On the Scene | January 2024

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

WEC OCALA WINTER SPECTACULAR
World Equestrian Center
January 3-7; 10-14; 17-21; 24-28 

This hunter/jumper show series will highlight a variety of divisions and class levels, ranging from pony classes, youth riders and adult amateur to Grand Prix level show jumping with big dollar prizes. The Grand Prix classes take place on Saturday nights and offer spectacular competitions in the world-class Grand Arena. Food and drink options onsite. Parking fees vary per event. For more info, worldequestriancenter.com

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
Downtown Ocala
January 5

The art walk season will continue with live music on the gazebo stage, buskers in the streets and artists with works on display and for sale. There also will be family art activities offered by local arts organizations. Downtown restaurants offer seafood, classic Southern cuisine, barbecue, steaks and more, and other snack and food options will be available. For more information, see bit.ly/first-friday-art-walk

KINDRED SPIRITS SANCTUARY TOURS
The Farm, Citra
January 6 & 20

This animal sanctuary cares for more than 200 residents saved from factory farming and offers tours twice a month, which last for about two hours. The suggested donation is $15 per person, which gives you the chance to visit the rescued cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, horses, turkeys, ducks and geese. No dogs allowed. For more information, visit kssfl.org/get-involved

OCALA POLO CLUB WINTER GAMES
Florida Horse Park
January 7, 14, 21 & 28

Consider a lively afternoon out with a visit to a polo match. Tailgating is available with free and paid options. Food trucks will be on site, or you can bring a picnic. There are often raffle prizes and friendly competitions for the best tailgate decorations based on the weekly theme (Beach Day, Superhero Day, and the like.) Leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, visit ocalapolo.com

MLK EVENTS
Multiple locations
January 13-15

Marion County will join the rest of the nation in honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a slate of events in Ocala: January 13th—A food drive will take place at the Second Bethlehem Baptist Association, there will be a prayer breakfast at the Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place and a wreath-laying ceremony at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. January 14th—An ecumenical service will be held at Fort King Presbyterian Church. January 15th—The MLK Day march will go from the downtown square to the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex and be followed by the Day in the Park event. To learn more, go to FB.com/profile.php?id=100081906943501

MARTIN LUTHER KING PARADE & GALA WILLISTON
Heritage Park and Williston Middle High School
January 13 & 15

A new celebration will come to Williston on January 13th, with a gala fundraiser that will include dinner, live music, auctions and raffles. Tickets are $30 per person and proceeds will provide scholarships for local students. The parade will take place January 15th, starting at Heritage Park and ending at Cornelius William Park, and is free to attend. For more information, visit the MLK Celebration-Levy County page at FB.com/groups/335697230479047

THE GRASS ROOTS & GARY PUCKETT/UNION GAP
Orange Blossom Opry, Summerfield
January 13 & 27

Dive back into the ‘60s with two bands from that era. The Grass Roots will perform on January 13th at 2:30 and 7pm. Their hits include Sooner or Later, Temptation Eyes and Midnight Confessions. Tickets are $34-$49. On January 27th, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap perform at 2:30 and 7pm. Expect to hear Young Girl, Woman Woman and Over You. Tickets are $54-$69. Check out obopry.com for more information.

YOUNG ARTIST COMPETITION: HONORS RECITAL
Reilly Arts Center
January 14

The 33rd annual recital is by finalists in the annual Young Artist Competition, in junior and senior divisions. Instrumental and voice artists will perform. Two winners will go on to perform in March with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $10 from reillyartscenter.com

DARK DESERT EAGLES: ULTIMATE EAGLES TRIBUTE
Circle Square Cultural Center
January 19

Recreating the look and sound of The Eagles in their heyday, expect to hear this band’s multitude of hits like Hotel California, New Kid in Town and Try and Love Again, songs from Joe Walsh as a solo artist and more. Tickets are $32-$36 per person. Go to csculturalcenter.com for more information.

RECOVERY EXPO
College of Central Florida
January 20-21 

The Friends of Recovery Marion will host this expo. There will be vendors and self-care exhibits. A silent auction will raise funds for the Lost and Found Club, which serves recovering people in Marion County. Unboxed Productions will present a live theater production of Bill, Bob, Lois and Friends: Voices of Recovery. Artist Andres Garcia will be painting live and will donating his artwork. For more information, visit landfclub.com

Camellia flowers, photos by Bruce Ackerman

OCALA CAMELLIA SOCIETY FLOWER SHOW
Ocala Golf Club
January 27-28

The annual flower show, which is free to attend, will offer hundreds of camellias on display, and some for sale. Local residents can enter flowers for judging at no charge. Flower entries start at 7am on Saturday and once the judging is finished the ballroom opens to the public at 1pm. Advice and presentations about growing camellias will be offered on both days, along with flower arrangements and raffles to win plants. For more information, visit fb.com/ocala-camellia-society-100719056688048

COMING UP:

JIM STAFFORD
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
February 4

The Missouri-born singer/songwriter will perform songs that feel like they have a Florida-focus, with titles such as Spiders and Snakes and Swamp Witch. Many of Stafford’s songs have a country vibe and he is a stellar classical guitarist. Tickets are $27-$42. Check out obopry.com for more information.

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