352 Preview Magazine 05/22

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352

PREVIEW

OCALA’S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT, NIGHTLIFE & FAMILY FUN

leading

LADIES THESE OCALA WOMEN ROCK THEIR CREATIVE CAREERS

M AY 2022


Considering Ocala?

10+ Acre Gentleman’s Farm

14 +/- Acres of Privacy with 2 Homes

10+ acre gentleman’s farm located just minutes from premier shopping, dining, hospitals, and a short distance to the World Equestrian Center. Lit arena, 4-stall barn and 4 paddocks. Detached, covered 3-car garage. $785,000

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

JUST REDUCED

29+ Acre Equestrian Farm

Location! Location! Location!

This farm is located with frontage on Hwy 27 across from the HITS showgrounds and convenient to WEC. 4-bedroom, 3-bath home. Property features a 22-stall center aisle barn and various lush paddocks. 2-bed, 2-bath guest/staff housing. Two RV hook-ups. $1,897,000

Beautiful equestrian farm located in the prestigious NW Ocala area with scattered live oaks and lush green pastures. Office, (3) 14-stall barns, and six-horse eurocizer. Perfect for any discipline. $1,999,000

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

2022 Sold Properties- $19,375,560 2022 Pending Properties - $16,000,100 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.


Let Me Show You Ocala! JUST REDUCED

New Construction! Summit – 3.81+/- Acres

Country Club of Ocala

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. $2,290,000

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

28+/- Acres on Winding Drive

Via Paradisus 3+ to 30+ Acre Lots

4-bedroom, 3-bath home with generous living room, formal dining, family room plus covered porch overlooking the grounds. Barn/ equipment building features. Guest quarters with full bath. Located close to amenities. $2,750,000

1,000 acre gated community with equine bridle trails and lighted streets. Access to the Florida Greenways and Trails system through a private trail head. Close to the Florida Horse Park. Deed restricted Prices start at $35,000 per acre. Equine neighborhood.

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.


352

Disney’s magical musical

PREVIEW

MAY 2022 | VOL. 3, ISSUE NO. 08 WORD GIRLS KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY karin@352preview.com

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CONTENTS // MAY 2022 FEATURE 20 // LE A DIN G L A DIES

Leading Ladies photo by John Jernigan; Jack Johnson p photo by Tahnei Roy, courtesy of jackjohnsonmusic.com; Florida Folk Festival image courtesy of Florida State Parks

Whether hosting their own morning show on your favorite local radio station or hosting one of Ocala’s biggest annual events, the stories behind these women’s success is nothing short of inspiring.

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.

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WATCH 10 // A RT H EIST RET URN S

Spring is a busy time for local artists and galleries, and the Magnolia Art Xchange is gearing up for something special.

12 // CO N C ERT S P OT LIG H T

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

14 // C H A MP IO N H O RS ES

Live Oak International delights once again.

EXPLORE 16 // A C ELEBR AT IO N O F CULT URE

The 70th annual Florida Folk Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.

18 // A S P O O KY G O O D T IME

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Ocala’s first Spookala event will include 100,000 square feet of exhibit and vendor space at the World Equestrian Center this month.

CRAVE 28 // CA N DY C RUS H

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A visit to Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is a treat for your senses—and your sweet tooth.

3 0 // BIT E-S IZ ED BITS

Favorite brunch locales, food to celebrate in May and where to take in dinner and a show.

ON THE COVER: Artist Jade Amber, photographed by John Jernigan


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THINGS TO DO IN THE 352 : A HANDY GUIDE TO GET YOU GOING AND KEEP YOU BUSY THIS MONTH.

DISCOVERY CENTER HORSIN’ AROUND EXHIBIT // THROUGH JUNE 16

Visit the World Equestrian Center from 5-7:30pm for the iconic Kentucky Derby Hat Party, located on the Stirrups terrace at The Equestrian Hotel. In honor of the “Run for the Roses,” you’re invited to pull out your best derby attire and catch every moment of the action on the jumbotrons as thoroughbreds take to the track to race the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Hat Party will feature chef-attended food stations serving charcuterie, Southern-style barbecue, shrimp cocktail and desserts. The included open bar will be serving classic derby cocktails with additional upgraded bar options. Tickets include one lady’s derby hat and a bourbon bottle per couple and are $395 per pair. Don’t wait—tickets are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit worldequestriancenter.com and click on the events tab to learn more and purchase tickets.

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SPRING PLANT SALE // MAY 7

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Marion County Master Gardeners will host their spring plant sale at the UF/ IFAS Extension located at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala. Native plants, herbs and perennials, pollinator plants, shade and fruit trees, hummingbird and butterfly plants, and shrubs will be available for purchase. Master Gardeners will be available for consultations, and a mobile plant clinic and soil tests will take place on-site. The event happens from 8am-noon, and admission is free. Make sure to bring your own wagon if you plan to stock up. No pets, and purchases can be made with cash or check. For more information, call (352) 671-8400.

