New year, new you

Circle Square Cultural Center is hosting the 2023 Health & Wellness Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.

The event is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by AdventHealth Ocala.

Chat with Marion, Citrus and Lake County health care providers! Enjoy live demonstrations from the On Top of the World fitness staff, On Top of the World Clubs and the Ranch Fitness Center & Spa team!

Every day is an opportunity to improve yourself; make the most of it by attending this year’s Health & Wellness Expo!

The Circle Square Cultural Center is conveniently located just outside On Top of the World Communities in Circle Square Commons. Visitor parking is free and located just behind the Cultural Center, with overflow located behind The Town Square.

If you or your business are interested in participating, contact the On Top of the World Recreation Center Office at 352-854-8707 ext. 7533 or 7530.

Returned Nurses holiday party

The Citrus/Marion Retired Nurses will have their holiday party at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at Inverness Golf and Country Club. The address is 3150 S. Country Club Lane in Inverness.

The cost for lunch is $17. All are welcome to bring a $15 gift to exchange, if you wish.

Entertainment will be by country singer Wes St. Onge.

Our charity will be the Salvation Army of Citrus and Marion County.

For information, call Judy Herron at 352-860-0232 or email her at

Ocala 200 Lions Club flea market

The Ocala 200 Lions Club will be holding a flea market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Bank OZK parking area at 8375 SW State Road 200, Ocala.

The Lions will also be collecting nonperishable food items for Interfaith Emergency Services, pop top rings from cans for Ronald McDonald House and used glasses, sunglasses, cases and hearing aids. Please consider bringing a couple of food items to donate.

There will be a variety of vendors on hand as well as food and drinks available for sale.

As always, all proceeds generated by the Ocala 200 Lions Club will be used for community projects throughout the year.

For information, email

Traditional Christmas music event at Queen of Peace

Queen of Peace Catholic Church is hosting Donna Cori in concert, presented by Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus Council 9649.

Come celebrate the reason for the season with Donna at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Church, at 6455 SW State Road 200, Ocala. We’ll travel with Mary as she may have experienced the mystery of the Incarnation and end with carols, singalong music and sung rosary.

For more info:

Online tickets available at

CF gallery presents 26th Annual ‘Trains at the Holidays’

The Webber Gallery at the College of Central Florida presents the 26th annual “Trains at the Holidays” display from Dec. 17 to Dec. 30. The Webber Gallery is located at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 SW College Road.

This display will feature model train layouts built and maintained by the Ocala Model Railroaders’ Historic Preservation Society. Every year, CF is honored to partner with the society to bring their beautiful model train collection to the community. As Jim DeLawter, OMRRHPS president, said, “The CF Express has been chugging along for 26 years!”

Viewing the trains is a holiday tradition for many local families, and thousands of patrons, young and old, visit each year. The display features modular train layouts and railroad memorabilia. Many of the layouts are inspired by historic Ocala landmarks, such as the Six Gun Territory theme park that operated in Marion County until 1984.

“Trains at the Holidays” will be on view from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Saturday, Dec. 17, through Dec. 30. The gallery will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission is free.

For information, call 352-854-2322, ext. 1664, or visit

Circle Square Commons farmers market

Circle Square Commons is hosting a weekly farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday. The market is in On Top of the World at 8405 SW 80th St., Ocala.

Master Choir’s winter concert series

The Central Florida Master Choir’s winter concert series returns to West Ocala and Dunnellon in December.

The first concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Countryside Presbyterian Church, 7768 State Road 200, Ocala. The second is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Dunnellon Presbyterian Church, 20641 Chestnut St.

The program will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” in D major, RV 589, which he composed around 1715. The score disappeared after he died in 1741, but was rediscovered in the late 1920s. It has been adored by audiences ever since then.

The concert also will include some classic seasonal songs and an instrumental version of “Sing We Now of Christmas” played by our accompanist, GayLyn Capitano, and the New Moon String Ensemble.

The concert then closes with “Worthy Is The Lamb and Amen,” the final two choruses of Handel’s unparalleled “Messiah,” one of the greatest musical scores of all time.

Gospel tent revival at Garlits Museum

Join David Johnson under the big gospel tent 6 p.m. daily from Dec. 9 through Dec. 17 at the Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum grounds.

Experience gospel music and the message!

The museum is at Interstate 75 (Exit 341) and County Road 484.

For information, call or text 352-519-1800.

Come two hours early and visit the museum and see the old cars.

