Floral City Strawberry Festival
The Floral City Strawberry Strawberry Festival returns this weekend, March 4-5. The festival is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Floral Park, 9530 S. Parkside Avenue, Floral City – 3 miles south of downtown Floral City on U.S. 41.
Festival Admission is $5 per adult, children 12 and younger are free.
Parking is free. Attendees are encouraged to utilize the free parking available at Citrus County Auditorium at 3610 S. Florida Ave., Inverness. Free shuttle buses from the Auditorium are running all day, both days. To get to the correct parking lot at the Auditorium, follow the signs posted on U.S. 41. Visit www.GoStrawberryFest.com.
Rainbow Springs Art Fest March 18
The annual Rainbow Springs Art Festival, featuring nearly 40 area artists, is set for March 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Cedar Street in Downtown Dunnellon.
Food vendors, music, and art, ranging from photography to painting, sculpted drywall to jewelry, will be available. A raffle benefits two arts scholarships and the festival helps support the nonprofit Rainbow Springs Art in Dunnellon Gallery.
The gallery is at 20804 W. Pennsylvania Ave. and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Contact 352-445-8547, email@example.com, or www. rainbowspringsart.com.
Spaghetti dinner at First Methodist Church is Saturday
First Methodist Church of Dunnellon is having a spaghetti dinner 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, March 4 – carry out only. The dinners can be picked up at the Fellowship Hall of the Church at 21501 W. State Road 40.
Tickets are available in advance for a donation of $10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at the church office. You may also get tickets at the door on March 4. We urge everyone to get their tickets in advance!
This dinner includes our delicious spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad, garlic bread, and cake. Gluten-free noodles are available, upon request.
Proceeds from the dinner will be used for the Dunnellon Methodist Women Mission projects.
For more information and advance tickets, call the church office Monday through Friday at 352-489-4026.
Friends of Library spring book sale
The Friends of Dunnellon Library is holding its Spring Book Sale each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, March 13, through Saturday, March 18. Fill a bag of books and media for only $5. Individual items are half price.
Proceeds benefit the Dunnellon Library, 20351 Robinson Road.
Historical Society to host music event
The Dunnellon Depot will come alive with great music and good food on Friday, March 24.
It’s all part of the Whistle Stop Cafe’s programs that are offered on a somewhat regular basis.
The doors open at 5 p.m. to serve crowd favorites of fried green tomatoes, gourmet grilled cheese, hobo stew, veggie wraps and desserts. Food is served until 8 p.m.
Music is part of the evening from 7-9 p.m. The band in March will be Harry and the Hendersons. The four-piece band will offer a variety of music from rock n’ roll to some country favorites.
Admission to the event is $5 to help cover the cost of the band. Food purchases are extra and BYOB is allowed.
Proceeds of the evening will help the Greater Dunnellon Historical Society maintain the depot and continue work on the caboose.
Community meal at Peace Lutheran
Peace Lutheran Church is hosting a community meal from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, March 20.
The meal is a corned beef hash dinner.
All are welcome to attend, there is no cost, this is our outreach to the community.
The church is at 7201 S. U.S. 41, Dunnellon.
Easter egg hunt at St. John is April 9
Join the fun! St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Dunnellon will be hosting an Easter egg hunt at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, April 9, in the back field of the church at 11:45 am.
For information, call MaryAlice Hogan 352-489-3166. Please come and join us!
The church is at 7525 S. U.S. 41, Dunnellon.
DHS Career Day
Dunnellon High School is hosting its annual career day on March 9. If you’re a business owner, this would be a fantastic opportunity to get young people interested in participating in your industry.
If you would be interested in attending, please contact Career Lab Specialist Patti Mills at 352-465-6745.
Be a volunteer with Library Friends
Are you looking for something worthwhile to do? Are you bored and would like to meet new friends? We can help.
Become a member and volunteer at the Friends of the Dunnellon Public Library. We are looking to fill our afternoon shifts from 1-4 p.m. You can do three hours a week or six hours a month.
Do good for Dunnellon and yourself. Be a volunteer today.
See Roberta at the bookstore.
Project Greenlight offers reduced rates for court dues
The Marion County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s Office will host its annual Operation Green Light event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20 through March 24. Extended hours will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, and Thursday, March 23.