FESTIVALS OF SPEED THOROUGHBRED WEEKEND // MAY 7 This event will feature a fabulous display of exotic, classic and muscle cars placed on display at the World Equestrian Center. Cars will be displayed in front of the hotel in the Grand Plaza. Guests will experience automotive designs by Bentley, Lamborghini, Aston-Martin, McLaren and more and can enjoy fine wines and festive cocktails along with exciting culinary offerings from a multitude of cafes and restaurants located on-site. The event takes place from 10am-4pm, and general admission is $20, with kids 12 and under free. Advance ticket purchase required. VIP tickets are available, and a cocktail reception will take place on May 6. Learn more at festivalsofspeed.com. CONTINUED ON PG 08

Car image courtesy of Festivals of Speed

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KENTUCKY DERBY HAT PARTY // MAY 7

The Discovery Center’s newest exhibit, Horsin’ Around, will be on display through June 16 at the Discovery Center. The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am-4pm. Explore the horse industry and the science behind caring for these animals in this fun-filled exhibit. Kids can ride on a plushie pony in the corral, be an equine vet for a day, design their own jockey silks and much more. Visitors can try out the hobby horse dressage and jump course or view footage of historic horse races. General admission to the Discovery Center is $8 per person or $28 for a family of four. By reservation only, StarLab Planetarium shows are held Saturdays and tickets are $30 per 10-person group. Guests are encouraged to call ahead to book a reservation time for the planetarium. An alternative planetarium-like show, NASA Solar System Exploration, is also available for a $3 add-on to the price of general admission. For more information, call (352) 401-3900 or visit mydiscoverycenter.org.


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COON HOLLO SUNFLOWER FESTIVAL // WEEKENDS MAY 7-21

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FAFO’S SYMPHONY UNDER THE STARS // MAY 8

The farm that you know and love for fall fun is open this spring on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am2pm, and your $8 entry includes two sunflowers, a hayride to feed the cows, visits with the farm animals and photo ops around the farm. While you’re there, your family can also enjoy Nana’s Country Store, Jersey’s Creamery, concessions and more. Coon Hollo is located between Ocala and Gainesville on Highway 441. Learn more by visiting the Coon Hollo Facebook page or coonhollo.com.

WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL // MAY 14 Bring the family to the World Equestrian Center Grand Plaza to celebrate the spring blueberry season with live music, yard games and more. Enjoy the best blueberry fare, including blueberry pie, jam and beer. Shop at the artisanal farmers market with fresh and handmade goods from local vendors. The festival takes place from 11am-5pm and is free and open to the public. Don’t miss the 8am Blueberry 5K Fun Run (a separate $20-$25 registry required) or the 9am $10 pancake breakfast before the festival. Visit the WEC Ocala Facebook event section for additional information about the Blueberry 5K Fun Run and pancake breakfast.

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2XTREME MONSTER TRUCKS // MAY 14

Extreme monster truck action is coming to Ocala’s Southeastern Livestock Pavilion with a jam-packed lineup, including big name monster trucks, robot battle, kids’ Power Wheel races and tons of high-flying, ground-pounding action. Plus, this is your chance to ride in a real monster truck. Gates open at 12pm, with the pit party happening from 12-1:30pm (a $5 pit party pass is required), and the show starts at 2pm. Kids ages 3-10 can be a part of the action with the Power Wheel races. Just bring your own 12 or 24V Power Wheel and a helmet and store them at the Merch tent. The race happens during intermission. Learn more and purchase tickets at 2xtremeracingseries.com.

GREASE SING-A-LONG-A! // MAY 14 Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a T-bird or a Pink Lady but never quite felt cool enough to pull it off? Well, now’s your chance to don those pink jackets, grease up that hair and let your inhibitions go for an evening. The evening begins with your host leading a vocal warmup before they show you how to use your free goody bag during the film and suggest some appropriate heckles and accompanying actions. You’ll even get a chance to learn how to hand jive. Then just sit back and watch Danny and Sandy and the gang, while singing (and dancing) along to the lyrics as shown on the screen. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and full audience participation is essential. The event takes place at Ocala’s Marion Theatre at 3pm and 10pm, and tickets are $24 for adults and $10 for students. Purchase tickets at mariontheatre.org. 8

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JUMPIN’ JUNE SWING DANCE // JUNE 4 Shine up your saddle shoes, and get ready to jump jive ‘n’ wail with Becky Sinn and Swing Theory. Join the Reilly Arts Center in the NOMA Black Box for a celebration of Ocala history. Take a trip back in time to the 1940s when dances were a part of our local culture. Experience fun photo ops, specialty themed cocktails, a swing dance jam circle and featured dance performances. Don’t know how to swing dance? The instructors from the Florida Swing Dancing Club will have you rock-stepping in no time. Pre-social dance lesson takes place from 7-8pm, and the dance social happens from 8-10pm. Learn more and purchase tickets at reillyartscenter.com.

Symphony Under the Stars photo courtesy of FAFO; Grease Sing-A-Long-A! image courtesy of Reilly Arts Center; Jumpin’ June Swing Dance image courtesy of Swing Theory

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This fun, family-friendly evening—held each year on Mother’s Day—will take place at the Ocala Golf Club and feature musical entertainment by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Matthew Wardell. Attendees are welcome to bring a picnic dinner and their own beverages, or they can enjoy food, beer and wine sold from hand-selected food vendors. Stick around until the end of the night for a dazzling fireworks display. Tickets are $20 in advance online and $25 at the gate. Kids ages 17 and under get in free. Gates open at 3pm, the concert begins at 7pm and the fireworks will take place at approximately 8:45pm. Make sure to bring chairs, tables or blankets and a flashlight for getting back to your vehicle. Visit fafo.org for more information.



WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Art Heist Returns

Spring is a busy time for local artists and galleries, and the Magnolia Art Xchange is gearing up for something special. // B Y J E S S E J A M E S

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t’s back! After taking a Covid hiatus, the Magnolia Art Xchange’s beloved Art Heist event will finally return this month, and that means you’ll once again get your chance to win an original piece of art… or steal it! The MAX’s Art Heist fundraiser will take place on Friday, May 13, at the Magnolia Art Xchange. Heist tickets are $25 for one, $50 for three and $100 for seven. The money raised at the event will support MAX’s continued efforts to further the creativity and professionalism of local artists as a collaborative resource hub for artists, educators and art enthusiasts. Justin MacDonald, president of the board of directors at the Magnolia Art Xchange, spoke about Art Heist and what it means to MAX. “The Art Heist event has not only become synonymous with MAX but has truly turned into a signature event for us,” he says. “There are fundraisers and events that we do that many people look forward to, but none of them seem

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to have the lasting impact as the Art Heist does.” As far as the game goes, here’s a breakdown: Purchased Art Heist tickets are placed into a hat and drawn randomly. If you are lucky enough to purchase a winning ticket, you can choose from a selection of original artwork created by local artists. Or, you can opt to “steal” a piece of art that someone has already chosen. So, if someone happens to choose the artwork you had your eye on before you get the chance to choose, you can “steal” it from them for a price. A special VIP preview reception will take place from 6-6:30 pm, giving VIP ticket holders a first look at what’s up for grabs. Hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages will be served. Entrance is free to the public, but tickets are needed to play the game. Trust us—this is one event you will want to be a part of. The money raised from the Art Heist event supports the Magnolia Art Xchange. As Ocala’s first art incubator, MAX is a collaborative resource

for artists, educators and art enthusiasts that strives to expand the cultural presence in Ocala. The funds will be used to continue the organization’s mission to further visual artists’ creativity and professionalism, as well as workshops, classes and events in the future. “As a non-profit based around helping emerging artists become professional artists, fundraising is imperative to the future of the Magnolia Art Xchange,” Justin says. “This event allows us the unique opportunity to simultaneously ask the community for support while also giving back to the community in the best form that we know how, by providing quality art pieces in a fun and engaging manner.” Art Heist // May 13, 6-9pm // Union Station, 531 NE First Avenue, Ocala // Tickets will be available soon. To find out more, visit maxocala.org and follow the Magnolia Art Xchange on Facebook and Instagram (@MAXocala).


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

LOCAL LISTENS

CONCERT SPOTLIGHT

NINO CASTANEDA JAZZ TRIO Morevino // Every Tuesday night

BRANDON DULL Swampy’s Bar & Grille // May 6

SANDRA & ALEX LEKID Bank Street Patio Bar // May 7 Jack Johnson

HOUSTON KEEN

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // May 25

PAUL MCCARTNEY Camping World Stadium, Orlando // May 28

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa // August 4

JACK JOHNSON MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // August 19

DIERKS BENTLEY

BROOKS & DUNN

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // August 20

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville // June 4

THE LUMINEERS

KEITH URBAN

Amway Center, Orlando // August 23

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

GOO GOO DOLLS

BACKSTREET BOYS

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // August 25

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

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

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THE WEEKND

Circle Square Commons // May 13

ADAM MARTIN Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar // May 21

RETRO EXPRESS Yellow Pony // May 27

CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE PERFORMS TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS’ DAMN THE TORPEDOES Reilly Arts Center // May 20 Experience Classic Albums LIVE as they perform the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn The Torpedoes—note for note, cut for cut!

Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // August 24

THE BLACK KEYS WITH BAND OF HORSES

SANTANA + EARTH, WIND & FIRE MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // August 27

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville // July 8 Amway Center, Orlando // July 10

ROD STEWART

INCUBUS WITH SUBLIME

THE KILLERS

Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // July 26

Amway Center, Orlando // September 14

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KENNY & THE HEADS

Amalie Arena, Tampa // September 3

QUEEN FLASH: THE PREMIERE TRIBUTE TO QUEEN Circle Square Cultural Center // June 3 This fabulous six-piece Queen tribute is a grand, theatrical representation of the real Queen concerts, complete with vocal quality unmatched by any other tribute out there.

TY HERNDON Orange Blossom Opry // June 4 Part of Orange Blossom Opry’s All American Country Stars Summer Concert Series, Grammynominated Ty Herndon hit No. 1 on iTunes in 2020 with the release of “Orphans of God.” *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 Tahnei Roy, courtesy of jackjohnsonmusic.com

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Champion Horses Live Oak International delights once again. // 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

