On the Scene

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

June 3 – Levitt AMP Music Series (also 10, 17 and 24)
Webb Field at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex
Summer and the tunes heat up at this free music series sponsored by the City of Ocala and Marion Cultural Alliance. Tap your toes or get up and dance; there will be a variety of musical genres played. Admission is free; guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and a picnic, or food and drink options are available. Artists will display works and nonprofits will share missions. Performers this month are: Reggae Force on June 3rd, Bette Smith on June 10th, Natu Camara on June 17th and Melvin Williams on June 24th. For more info, check out fb .com/levittampocala

June 4 – Free First Saturday
The Appleton Museum of Art
You are invited to peruse the regular and special collections, plus enjoy the grounds and make your own art in Artspace. Current exhibitions include Invented Observations: Photographs by Steven Ben-son; Depicting the Dancer: Artworks by Ernst Oppler and A Strange and Picturesque Country: Etchings by Earl H. Reed. Renowned local foodie Big Lee’s BBQ food truck will be onsite 11am-2pm. The museum’s garden space centers the buildings and is a lovely place to visit too. Check out appletonmuseum.org for more info.

June 4 – Jumpin’ June Swing Dance Social
NOMA Black Box at the Reilly Arts Center
Becky Sinn and Swing Theory will sweep you back in time to the 1940s when swing dancers cut the rug and big bands ruled the stage. Dance lessons and specialty cocktails will be offered. Themed dress and grooming are encouraged. And remember: It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing! Check out reillyartscenter.org for more info.

Land Bridge Trailhead in Ocala – Photo by Alan Youngblood

June 4 – National Trails Day
The Cross Florida Greenway Landbridge Trailhead
Whether you want to mosey, amble, hike, bike, ride a horse or skip down the trails, celebrate National Trails Day this year at our own greenway. Enjoy the magical greenery of the park and you might spot deer, pileated woodpeckers, armadillos, gopher tortoises, wild turkeys and more. Organizers are offering Gatorade and water, and food trucks will be on site. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather and the terrain with sunscreen, closed toe shoes and bug spray. You can also help out with trail maintenance chores. For more info, see americanhiking.org/national-trails-day or call the trail office at (352) 236-7143.

June 4 – Ocala Polo Club Summer Sunset Games (also 11, 18 and 25)
Florida Horse Park
For a unique evening out, try the Ocala Polo Club’s Summer Sunset matches. You can watch an exciting equine sport from close enough to hear the ponies huffing as they gallop by. Tailgating is easy; just pull right up to the sidelines and set up your goodies. Tailgate decorating prizes are awarded every week. Tents are available for rent. Matches oft en have a charity component. Dogs on leashes are welcome. And yes, spectators go onto the fi eld and stomp the divots. For more info, ocalapolo.com

June 6 – Talkin’ History: Frontiers of the Florida War
Reddick Public Library
Local historian Annabelle Leitner’s family has lived in the area for seven generations and she has some tales to tell this month in a roundtable discussion about the second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842) and the forts from that conflict that were located in Marion County. With a unique perspective and intriguing details about the past, Leitner will talk about Forts Wacahoota, Drane and Wheelock, the major forts in the area at the time. She encourages participation from people who have memories of their own or know of stories from family members. For more info, see library.marionfl.org

June 6 – Summer Art Camps
The Appleton Museum of Art (through July)
Come get artspired at the Appleton Museum’s Sum-mer Arts Camps. Age groups are 4-6, 7-12, and 12+. Create art about dogs, cats, superheroes or Florida wildlife. Experiment with fashion/wearable art, wonky sculpture classes and clay creations. Media will range from painting to sketching, sculpting to sewing. Class times vary and some camps are for two weeks. For more info, appletonmuseum.org

Megan Wexler clears a jump with Coranos T at the World Equestrian Center. Photo by Bruce Ackerman

June 15 – Ocala Summer Series: Hunter/Jumper Shows
World Equestrian Center (through August 14th)
This starts WEC’s summer hunter/jumper show series with competitions at various class levels including children’s, thoroughbred and pony. Prizes include multiple high-powered Grand Prix, with $50,000, $100,000 and $140,000 classes and a total of nearly $3.5 million in awards to be given. Saturday evening Grand Prix are held in the Grand Arena, with free or paid spectator options. Check out worldequestriancenter.com for more info.

June 18 – Ocala Juneteenth Celebration
Webb Field at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex
The Ocala Juneteenth Celebration Commission and City of Ocala will host the second annual Juneteenth event to celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S., first celebrated in Texas in 1865. The holiday in Ocala includes entertainment, vendor booths, nonprofit groups, food options, businesses and mentor groups. Funds from sponsorships will provide scholarships for local high school seniors for acceptance into a university, college or vocation-al program. Free to attend. See facebook.com/pg/OcalaJuneteenthCelebration

Photo by Becky Collazo

June 18 – Juneteenth Celebration and Fundraising Dinner
One Health Center
Another Juneteenth event takes place in the evening, sponsored by R.A.M.A.L Educational & Social Services as a fundraiser. It will off er dinner, live entertainment, music, a DJ, dancing, silent auctions and raffles. Proceeds will help provide social services including employment assistance, affordable housing, tutoring and literacy efforts and will benefit community projects, scholarships for at-risk and non-traditional students, tutoring and mentoring. African or casual chic attire suggested. The cost is $50 per person and tickets are available at Eventbrite.com. To learn more, go to ramalservices.org

June 25 – Retro Run 5K—Run Ocala Race Series
Citizens’ Circle, downtown Ocala
Put on your retro duds and run/walk this 5K
through the downtown and historic district areas. You can wear your old high school team running shorts, maybe some Chuck Taylors (there’s actually a competition for those wearing them) and good old cotton T-shirts for a ‘70s or ‘80s vibe. You might win the Best Dressed award or prize for fastest time for a runner in Chuck Taylors (or similar canvas shoes). Awards include Top 3 overall and Top 3 for each age group. For more info, facebook.com/events/452299339640024/

June 25 – Guinness World Record Attempt—Most Dogs at a Movie Screening
Downtown Market Square
Hearts Healing Hearts, Inc., a local nonprofit that trains therapy dogs, is attempting to beat the Guinness World Record for Most Dogs at a Movie. The previous record was 120, set in Brazil in 2019. Can we do better? Dogs have to be accompanied by a well-behaved human, be leashed and be at least 1 year old. Clifford, the Big Red Dog will be shown. Two levels of participation include Red Carpet entry for one handler and dog, the movie, popcorn and a drink; VIP comes with additional event T-shirt, swag bag and preferred seating. For more info, see the events page at H34Dogs.com

June 27 – IHMC Robotics Camp
Session 1: Eighth Graders
IHMC in downtown Ocala
Middle school students have the chance to dive into computer programming and working with robots. As an introduction to scientific research, hands-on creating and working through Lego Mindstorms challenge exercises, campers will develop problem-solving skills, learn teamwork and enhance their confidence. No prior experience required. The three-day camp fee is $180 and financial assistance is available for qualified candidates. For more info, ihmc.us/robotics-camp

July 3 – Red, White and Ocala Symphony Blue
Reilly Arts Center
The Ocala Symphony Orchestra presents A Salute to Our Troops with your favorite patriotic songs. Celebrate the red, white and blue with the symphony’s rousing marches, music from the movie The Patriot and a special salute to our troops. Student tickets are $10; adults $15-$40. Go to reillyartscenter.com for details and tickets.

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