352 Preview Magazine 02/22

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352

PREVIEW

OCALA’S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT, NIGHTLIFE & FAMILY FUN

F EB 2022

wander for the

WEEKEND SPEND A DAY WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER EXPLORING ONE OF OCALA’S NEARBY CITIES


Considering Ocala?

Equine Estates – 14 +/- Acres

Privacy & Tranquility on 23.21 +- Acres

Located in a gated community close to the Florida Horse Park with access to the Florida Greenways and Trails. 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home plus screen-enclosed pool, covered lanai, and summer kitchen. The equestrian will love the 4-stall center-aisle barn. $2,175,000

Recently updated 4,000-SF estate with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Open floor plan with spacious great room plus stone fireplace. Pool. Zoned for horses or cattle. 9-stall barn with tack/feed room, office, and 2-bed/ 2-bath guest apartment. Arena. Covered Storage building. $1,795,000

New Construction! Summit – 3.81+/- Acres

Equestrian Oasis on 26+/- acres

Located in a prestigious gated neighborhood. 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath home with 5,900+ SF living area. Chef’s kitchen with walk-in pantry, large den and recreation room that opens onto lanai and pool area. 3-car garage plus portico and circular driveway. $2,494,000

Gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry. Spacious entertainment room. Screen-enclosed lanai. 5,300+-SF residence. 18-stall CB stable, office and a 2/1 guest apartment. Round pen with viewing area and arena. Private stocked lake with dock. $2,975,000

Let Joan Pletcher, Realtor, list and/or sell your property.

2021 Sold Properties- $139,811,950 2022 Sold & Pending Properties - $9,506,560 For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


Just Listed!

14 +/- Acres of Privacy and Tranquility!

Country Club of Ocala

One-of-a-kind family compound on HWY 475. Paddocks with green pastures and beautiful oaks. Driveway leads to the two architecturally designed homes. Main home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with office. Second home offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths plus office. $1,199,000

Beautiful builder’s home overlooking the 15th fairway is being sold fully furnished. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, formal living, formal dining, open family room with built-in cabinetry throughout the home. 3-car garage plus RV garage. $1,750,000

White Oak Village

Oak Creek Caverns

3 bedrooms and 2 baths plus office. Kitchen has granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and breakfast nook. Family room opens to screen-enclosed patio. Owners’ bedroom with luxury bath. HOA includes pool, fitness center and tennis courts. $369,500

Gated neighborhood close to Ocala’s amenities. 3-bedroom, 2-bath home, covered entry, large formal living room formal dining, and family room with brick fireplace. Kitchen opens to family room. Inside laundry room and gated patio. Brand-new roof. $475,500

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today! List your property with Joan Pletcher... Our results speak for themselves.

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


WHETHER YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR LEGACY, PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS OR NEED TO SETTLE A LOVED ONE’S ESTATE, I AM HERE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE TRANSITION.

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Please call for your FREE Florida Wills, Trusts and Probate Handbook!

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352 PR EV IEW MAGA ZINE | F E B RUA RY 2022 | VO L . 3, N O. 05 Published monthly by 352 Preview, LLC. All contents © 2022 by 352 Preview, LLC. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole on in part without written permission from the owners. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 812-3672. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and materials if they are to be returned to sender. “Promotional” and “Promotional Feature” denote a paid advertising feature. Owners are not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.

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CONTENTS // FEB 2022

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FEATURE 22 // WA N DER FO R T H E W EEK EN D

This Valentine’s weekend, go beyond the basic flowers and chocolates. Instead, plan to spend a day with your significant other exploring one of Ocala’s nearby cities.

6 // TO P 10 T H IN GS TO DO IN T H E 3 52 A handy guide to get you going and keep you busy this month.

WATCH 8 // CO N C ERT S P OT LIG H T

Last-minute tickets and local shows you won’t want to miss.

10 // A MEET IN G O F T H E MIN DS

Castillo De San Marcos photo by Matador Network courtesy of VisitFlorida.com; Tuscawilla Art Park photo by Dave Miller, courtesy of City of Ocala; Pat Parelli photo courtesy of Parelli Management Team; Parksdale Market photo courtesy of Parksdale Market.

Every Friday morning, Ocala gets a fresh dose of Unwanted Opinions.

12 // R A IS IN G AWA REN ESS

Night of Hope works to break the silence of domestic violence.

14 // ST RO LL O N BY

The Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration brings in 10 new sculptures to the park.

EXPLORE 16 // H IK IN G T H ROUG H H ISTO RY

Standing midway between Jacksonville and Gainesville in Keystone Heights, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is one of Florida’s oldest state parks.

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18 // IN C ELEBR AT IO N

Honor Black history in Ocala’s community and beyond at these two well-loved local spots.

20 // LE A RN IN G T H E PA RELLI MET H O D

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The World Equestrian Center will host a celebration of 40 years of Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

CRAVE 26 // A LL T H IN GS ST R AW BERRY

Whether you’re attending one of our state’s many strawberry festivals or you just want to whip up a sweet treat in your own kitchen, celebrating Florida’s strawberry harvest should make your to-do list this month.

28 // GA RDEN S FO R G O O D

The Ocala Wellness Community Garden provides more than just space to grow veggies.


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THINGS TO DO IN THE 352 :

* TOP

ADVENTHEALTH GRANDVIEW INVITATIONAL // FEBRUARY 4-6

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CATTLE DRIVE AND COWBOY ROUND-UP // FEBRUARY 12

Dust off your cowboy hat and shine up your boots for Ocala’s annual Cattle Drive and Cowboy Round-Up, from 10am-2pm, at Tuscawilla Park, hosted by the City of Ocala’s Recreation and Parks Department. Start the morning off early by watching real cowboys drive Florida cracker cattle through downtown Ocala to Tuscawilla Park. The event features live music, cowboy demonstrations, craft vendors, food trucks, trucks, tractors and trailers, a kids’ corral and farm animals. While you’re there don’t miss the Marion Rotary Duck Derby taking place at 1pm on Lake Tuscawilla. Rubber ducks will race across the pond. If your lucky duck is one of the first to cross the line, you will win a cash prize! Proceeds benefit the Discovery Center. Learn more at ocalafl.org.