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cala is billed as “The Horse Capital of the World”—and rightfully so. Our billing is not mere rhetoric. Nowhere is this more evident than at the recently held Live Oak International. Connoisseurs of the sports of horses gathered from around the world at Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation for the largest combined driving and show jumping competition in the United States. Marion County residents and guests paid a mere $10 for a day’s general admission, and children under six years of age got in the gates for free. Week-long or threeday passes were a little pricier. Proceeds went to local charities. At Live Oak Stud Farm, front and center were world champion and LOI Co-President and competitor Chester C. Weber and Co-President Juliet W. Reid. Granddaughter to Charlotte Weber and daughter of Juliet W. Reid, Co-President and competitor Chloe D. Reid grew up in the sport and enjoyed a hands-on role in this year’s greatest show in Ocala, Fl. From dressage, which is ballet for horses and riders, to the highlight of Friday’s events the CS14 $50,000 Longines World Cup Ranking Competition to Saturday’s 8-kilometer marathon course to Sunday’s CS14 $216, 200 Longines FEI World Cup competition, a fantastic time was had by competitors and fans. New to the LOI contests in 2022 were youth events. On Sunday, the VIP tent was the place to be seen. Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn was looking as dignified as ever. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods shook hands all around. Marion County Commissioner Michelle Stone wore a big smile. To see pictures from children’s story books come to life right before your very eyes, plan now to attend the 2023 Live Oak International on March 16-19, 2023. For more information, visit liveoakinternational.com. 14

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Jim Benedict & Sherie Lowes

Juliet Reid, Alexis Mazin & Baby Alligra, Luisa Carinella, Mariana Wachter


WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Elizabeth Sablon, Hannah Stickland, Tara Devine & Sierra Inabnett

Beth McCall & Laurie Zink

Stacey Rollins & Drey Chanel

Mayor Kent Guinn, Susan Gilliland, Samantha Woods & Sheriff Billy Woods

Chris Armstrong & Dallas Roberts

Susan Webb & Joan Pletcher

Rhoda Rosea Virgin, Madja Griffis & Valey Stanley

Chester Weber & Chloe Reid

Gail McDaniel, Kevin Vreeland & Charlotte Raddon

Kristen Beran, Dallas Roberts & Jackie Brown with Barnbas

Pedro Cebulka

MAY ‘22

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Photos courtesy of Florida State Parks

WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

A Celebration Of Culture The 70th annual Florida Folk Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.

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he Florida Folk Festival is a three-day celebration of the music, dance, stories, crafts and food that make Florida unique. Along the banks of the historic Suwannee River, folk artists have gathered since 1953 to celebrate Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage. The Florida Folk Festival, held each year over Memorial Day weekend at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, is one of the oldest and most revered state folk festivals in America. Throughout the weekend, more than 300 performances will give voice and meaning to Florida’s heritage. “Get ready for a fun and entertaining weekend for the entire family,” says Tim Linafelt, communications manager for the Division of Recreation and Parks. “Our featured performers are listed on our website. Many will be performing or teaching workshops at other times throughout the weekend along with our special guest artists. You can even dance the night away each evening with a variety of dances, and don’t miss dancing on Saturday evening on the Heritage and Dance Stage.” 16

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// B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N Festivalgoers can sit with the masters who keep cultural traditions alive. In jam sessions, demonstrations and workshops, try your hand at playing the mandolin, telling stories or making a pine needle basket. Learn how to collect your family’s history, call a square dance or the importance of native plant and animal species. Visitors can also take a shopping excursion and visit with Florida’s traditional and contemporary craftspeople before enjoying a traditional Floridian meal. Florida’s cooks have created unique flavors using the ingredients at hand and the traditions their families brought when they first came to the state. There’s everything from homemade beef jerky and Caribbean-influenced dishes of chicken pilau, hoppin’ john, black-eyed peas, and okra and tomatoes to collard greens and cornbread or a fine plate of fried chicken. “Every year the Florida Department of State’s Florida Folklife Program researches a special topic on Florida’s traditional heritage,” says Tim. “The festival’s Folklife Area will feature performances and demonstrations celebrating the diverse living traditions of an area of Florida.

Be sure to visit the Folklife Area to experience the compelling traditions and savor the flavors, sights and sounds of some of Florida’s oldest and newest cultural communities.” Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote “Old Folks at Home,” the song that made the river famous. The museum features exhibits about Foster’s most famous songs, and his music can be heard emanating from the park’s 97-bell carillon throughout the day. Beyond the Florida Folk Festival, hiking, camping, bicycling, canoeing and wildlife viewing are popular activities. Festival attendees can purchase tickets and see a full schedule of events and performers on the Florida State Parks website. Advanced single-day adult tickets are $25, weekend tickets are $50 and child tickets are $5. Florida Folk Festival // Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, 11016 U.S. Highway 41, White Springs // May 27-29 // floridastateparks.org/FloridaFolkFestival


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

A Spooky Good Time Ocala’s first Spookala event will include 100,000 square feet of exhibit and vendor space at the World Equestrian Center this month. // B Y K A R I N F A B R Y- C U S H E N B E R Y

