Social Scene | February 2024

Dalton Ower and Josue Rivera were among those who gathered on the Ocala downtown square on January 15th for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March, which culminated with the Day in the Park event at the MLK Recreational Complex in West Ocala.

Photo by Bruce Ackerman

MLK March and Day in the Park
DOWNTOWN OCALA AND MLK RECREATIONAL COMPLEX
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

On January 15th, the MLK Day March led numerous groups and individual participants from downtown Ocala to the Day in the Park event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex, with guest speakers, vendors, entertainment and activities for youngsters.

MLK Prayer Breakfast
MARY SUE RICH COMMUNITY CENTER AT REED PLACE
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

Events on January 13th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. included a prayer breakfast with featured guest speakers and entertainment. Other activities leading up to events on January 15th included a food drive, wreath laying, youth activities and ecumenical services (not shown).

Kwanzaa On The Move
MARY SUE RICH COMMUNITY CENTER AT REED PLACE
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

Kwanzaa, or the first fruits of the harvest, is celebrated December 26th through January 1st each year. The local celebration on December 28th was a community event that included discussion of the seven principles and what each one means, children exchanging handmade gifts, displays and exhibits. 

Concert for Good
OCALA CIVIC THEATRE
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

The December 29th concert raised $26,000 to benefit the Marion County Children’s Alliance and Brother’s Keeper. The event was co-founded in 2021 by brothers Caleb and Luke Lombardo and in the first two years raised an additional $28,000 for local charities.

First Night
DOWNTOWN OCALA
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

The festivities of the Ocala Main Street First Night event on December 31st spanned multiple city blocks, from midtown to downtown, with activities at the Tuscawilla Art Park, OTrak and Citizens’ Circle. Visitors were treated to musical entertainment, a light tunnel, fire dancers, vendors and more. 

First Friday Art Walk
DOWNTOWN OCALA
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

On the evening of January 5th, the streets in downtown Ocala were filled with an array of artist exhibits, free family art activities, live music on the gazebo stage and buskers in the streets. The season runs from September through May each year.

Posted in Insider, Marion Features, Social Scene

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