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Once a year, the Horse Capital of the World welcomes the top eight-horse and six-horse hitches in the world to compete in an elite driving competition. Grandview Invitational, which takes place at the Florida Horse Park, showcases all three major draft horse breeds: Clydesdales, Belgians and Percherons. Gates open at 8am, and the competitions begins at 12pm each day. Single-day and multi-day tickets for both adults and children are available, as well as for special events like the Grandview Casino Night and Grandview Gala. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets at grandviewinvitational.com. Grandview World Nights, which take place at the World Equestrian Center on February 11 and 12, is an elegant evening event that incorporates the majestic elegance and power of these draft horse breeds. Learn more about this event at grandviewworldnights.com.

BRICK CITY ANIME FESTIVAL // FEBRUARY 12-13

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Brick City Anime Festival will take place at the World Equestrian Center (Expo 1 Building) from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am6pm on Sunday. The Brick City Anime Festival is Ocala’s anime and cosplay event and will feature many events and activities during the convention for attendees to take part in, such as meeting their favorite guests, participating in guest panels, contests and a gaming area. To view the current guest list and preorder tickets, visit brickcityanimefestival.com.

BRONCS, BULLS & BULLFIGHTERS // FEBRUARY 18-19 The Ocala Shrine Rodeo and the Southeastern Youth Fair present a weekend of rodeo fun. The event starts at 7:30pm nightly, and gates open at 5:30pm. Tickets are $25 at the gate. Children 5 years of age and under are free. Friday night only, children 6-11 years of age get in for $10 when accompanied by a paying adult. Purchase tickets online in advance for a discount. Learn more and purchase tickets at ocalashrinerodeo.com.

Clydesdale photos courtesy of Grandview Invitational; Ocala Shrine Rodeo Photos by Mike Rastelli; SEYF Photos by Tracy Bazemore, creativefotosbytracy.com; Villages Balloon Festival photos courtesy of The Villages Entertainment

A HANDY GUIDE TO GET YOU GOING AND KEEP YOU BUSY THIS MONTH.


SILVER RIVER KNAP-IN AND PREHISTORIC ARTS FESTIVAL // FEBRUARY 19-20

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SOUTHEASTERN YOUTH FAIR // FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 5

The Silver River Knap-In and Prehistoric Arts Festival takes place at the Silver River Museum inside Silver Springs State Park and is the largest event of its kind in the Southeast. This year’s event takes place from 9am4pm both days. Experience flint knapping, which is the art of recreating ancient stone tools like spear points and arrow heads, and artisans from across the country attend this unique event to demonstrate making stone tools, pottery, traditional bows and arrows, hide tanning, shell carving, fire making and more. Hands-on activities include archery, tomahawk and spear throwing ranges, and a museum scavenger hunt. Admission is $8, and children ages 5 and under are free. Visit silverrivermuseum.com for more information.

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Each year the fair showcases the hard work of student farmers, entrepreneurs and more. The show typically includes competitions in many animal categories, including market steer, swine, lamb and goat. Other competition categories include home arts, horticulture and photography, plus barbecue contests, tractor driving, speech contests and more. The Ag Dash 5K will take place on February 26 at 8am at the livestock pavilion. For the most up-to-date information, visit seyfair.com or the event’s Facebook page.

DRINKING AROUND THE WORLD BAR CRAWL // FEBRUARY 26

Drink around the world in downtown Ocala from 2-7pm. Participating restaurants include: The Lodge (USA), Cantina (Mexico), Loft popup bar (Ireland), Downtown Billiards (Germany), Mutiny (England), Tipsy Skipper (Fiji), Brick City BBQ (Canada) and Big Hammock Brewery (Japan). Get a stamp on your event passport from every location to be entered into a chance to win a $50 Lodge gift card. Your ticket includes a free drink at each country and food specials. Plan to come dressed in theme costumes for this age 21-and-up event. Purchase tickets on eventbrite.com for $15 in advance or for $20 the day of. Check in at the tent in front of The Lodge at 2pm to receive your wristbands and cups. For more information, find the event on Facebook.

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THE VILLAGES BALLOON FESTIVAL // MARCH 4-6

The Villages Balloon Festival—Winter Celebration will be held at The Villages Polo Club and will be featured around the Spring Polo Season Opener. After seeing the world-famous polo matches, enjoy balloon competitions and nightly glows. The event will also feature food trucks, vendors, a free fun zone, strolling entertainment, live music, an antique car show and, most of all, hot air balloons. All balloon activities are weather dependent, and the event host cannot guarantee any of the balloons will inflate during the festival or at the tentatively scheduled time. The balloon glow will take place nightly between 7-8pm. Tethered balloon rides are $20 for adults and $10 for children, cash only. Tethered balloon rides are booked on-site on a first-come-first-served basis and are booked at the tethered rides payment booth. Vendor row will open at 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Bring your own lawn chairs, as seating is limited. Visit thevillagesballoonfestival.com for more information.

GNOME AND FAIRY FESTIVAL // FEBRUARY 27 Sholom Park will host the 3rd Annual Fun at the Park Gnome and Fairy Festival from 12-4pm. The event features an afternoon of live music, interactive and enchanting entertainment, and a marketplace with magical merchants and fantastical fares. Experience the whimsical world of fairies, gnomes and other mythical creatures while you enjoy the sounds of The Mystic Celts, a sixpiece Celtic band, from 1-4pm. Dance with the Irish Echoes in a traditional Irish-Celtic Step Dancing performance with high kicks and loud clicks. Visit sholompark.org or the Sholom Park Facebook page for additional details.