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f things that go bump in the night, spine chills and jump scares are your thing, then you’ll want to make your way to the World Equestrian Center May 13-15 for Spookala, the comic con of horror events. “We have over 130 vendors, a bunch of props, celebrity guests and more,” says Spookala Owner and Promoter Deej Gualandri. An event promotor for nearly 20 years, Deej channeled WE’LL HAVE CELEBRITIES LIKE his love of all things horror to JAMES JUDE COURTNEY WHO WAS bring Spookala MICHAEL MEYERS IN THE LAST to life. “I thought TWO HALLOWEEN MOVIES, COREY this could be TAYLOR, THE SINGER OF SLIPKNOT something cool and different for AND MUCH MORE. WE’LL EVEN Ocala,” he says. HAVE THE TRUCK THAT WAS IN THE “Through the years I’ve always individual guest. FILM JEEPERS CREEPERS, FILMED tried to bring Although RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD. different forms of horror based, entertainment to Spookala is a -DEEJ GUALANDRI, SPOOKALA OWNER the city.” family-friendly Like any good event, and Deej convention, celebrity and special guests are encourages the whole family to come check a highlight. it out. Guests are welcome and encouraged “We’ll have celebrities like James Jude to come in costume, and, on Sunday, May Courtney who was Michael Meyers in the last 15, a costume contest will take place. Those two Halloween movies, Corey Taylor, the singer participating in dressing up are asked to of Slipknot and much more. We’ll even have strictly adhere to the costume guidelines on the truck that was in the film Jeepers Creepers, the website. filmed right down the road.” The full, updated Vendors on site will include artwork, oddities, guest list can be found at spookala.com. Two toys, posters, clothing and more. One of the weeks prior to the show, the autograph and favorites at conventions such as this is trading photo op opportunities will be posted. Make cards, and Spookala is no different. sure to have cash on hand, as these encounters “MetaZoo is a trading card company are cash only and prices are set by each that bases characters of their cards around

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Cryptids,” says Deej. “You’ll see characters like Mothman, Jersey Devil, Skunk Ape and many others. They’re coming to Spookala to show their game and give out promos and packs. The creator and some of the artists will be there to sign autographs. They created an excellent promo card that you can only get at this event that will be handed out for free. “The trading card promos are collector’s items for sure,” adds Deej. “They’re popular, and they’re valuable, too. “It’s going to be a really good time,” says Deej. “I encourage anyone who likes horror movies to come on out.” Spookala // May 13-15 // World Equestrian Center // For a detailed calendar and more information, visit spookala.com. VIP tickets are available.


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From artists and musical entertainers to the city employees who plan the events you know and love, Ocala is full of strong, motivated women who give their time in order to make our community as enriching and downright fun as possible. Let us introduce you to a few of these women and some of the events they have in the works this month.

By Meli a Peterson

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EVENT SPOTLIGHT:

Battle of the Brushes

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self-described eclectic artist, Jade Amber draws her inspiration from many different styles and doesn’t limit herself to just one medium. “I find a lot of inspiration and creative drive exploring new mediums,” she says. “I respect the unique essence each material brings to a piece. I use anything from oil and acrylic paint to pencil or pen to found materials. Because of this, I tend to make pieces that end up looking very different from one another.” A born creative, Jade has known she wanted to be an artist since she was at least 8 years old when she learned about Vincent Van Gogh in art class. She says she draws inspiration for her art from all around and within. “I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful

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area, so every day I take in the song and dance around me—then try to allow it to flow through me,” she says. “I am inspired by people; I also use a lot of what goes on internally as a creative drive—art is incredibly therapeutic.” Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at her work, Jade isn’t immune to struggles of confidence. “For years I would create things and show no one,” she says. “But my lack of confidence stemmed from a really limiting belief system. By changing my perspective, I came to realize that art is not a job, or a career, or a business for me—it’s my life’s journey, and that is going to look different than someone else’s.” Jade participated in this season’s First

Friday Art Walk in downtown Ocala and hopes to participate again when the Art Walk resumes in the fall. She’s also participated in shows at Brick City Center for the Arts with Marion Cultural Alliance and the College of Central Florida’s Webber Gallery. And last year she was accepted into the Student and Emerging Artist Competition hosted by the City of Ocala and the Magnolia Art Xchange. This month, Jade will participate in the Battle of the Brushes competition at 8th Ave. Gallery. “Besides just really loving to paint, I genuinely look up to the other artists involved in the event,” she says. “They’re all so incredibly skilled and such amazing people. I feel incredibly honored to compete beside them.” MAY ‘22

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Jade Amber photo by John Jernigan

Jade Amber

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Battle of the Brushes will feature nine selected artists who will have to start and finish a 4-foot-by-4-foot painting live at the event. The painting takes place from 2-9pm, and throughout the day attendees will vote for their favorite painting. The event will also feature live music, a food truck, beer and wine, and a gallery show featuring works from each of the nine artists. The event will raise money for two local nonprofit art organizations, Marion Cultural Alliance and Magnolia Art Xchange. Artists involved are Justin Alsedek, Teddy Sykes, Ryan Neumann, Mel Fiorentino, Jordan Shapot, Drake Arnold, Jade Amber, Andrew Raymond and Chris Hershberger. The event is free to attend, and spectators are welcome. Battle of the Brushes takes place at the 8th Ave. Gallery, located at 1531 NE 8th Avenue, on May 7. Visit 8thavegallery.com or facebook.com/8thavegallery for more information.


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Melody Murphy DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH OCALA CIVIC THEATRE

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elody Murphy began working at Ocala Civic Theatre in 2008 as a box office assistant before transitioning to a new position as a marketing assistant in 2012 and marketing director last year. “I oversee the direction of our marketing and advertising campaigns,” she says. “Nearly all the written material that comes from the theatre is from me. I write our season brochures, show

people,” says Melody. “I used to think it was. As a volunteer, you might be working on a show with your doctor or your custodian, your student or teacher, your hair stylist or the guy who fixed your AC unit. Community theatre says, ‘We can all do this.’” OCT’s final show of the season is Beauty and the Beast, and it’s been a long time coming. “We have had to reschedule this show three times due to Covid,” she says. “I feel like we have been immersed in nothing but Beauty and the Beast for three years now. It’s a massive show and has required an incredible investment of time and resources. I hope the show is a spectacular experience that makes people want to join us, whether as subscribers or as volunteers—just like I got started. We’ll get you with the gingham, but you just might stay for good.”

