.com

Silver River Knap-In and Prehistoric Arts Festival

Silver River Museum, Silver Springs State Park
Feb 15-16 | 9am-4pm

Artists demonstrate stone-tool making, pottery and ceramic arts, bone and shell carving, bow and arrow making and more. Food and craft vendors will be onsite.


Picnic Under the Stars

Sholom Park

Picnic under the twinkling stars while enjoying the acoustic pop sounds of Gypsy Sparrow. Pack your picnic basket and Sholom Park will provide a blanket. Register at www.masterthepossibilities.org

Southeastern Youth Fair

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion
Feb 21-29 | 8am

An agricultural event featuring livestock shows, auctions and judging, competitive exhibits, contests and competitions, entertainment, barbecue and food. New this year is a 5K race. www.seyfair.com

10th Annual Charity Auto Show

McPherson Government Complex

Marion County Tax Collector George Albright presents this event, which features around 200 cars and 25 trophies as well as kids’ activities. Funds raised will benefit Interfaith Emergency Services and local children’s and animal charities.  For more information, call (352) 368-8245.

Ocala Eye’s Night for Sight

Ocala Citizens’ Circle
6-8pm; Fun Run begins at 6:30pm

Tear off on this one mile glow-in-the-dark Fun Run throughout downtown Ocala, followed by an after-run celebration with live music and hands-on visual games and activities. Participants at this family-friendly event receive a complimentary vision screening. Donations are encouraged. Proceeds help fund eye exams and glasses for those with visual impairments. Visit www.ocalaeye.com/nightforsight for more information.

2020 Art Park Series | Beginning of Bolted Art

Tuscawilla Art Park
Feb 21-22 | 6-9pm

On Friday, tour 10 new sculptures, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, unique art experiences and musical performances by West Port High School Choir and Orchestra, as well as classical crossover rock musicians Cello Fury. Tickets, $25. Saturday, bring the family. Vote for your favorite. Visit www.ocalafl.org/performingarts for VIP tickets and more information.

Artist Talk: Billy Joe Hoyle

Appleton Museum of Art

Street photographer Billy Joe Hoyle and Appleton Curator of Exhibitions Patricia Tomlinson discuss Hoyle’s solo exhibition At Home and the World, on display through June 21st. Hoyle’s two decades of world travel, exploring diverse customs and beliefs, reveals an authentic look into the lives of his subjects. Free for Appleton members; included with museum admission fee for nonmembers. For more information, visit www.appletonmuseum.org


Date Time Event Venue
February 5 7:00 pm Bill Peterson as Rodney Dangerfield Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 6 7:30 pm Marc Cohn Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
February 7 7:30 pm Almost Abba Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
February 9 2:30 & 7:30pm Asleep at the Wheel Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 14 6:00 pm The Machine Performs Pink Floyd Rock Crusher Canyon Pavilion & Amphitheater, Crystal River
February 14 8:00-11:00pm Dueling Pianos The Lodge, Ocala
February 15 5:00 & 8:00pm The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash Savannah Center, The Villages
February 16 6:00 pm Celtic Tenors Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
February 16 7:00 pm Tom Petty-Damn The Torpedoes, Classic Albums Live Savannah Center, The Villages
February 18 & 19 5:00 & 8:00pm Stayin’ Alive-One Night of The Bee Gees Savannah Center, The Villages
February 19 7:00 PM Southern Fried Chicks comedy Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 20 5:00 & 8:00pm Comedian Bill Engvall The Sharon, The Villages
February 21 7:30 pm Tommy Mara and the Crests Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 22 2:30 & 7:30pm B.J. Thomas Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 23 2:30 & 7:30pm Rhonda Vincent Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 27 7:30 pm Clay Walker Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
February 28 7:30 pm Firefall Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 29 6:00 pm Jay White: The Ultimate Neil Diamond Tribute Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
February 29 7:00 pm The Black Jacket Symphony Presents Led Zeppelin IV Savannah Center, The Villages
February 29 7:00 pm Elvis Live in Concert, Featuring Cote Deonath and Riley Jenkins Rock Crusher Canyon Pavilion & Amphitheater, Crystal River
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