The Publisher: The Family Balancing Act

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you: Maintaining a happy family is a balancing act. It’s managing the expected and the unexpected. It’s scheduling and organizing without overlooking life’s everyday joys in the process. It’s serious matters and silly matters—from planning our children’s education to planning a weekend of frivolity and fun.

These were exactly the thoughts on our minds as we put together the “Family Issue” you now hold in your hands. How could we, through our content, help families navigate through some of the options for maintaining that balance? We chose to focus on two equally important aspects—education and entertainment.

As you might have noticed by that very big truck bursting through our cover, some mammoth machines are coming to town later this month. For boys and girls of a certain age, the rip-roaring action of a monster truck show just might be the coolest thing their family could ever do together. (Forget the Grand Canyon. They want to see Grave Digger!) We spoke exclusively to the driver of this baddest of the behemoths as well as its creator to learn more about the men and the machines behind the show. You can’t imagine the action-packed fun that’s in store at the Ocala Speedway.

We also put together for this issue a guide to our area’s local magnet and private school options. Choosing where to send their children to school is one of the most personal and important decisions parents make. The world is rapidly changing, and as the next generation of youngsters bounds toward the future and an incresingly competitive workforce, parents want to give their children the best advantages. In “School Choice,” we delve into the magnet programs and private schools available locally in hopes of informing and educating our readers, while leaving the ultimate decision about where to send their children up to them.

Every once in a while,fun and education collide as illustrated by our “How It’s Made” feature on the Golden Flake potato chip factory in town. As you’ll discover, it’s quite a production to turn an ordinary potato spud into an extraordinary potato chip, and thanks to Golden Flake’s tours, the public can even see this transformation for themselves and learn the ins and outs of a real, working factory.

This issue is filled with other family-friendly content, including a listing of fairs and festivals coming to the area in the next few months and a review of the dynamite world-fusion restaurant Saboré in Gainesville. This spot can easily accommodate the whole family or just mom and dad for their next night out.

Maintaining a happy family balance is by no means easy. But it’s the most worthwhile endeavor. I hope this issue helps you in your family’s pursuit of happiness.

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