On the Scene – March 2020

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

Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Stone Creek Golf Club

The Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus group invites you to hit the links and support local Marion County charities. Come early for coffee and donuts and enjoy a buffet lunch. Registration includes golf with cart, putting, longest drive and closest to the pin challenges with prizes including an iPad, airline tickets and $10,000 cash.

Email Fred Roberts at froberts7@cfl.rr.com for more details.

Santos Fat Tire Festival
Santos Trailhead
March 5-8

Whether you ride the Epic 50 or the new Indigo Flow trail, join a group ride, tune up your bike at a free clinic or just shop 100 bicycle-related vendor booths, the Fat Tire Festival is Ocala’s cycling event of the year. Riders of all skill levels are invited for a weekend of mountain biking fun. Visit www.santosfattire.com for more information.


Live Oak International
Live Oak Stud
March 5-7

The world’s top show jumping and driving competitors come to Ocala for this one-of-a-kind equine event. Saturday’s cross country event is nonstop action with horses and carriages speeding through water hazards and a maze of obstacles. Sunday’s Grand Prix show jumping event features Olympic medalists and is part of the Longines FEI World Cup. Visit www.liveoakinternational.com for tickets and more information.

7th Annual Habitat Ocala Strawberry Festival
McPherson Complex

Come for the strawberries and stay for the fun. The annual fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Marion County offers a variety of treats made with Plant City strawberries as well as berries to purchase and take home. This free family event will include a pie-eating contest, games, rides, a BMX show and live music. To learn more, visit www.habitatocala.org/strawberry-festival

Florida SpringsFest 2020
Silver Springs State Park
Mar 7-8 | 10am-4pm

Celebrate the cultural richness and environmental significance of our springs. Bring the family to meet mermaids, enjoy live music, see local art and learn about the park’s history. Games, tours, exhibits and activities are included with park admission, and attendees can enjoy the famous glass bottom boat tours for half price. www.thefriendsofsilversprings.org

10th Annual St. Paddy’s Day 5K
Citizens’ Circle, Ocala

The final Big Hammock Race Series Super Race invites runners to wear their lucky green leprechaun costumes and run through downtown Ocala. Hosted by United Way of Marion County, this race raises funds for Youth United Way, the organization’s program for high school juniors and seniors to volunteer and learn about fundraising and community advocacy. www.bighammockraceseries.com

The Horse Capital Parade
Downtown Ocala

Don’t miss the “Horse Capital of the World’s” annual equine parade to welcome the Live Oak International riders and drivers. All breeds and disciplines come together for an equine showcase ending with the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales. Come early or stay after the parade for the beer garden with live music, horse petting area and vendor village. For more information, visit www.ocalafl.org

SoZo Kids Benefit
St. Timothy Catholic Church

Proceeds from a Senior Opportunity Zone Conference will benefit the Sozo Kids program to help disadvantaged children living in the Ocala National Forest. The event will include info sessions, lunch, drawings and guest speaker Bobby Goldsboro, a noted singer/songwriter and artist. $40 donation; order tickets at www.seniorzone.org

Natural Foods & Sustainability Festival
Crones’ Cradle Conserve Foundation

Sample natural foods prepared by area chefs, learn about organic gardening and cooking, and shop native plants and local art while enjoying live music at this pastoral organic farm, ecological preserve and retreat center. For more information, visit www.cronescradleconserve.org

79 for 70
Ocala Civic Theatre
Mar 29-April 2

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Ocala Civic Theatre will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous theatrical performance with a 79-hour marathon beginning at 7pm on March 29 and ending at noon on April 2. Actors will perform selections from hundreds of productions. Community groups can help fundraise by securing pledges for their time spent in the audience. For more details, visit www.ocalacivictheatre.com

Women Wine Wednesday
Brick City Center for the Arts

Chefs Vicky Colas and Natacha Henry will create a multi-course dinner paired with a guided wine tasting by Napa Valley’s Caymus Vineyards. www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com

Flavors of Florida
Circle Square Cultural Center

Enjoy Florida’s diverse culinary delights—from ranch, sea and farm, paired with Florida beers, at this dinner event featuring popular local chef Randal White. www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com

Una Noche en Argentina
Location revealed upon ticket purchase.

A food and wine menu created around Argentina’s Italian and Spanish influences is sure to include some choice beef. Be warned, attendees may have a desire to tango! www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com

Grill Clinic with Jose Juarez
and Rashad Jones
Trilogy Salted Brick

The chance to prepare lunch with these local grill superstars is sure to sell out, so get your tickets early! www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com

Feast at the Farm
Carolyn Wilson’s Farm

Share in this memorable multi-course dinner served under the stars at a picturesque thoroughbred farm. www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com

Grand Tasting
Bridlewood Farm

The festival culminates in this extravaganza of chefs, winemakers, mixologists and culinary vendors, and the chance to mingle with other foodies while enjoying spectacular food, drinks and live music. www.ocalaculinaryfestival.com


HITS Winter Circuit Ocala Winter Festival
HITS Post Time Farm
March 1-22

Shows run all month long, with the Ocala Winter Finals for hunters, Ocala Winter Celebration for hunters and jumpers, culminating with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. www.hitsshows.com

FTBOA 75th Anniversary Emerald and Gold Gala
Circle Square Cultural Center

The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association honors champion thoroughbreds with a cocktail reception, dinner and awards ceremony. Silent and live auctions benefit Florida Thoroughbred Charities. www.ftboa.com

Special Olympics Florida State Equestrian Championships
Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale
March 20-21

Cheer on Special Olympics athletes as they compete in dressage, barrel racing, showmanship and drill team events. Spectators are welcomed at this free competition. www.thegrandoaks.com

Famous Horsey Yard Sale
Tack Shack of Ocala
March 21, 8am-6pm and March 22, 9am-4pm

The back parking lot of the “horse lovers’ candy store” becomes an equine flea market featuring used tack, stable equipment and all kinds of horsey items. www.tackshackocala.com

Polo at the Park
Florida Horse Park

Enjoy the sport of kings as a polo match spectator. Tailgating is encouraged at this family-friendly event featuring local equines and players. www.teamresolutepolo.com


The Great Gatsby
CF Dassance Fine Arts Center
March 5-7, 7:30pm and March 8, 3pm

The College of Central Florida Theatre presents the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic in all its glamourous, decadent, Roaring ‘20s splendor. For tickets and more information, call (352) 873-5810.