EVENT SPOTLIGHT:

Beauty and the Beast

Melody Murphy photo by Dave Schlenker; Hunter photo courtesy of Hunter

programs, press releases and promotional materials, like posters and ads. I represent the theatre at community events and assist with special events at OCT and also help think of ways to reach and engage audiences both old and new.” Melody’s role at OCT began long before her stint in the box office, though. In fact, she began as a volunteer at OCT in 1993. “In high school [at Forest High School], I was very involved with our chorus and drama program and had several friends who had done shows at OCT,” she says. “Friends talked me into auditioning for Oklahoma! with them, and I ended up in the ensemble as a little farm girl in gingham. And now here we are.” Melody has performed in 30 shows over the past 29 years, last appearing on stage two years ago as Patsy Cline, and has also volunteered as an assistant stage manager and dresser, served on the committees for play selection and worked concessions. The skills she has learned through theatre have helped her succeed in all aspects of her life. “I am an introvert, but I can get up on stage or talk more easily to people because of my theatre training,” she explains. “It helped me give speeches in my college classes. It helps me socialize. A theatre background has improved my performance in every job I’ve ever had.” Melody feels that community theatre is important because it shows people that the arts are for everyone. “Theatre is not highbrow or only for certain

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Disney’s musical Beauty and the Beast is live on stage at Ocala Civic Theatre May 12-June 5. Based on the beloved 1991 Disney film, this “tale as old as time” is brought to life in a spectacular stage version of the classic fairytale. Performances will take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for kids 18 and under. Purchase tickets by phone at (352) 236-2274, in person at the box office Monday-Friday, 10am-5:30pm, or online at ocalacivictheatre.com

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unter listened to the radio all the time as a kid, and it definitely influenced her throughout her formative years. “Before school. After school. To me, the DJ was my friend talking to me through the speaker, and I wanted to have a job like my ‘friend,’” says Hunter. “When I was in college, the best piece of advice I got was to get in front of a microphone every chance I got, so I was the announcer at many of the basketball/soccer/lacrosse/field hockey games. I landed my first radio job the same week I graduated college. That was 1995, and I’ve been in front of the microphone ever since.” One aspect of Hunter’s role at Wind-FM—where she has worked since 1999—that she enjoys most actually happens outside the studio. “I love getting out of the studio and finally meeting people face to face,” she says. “Even if I’m just out grocery shopping or out for a walk, when someone says, ‘I love your segment!’ or ‘Does the camel joke ever get old?’ it’s flattering to me.” When The Hunter & Parker Morning Show ends, Hunter puts on her program director hat and helps create all the bits and pieces between the songs, schedule music for the next day and catches up on “lots and lots and lots” of emails (her words!).

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Hunter

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WIND-FM PROGRAM DIRECTOR & CO-HOST OF THE HUNTER & PARKER MORNING SHOW


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“Most people don’t realize being a DJ is more than pushing buttons and chatting it up on the mic,” she says. And while she feels her entire job is rewarding, she says hands down the hardest part is the hours. “I miss staying up past 7pm,” she laughs. “I wake up at 2:30am, but there are some advantages: less traffic on the way to work and less distractions. The listeners are my focus. I hope they come away from the show the same way I came away from the radio shows growing up: thinking that we’re their friends.” While Wind-FM hosts many great annual events, Hunter is most excited about the sixth season of their tribute show concert series. “We saw a need for more iconic rock in our community over six years ago and are honored to give our listeners the chance to experience the look and feel of the very music they rock out to when listening to Wind-FM,” she says.

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Vianca Torres

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EVENT SPOTLIGHT:

FAFO’s Symphony Under The Stars

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This Mother’s Day, enjoy the Ocala Symphony Orchestra directed by Maestro Matthew Wardell at Fine Arts For Ocala’s Symphony Under The Stars, an outdoor concert held at the Ocala Golf Club. Gates open at 3pm where music-lovers can enjoy opening entertainment with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra concert beginning at 7pm and a fireworks show at 8:45pm to end the evening. Bring your own picnic—including alcoholic drinks—or purchase food and drinks from local food trucks. Regular and VIP tickets are available, and children under 17 are free. Learn more and purchase tickets at fafo.org.

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EVENT SPOTLIGHT:

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Wind-F M Rocks The Reilly

Your favorite classic rock tunes are immortalized at the Wind-FM Rocks The Reilly concert series each month through October with tributes to Foreigner and Bad Company (May 7), Lynyrd Skynyrd (June 4), Motley Crue (July 16), Tom Petty (August 20), REO Speedwagon and Survivor (September 24), and Def Leppard and AC/DC (October 1). You can find more information at windfm.com/tribute and purchase tickets at reillyartscenter.com.