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HABITAT OCALA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL // MARCH 5 This popular Ocala event returns for its eighth year from 9am-5pm at the McPherson Complex. The event provides visitors a family-fun atmosphere with vendors, games, rides, bounce houses, car show, pet contest, pie-eating contest, entertainment and lots of strawberries. The event benefits Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. Learn more at habitatocala.org/strawberryfestival. FEB ‘22

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

LOCAL LISTENS

CONCERT SPOTLIGHT THE MUDDS

Morevino Restaurant & Wine Bar // February 10

HOUSTON KEEN Infinite Ale Works // February 11

ELIO PIEDRA Circle Square Commons // February 18

SHAYNE RAMMLER Locos Grill & Pub // February 25

Backstreet Boys

THE BEACH BOYS St. Augustine Amphitheatre // March 5

BILLY JOEL Camping World Stadium, Orlando // March 12

JIMMY EAT WORLD & DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL St. Augustine Amphitheatre // March 17

GARTH BROOKS Camping World Stadium, Orlando // March 26

JOHN MAYER Amalie Arena, Tampa // April 5

JUSTIN BIEBER VyStar Veterans Arena, Jacksonville // April 7 Amway Center, Orlando // April 11

HAMPTON WATER PRESENTS BON JOVI Amalie Arena, Tampa // April 15

JOURNEY Amalie Arena, Tampa // April 20 Amway Center, Orlando // April 21

KENNY CHESNEY Raymond James Stadium, Tampa // April 23

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TIM MCGRAW MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // May 6

MIRANDA LAMBERT & LITTLE BIG TOWN MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // May 13

WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE Daytona International Speedway // May 19-22

COLDPLAY Raymond James Stadium, Tampa // June 14

KEITH URBAN MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 17 Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // August 4-5

BACKSTREET BOYS VyStar Veterans Arena, Jacksonville // June 20 MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 21

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK VyStar Veterans Arena, Jacksonville // July 8 Amway Center, Orlando // July 10

The Lodge Ocala // February 25

ONE FLITE UP Charlie Horse // February 26

10,000 MANIACS Reilly Arts Center // February 25 The band has covered plenty of ground in its 35-plus years, from cult-herodom to international stardom, to their current status as a cornerstone alternative band.

THE MUSIC OF BROOKS & DUNN Orange Blossom Opry // March 7 Kenny Evans presents the music of Brooks and Dunn in a wonderful show filled with all the greatest hits of these country music icons, from “Neon Moon” to “He’s Got You.”

THE WILDFLOWERS: TRIBUTE TO TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS Circle Square Cultural Center // March 19 The Wildflowers will take you back to the late ‘80s when hits like “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’” topped the charts and ruled the airwaves.

AIR SUPPLY The Sharon // March 27 The trademark sound of Russell Hitchcock’s soaring tenor voice and Graham Russell’s simple yet majestic songs created a unique sound that would forever be known as Air Supply. *Editor’s Note: Tickets were available for all concerts as of date of publication. Dates are subject to change at the discretion of the venue.

Photo by Justin Segura courtesy of Backstreetboys.com

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

A Meeting Of The Minds Every Friday morning Ocala gets a fresh dose of Unwanted Opinions.

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or those of you who may be unfamiliar, Unwanted Opinions is a podcast hosted by Ocala locals Justin MacDonald and Matt Fischer. Although you’ll never know exactly what to expect, you can always count on some interesting banter. It all started as a talk radio show on Gainesville Ocala All Talk—The GOAT. The show went on air officially in 2018. “What started as a short exploration into the realm of radio expanded into the show you all listen to and love now,” says Matt. Justin spoke about how it all got started. “We had previously done promotional product work with Fox Sports Radio, which is what The GOAT was previously, and I met thenmanager Deborah Smith and owner Don DePew,” says Justin. “Deb asked if I would be interested in hosting a radio show. I gave a resounding ‘No.’ I had never done anything like that.” However, after some convincing and persistence from Deborah, the duo officially kicked off the show. “I knew that, despite our experience, if we had 10

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// B Y J E S S E J A M E S each other to play off of, we would eventually get something that was half listenable,” says Justin. “We’ve been friends for over two decades, so we can communicate pretty fluidly.” What was supposed to be a three-month stint turned into a once-a-week, hour-long show thanks in part to Trey Adams and The Touchdown Group. The show grew in popularity for the next few years, and the two were able to bring on a fact-checker. (That’s yours truly, Jesse James!) The pandemic swept through and changed everything for everybody. There was a shift at the beginning of 2020 as the station sold, and the show was canceled. “There were talks of a podcast for a while, but the timing never seemed right,” says Justin. The trio spoke about turning the show into a podcast and how to bring it back. “After enough requests from friends and listeners, in 2021, we contracted for a spot with Workspace Collective,” added Justin. Dave Miller was brought on as the executive producer, and Unwanted Opinions made its return just before 2022.

The podcast isn’t just about one thing, and some episodes are about nothing—other than witty banter and inside jokes. It’s about unwinding, having fun and touching on the things happening around us. The crew takes on topics of all sorts, ranging from technology and art to sports, world news and more. They frequently open up about their adventures and experiences through life; including some local news sprinkled throughout. Think of it as an hour-long conversation between friends, listeners included. Unwanted Opinions is back in full swing as a once-a-week, one-hour, live show, broadcasting on Facebook Live with a few new elements, including a different special guest each week. Tune in every Friday from 8-9am and watch for yourself. And, if you are interested in joining the fellas as the “Person on the Couch,” reach out to Unwanted Opinions on Facebook or Instagram (@unwanted.pod). Unwanted Opinions // View podcast on Facebook Live every Friday 8-9am


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Raising Awareness Night of Hope works to break the silence of domestic violence. // W R I T T E N A N D P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y R O N A L D W. W E T H E R I N G T O N

Beth McCall and Monica Bryant

Alicia Walker, Judge James & Jessica McCune

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ponsored by the Marion County Children’s Alliance Family Violence Prevention Work Group, the recent annual Night of Hope honored victims and survivors of domestic violence. Held at the College of Central Florida, Macy’s, Signature Brands and others were key sponsors of the event. This event was held to provide hope to those who have survived dating and domestic violence or who may currently be or know someone who is living in an abusive situation. The Night of Hope event included dinner, live entertainment, survivor testimonies and vendors. Former Marion County School Board member Beth McCall was the Mistress of the Ceremony. The remarkable keynote presentation was given by Wambui Bahati. The entire evening honored the domestic violence advocates and remembered those whose lives ended too soon. In attendance were many victims from the local domestic violence shelter, and both their admittance and childcare for the evening were free. Proceeds of the event are used to provide resources and service to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Each year, Marion County averages more than 3,000 reported cases of domestic violence. Since 2018, there have been 32 domestic violence homicides. The Marion County Children’s Alliance Family Violence Prevention Work Group hosts additional events throughout the year to raise awareness of this issue in our community. Visit breakthesilenceonviolence.org for more information or to donate. 12