This event is an opportunity for Marion County residents with suspended driver’s licenses to get their license back by paying overdue court obligations in full, including traffic tickets, while saving up to 20 percent in additional fees. This year’s event will be available to customers in person, by phone, and virtually.
Pay in Person at the Criminal Division – 110 NW First Ave., Room 303 or the Traffic Division – 110 NW First Ave., Room 101.
Pay by phone: Criminal Division – 352-671-5674. Traffic Division – 352-671-5599
Apply for a payment plan online or in person at: the Court Compliance / Payment Plans Division, located at 110 NW First Ave., Room 105; Criminal Payment Application online at www.marioncountyclerk.org/criminall; Traffic Payment Application online at www.marioncountyderk.org/traffic.
For more information, call 352-671-5604 or visit www.marioncountyclerk.org.
Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival set March 11-12
The Marion County Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival returns to the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala.
The area’s largest all-in-one plant sale and garden expo, sponsored by UF/IFAS Extension, includes a kid zone, garden decor, mobile plant clinic, seed board, food trucks, trees and natives, Florida-Friendly vendors, educational seminars and demonstrations, and flowers and herbs.
Bring your own wagon.
Admission is $3, tax included; children 12 and younger are free. Parking is free.
The event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 11 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12.
No pets allowed – service animals only.
The Pavilion is at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road.
Retro Sounds at next First Friday Art Walk in Ocala
First Friday Art Walk will feature Retro Sounds 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 3, in downtown Ocala. Retro Sounds, a music and art event, will celebrate the 1940s, the era of big bands, victory rolls, and dance halls.
The evening will begin with an instructed swing dance class on the Square from 6 -7 p.m. and then continue with a performance by jazz and swing artists, Swing Theory.
A thematic intermission performance will be provided by Marion County Center for the Arts Dance.
Attendees will enjoy free activities with a 1940s twist with local arts organizations providing free, hands-on art activities; visual artists working live throughout downtown; special sales at participating restaurants, and extended business hours at local shops.
In addition, a vintage car exhibit by the Ocala Street Cruisers will be displayed on the east side of the Downtown Square.
Each March, Retro Sounds pays homage to generations of past musical genres and performers. Travel back through the decades and hear all your favorite hits!
This event is free and open to the public, guests are encouraged to bring their chairs.
For information, contact the City of Ocala Cultural Arts and Sciences Division at 352-629-8447 or artinfo @ocalafl.org; or visit www.ocalafl.org/artwalk.
Restaurant hosts classic car shows
The Front Porch Restaurant & Pie Shop in South Dunnellon hosts a “cruise in” classic car show from 4 to 7 p.m. the last Wednesday of the month.
Bring your classic car and get a free slice of pie!
The restaurant is at 12039 N. Florida Ave., Dunnellon.
March 22: ‘Excellent Adventures’ expo
Have you ever wanted to fly a plane or jump out of one? Learn all about it at “Excellent Adventures – An Expo for Active Seniors” presented by the Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala.
The event is free to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the College of Central Florida Ewers Century Center, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala.
Goody bags and door prizes are just part of the fun. Zip lining, fishing, boating, golf and scuba diving are a few of the exciting opportunities for enjoyment.
All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Marion County.
Get ready to get active!
Ocala 200 Lions Club flea market at new venue
The Ocala 200 Lions Club will be holding a flea market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, at the Countryside Presbyterian Church parking area, located at 7768 SW State Road 200, Ocala.
The Lions will also be collecting non-perishable food items for Interfaith Emergency Services, pop top rings from aluminum cans for Ronald McDonald House, and used glasses, sunglasses, cases and hearing aids. Please consider bringing a couple of food items to donate or aluminum pop tops.
There will be a larger variety of vendors on hand as well as food and drink available for sale.
As always, all proceeds generated by the Ocala 200 Lions Club will be used for community projects throughout the year.
For more info: bartorobert @hotmail.com.
Free CF workshop aimed at mental performance
The College of Central Florida invites the community to a free presentation, “Winning the Mental Game: The Simple Solution to Overcoming Performance Anxiety,” 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, in the Webber Center on the Ocala Campus, 3001 SW College Road.