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the opportunity and support that Ocala could provide. Today I am proud to say that I feel like an Ocalan through and through, and that feeling of home makes me want to work harder and give back to those who don’t know Ocala like I do. Vianca gets her drive to serve the community honestly. She learned about hard work and giving back from her parents. “The little I have is all because of my parents,” she says. “Their hard work ethic and eagerness to help their neighbors was instilled in me early on. It’s a feeling that’s not going anywhere. We’re happy to help and give back in whatever way. For me, it’s my time and talent. I hope my little involvement can truly help people in our community make a connection and feel inspired and safe.” Beyond inviting guests to the NOMA Gallery where they can view the current exhibit Traces of Reality (on view through May 28), Vianca is also excited for the upcoming Fine Arts For Ocala’s Symphony Under The Stars event this Mother’s Day, where she will be volunteering in the VIP area. “I love this event for so many reasons,” Vianca says. “Our community literally gathers in one area, and you can just feel the goodness. Our board works tirelessly year-round, and it’s all volunteer work. FAFO is an incredible organization that really works for its community and our artists, and we’re actively working toward continued improvement for both the symphony and the Ocala Arts Festival.”

Photo courtesy of Vianca Torres

and artists. Many times, they share it’s the gallery where they’ve felt the most welcome and inspired. We also love to support nonprofits in our community by giving. I achieve this by volunteering with Fine Arts For Ocala, the David and Lisa Midgett Foundation, Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership’s Young Professionals Ocala, Blessed Trinity Covenant Mission Group, and, most recently, Pace Center for Girls.” Vianca began her career at HiersBaxley Funeral Services, where she first learned about marketing and how to support the community. “Beverly Brown was the marketing director at the time, and as a young, eager employee, Y I wanted to learn more about this LER GAL A NOM GALLERY MANAGER AT THE type of giving,” she says. “Working hard is so easy when you’re doing it for a worthy cause. As I continued ith a true heart for service, Vianca to concentrate on community and events, I Torres has crafted a career that lets focused my interest on marketing because it her use her talents for the greater good of allowed me to be involved in so many different our community. aspects of our community.” As the gallery manager at the NOMA Gallery, Moving to Ocala with her family from Vianca helps support the gallery directors Colombia, Vianca credits her family and her love Mel Fiorentino and Diane Cahal, the gallery’s of our city with why she gives so much of her community partners and, of course, the artists time to making our community a better place. in executing their exhibits. “I’ve been blessed beyond reason,” she says. “We love to create unique experiences that “When I first moved to Ocala, I didn’t really help foster creativity and support,” she says. “I have a sense of what Ocala was all about. As I love the ability to connect with gallery visitors got older and more involved, it was easy to see


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or nearly a decade, Sarah Kim, D.O., M.P.H., of Ocala Eye, has been passionate about helping her patients live their best lives with improved vision and eye health through eyelid repair and reconstruction. But, for some, upper and lower eyelid repair isn’t a functional or medical issue, rather a cosmetic one. Over time, the delicate tissue surrounding the eyes can droop, sag and stretch. Sagging eyelids and bags under the eyes can make us appear older than we are and cause self-esteem issues. An easy, out-patient surgery can quickly and effectively correct the issue. The outcome? A refreshed, rejuvenated, more youthful appearance and improved self-esteem. Who better than a dedicated oculoplastic surgeon, professionally trained in cosmetic eyelid surgery, to perform the procedure? “The eyelids can be quite complex in anatomy,” says Dr. Kim. “I have spent years training for that one, delicate area.” So, rest assured, you are in good hands. The surgery requires just a small amount of twilight anesthesia and minimal recovery time. In addition to cosmetic eyelid surgery, Ocala Eye also offers a full menu of other cosmetic procedures, including injectables, Botox, Juvéderm, laser treatments and more. This month, Ocala Eye Aesthetics will be offering a new suite of laser procedures, and a new nurse practitioner, Katie Sapia, will be joining the established team of medical aesthetician Wendy Wright and nurse practitioner Megan Lefebvre. “We hold our services and our staff to a very high standard,” says Dr. Kim. “We don’t just treat anybody. Instead, we look for the right candidate and match what’s achievable and realistic with what the patient is hoping to accomplish.” The aesthetics team offers a complete range of skin rejuvenation products and services, including everything from nourishing facials and appearance-improving medical treatments 26

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Sarah Kim, D.O to tattoo removal. One of the new offerings is the Soprano ICE Platinum laser, a virtually painless laser hair removal system. According to Alma, the company responsible for creating the system, the laser combines “three wavelengths to simultaneously target different tissue depths and anatomical structures within the hair follicle. The Soprano ICE Platinum achieves the safest and most comprehensive hair removal treatment today.” Another high-tech treatment available is the Opus Plasma, a plasma laser used for fractional skin resurfacing, a treatment that stimulates the skin’s renewal process in order to minimize the appearance of acne scarring, fine lines and sun damage. Unlike many other skin resurfacing treatments, the Opus uses radiofrequencies to treat the skin rather than needles, allowing for less downtime and recovery. Ocala Eye also offers Harmony, an impressive laser treatment. “The Harmony is our most diverse laser, being able to treat over 65 indications, including tattoo removal, vascular lesions, pigmented lesions, fine lines and wrinkles, and more,” says Megan.

“The process is super easy, and during the consultation, we will discuss what the patients’ goals are for their skin. Once the patient comes in for their treatment, depending on what they are getting done, a numbing cream may be used. Treatments normally take about 30 minutes, and the patient can return to most of their normal activities almost immediately.” Looking and feeling your best goes well beyond your physical appearance. Feeling your best on both the inside and outside can lead to improved relationships and social interactions, as well as increased self-esteem. Let the professional team at Ocala Eye and Ocala Eye Aesthetics give you the confidence you deserve.