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Carmen Rodriguez, Brandy & Joshua Harris

Callin Hartigen, Karla Chartier, Tasha Nix, Tanya Rodriguez & Daniel Trammell

Rhonda Gria, Brittany Cecil, Shelby Roberts & Ayana Adams

Samantha Kerny, Malisa Crane & Ardana Baker

Saul Reyes, Kim Sellers, Mark Pauge & Chriss Knife

Michelle Suid, Armdy Waters, Brittany Smith, Catherinee Ridley & Hayley Ross


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Stroll On By

The Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration brings in 10 new sculptures to the park. // B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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Photo by Dave Miller, courtesy of City of Ocala

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f you’ve walked through Tuscawilla Art Park within the last 10 years, you’ll have noticed the wonderful metal creations on display. They’re all a part of the Biennial Ocala Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, which installs 10 new sculptures to the park every other year. The Sculpture Stroll Celebration, happening February 19 from 11am-2pm, is the first time the public can check out the new sculptures while also enjoying family art activities provided by local non-profits, sculpture tours, live entertainment, artisan vendors and food trucks. This event is free and part of the 2022 Tuscawilla Art Park Series. The sculpture exhibition began as a continued reinvestment in the area while enhancing Tuscawilla Park and the walking trail area. “Public art projects, for the Cultural Arts and Sciences Division, provide all community members the opportunity to experience art,” says Cultural Arts and Sciences Division Head Laura Walker. “This has been even more important during the past couple of years due to the pandemic and closures of formal venues. They are important on a statewide and national level in generating interest both in calling Ocala home and also in establishing us as the example statewide for public art programming. Nationally, through the inclusion of artists from across all of North America, we are represented through participation and acknowledgment. Public art is also a catalyst for reinvestment, economic development and provides quality of life.” Although the details of the new sculptures are very hush-hush until the Sculpture Stroll, Laura did mention that they include everything from representation to non-representational works (art that does not represent or depict a being, place or thing) from artists throughout North America. One Ocala artist and several

Florida artists will have sculptures featured. The sculptures will be on display for 22 months before either being purchased by donors for the City’s permanent collection or returned to the artist. Attendees to the event will have the chance to vote for their favorite sculptures and submit their vote for the People’s Choice award. Voting for the award occurs from 11am-1pm, and votes can be submitted at the information tent. All competition awards will be presented at the Tuscawilla Art Park stage at 1:30pm. Visitors interested in an up-close artist experience can attend the pre-party Beginning of Bolted Art (BOBA) Brunch, hosted on the same day at the Magnolia Art Xchange from 9-11am, featuring music by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra

and an artist panel. Admission is $25 online or $30 at the door, and $5 of every ticket will benefit the Magnolia Art Xchange Artist Residency Program. “I am most looking forward to seeing the community members’ enjoyment and participation in the People’s Choice award,” says Laura. “I love the experience that the new sculptures bring to the park.” Tuscawilla Sculpture Stroll Celebration // February 19, 11am-2pm // Tuscawilla Art Park, 213 NE Fifth St., Ocala // BOBA Brunch // February 19 9-11am // Magnolia Art Xchange, 531 NE 1st Ave, Ocala // Learn more about the events and purchase BOBA tickets at ocalafl.org/artpark.


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Hiking Through History Standing midway between Jacksonville and Gainesville in Keystone Heights, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is one of Florida’s oldest state parks. // B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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Photos courtesy of Florida State Park

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ocated on rolling sandhills on the North Central Ridge of Florida with one of the few remaining examples of an old growth stand of longleaf pines, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park offers visitors a day of hiking and wildlife viewing along the park’s nature trails and a 5.44-mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail. Most notably, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch has been a part of the Florida state park system since 1935 and was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). “The CCC itself is a fascinating part of American history,” says Erin McDade, deputy press secretary for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “It was formed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 to help combat unemployment during the Great Depression. The extraordinary craftsmanship of the CCC is still evident today.” In 1935, 25 seasoned CCC craftsmen joined hundreds of CCC youth at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch to plant trees, clear areas for campsites, build roads and construct buildings. Many of those buildings are still in use today. “Looking around the park, it is easy to spot the rugged buildings constructed by the CCC,” says Erin. “These structures have stood the test of time and continue to serve the public today. Visitors still sleep in the nine rustic cabins facing Lake Johnson, and they still prepare for a swim in the old bathhouse. And, more than 70 years later, the ranger station still welcomes folks to visit and spend some time in Florida’s natural beauty.” The park was officially dedicated on April 15, 1939 and was known as Gold Head Branch until 1966, when it was renamed in honor of Martin J. “Mike” Roess, who originally donated the property. Mike Roess Gold Head Branch

State Park is one of eight state parks in Florida that can trace its roots to the CCC. Others include: Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa, Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, O’Leno State Park in High Springs and Torreya State Park in Bristol. Today, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch offers a charming outdoor adventure in “Real Florida.” Available amenities and experiences include hiking, horseback riding, camping, birding and wildlife viewing, picnicking, fishing and swimming. Paddling Little Lake Jackson is also a popular activity at the park. Canoes are available for rent at the beach, but feel free to bring your own canoe, kayak or paddleboard if you have it. Little Lake Johnson and the park at large is home to

a variety of wildlife such as freshwater turtles, including the Florida softshell and the more common Peninsula cooter, as well as plenty of fish and wading birds. “Paddling in Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park also connects you to past travelers,” says Erin. “During a recent drought, a prehistoric dugout canoe was found in the muddy lake bottom. Perhaps these people too were drawn to the shimmering surface of the lake. It seems to call to those on its banks, beckoning any lover of the water to come out and navigate its calm and tranquil surface. If you want to experience one of the best features of this premier state park, then grab a paddle and enjoy the water.” Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park // 6239 State Road 21, Keystone Heights // floridastateparks.org


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Ocala Black History Mural photo by Maven Photo + Film, courtesy of City of Ocala

WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

In Celebration Honor Black history in Ocala’s community and beyond at these two well-loved local spots.