Nicholas Pallesen, mental performance specialist and Juilliard-trained opera singer, will lead the virtual session. He specializes in helping performing artists succeed, both onstage and off, and regularly offers workshops relating to the psychology of performance. Not just for performances and auditions, Pallesen’s strategies can help all attendees with everyday communication.
This simulcast workshop is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and event giveaways will be provided. Participants also may choose to join the workshop from anywhere via Zoom. Please visit www.CF.edu/workshop for registration and login details.
Dunnellon Methodist offers respite/caregiver relief
The Forget Me Not Ministry, sponsored by Dunnellon Methodist, serves Dunnellon and surrounding communities. Caregivers for frail, elderly or Alzheimer’s and ill patients may find relief for a few hours a week.
Caregivers have the hardest job of all, since their care is needed 24 hours a day, leaving them little time for personal time or relief. This ministry will give them a few hours off to run personal errands, shop or just get away for a much-needed emotional break.
Our church volunteers are a very caring and compassionate group who treat everyone with love.
We meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoons in the Friendship Hall at the church.
This is a free ministry and is offered to anyone that needs a little relief.
Those interested in applying for Caregiver Relief may either come on Tuesday to check out our ministry at 21501 W. State Road 40 or call the church office at 352-489-4026 and leave a message for Grace Burks.
Citrus County Genealogical Society webinar
The Citrus County Genealogical Society will meet at 10 a.m. March 14 for a webinar by Zoom and a meeting at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, 3474 W. Southern St., Lecanto.
Paula Stuart-Warren will present “County and State Archives: What Have You Been Missing.” Many records found in state archives are one-of-a-kind items, including original wills, civil and criminal case files, governors’ pardons, legislative records, vital records, and military records. The websites, research services, online databases, range of holdings, and finding aids show big differences. Guests are welcome to attend.
To get a link contact Mary Ann Machonkin at himary @tampabay.rr.com
Marion County Genealogy Society
The Marion County Genealogy Society invites you to attend our monthly educational meeting from 2-3 p.m. March 16.
This month’s program will be a webinar titled, “Proving Identity: Not Matching Names,” presented by Robyn N Smith.
This will be a Zoom-only meeting, and you must register on our website to obtain the invitation code to join. Go to www.mcgsocala.org, click on Events and Register. Your invitation code will come to your email address, and a reminder will also arrive the day prior to the meeting.
If you have any questions, contact us at 352-897-0840 and www.mcgsocala.org.
Career camp offers jump start on jobs with Marion schools
Adults wanting to work for Marion County Public Schools are invited to a Career Camp to help polish their resumes and job skills in preparation for real-time interviews.
Tips on application assistance, face-to-face interaction, mock interviews, and developing your best “elevator pitch” and other facets of successful job searches will be offered to candidates taking part in the March 8 event set for 4-6 p.m. at three Marion County campus locations:
Marion Oaks Elementary (280 Marion Oaks Trail, Ocala, 34473)
Howard Academy (306 NW 7 Ave., Ocala, 34475)
Legacy Elementary (8496 Juniper Road, Ocala, 34480)
Individuals taking advantage of these skill-building opportunities can leave the event “camp certified” and receive priority consideration within a streamlined process with school and district leaders when they hire new employees at the district’s Career Fair. That separate event is set for April 15 at Ocala’s World Equestrian Center.
The Career Camp is free and available to any adult wanting to be employed by MCPS.
For more information, contact Nora Choquette in the MCPS Talent Development Office at Nora. Choquette@marion.k12.fl.us or 352-671-7877.
Prescribed burns near Dunnellon
Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District will conduct prescribed burns in March on the Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve in Marion County.
Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve is two miles east of Dunnellon and is bounded by County Road 484 on the north, State Road 200 on the southeast and the Withlacoochee River on the southwest. About 400 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:
Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
Maintaining access for public recreation.
The district conducts prescribed fires on about 30,000 acres each year.
Rainbow Springs State Park seeks volunteers
If you have some extra time in your day, have you thought about volunteering at Rainbow Springs State Park? How about a three-hour patrol on the river? We even supply the kayak, or you can cruise on the pontoon boat.
