Out and About – January 2020

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

Elvis at the Opry

The Orange Blossom Opry
2:30 & 7:30pm

Dunnellon’s own Cote Deonath, one of the nation’s leading Elvis tribute artists, will perform Live From Memphis at 2:30pm and Elvis: That’s The Way It Was at 7:30pm on Wednesday, January 8th at the Orange Blossom Opry, 16439 SE 138th Terrace, Weirsdale. He will be backed by the Double Trouble Show Band. Visit www.obopry.com or call (352) 821-1201. Tickets range from $29 to $37.

6th Annual Magical New Year Casino Royale

Hilton Ocala

Veterans Helping Veterans celebrates its 6th Annual Magical New Year event honoring those who made our present possible and our future more promising. Enjoy dinner, dancing, live entertainment, silent auction and a raffle, all to benefit veterans in need in Marion County. Casino Royale suggested dress: James Bond glamorous. For more information, call (352) 286-9491 or jcd09@cox.net.

34th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

Gainesville Regional Airport
Jan 18-19, 25-26, Feb 1-2 | 10am-6pm

From jousting knights on horseback to the living chess board to the turkey legs, all your favorites return to the medieval village. Costumed performers entertain with singing wenches, aerial acrobatics and live comedy shows. More than 160 artisans from across the country offer one-of-a-kind blacksmithing, jewelry, stone and wood carvings, weaving, hand-blown glassware, leather crafts and period fashions. For more information, www.hoggetownefaire.com

2020 Florida Manatee Festival

Crystal River
Jan 18-19 | 9am-5pm

Crystal River honors its most famous winter residents at the Florida Manatee Festival on January 18th and19th. Free bus tours, transport attendees to Three Sisters Springs where manatees gather and can be viewed from the boardwalk. Boat tours through Kings Bay will be available from City Pier for a fee. Three stages host live entertainment and a beer and wine garden and two food courts offer fresh seafood and local barbecue as well as epicurean delights and libations from around the world.  www.gomanateefest.com

Ballroom Dancing Florida Fun Mini Match

Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala

Dance Dance Dance presents this exciting competition featuring dancers of all ages waltzing, tangoing, foxtrotting, salsa dancing and two-stepping all day long—complete with flashy costumes. Spectators are welcome. Proceeds from this event benefit Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, which provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities to people of all ages living with disabilities. www.mtraocala.org

Ocala Camellia Society Annual Flower Show

Silver Springs State Park ballroom, Ocala
Jan 25-26

This is prime blooming time for camellias in north Florida. More than 1,000 flowers are expected at the Ocala Camellia Society’s annual show and you can buy a plant or two while you’re there.

Camellias are part of the tea family; many varieties are grown for their leaves only. But show camellias produce stunning flowers with velvety petals and a range of colors from snow white to pink to deep burgundy. They are hardy in temperatures down to the low teens and still handle the heat and humidity of our long summers here.

Ocala Camellia Society chapter president Laura Perdomo says, “Camellias are very easy to grow, and do fairly well if left on their own. With just a little coddling though, they can be spectacular in your landscape.” 

Members of the public are invited to attend and may enter their own camellia blossoms for judging. Judging takes place January 25th, and the show will open to the public at 1pm that day. www.facebook.com/ocala-camellia-society

Farm to Table Dinner

Swallowtail Farm, Alachua

Partake in a unique, four-course dinner created around what’s fresh from the fields. Farm-to-table cuisine will be prepared by the chef and crew of The Keys Grill and Piano Bar and paired with local craft brews and organic, biodynamic wines. Stroll the grounds and dine while you enjoy sweeping views of the farm’s rolling hills. www.swallowtailcsa.com


Winter Horse Festival USEA Horse Trials

Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale
Jan 17-19

Horses compete under the grandfather oaks in three days of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Admission is free. www.thegrandoaks.com

Hunt Country Horse Show

Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale
Jan 25-26 | 9am-5pm

Hunters and jumpers soar over fences and obstacles under the covered arena and through outdoor venues. Admission is free. www.horseshowsinthepark.com

Winter Horse Festival Combined Driving Event

Grand Oaks Resort, Weirsdale
Jan 29-Feb 2

A combined driving event with three phases of competition that include dressage, cones, and a marathon with hazards/obstacles. Admission is free. www.thegrandoaks.com

AdventHealth Ocala Grandview Invitational Draft Horse Show

Florida Horse Park, Ocala
Jan 31-Feb 2

Hitch teams of Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgian draft horses strut through the ring in a thunder of hooves at this second annual show. www.grandviewinvitational.com

Love of the Horse Ocala 5K

The Equine Medical Center of Ocala
Feb 1 | 8am

This inaugural 5K benefits The Foundation for the Horse, which is dedicated to improving the welfare of horses around the world. www.loveofthehorse5k.itsyourrace.com


Alan Abele Photography Exhibit, Opening Reception

Brick City Center for the Arts, Ocala

Dunnellon photographer Alan Abele says taking the perfect photograph is a spiritual experience. The exhibit of his work runs through February 1.  www.mcaocala.org

Lake Sumter Arts & Craft Festival

The Villages
Dec 4-5 | 10am-5pm

Enjoy live music and great food as you peruse unique artworks including paintings, photography, glassworks and items from some of the nation’s best crafters. www.artfestival.com

As Long as You’re Asking— A Conversation with Jason Alexander

The Sharon, The Villages
5pm & 8pm

An evening of comedy, music and conversation with the affable actor best known for his iconic role as George Costanza on TV’s Seinfeldwww.thesharon.com

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Swamp Head Brewery, Gainesville

Join the Florida Trail Association for outdoor screenings of 14 environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty and show the challenges facing our planet.  www.floridatrail.org

Mount Dora Art Festival

Mount Dora
Feb 1-2 | 9am-5pm

Stroll historic downtown Mount Dora while you view and shop the artworks of 300 fine artists from around the world. www.mountdoraartsfestival.org


First Saturday Village Market

Dunnellon’s Historic Village

The Historic Village Shoppes of Dunnellon offer fresh produce, plants, artisan jellies, vintage clothing and jewelry, hand-crafted items, photography and antiques of all kinds. www.facebook.com/dunnellonhistoricvillage

Ocala Cars & Coffee

War Horse Harley-Davidson, Ocala

Automotive enthusiasts gather together for a family-friendly meet with all kinds of vehicles, from classic cruisers to restored hot rods. www.facebook.com/carsandcoffeeocala

The Big Hammock Race Series 2020 Run for Reading 5K

Tuscawilla Park Historic District, Ocala

Race #7 of the series benefits United Way of Marion County’s Reading Pals program. Runners can dress as their favorite book character for the costume contest. www.uwmc.org/runforreading

Olaf’s Chili Challenge

The Beach Ocala

Chili cooks from around the state compete in this fundraiser to benefit Sheltering Hands, a nonprofit cat rescue in Marion and Levy counties. www.shelteringhands.org

Kimberly Morales’ Snow Party

Kirby Family Farm, Williston

It’s a day of winter fun for the whole family, with snow slides, train ride, carousel, bounce houses and a petting zoo to benefit the Kimberly Morales Memorial Foundation. www.kirbyfarm.com

Sneakers and S’mores 5K Run/Walk & Kids Dash 2020

Country Club of Ocala

Run in this chip-timed race and then enjoy a kids dash to benefit the Public Education Foundation of Marion County’s Take Stock in Children mentoring and scholarship program. www.pefmc.org

Community Care Gala

Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala

An evening under the big top with unforgettable entertainment and upscale Americana fare to benefit the United Way of Marion County’s Community Care Fund. www.uwmc.org


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