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// B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

he Black History Museum of Marion County and the Ocala Black History Mural are just two ways to explore the rich history of African-Americans in our community. Whether this month or in the future, make plans to visit… you’re guaranteed to learn a little something!

and director of grants and federal programs with Marion County Public Schools. “[The museum] celebrates the rich culture of AfricanAmericans. My most favorite [exhibit] is Emmett Till’s display because much of the movement that sparked due to his death still resonates within the community today.”

BLACK HISTORY MUSEUM OF MARION COUNTY

Black History Museum of Marion County // 306 SW 7th Ave., Ocala // (352) 671-4171

The Black History Museum of Marion County celebrates the rich history of African-Americans in Ocala and Florida with artifacts from important events and places, including Paradise Park and the Civil Rights Movement through present day. Located within the Howard Academy Community Center and overseen by Marion County Public Schools, this free museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm. The museum reopened in November 2021 after being closed for a year due to Covid and building renovations. The museum is packed full of history, documenting and showcasing the impact it had on American and world history. “[It’s] information you will not see in history books,” says Dr. Stacey Reece, museum director 18

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OCALA BLACK HISTORY MURAL The Ocala Black History Mural, located at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex, was originally completed in 2005 through a partnership between the Marion Cultural Alliance and the College of Central Florida and in coordination with seven artists: Michele Faulconer, Valerie Fjalstad, Bob Hazelden, Leonard Palmer, Jillian Ramsammy, Trevor Ramsammy and Robert William. The mural’s 27 panels depict significant moments of Ocala Black history. In 2019, the Ocala Black History Mural was restored as part of the Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series, a 10-week grant-funded music series also supported through the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, which takes place at Webb

Field at the recreation complex. Since restoration was completed, the mural has been registered on the Florida Mural Trail. The Levitt Foundation Community Bridge Grant provided the opportunity to complete, print and distribute an educational guide that could be incorporated into the Marion County Public Schools curriculum. The mural begins by welcoming visitors to Ocala, which became more popular from 1880-1900 as Ocala began to expand outside its original city limits. During that period, the majority of Black residents began to settle west of the downtown core. Ocala’s main east-west thoroughfare, Broadway (now Silver Springs Boulevard), was the commercial heart of downtown. The street was home to many of Ocala’s most prosperous Black businessmen and leaders. An online guide to the mural, which you can view as you look over the mural, can be found at https://bit.ly/3qwmaxa. Ocala Black History Mural // Webb Field at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex, 1510 NW 4th St, Ocala // (352) 629-8447 or artinfo@ocalafl.org // ocalafl.org/culturalarts


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Learning The Parelli Method The World Equestrian Center will host a celebration of 40 years of Parelli Natural Horsemanship. // B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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Photos courtesy of Parelli Management Team

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ost lifelong horse enthusiasts cannot remember a time when Natural Horsemanship didn’t exist. The simple systems of equine partnership helped shape the way that equestrians approach their relationship with their horse in every riding discipline imaginable. And this year marks 40 years since the father of Natural Horsemanship, Pat Parelli, gave his first clinic. In celebration of all those years and the decades to come, the Horsemanship Simplified event is bringing three days of education, entertainment and inspiration to Ocala’s World Equestrian Center, diving deep into how to make the most of the human-equine partnership. “This is a one-of-a-kind anniversary event that will both celebrate the rich history of Natural Horsemanship and the Parelli Method and leave guests with tools to go back home and use to cultivate a better riding and ownership experience with their horses,” says Kat Chrysostom, brand strategist with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. “We invite all horse lovers to come be a part of the biggest horsemanship event of the decade, where you can watch the story of Natural Horsemanship unfold before your eyes, see the Parelli System in action and reignite your passion for developing a partnership with horses like never before.” Horsemanship Simplified is split up into three days, each day focusing on a different topic. On Friday, the presentations will be centered around the horse: what makes them tick, how the horse perceives its owner as his partner and how the Parelli Program can help the horse and rider. Spectators will be able to watch Pat Parelli live as he teaches the art and science of Applied Horse Psychology to build the best partnership possible. The second day, Saturday, will focus on man: what

it takes to be your horse’s leader and how to stay in the leadership mindset even when learning is hard. Finally, day three will focus on the journey: how humans and horses can come together and form a unique relationship built on trust and connection. The Parelli Method has reached 76 countries, over a million people, countless horses and is now accessible to every horse owner at every budget through online membership all the way up to in-person courses. “Pat Parelli was truly a pioneer in the equine industry,” says Kat. “Back when clinics were centered around riding and training techniques, Pat was focused on figuring out what made horses interact the way they do with each other and the outside world. You can see the ripple effects of Natural Horsemanship throughout every equestrian discipline today, because it approaches horses in a way that they can understand. Pat Parelli simplified the equine

partnership and truly made it accessible to all riders in a way that no one else in the industry has done.” You can attend the event in person at the World Equestrian Center for $39.95 if your ticket is purchased in advance or for $89.95 if purchased at the door or virtually for $99.95. You can also be a VIP for the event for $499.95, which includes a small group dinner with Pat, a private meet and greet with Magic’s Mirror (the clone of Magic, Pat’s once-in-a-lifetime horse), a tour of the Pat Parelli Center in Ocala, a Backstage Pass Thursday evening for a private meet-and-greet with Pat Parelli at rehearsal and preferred seating at all events. Horsemanship Simplified // March 4-6 // World Equestrian Center, 1750 NW 80th Ave., Ocala // Learn more about the event and purchase tickets at parelli.com.


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CUMMER MUSEUM OF ART & GARDENS


HE WEEKEND THIS VALENTINE’S DAY, GO BEYOND THE BASIC FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES. INSTEAD, PLAN TO SPEND A DAY WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER EXPLORING ONE OF OCALA’S NEARBY CITIES. BY KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY

JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS

CEDAR KEY

CUMMER MUSEUM OF ART & GARDENS


JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS

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rom outdoor adventures and historical monuments to unique shopping opportunities, there is no shortage of stuff to do within a quick two-hour drive. So, arrange for a babysitter, pick a destination and go. We’ve shared a few of our favorite day trips to get you started. And, if you want to make a weekend out of it, that’s even better!