Are you an indoor person? Spend a few hours in our beautiful gift shop.
Do you like hammers and nails? Join our Wednesday crew and meet new friends.
Do you like meeting and greeting people? Our parking crew would love to have you!
Give us a call and we can get your started, guiding you through the application process and finding the right fit for you.
Call Thea Knott, park services specialist, at the Rainbow Springs State Park office at 352-465-8518, or email thea.m.knott@florida dep.gov.
Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS)
It takes time to make and or break a habit. We at TOPS have discovered that this can be much more easily accomplished with the help of friends that are attempting to do the same thing. And we have fun doing it together.
We have a group of fewer than 20 people that gather at the Women’s Club of Dunnellon,11756 Cedar St., Dunnellon.
Our meetings start with an individual, private weigh-in session that is held in a separate room from the meeting. The weigh-in time starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., at which time we start our meetings. The meeting generally ends before 4:30 p.m.
One short hour a week can really make a difference before long!
We have guest speakers, we have interesting contests that are entertaining, and we have discussions concerning our own weight loss challenges.
This TOPS chapter has very successful members who have lost their desired weight and kept it off for more than 25 years! Now that’s a person to get some tips from!
You can visit for two meetings before deciding if you would like to join TOPS. It’s a place where all sizes, ages and personalities join together to Take Off Pounds Sensibly.
For any information that you might like before attending a meeting, please call Christine Weider, our leader, at 352-465-7861; or MaryJo Smith, secretary, at 585-329-2026.
One Rake at a Time meets monthly
One Rake at a Time, a local nonprofit which aims to restore the Rainbow River by removing invasive hydrilla and Lyngbya algae and replanting native eelgrass, announces new meeting times.
The volunteer meetings for One Rake at a Time are 6 to 7 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month at the community center of the Church of the Holy Faith 19924 W. Blue Cove Drive in Dunnellon.
The meetings are free and everyone who is interested in helping save the Rainbow River from the invasion of hydrilla and Lyngbya algae is invited to come learn more about the project and how to get involved and help.
Refreshments will be served, and networking opportunities will be available.
For information, call Art Jones at 727-642-7659 or visit the website at One RakeataTime.org.
Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop open Mondays
The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop Inc. is now open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Due to the decrease in Covid cases and the addition of new volunteers, we are delighted to announce the return to our regular six-days-a-week schedule.
We continue to accept donations of gently used clothing and household items during our working hours and appreciate the community’s ongoing support.
We would like to thank our local newspapers for informing their readers of this change and for recent articles stressing our need for additional volunteers.
Try chair yoga
Experience chair yoga in Dunnellon with Linda from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays at the Women’s Club building at 11756 Cedar St.
This is a fun class, for all shapes and sizes, all for only $1.
Sewing and Arts & Craft Classes at senior center
Hernando Area Senior Program Center, at 2415 N. Florida Ave., Hernando, (inside the Historic Hernando School house), offers a new Sewing and Arts & Craft Class at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Cost for supplies is only $2. Sewing machines are provided for use or you may bring your own.
Please join our members for some fun projects and activities.
For information, call 352-566-2328.
Country Quilters meet weekly
The Dunnellon Country Quilters meet at 12:30 p.m. every Monday at the First Methodist Church of Dunnellon, 21501 W. State Road 40, Dunnellon.
The group makes patriotic quilts for veterans, pillowcases for Shands Children’s Cancer Center, prayer quilts for the First Methodist Church of Dunnellon and quilts for the Citrus County Resource Center. We also have classes for different projects and go on road trips and quilt shows. Every third Monday of the month we hold our business meeting and share what we have made.
We welcome visitors and would love to have you as members in our organization. If you have questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discover power of plants at new Discovery Center exhibit
The Discovery Center’s newest exhibit, Plantastic, is open to the public through Saturday, May 6, at the Discovery Center, 701 NE Sanchez Ave., Ocala. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Follow Bobbi the Botanist on an adventure to see all the ways that plants power our world. Check out the mini hedge maze and be the insect in the larger-than-life flower garden.