Free parking remainder of year in Ocala

To celebrate the holidays and support local businesses in downtown Ocala, the City of Ocala is providing free parking in all metered spaces from now through Monday, Jan. 2. The parking meter rates of 50 cents per hour will not be in effect during this time.

However, the time limit of three hours per space, for most spaces, will still be enforced.

The parking meters downtown are normally in effect on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are approximately 160 parking meters located throughout the downtown and midtown areas.

In addition to the metered parking spaces, free parking is available daily at the downtown parking garage located at 296 SE Broadway St.

“The City of Ocala will continue the tradition of offering free metered parking to our residents and visitors this holiday season,” said Peter Lee, City Manager. “We want to encourage people to enjoy the downtown area, view the festive decorations and support the local businesses and restaurants that make the downtown area special during the holidays and throughout the year.”

Marion Stamp Club meets at library

The General Francis Marion stamp club will resume its regular first and third Wednesday meeting schedule on Jan. 4.There is no meeting scheduled for Dec. 21.

We will continue to meet at 1 p.m. at the Marion County Public Library, 2720 E. Silver Springs Blvd.

For further information, email Elliot at

Learn about Florida Sewing Sew-Ciety

Looking for a friendly, general sewing group? We get together once a month to sew clothes, accessories, home/gift items and charity projects.

We are the local chapter of the Florida Sewing Sew-Ciety (FSS), a statewide organization. The annual membership is $20.

All levels of sewing are welcome.

If you would like more information, email us at

VFW weekly meals

Angela S. Santos VFW 4781 is serving light dinners from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. The menu varies weekly and monthly as does the price, which currently ranges from $6 to $8. Call the Post at 352-873-4781 for the menu of the week. All meals are prepared by our Auxiliary members who look forward to serving you.

Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the public. There are several delicious meals to select from. Prices currently range from $6 to $8. Brunch is prepared by VFW members (veterans) who also look forward to serving you.

The dining room is open to the public, so come out, bring your friends and help support our veterans.

Bingo is played every Monday with games beginning at 11 a.m. and doors open at 9 a.m.

If interested in renting the hall, call 352-873-4781 for further information.

The VFW Post 4781 Honor Guard is available to provide military honors to a fallen veteran. For further information, contact the Post at 352-873-4781.

Angela S. Santos VFW Post 4781 is located at 9401 SW 110th St. Telephone: 352-873-4781. You can also follow us on Facebook – Angela Santos VFW Post 4781.

Ocala Lions Club meetings

Ocala Lions Club meets from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday at the Ocala Golf Club, 3130 E. Silver Springs Blvd.

Newcomers are welcome; membership is not required in the golf club. Call David Leigh at 352-425-2865.

American Legion meetings

American Legion Post 354 meets every third Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the West Marion Moose Lodge, 10411 SW 110th St., Dunnellon.

For information, call Commander Roy Hofer at 352-322-1422.

Christmas Toy Train & Toy Show/Sale

Regal Railways presents Christmas Toy Train & Toy Show/Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St., Crystal River.

Vendors will be selling various things and antiques. There will be a running train layout and a train background. Parents could take pictures of their children as engineers.

There will be a food truck with lunch and snacks for sale. Admission is $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free. Early-bird preorder at for $7 or at gate.

South Ocala Chess Club at Freedom Library

The South Ocala Chess Club meets 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Friday morning at Freedom Library. The club has really grown in recent months and we usually have at least 8 to 10 players. Players of all ages are welcome.

All levels of skill are welcome. A number of the regular players are experienced or intermediate level players.

Please bring a chess set, if you have one.

For information, call Rich at 321-514-1073. The club also has a group page on Facebook and at

CF Patriot Project lecture series focuses on colonial literature

The College of Central Florida’s educational series focused on the American colonial period continues on Jan. 11, with “Theatre in the Colonial Period.”

The Patriot Project lectures are free and open to the public. Light refreshments and event giveaways will be provided. Lectures will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the CF Webber Center, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala, unless otherwise indicated.

Upcoming schedule:

Jan. 11, 2023 – “Theatre in the Colonial Period” presented by Nonalee Davis

Feb. 6, 2023 – “Math in the Colonial Period” presented by Mark Taylor

March 1, 2023 – “History of the Colonial Period” presented by Jay Thompson

April 5, 2023 – “Religion in the Colonial Period” presented by Dr. Ron Cooper

For more details, visit

Southwestern Marion Toastmasters

Southwestern Marion Toastmasters meets at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 5200 SW College Road (State Road 200) at noon the first and third Wednesdays, and 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays.