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Candy Crush A visit to Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is a treat for your senses—and your sweet tooth. // B Y K A R I N FA B R Y- C U S H E N B E R Y

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hocolates, hard candies and gummies, oh my. With more than 1,500 varieties of candy and treats to choose from, you’ll be hard-pressed to make a decision when exploring Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. A year-plus in the making, Grandpa Joe’s founder and owner Christopher J. Beers has teamed up with Ocala resident and long-time friend Jason Spence to bring Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop to Ocala. Inspired by his love of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie (the original mind you), Chris took a leap of faith in 2012 when he opened his first candy store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “When kids walk into our store, they see a whole land of imagination and creativity,” says Chris. “Kids are wowed, and people are blown away at the amount of inventory we have. Ultimately, that’s what inspires me.” Candy wrapped in colorful packaging lines the walls, everything from everyday favorites to international candy to nostalgic finds. A Grandpa Joe’s staple, the Tootsie Roll toilet, is a funny conversation maker, and a toy train circles the perimeter of the store. It really is a feast for the senses. “A favorite, especially amongst parents, is the world famous $5 candy buffet,” says Chris. “For just $5, guests can fill a box with as 28

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much candy as they can. And there are dozens and dozens of options. With strategic packing, you can fit a pound of candy in the box. “We want to carry items that nobody else has,” adds Chris. “We want to be the cool kids on the block.” And they are. So cool, as a matter of fact, that you could even call them candy connoisseurs. Detectives even. The guys joke that it’s not uncommon for people to come in with a vague description of a candy they used to love, only to walk out with a big smile and a bag of said candy. They both agree that Strawberry Cream Savers is one such candy. “Everyone has a favorite candy they remember as a child, or a candy that was always at their grandparents’ house,” says Chris. Chris

says his favorite is the Kinder Happy Hippo Biscuit and Jason’s the Haribo cola gummies. “If you come in looking for something, chances are we have it,” says Jason. “And if we don’t, we can get it.” Chris and Jason describe Grandpa Joe’s less as a store and more as an experience. “People drive from an hour and two away and stop on their way through town to come visit, and that’s an unbelievable honor,” says Chris. Community involvement is one of the cornerstones at Grandpa Joe’s northern locations, and the Ocala location will be no different. “We want to become a staple of downtown Ocala,” says Jason. “The kids that come in today will be the adults who bring their own kids in.” Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop // 20 SE Broadway Street, Ocala // Sunday-Thursday, 10am-8pm and Friday-Saturday, 10am-10pm // Take a virtual tour of the Ocala store on grandpajoescandyshop.com


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

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DINNER & A SHOW

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Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament has been a namesake in dinner theater for decades, complete with an 11th century replica castle, suits of armor standing guard and a throne at stake. Cheer on your kingdom as your knight jousts and competes in hand-to-hand combat. Only one kingdom will come out victorious. Medieval Times’ guests feast on tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet corn and herb-basted potato.

Tony Brent will amaze you with his Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. This interactive show is perfect for the family and includes magic, improv comedy, impersonations, magic and plenty of audience involvement. Dine on hand-tossed cheese and pepperoni pizza, fresh salad, garlic bread, dessert and drinks.

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352PREVIEW.COM

M AY 1 5 NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CHIP DAY

M AY 24 NATIONAL ASPARAGUS DAY

M AY 2 8 NATIONAL HAMBURGER DAY

Who says dinner has to be boring? The next time you’re in the Orlando area, take in one of these popular dinner theater experiences.

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NATIONAL SHRIMP DAY

3 Improv comedy meets a fast-paced whodunnit at the Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show. The 2.5-hour evening includes a 45-min improvisational mystery where you solve the crime. Once all the clues are presented, your table will have the chance to ask questions and answer the age-old question… who did it? SLEUTHS.COM


CRAVINGS

EL TOREO 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 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 (excluding margaritas).

PUMPKIN-TINI • EXTENSIVE WINE LIST • FULL BAR

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OFF-DUTY TAVERN

LA CUISINE FRENCH RESTAURANT

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

48 SW 1st Ave Ocala // (352) 433 2570 // lacuisineocala.com Tue-Sun 5-9pm // Sun 11am-2pm // Closed Monday

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.

Treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at La Cuisine. Only the highest quality ingredients and produce are used to create traditional French fare in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Reminiscent of a quaint Paris bistro, La Cuisine offers an ambiance that is ideal for a family brunch, a business dinner or a romantic evening out. With award-winning dishes that are prepared fresh, in-house, each meal includes personal touches that only La Cuisine can provide. Indoor and outdoor patio dining is available in the heart of beautiful downtown, and you’ll enjoy live music on Fridays and some Saturdays. Open Mother’s Day, noon-5pm. MAY ‘22

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

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Expertise. Innovation. Technology. From minimally invasive procedures to complex surgery, AdventHealth Ocala is leading the way to reimagine surgical care. Backed by national awards and accreditations, our specialists use the latest innovations, like robotic surgical systems, that mean less pain, less scarring, and a quicker recovery – so you can feel whole and get back to the life you love.

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