Social Scene | January 2024

Lucy Biagiotti walks with other ARC Marion “angels” in the Ocala Christmas Parade, which has been dazzling onlookers for more than six decades. The December 9th event continued the tradition of showcasing local groups and organizations, marching units, high school bands and more.

Photo by Bruce Ackerman

Ocala Christmas Parade
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

One of the nation’s oldest and largest nighttime parades continued its more than six decades of showcasing local groups, with a wide assortment of gaily decorated floats, marching and mounted units, vintage and exotic vehicles and, as always, parade VIP Santa Claus. 

Kent Guinn Reception
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

A number of well-wishers were on hand to tell longtime Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, “Well done,” during a reception on November 30th. Guinn was honored for his 12 years as mayor during the event and recognized for also serving for 12 years as a city councilman.

Light Up Ocala
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

The 39th annual event on the evening of November 18th once again brought thousands of visitors to downtown Ocala. The festivities included the Junior Sunshine Holiday Parade, entertainment, fun photo ops and, of course, thousands of lights.

Gentiva Diwali Ocala Celebration
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

A beautiful Sunday sun beamed down on the Gentiva Diwali Celebration held November 19th. Hosted by the Strategic Community Alliance, the Indian festival of light cross-cultural event offered an immersive experience of Indian culture, including dance, food and history.

Symphony Under the Lights
Photos by Danielle Veenstra and the Reilly Arts Center

With holiday lights twinkling in the ancient oaks overhead, hundreds of attendees got into the holiday spirit on December 1st at the free community concert by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and Ocala Youth Symphony, presented by Jenkins Auto Group with support from the city of Ocala.

Bootleggers, Jackpots & Jazz
Photos by Bruce Ackerman

“Shhh” was the keyword ahead of the December 2nd fundraising event for the Stirrups n’ Strides Therapeutic Riding Center. After all, the night was all about having fun in a casino/speakeasy setting, with dancing, roulette, snazzy costumes, auctions and more.

Marion County NAACP Celebration
Photos by Bruce Ackerman; portrait of Whitfield Jenkins by Andy Fillmore

1923-2023 represented 100 years of operation of the branch in Marion County and 80 years as a chartered branch. The Historical Celebration Commission put together a program with special recognitions and named Whitfield Jenkins as the “Freedom Fighter of the Century.”

Posted in Insider, Marion Features, Social Scene

Share this post


What's New at Ocala Style

Beauty Nearby

These botanical gardens in North Central Florida offer respite and...

Achieving Therapeutic Ketosis

Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, senior research scientist with IHMC, will lecture...

Once a Tribe, Always a Tribe

When I left the newspaper business to work for a...

The Past in Stone

Stone tools can tell us a lot about our ancestors...

The Phishing Vortex

I am a very lucky man. Just today, according to my...

Here’s to Health and Wellness

Thanks to science and fads, health and wellness topics are...