ST. AUGUSTINE If you haven’t been to our nation’s oldest city in a while, you’re missing out. There is an abundance of recreational and historical opportunities in St. Augustine, and, at just 2.5 hours away, it makes the perfect day trip. Make sure to wear your comfortable walking shoes. For history buffs, St. Augustine is the jackpot of tourist destinations. The historic city center is filled with some of America’s firsts, including the first wooden schoolhouse and the first jail, which housed prisoners from 1891 to 1953. Visitors can explore these areas, and so much more, learning about what life was like in Florida’s earliest days. The Castillo de San Marco fort is the centerpiece of the city and more than worthy of a lengthy exploration. The national monument is 315 years old and is St. Augustine’s oldest structure. Construction began in 1672 and took almost a quarter of a century to complete. Back in its heyday, 24

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the fort served as Spain’s fortress, built to defend and protect the Spanish soldiers and their interests. Today, guests can meander through rooms that once served as housing quarters for the soldiers as well as cells where prisoners of war were held. The gun deck is the perfect place to take in panoramic views of the city, as well as cannon firings and weapon demonstrations on the weekends. Throughout the week, ranger-led tours are free with admission, or you can explore on your own at your own pace. If you and your sweetie prefer an allinclusive tour, St. Augustine has plenty to offer. Whether by water, air or land, the tour options are vast. Our favorite, though, is the Old Town Trolley Tour. The narrated tour is both educational and entertaining, and with 22 stops along the way, you’re sure to take in the best that the city has to offer. When hunger strikes there is no shortage of dining opportunities, from bistros and delis to international options. Check out visitsaintaugustine.com and click on dining for a practically endless list of options. To add a little romance and relaxation to your trip, include a trip to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum on your way home. The 219 steps to the top will provide ample photo opportunities not to mention a breathtaking view of the city, Matanzas Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Specialty tours are available, and the sunset/ moonrise tour will allow you and your significant other to enjoy drinks and appetizers while taking in the sunset and subsequent moonrise. We think it’s the perfect way to cap off a day exploring St. Augustine. Reservations are required, so make sure to call ahead to secure your space.

CEDAR KEY One thing is for sure when you visit Cedar Key on Florida’s Gulf Coast: Be prepared to take things slowly. The ambiance and energy are that of a quiet, quaint Florida fishing town. You’ll find no skyrises, heavy traffic or crowded malls. Instead, Cedar Key is a place to relax and unwind—chill out if you will. It’s also a place to get up close and personal with nature. Plan to spend the day on the water, kayaking the tidal creeks and along the calm coastline. Look for sea birds and dolphins along the way. You can choose to bring your own kayak or rent one in Cedar Key at any number of adventure outfitters. A visit to kayakingcedarkey.com will produce a list of must-see kayak locales in this historic seaside city, including one such spot, the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Another kayak trip worth the time and effort is the half-mile trek out to Atsena Otie Key, which was once known as the original Cedar Key townsite. Atsena Otie Key is only accessible by ferryboat or kayak and promises to be

Flagler College and Food Truck photo by Matador Network, courtesy of VisitFlorida.com; Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens photos courtesy of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens; Cedar Key photo by Spark, courtesy of VisitFlorida.com; Congaree and Penn photo couretsy of Congaree and Penn

FLAGLER COLLEGE


CEDAR KEY

CONGAREE AND PENN unspoiled and secluded. Once you arrive, plan to take a hike through the area, exploring the historic cemetery and the ruins of the former town seat. There’s nothing commercialized about the island, so make sure to bring some waters and snacks for the trip, plus check the tides to ensure safe travels before setting out. With narrow streets and close quarters, Cedar Key is very walkable and easy to explore. Start on Dock Street where you will find an assortment of antique shops, art galleries and dining establishments. For an afternoon cocktail, try 83 West. This pet-friendly bar also offers indoor and outdoor seating, arcade games and pool tables, perfect for a fun stop while in town. If you’re feeling hungry, place an order from or make your way upstairs to 29 North. Options include a great selection of soups, salads, starters, a raw bar, seafood specials, sandwiches and more. If you want the true Cedar Key experience, you have to order a clam chowder, as the area is known as the Chowder Capital of the World. A favorite of locals (and the world alike) is Tony’s Restaurant located on 2nd Street on the ground floor of the Hale building. In the early 2000s, diners encouraged the chef here to enter the restaurant’s clam chowder into the Newport, Rhode Island’s, Great Chowder Cook-Off. The result was three consecutive

JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS

chowder world championships. In 2011’s Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder was inducted into the Great Chowder Cook-Off 's Hall of Fame, and the recipe was retired from the competition. Fortunately, it’s still on the menu at Tony’s—and it’s a must while in Cedar Key.

JACKSONVILLE Situated in northeast Florida on the Atlantic coast, Jacksonville is home to 22 miles of beautiful beaches, more than 400 parks and green spaces, and a bustling art community. Whether you’re looking for big-city opportunities or quiet outdoor adventures, you’ll find it in Jax. Start your adventure with a trip to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The zoo boasts more than 2,000 exotic animals and 1,000 plant species. Check out the awardwinning Range of the Jaguar exhibit, the Land of the Tiger and the crowd favorite, the Giraffe Overlook where you can hand feed the giraffes. The zoo’s newest exhibit is the African Forest, which features a 40-foot tropical tree offering amazing views of the apes that call the exhibit home. Pencil in some time while in Jacksonville to explore one of the many museums. The Museum of Science & History, affectionately known as MOSH, is located downtown and showcases thousands of years of Northeast

Florida’s ecological and cultural history through interactive exhibits, beautiful displays and the world’s largest single-lens planetarium. Riverside features the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens where you’ll find more than 5,000 works of art. Other museums include the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, Museum of Southern History and more. One of our favorite places to visit is the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. With 120 acres of woodland trails to explore, the trails range from easy to challenging and contain a huge variety of trees, flowering plants, birds and wildlife. For a truly unique dining experience in Jacksonville, make a reservation at Congaree and Penn, a working farm that offers a spectacular field-to-fork dining experience. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, the farm offers a brunch, dinner and picnic menu, which can be perused online. Before calling the day a complete success, there’s one more necessary stop in Jacksonville—Sweet Pete’s. This one-of-a-kind candy store is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth, and it’s Valentine’s Day, so why not! The store offers classes on such topics as boozy truffles, taffy, chocolate bars your way, hot cocoa bombs, and more. Pete’s also has factory tours and a huge selection of chocolate and candy concoctions to sample and take home. FEB ‘22