General admission to the Discovery Center is $8 per person or $28 for a family of four. Annual memberships are also available for individuals and families. Additional educational opportunities include, StarLab Planetarium shows from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, and STEAM Saturdays are available at 2 p.m. for a $3 add-on to the price of general admission.
For more information, call 352-401-3900 or visit the Discovery Center page at www.ocalafl.org.
Ocala hosting “After Dark in the Park” movie series
The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department will host the 2023 After Dark in the Park movie series on select Fridays throughout the year at various parks across the city.
Saturday, April 1 – “The Monuments Men” (PG-13), Tuscawilla Art Park, 213 NE Fifth St., 8 p.m.
Friday, July 14 – “Encanto” (PG), Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place, 1821 NW 21st Ave., 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 6 – “Hotel Transylvania” (PG), Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 29 – “Home Alone” (PG), Tuscawilla Park Oak Grove, 500 NE Ninth St., 7 p.m.
These events are free and open to the public. Popcorn, drinks and other refreshments will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.
For information, call the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517 or visit www.ocalafl.org/recpark.
Marion Stamp Club meets twice monthly
The General Francis Marion Stamp Club is now meeting the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Marion County Sheriff’s Substation at 9048 SW State Road 200, Ocala. Our meetings begin at 1:30 p.m.
Please join us for presentations, sharing and giveaways.
For any questions, email Elliot at email@example.com.
The Silver Springs Lions Club is hosting train shows on Saturdays March 11, June 10 and Nov. 4 at First Christian Church, 1908 E. Fort King St., Ocala. Show times are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Collectibles, memorabilia and most scales featured.
Admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under who accompany an adult.
Bring a canned food good for $1 off admission per adult ticket.
For more information, call Bob at 352-0694-6381 pr 813-203-3216 (cell).
Museum of History & Archaeology events
All programs are held at 2 p.m. on the third Sunday of odd months in Green Clover Hall at 319 SE 26th Terrace. Receptions following the programs in the museum itself. Admission is free to members and $5 to nonmembers. Individual and family memberships are available for sale at events.
March 19 – Cynthia Wilson-Graham, Marion County author/historian, speaks on the topic of early Marion County Black Residents and Businesses.
May 21 – Robert Jacob, author/historian, speaks on the Pirates of the Florida coastline and the golden age of piracy.
July 16 – Dr. Joe Knetsch, historian and author of many books, speaks on the maritime heritage of Florida, including the history of St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers.
Sept. 17 – Prof. Rebecca Johnston, English professor at Santa Fe College and a novelist, speaks on the history of World War I as it intersects with Florida history.
Nov. 19 – The Leitner Sisters speak on early Marion County history.
Local chapter of Florida Sewing Sew-Ciety
Looking for a friendly, general sewing group? We get together once a month in Ocala to sew clothes, accessories, home/gift items and charity projects. We are the local chapter of the Florida Sewing Sew-Ciety (FSS), a state-wide organization.
The annual membership is $20. All levels of sewing are welcome.
If you would like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get out and dance
The Town Square at Circle Square Commons hosts “Get Out and Dance” five nights a week. Dance to live entertainment every Friday and Saturday and to pre-recorded music Tuesday through Thursday. The dances are free and open to the public.
The Town Square is in On Top of the World at 8405 SW 80th St., Ocala.
Faith Family Camp nonprofit kick-off event
Faith Family Camp, Inc., a new nonprofit organization in Marion County, is holding a kick-off event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 18. The event is a family fun day free to attend.
Concessions and silent auctions will be available throughout the day. Food tickets of 2 for $1 are available throughout the day.
You can learn more at www.faithfamilycamp.org or FB.com/FaithFamilyCamp.
Local church can help with basic needs
On the fourth Saturday of each month, food and basic home needs will be available at North Oak Church in Citrus Springs at 10 a.m., until supplies run out.
Enter the church property from North Citrus Springs Boulevard and a supply of paper products, detergents, personal items and more will be brought to your car. Drive around, following the driveway, and food items will also be brought to the vehicle. Then, exit on to North Elkcam Boulevard.
Items vary based on availability. Anyone who has a need is welcome and there is no charge.
More information on the website: northoakbc.org.
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 www.CedarKeyArtsFestival.com, CedarKeyArtsFestival@gmail.com, and 352-543-5400.
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