Join us to improve your speaking and leadership skills.

SW 200 Corridor Quilt Guild

The SW 200 Corridor Quilt Guild meets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Friday of each month at the SW District Sheriff’s Office (9048 SW State Road 200). Our mission is to enhance the growth and knowledge of the “art of quilting” through the inspiration, creativity, and friendship of its members by sharing quilting techniques and patterns through active participation in teaching/learning with one another. All level quilters are welcome.

For more information, email us at

Christ’s Church lists services

Christ’s Church of Marion County invites you to join us Sunday, Dec. 11. The morning begins with Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:30 am. We offer four adult classes on a variety of topics. A synopsis of each class is available on our website.

Our Worship Service begins at 10:30 a.m. with our praise team leading a blend of familiar hymns of the church as well as contemporary praise songs with a full praise band. Lead Pastor Ray Burhart begins a new series “Christmas at the Movies” with the theme this week “The Grinch.” Children aged 6 weeks through grade 5 meet in Children’s Classes under the direction of Katie Davenport, Children’s Director.

Christ’s Church of Marion County is located at 6768 SW 80th Street – just off State Road 200.

For more information on all our events or for directions visit our website at or contact the church office at (352) 861-6182.

CF Ireland study abroad program open to community

Community members are invited to join College of Central Florida students and faculty on a study abroad trip to Ireland in summer 2023.

Applications are open now for the educational trip across Ireland from July 16-27, 2023. This expedition will have a special focus on humanities and health sciences.

The deadline to apply for the Ireland trip is March 31. Total cost is approximately $2,745 and includes 10 nights’ accommodations, all ground transportation, three traditional dinners, daily continental breakfast and a full-time guide. Round-trip airfare is not included.

Trip highlights include activities such as: Dublin literary pub tour; Book of Kells and Trinity College tour; Cliffs of Moher and Burren full-day tour; Medieval Galway walking tour; Irish dance and songs show; and visits to health care related facilities.

This trip can be taken for academic credit or for the experience as a noncredit opportunity. Being enrolled as a CF student is not required.

For information, visit or call Wendy Adams at 352-854-2322, ext. 1546.

Free food every Thursday at church outreach center

Revealing Truth Ministries Outreach Christian Center offers fresh food from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday. We are blessed to be a blessing to our community each week: no questions asked.

For information, call 352-209-7515.

The center is at 7575 SW 62nd Court, Ocala.

Line dance classes

Intermediate level line dance classes are offered from 3-4 p.m. every Wednesday at H2U above Bank OZK of Ocala on State Road 200 (8375 SW S.R. 200).

Line dancing class comes to Hernando Area Senior Program

The Hernando Area Senior Program Center is now offering line dance classes at noon Mondays at 2415 N. Florida Ave., Hernando – inside the Historic Hernando School house.

The cost for the class is $5. Please call 352-566-2328 to make a reservation, as space is limited.

Arts festival returning to Cedar Key

The Old Florida Celebration of the Arts returns to Cedar Key on April 1 and April 2.

The Annual Spring Arts Festival in Cedar Key is a juried fine arts and crafts event which has been named as one of the Top Art Small Town Fairs in America. The venue welcomes only 100 fine artists and craftsmen to keep the focus on art and allow for plenty of room for artists and art enthusiasts to interact.

Cedar Key is nestled in the center of Florida’s Nature Coast, 60 miles southwest of Gainesville.

Proceeds benefit the Cedar Key Arts Center and local nonprofit organizations that serve homemade goodies and local seafood in beachfront City Park.

The free event is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2.

More Information at,, and 352-543-5400.

‘Colorful Pleasures’ exhibit at Ocala airport

The exhibit “Colorful Pleasures” by Christine Dozier, will be on display through Jan. 17 at the Ocala International Airport, 1770 SW 60th Ave., Suite 600. It is free and open to the public.

Dozier resides in Ocala and is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1980s, she worked in watercolors before moving into oils and acrylics a decade later. She studied art at the Memphis College of Art, University of Memphis, where she was inspired by numerous teachers along the way. Dozier additionally earned a bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Memphis and enjoyed working as a behavioral health nurse for over 20 years.

Dozier enjoys painting landscapes, abstracts, still life, animals, and pet portraits. Many of her paintings now belong to private collections and hang in corporate offices throughout the U.S.

Locally, a collection of Dozier’s paintings can be seen at Gallery B Art Gallery on The Square.

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