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

All Things Strawberry Whether you’re attending one of our state’s many strawberry festivals or you just want to whip up a sweet treat in your own kitchen, celebrating Florida’s strawberry harvest should make your to-do list this month. // B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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lorida’s Hillsborough County is recognized as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World and is home to some of the best strawberries around. Visit any local market or grocery store for a carton of strawberries this time of year and you’re sure to see that they’ve been homegrown just south of us in Plant City. In fact, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Hillsborough County produces about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter. The commodity has an economic impact exceeding $700 million, and the 20 million flats produced each year, if placed end to end, would extend from Plant City to Seattle and back again. If you’re looking for fun ways to enjoy these fresh berries, we have plenty of suggestions— from strawberry festivals and recipes to a spot you’ll want to visit if you happen to find yourself in Plant City.

A PLANT CITY FAVORITE When visiting Plant City, Parkesdale Market makes the perfect stop before or after visiting the Florida Strawberry Festival. The legacy that is now known as Parkesdale Farms began when company founder R.E. (Roy) Parke, Jr. emigrated from Northern Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1924 with his family. Roy’s father continued to pursue a vocation in farming after arriving in America, and in 1956, the family relocated to Plant City, which was recognized throughout the country as the prime location for growing winter vegetables and strawberries. Thus, the first 10 acres of Parkesdale strawberry crops had been planted. Over the years, Roy and his own family took on the farm with a zest for hard work and a keen knowledge of agricultural and business practices. They expanded the farm into hundreds of acres of strawberries, citrus and vegetables. Parkesdale also added their 26

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own plant nurseries, which hold four extensive greenhouses, where they produce over a million vegetables and flowering plants annually. In February 1969 Roy’s daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, Jim Meeks, opened the Parkesdale Farm Market. What began as a small farm market has continued to grow and expand into the largest strawberry, citrus and produce market in Florida. In September 2007, Cheryl and Jim’s son, Jim Meeks and wife, Xiomara Meeks, joined the market to continue Roy’s legacy. “We offer a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, wonderful jams and marmalades, delicious salad dressings and pickled vegetables as well as Florida souvenirs and tropical and landscaping plants,” says Xiomara Meeks, business manager with Parkesdale. “Another interesting product is the Seven Keys Coconut Toast Spread and our freshly squeezed orange juice.”

Strawberry season at Parkesdale begins when the farm begins its planting season in October. At that time, the market gets some of their bare root strawberry plants to sell. Sometime in December the market begins selling strawberry flats. And, of course, their famous strawberry shortcake, which is only available during strawberry season, is for sale starting January 2 through early April. “Our shortcake has been an ever-improving recipe [that combines] the tastes of the South


WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE with the appeal of the North for the perfect shortcake,” says Xiomara. “A little like a biscuit with a touch of cake, our shortcake is just sweet enough to complement the juicy strawberries and moist enough to soak up all the sugary-flavored berry juices. We offer a few variations of our shortcake. For example, you can get ice cream and fresh berries or just berries or just cake.” Visitors to Parkesdale can enjoy their strawberry treats without leaving the market. With a terrific seating area in the greenhouse surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants, you’ll really get an Old Florida vibe while partaking in scrumptious Florida-fresh strawberries. “[We’re] a great stop—just minutes off I-4,” says Xiomara. “For a quick break, enjoy some delicious, locally grown strawberries and bring some goodies home to share.”

STRAWBERRY SNACKS

GET FESTIVE

Who doesn’t like a little chocolate with their strawberries! These show-stopping strawberry and chocolate treats are the perfect combos.

Ready for a roundup of festivals dedicated to our state’s favorite berry? Here ya go! Red White & Blues Farm Strawberry Festival February 12-13 // 10am-5pm // 3250 NE 140th Ave, Williston // redwhiteandbluesfarm.com The Villages Strawberry Festival February 26-27 // 10am-4pm // Brownwood Paddock Square, 2705 W Torch Lake Dr., The Villages // thevillagesentertainment.com Florida Strawberry Festival March 3-13 // 303 BerryFest Place, Plant City // flstrawberryfestival.com Habitat Ocala Strawberry Festival March 5 // 9am-5pm // McPherson Complex, 601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala // habitatocala.org

Parkesdale Farm Market // 3702 W Baker Street, Plant City // (813) 754-2704 // parkesdale.com

Floral City Strawberry Festival March 5-6 // Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-4pm // 9530 S Parkside Ave., Floral City // gostrawberryfest.com

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CHOCOLATE COATED STRAWBERRIES

Strawberry Shortcake, Milkshake & Market photos courtesy of Parksdale Market

Source: floridastrawberry.org

Find more snack recipes at culinary.net

• 1 1⁄4 baking chocolate chips • 1⁄2 baking peanut butter chips • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided • 1 pound fresh strawberries • shredded coconut • crushed almonds In saucepan, add baking chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt on low to medium heat, and whisk until smooth. In a small bowl, add baking peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk together until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip all strawberries into melted chocolate. Then, dip 1/3 in coconut, 1/3 in almonds and 1/3 just chocolate, and lay on tray. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the plain chocolate strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until strawberry treats are chilled.

