On the Scene – March 2022

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

3 | Live Oak International
Live Oak Plantation

One of the most exciting equine showjumping and combined driving tournaments in the world is returning to Ocala. The March 3rd – 5th event includes the AdventHealth Ocala Kid Zone, Audi Gainesville Biergarten, vendors and food trucks. For tickets, visit www.liveoakinternational.com

Croton Splash by Susan Martin

5 | Appleton Free First Saturday
Tour of Susan Martin’s “Garden Party”
Appleton Museum of Art

Free First Saturday returns to the Appleton Museum of Art on March 5 from 10am to 5pm. Visitors can enjoy free admission to the museum while admiring the permanent and special exhibitions on display. Explore the gallery, create art in the Artspace and purchase lunch from Big Lee’s barbeque food truck. Artist Susan Martin will present free tours at 11am and 2pm of her solo exhibition, “Garden Party,” featuring large-scale photorealist paintings of plant life. Visit appletonmuseum.org

5 | Habitat Ocala Strawberry Festival
McPherson Complex

The eighth annual Habitat for Humanity of Marion County’s Ocala Strawberry Festival returns from 9am to 5pm for what is sure to be a berry good time. The festival will include live music and entertainment, a kids’ zone with activities, more than 200 vendors and several booths selling fresh strawberries. Cruise on over to the Burnyzz car show to see some unique vehicles on display, such as antique tractors and a replica of the Ghostbusters car. Enjoy tasty food and beverages at the food court. The festival would not be complete without a pie eating contest. Proceeds will be used to build a new Habitat home.
Visit habitatocala.org/strawberryfestival

5 | The Florida Steeplechase
Florida Horse Park

For the first time in more than a decade, the Sunshine State will host a steeplechase—right here in the Horse Capital of the World. Spectators and competitors alike can enjoy a day of exhilarating thoroughbred racing action contested over fences. In addition to the races, the steeplechase is a unique social outing with a timeless atmosphere and invites ladies to dress in their race day best for the Odette Fashions on the Field competition. Florida’s oldest fox hunting club, the South Creek Foxhounds, will present a parade of hounds led by their mounted team. From a children’s pony race to exclusive hospitality marquees, the steeplechase has something for everyone.
Visit thefloridasteeplechase.com

6 | Ocala Veg Fest
Ocala Downtown Market

The fourth annual Ocala Veg Fest returns to Ocala on March 6th from 10am to 3pm. Dr. Will Tuttle, world-renowned presenter and author of the Amazon Best Seller The World Peace Diet, will join the festivities as the keynote speaker. Expert doctors, researchers and activists will discuss timely topics such as health, diet, animal welfare and the environment. Enjoy a showcase on the benefits of an eco-friendly, plant-based lifestyle, including animal rescues and nonprofits, live music and scrumptious vegan food. Visit ocalavegfest.com

10 | Ocala Ignite Luncheon
Klein Center, College of Central Florida

A group of Marion County professionals who have “a passion and deep desire to create a safe and loving community here in Ocala,” present the annual Ignite Premier Luncheon. Attendees can enjoy a delicious meal and silent auction to assist local beneficiary Project Hope. The luncheon begins at 11:30am. For tickets, go to https://bit.ly/3Jrr85l

12 | Truck O Deem-It!
Food Truck Competition
Tuscawilla Park

The family-friendly food truck competition will take over Tuscawilla Park to create Food Truck Alley. Enjoy local foods and beverages during the battle for Grand Champ Signature Dish. The Hayfire Group will take the stage with their “modern, southern-tinged sound.” A car show, kid-friendly activities and various vendors all help benefit Kids Central, Inc. Visit eventsdeemit.com

12 | Marion County Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion During the second weekend of March, the area’s largest all-in-one plant sale and garden expo returns. Shop Florida-friendly tropical trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs as well as vegetable plants and seeds. In addition to hourly gardening education sessions, Master Gardeners will answer plant questions at the mobile plant clinic. The festival will feature a wide variety of food trucks. Gates open at 8am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday. Visit fb.com/MarionCountyMasterGardeners

18 | Southeastern Pro Rodeo
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

Catch top rodeo action on March 18th and 19th during two jam-packed performances filled with exciting competition in saddle and bareback bronc riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, and the most dangerous eight seconds in any sport, bull riding. Gates open at 5:30pm, performances begin at 7:30pm. Visit ocalarodeo.com

19 |Four Chaplains Ceremony and Quarterly Memorial Program
Ocala-MarionCounty Veterns Memorial Park

The annual Four Chaplains Ceremony, to honor the selfless acts of four Army chaplains who died in the sinking of the United States Army Transport Dorchester, and the quarterly program to honor local veterans, will begin at 10am. Call (352) 671-8422.

19 | The Unfinished Concert
Reilly Arts Center

The Ocala Symphony Orchestra welcomes the winners of the Young Artist Competition as they take the stage along with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade and Schubert’s B minor symphony, The Unfinished. Performances begin at 7:30pm on March 19th and 3pm on March 20th. Visit reillyartscenter.com

19 | Down for Donuts 7
CrossFit Iron Legion

There will be fun for the whole family at this functional fitness competition to help raise awareness and funds for GiGi’s Playhouse in Gainesville, Fl—A Down Syndrome Achievement Center. There will be a silent auction, as well as coffee and donuts for everyone. Visit crossfitironlegion.com

25 | Photos with the Easter Bunny
Paddock Mall

The Easter Bunny is hopping back to Paddock Mall from March 25th to April 16th. Visit the Easter Bunny for a magical photo experience in his Enchanted Garden. Visit PaddockMall.com

26 | Marion County Day
McPherson Governmental Campus

Marion County Day is back for its third year. Celebrate historic Marion County from 10am to 2pm while learning about local nonprofit organizations and county agencies such as Marion County Fire Rescue and Public Works. Games, bounce houses and other family-oriented activities. Several local food vendors will be on-site and area entertainers and storytellers will perform throughout the day. Visit marionfl.org

29 | Ira Holmes International Film Series:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Appleton Museum of Art & CF Ocala Campus

The College of Central Florida’s Ira Holmes International Film Series continues with screenings of To Kill a Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, on March 29th at 2pm at the Appleton Museum of Art and at 7pm at the CF Ocala Campus. The fi lm presents its story through the eyes of children, as their father, a Depression-era, widowed lawyer, confronts racial injustice in the segregated South. Following the screenings, Dr. Gilbert B. Rodman, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Minnesota, will host a session via Zoom on March 30th at 12:30pm. Visit cf.edu/filmseries

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