First Friday Art Walk
Ocala Historic District

Stroll Ocala’s historic district to view and shop local art, bring the kids to create their own artwork and enjoy live music on the square. www.ocalafl.org

Father of the Bride
Ocala Civic Theatre
March 12 – April 5

Experience love and laughter live on stage in this heartwarming and hilarious tale of Stanley Banks’ preparations for his daughter’s wedding.  www.ocalacivictheatre.com

Gainesville Native American Festival
Alachua County Fairgrounds
March 20-22 | 10am-5pm

Celebrate Native American art, culture and history with a living history village, traditional native food, primitive skills demonstrations, traditional music and dancing, and handmade arts and crafts. For details, visit www.facebook.com/GNAfest

Old Florida Celebration of the Arts
Downtown Cedar Key
Apr 4, 10am-5pm and Apr 5, 10am-4pm

For the 56th year, art takes over downtown in this quaint Gulf Coast island town. View art by more than 120 artists at this juried art festival. www.cedarkeyartsfestival.com


Roaring ‘20s: Marion Go Red for Women
Circle Square Cultural Center

The American Heart Association hosts this evening of dinner, dancing, entertainment and a silent auction to raise awareness of heart disease in women. www.heart.org

International Women’s Day Celebration
Appleton Museum of Art

Women are invited to enjoy an afternoon of reflection, relationships and rewards at this annual event. Hosted by Ollin Women International, this is part of a worldwide collective celebration. For ticket information, visit www.ollinwomen.org

2nd Annual Ocala Veg Fest
Ocala Downtown Market

Savor a variety of delectable vegetarian dishes from food vendors, shop sustainable products and learn more about plant-based nutrition from speaker Dr. Michael Klaper. www.ocalavegfest.org

Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion
March 14, 8am-4pm and March 15, 9am-4pm

Purchase plants, accessories and garden décor, learn about a variety of gardening topics from the experts, and bring the family to the kids gardening zone. www.marioncountyfl.org

Ante Up Against Cancer
Oxford Downs, Summerfield

Play real poker for real cash and support cancer research at the UF Health Cancer Center. Enjoy free beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, raffle prizes and live music. For buy-in and ticket information, call (352) 347-2273.

5th Annual Champions for Champions Celebrity Dinner
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

Meet NFL alumni, enjoy dinner and participate in a silent auction to support this charity that provides inclusive programs and services for people with special needs and their families.  www.championsforchampions.org

Festival Latino Downtown Ocala
Citizens’ Circle

Experience Latin culture with native food, live music and activities for the family at this free festival. Follow Festival Latino Downtown Ocala on Facebook for more details.

7th Annual Super Hero Autism Fun Walk
Sholom Park

The free family fun will include sack races, games, live music, entertainment and a costume contest. Proceeds will fund autism programs and services. www.outreachautismservicesnetwork.com

Marion County Day
McPherson Complex

This annual community festival tells the story of Marion County with food, games and activities for the whole family. www.marioncountyfl.org

Ocala GCM Food Festival
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion
April 2 | 5-9pm

Celebrate the opening of Gift Certificates and More (GCM) with food from some of our community’s best eateries as well as beer, wine, music and kids’ activities. www.facebook.com/GCMocala


Date Time Event Venue
March 5 7:00 pm String Fever The Sharon, The Villages
March 6 6:00 pm Cote Deonath as Elvis Presley at Retro Sounds Ocala Downtown Square, Ocala
March 6 7:00 pm The Ultimate ELO Experience Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
March 7 3:00 pm Ocala Symphony Chorus Celestial Reflections Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
February 14 6:00 pm The Machine Performs Pink Floyd Rock Crusher Canyon Pavilion & Amphitheater, Crystal River
March 7 5:00 & 8:00pm Andy Cooney Savannah Center, The Villages
March 7-9 7:00 pm Four Divo The Sharon, The Villages
March 10-12 7:00 pm The Producers Savannah Center, The Villages
March 11 7:30 pm Jim Breuer The Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
March 14 7:00 pm Groovin’ With Gene Cornish of The Rascals Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
March 15 7:30 PM Art Garfunkel: In Close-Up The Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
March 16 5:00 & 8:00pm Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire Savannah Center, The Villages
March 19 7:00 pm Paul Anka The Sharon, The Villages
March 20 7:30pm Paula Poundstone Phillips Center, Gainesville
March 20 5:00 & 8:00 pm The Platters Savannah Center, The Villages
March 21 7:30 pm Ocala Symphony Orchestra The Life and Times of Beethoven Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
March 24-26 Times Vary Grease Savannah Center, The Villages
March 28 7:30 pm Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. The Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
March 28 9:30am - 7:30pm The Villages Jazz Festival Savannah Center, The Villages
March 28 7:00 pm Ballet Folclorico Nacional de Mexico The Sharon, The Villages
March 28 7:00 pm Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience Rock Crusher Canyon, Crystal River
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