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CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRY GREEK YOGURT BARK Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of Jenny With the Good Eats on behalf of Milk Means More

• 3 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt • 1⁄3 cup honey, plus additional for drizzling, divided (optional) • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1⁄4 cup melted dark chocolate • 1⁄2 cup strawberries • 1⁄2 cup dark chocolate chips In medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla. On parchment-lined baking sheet, spread Greek yogurt mixture to 1/4-inch thickness. Drop spoonfuls of melted chocolate onto yogurt, and use toothpick to drag in circles. Press strawberries and chocolate chips into yogurt. Freeze at least 3 hours. Remove from freezer, and break into pieces. FEB ‘22

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

[THE COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM] HEALTHY, LOCALLY GROWN FOOD, TIME OUTSIDE AND IN THE SUN, AND BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER GARDENERS. THE GARDEN PROVIDES THAT MUCH NEED-TIME OUTSIDE, WHILE PROVIDING THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW YOUR OWN HEALTHY AND ORGANIC FOOD. -JOHN SPENCER, RECREATION DIVISION HEAD

Gardens For Good The Ocala Wellness Community Garden provides more than just space to grow veggies. Photos courtesy of the City of Ocala

// B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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joint partnership between the City of Ocala, the Florida Department of Health Marion County and Feed the Need Garden, the Ocala Wellness Community Garden is a fun way to stay healthy while also getting your hands a little dirty. The idea for the garden began back in 2015 when the City and other local partners decided to create an area where community members could grow vegetables. The City and its partners knew there was a need for healthy food options in the area. “[The community benefits from] healthy, locally grown food, time outside and in the sun, and building friendships with other gardeners,” says Recreation Division Head John Spencer. “The garden provides that much-needed time outside, while providing the opportunity to grow your own healthy and organic food.” Through the partnership with the non-profit organization Feed the Need Garden, gardeners involved with the community garden can learn about sustainable agriculture practices, such as gardening, farming and food preservation. You 28

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can learn more about the Feed the Need Garden organization by visiting their Facebook page. Interested gardeners can purchase an annual plot for $10 and are able to plant any seasonal vegetables in their area. The plot is 4 feet by 8 feet in size with a wood border, and the City and its partners do provide some seedlings and seeds quarterly at the scheduled Replant Days. With the $10 fee, gardeners will also have access to soil, water and irrigation, compost bins for garden waste and gardening tools. Gardeners are required to keep up regular maintenance of their own plot and are not allowed to sell their harvested veggies on the garden premises or use herbicides and pesticides on their plot. They must also agree to participate in regular cleanup and maintenance, as well as fall cleanup, of the garden.

The City of Ocala is looking for volunteers to help assist on Replant Days as well as throughout the year. At the March 26 Replant Day, gardeners will be planting warm season vegetables and doing general garden maintenance. Other Replant Days in 2022 include May 28, August 27 and October 22. Activities during those times take place from 8:30-10:30am. There are also special community garden events, like group work days, where participants can learn gardening tips and recipe ideas for fresh produce. Ocala Wellness Community Garden // 2233 W Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala // Garden plots are limited but can be reserved by calling Mary Keck at (352) 368-5540. Information and an application are available at ocalafl.org/garden.


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75 4 N E 2 5 T H AV E , O CA L A

B R A I S E D O N I O N .C O M

It’s time to skill up, Ocala!

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FEB ‘22

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CRAVINGS

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OFF-DUTY TAVERN

MILANO ITALIAN GRILLE

1011 NE 14th St., Ocala // (352) 499-1089 // offdutytavern.com // Wed-Thurs 11am-9pm // Fri 11am-11pm // Sat 10am-11pm // Sun 10am-8pm // Mon 11am-9pm // Tue Closed

5400 SW College Rd., Ocala // (352) 304-8549 // milanotogo.com // Sun-Thur 11am-9pm // Fri-Sat 11am-10pm

Offering a welcoming environment for all guests and a special place for first responders, Off-Duty Tavern is the place to go when your shift is over—no matter what time of the day you clock out. Start your meal with the Gunners’ Guinness Fondue before enjoying the Rescue Reuben Sandwich, featuring tavernmade slow roasted corned beef. And while Off-Duty Tavern is a full-service restaurant for the whole family, make sure to check out the separate lounge, where you can unwind after your shift or on your day off.

At Milano Italian Grille you’ll find authentic Italian food in a peaceful, cozy atmosphere. Dine-in for dinner while enjoying chef’s specials, wine and live entertainment or join them for lunch during the day. Planning an event or party? The large private room can easily accommodate up to 50 people. Also don’t forget to try Ocala’s best handcrafted brick-oven pizza! Milano Italian Grille offers catering, delivery and takeout through the mobile app Milano Ocala, as well as through DoorDash, Grubhub and Bite Squad. Follow Milano on social media for current deals and offers.

EL TOREO

MARK’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE & SEAFOOD

Two Locations: 3790 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala // (352) 694-1401 // Mon-Sun 11am-10pm // 3510 SW 36th Ave. (SR 200), Ocala // (352) 291-2121 // Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

30 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala // (352) 402-0097 // 201 SE 2nd Ave., Gainesville // (352) 336-0077 // marksprimesteakhouse.com // Tue-Thu 5-9:30pm // Fri-Sat 5-10pm // Closed Sunday & Monday

Head to El Toreo for the best Mexican food this side of the border! Enjoy all of your favorite traditional Mexican dishes in a friendly and festive atmosphere. Beyond the outstanding Mexican food, El Toreo simply offers a warm, fun place to be— whether you’re dressed up or casual. Any day is a good day for one of El Toreo’s tasty margaritas: Mondays and Wednesdays $2 margaritas, Saturdays 2-for-1 margaritas and 2-for-1 happy hour every day from 4-7pm.

Mark’s Prime wants to create a sophisticated and unique dining experience that will please the palate and soothe the soul. Mark’s Prime serves only the finest beef, freshest seafood, premium wines and a diverse stock of bourbons and scotch. They are pleased to have been serving the finest quality dining experience since November 2002 and hope to see you very soon at one of their two great locations in Gainesville or Ocala. Outdoor dining available for those guests who wish to dine al fresco. Open Monday, February 14, from 5-9pm for Valentine’s Day.

352PREVIEW.COM


MAGAZINE


3035 SE MARICAMP RD STE 104, UNIT 168 OCALA, FL 34471

Experts in matters of the heart As Marion County’s only accredited HeartCARE Center™, and the only hospital with accreditations across five specialties from the American College of Cardiology, AdventHealth Ocala is leading the way to reimagine heart care. From minimally-invasive procedures to open heart surgery, our experts provide high-quality, comprehensive care to help heal your heart faster and keep it beating with the pace of life.

Cardiovascular Accreditations: •

Chest Pain Center

Cardiac Cath Lab

Heart Failure

Transcatheter Valve

Electrophysiology

21-COCSBR-11475

Find a heart care expert at AdventHealthCardiovascularInstitute.com.