On the Scene | March 2023

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

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
Downtown Ocala
March 3

Enjoy the ambience of a festival and support local businesses and artists at the same time. The downtown square stage will feature live music and buskers will also play on the streets. Artists will display their works and food and snacks will be available from a variety of vendors and downtown eateries. Stores will be open late for shopping. For more info, ocalafl.org

Hayden Hardin, by Meagan Gumpert

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
McPherson Governmental Complex
March 4

From strawberry shortcakes to strawberry pies, or just a handful of plump and delicious strawberries, you can enjoy this tasty fruit and plenty of other food options. The event includes a car show, vendor booths, activities for kids, live music and entertainment, including The Petty Experience and BXM Trickstars. The festival is free to attend. Parking is a $5 donation and proceeds will be split between Habitat for Humanity of Marion County and the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. See habitatocala.org for more info.

NIGHT AT THE FARM
CF Vintage Farm Campus
March 4 

This year’s festivities will include Cajun-inspired small bites, live music and more. Hosted by the CF Foundation, tickets are $125 per person or $200 per couple and proceeds help establish scholarships at CF. For more information, visit NightAtTheFarm.org

FLORIDA SPRINGSFEST
Silver Springs State Park
March 4-5

For a fun day out in nature, trek out to the Florida SpringsFest and enjoy educational exhibits and learn about history, science and sustainability. Groove to live music and chow down at local food trucks. Admission is $2 and gives you access to the main park, the Silver River Museum and the option for glass-bottom boat rides for an additional fee. For more info, floridastateparks.org/events/florida-springsfest

OCALA POLO CLUB WINTER GAMES
Florida Horse Park
March 5, 12, 19 & 26

Tailgating at a polo match is a charming way to enjoy an afternoon out with family and friends. Chairs are suggested, food and drink are encouraged and tents are available for rent. Decorate your tent/tailgate area and you might win a prize. Leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, visit ocalapolo.com

LABYRINTH SPRING FESTIVAL
Wildwood Community Center, Wildwood
March 11

Walk a labyrinth and support the Rotary Club of The Villages in its mission to help local charities, food pantries and educational programs. The festival will offer live entertainment, vendors, a Kids Corner, food trucks and a classic car show. The labyrinth is a 45-foot painted canvas created by club members and the Interact Club. Free to all. For more info, check out, bit.ly/3x3wsrh

MASTER GARDENERS’ SPRING FESTIVAL
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion
March 11-12

This festival kicks off the spring growing season in Central Florida. This year the focus is on Florida-Friendly landscaping and you can find native plants, flowers, shrubs, tree, houseplants and more among the dozens of vendors on site. The KidZone includes bug and critter displays, educational events and a live butterfly encounter. Presentations are planned on how to grow orchids, encourage a wildlife habitat in your yard and saving water in the landscape. Admission is $3; free ages 12 and younger. Bring your own cart or wagon. More info from bit.ly/3x3Vab2

LIVE OAK INTERNATIONAL
Live Oak Stud Farm
March 16-19

This is the largest international-level combined driving and show jumping tournament in the country, with the leading drivers, riders, trainers, coaches and owners from Europe and North America. With free parking, food vendors and more, this is always a terrific feature of the spring horse show season. Tickets range from $10 daily for general admission; tailgating spots start at $250; reserved seating and VIP packages that include brunch, dinner and dancing are also available. For more info and tickets, liveoakinternational.com/buy-tickets

ABBACADABRA: TRIBUTE TO ABBA
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
March 18, 2:30 pm & 7:30pm

This tribute band puts a fun dance spin on classic Abba songs such as Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You and Lay All Your Love on Me. Tickets are $43-$58. See obopry.com for more info.

RAINBOW SPRINGS ART FESTIVAL (CANCELED)
Downtown Dunnellon
March 18

Due to forecasted inclement weather, the Rainbow Springs Art Festival has been canceled. This festival features lots of local artists and is a fundraiser for the Rainbow Springs Gallery. Raffles support scholarships for two high school seniors to study creative arts in college. Food and drink vendors will be onsite and there are several eateries in the area. Free to attend. More info at rainbowspringsart.com

SENIOR RESOURCE EXPO
College of Central Florida Ewers Century Center
March 22

This free expo showcases “Excellent Adventures” and features opportunities for seniors to try out a range of activities that help promote physical and mental fitness, balance and just having fun. Attendees can check out scuba diving, zip lining, golf, bowling, yoga, archery and more. The Senior Resource Foundation is dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of older adults with educational resources, fundraising and grant opportunities. For more info, srfofocala.org

Coming Up:
RIDE RUN ROLL RELAY
Florida Horse Park
April 1

This unique fundraiser combines teams of a runner, a horseback rider and a mountain biker to run a relay race through a trail course on the Greenway. Runners go 3.1 miles, riders go 5 miles and bikers go 8 miles. The course is beginner friendly, and entry includes primitive camping the night before, a race T-shirt and swag bag, plus awards and prizes. This event benefits the Greenway Equestrians and the Ocala Mountain Bike Association, groups that do much of the work of trail maintenance. The event is family-friendly and will include raffle prizes, food trucks and vendors. Cost is $70 per racer and you can register at runsignup.com/triple-r-relay. For more info, contact Bre at (352) 236-7143 or email triple.r.relay@gmail.com

By Alan Youngblood

APRIL FOOLIN’ ON THE DOCK
Ocala Dog Ranch
April 1

If you’ve ever seen dog dock diving on TV, now is your chance to see it in person! This International Dog Sports event will have multiple jump opportunities, food trucks, vendors and dogs available for adoption from an area rescue group. Games include Horizon for distance, Eclipse for fetching and Velocity of speed. Free to spectators. Jumping rounds for your dog start at $20 in advance and $25 day of. For more info, check out ocaladogranch.com

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