Ocala Style March '19

Page 1

MAR ‘19

Ocala Culinary Festival Get your tickets now!

Decades Of Décor Celebrating a century with the Koontz family

Unplug & Unwind Get away to Little Gasparilla Island

Fresh Fashions A look at spring’s accessory trends

This is Horse Country

Sante Farm- State of the art training facility- Ownership in Eclipse Twelve Palms - 20 Acres - Located in NW Ocala close to WEC, HITS Training enter ¾ +/- mile race track. 14.73 Acres. 36-Stalls - and Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. 3 Bed/2.5 Bath home, $1,199,000 5-stall barn and 3 lush paddocks. 16 Paddocks. $1,395,000

Hacking distance to HITS – 42 Acres - Close to Golden Ocala and WEC. Great Farm situated on 19 Acres - Two Stables – 26-stalls – 1/1 Apartment 3 Bedroom/ 2.5 bath home with spectacular views of beautiful green Arena, Irrigated Round Pen, Eurosizer plus 4-bay workshop. Located pastures. This farm is perfect for any discipline. $849,000 close to Florida Greenways & Trails and Florida Horse Park. $624,000

Exquisite 25 +/- Acre Equestrian Facility - Stunning 7-stall barn finished Golden Legacy Farm – Prestigious 114 +/-Acres just past Golden Ocala with great detail. 2 A/C rooms for use of choice, Equipment building plus Golf & Equestrian Club.. Lush pastures, & Granddaddy Oaks. Corporate 2 guest cottages. Additional acreage available. $1,800,000 Office, 5/8 +/-mile track, 5 barns – 112 stalls plus amenities. $3,750,000

Let Me Show You Ocala

Forest of Golden Hills - Close to WEC, HITS, and Golden Ocala. Spacious Bellechase - Exquisite home with incredible floor plan featuring 4 living room, dining room with vaulted ceiling and recently updated bedrooms, 3 full baths, formal living and dining room. Family room, kitchen. Overlooks pond. Very private. $424,900 gourmet kitchen plus media room. $749,900

Private 20+ acre gated estate - Granddaddy oaks lead you up to the 5,000 Bel Lago – 7.11 Acres- Exquisite Tuscan style estate in gated equestrian SF estate overlooking exquisite pool and lush paddocks. Open floor plan community. 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home plus separate guest studio. plus incredible master suite. Additional acreage available. $1,975,000 Expansive pool and entertaining area with outdoor fireplace. $899,000

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.


doesn’t know they have diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where your blood sugar levels are above normal. You may be at risk for diabetes if you have symptoms such as: » » » »

EXTREME thirstiness INCREASED appetite EXCESSIVE dry skin SLOW healing wounds

» » »

EXCESSIVE urination BLURRY vision TINGLING, pain or numbness in hands and feet.

It’s important for people with diabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes to avoid serious diabetes-related health complications. If you think you may have diabetes, please follow up with your health care provider for more information.

Take action today! The most common form of the disease (type 2 diabetes) doesn’t have to be permanent–it can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes. The Florida Department of Health in Marion County offers FREE diabetes selfmanagement classes for individuals with diabetes and prediabetes. Join a class today to learn how to manage, prevent, or control diabetes!

CONTACT Demi Danso at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County at

(352)  644 -2618

for more information.

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Publisher’s Note


pring is my favorite Ocala season. It’s not only the near-perfect weather—it’s all the local events that make it so special.

For a third year, the Ocala Culinary Festival team is undertaking what feels like a Herculean effort to orchestrate and execute the countless details that culminate in a delicious multi-day feast. I hope you enjoy reading some of the details of the upcoming festival on page 51 and make plans to attend. This annual event provides more than just good meals for attendees; it also provides exposure and opportunities for professional growth to the local culinary community.

What’s the secret to successfully pulling off an event this size? The complete answer is too long to address here, but I will share one tip that I swear by. Call Dawn Lovell. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Dawn is every event planner’s best bud and solution savior for when things don’t go as planned. Get to know the woman behind the scenes of nearly every large event in our town in this month’s In the Kitchen With column on page 56.

Spring is also time to enjoy a bounty of produce, say, for instance, turnips. As a new publisher, I’ve noticed that people are curious about our process for selecting subject matter to write about. The truth is that although turnips might not be the hippest trending vegetable right now—we at Ocala Style like rooting for the underdog— we’ve dedicated a few pages to reimagining this old fashioned, underappreciated root vegetable. If our esteemed culinary contributor Chef Randal says turnips are a goldmine of goodness, that’s good enough for us. Finally, we can’t forget the freshness of spring fashion. We all look forward to shedding the heavy cloaks of dark colors we wear all winter long for brighter, lighter hues and fabrics. We’ve shared some of our favorite fashion-forward trends from this year’s runways on page 86. We hope you find a detail that puts a spring in your step!

Jennifer Hunt-Murty Owner-Publisher

March ‘19


C O N T To wn

19 26 30

THE SOCIAL SCENE People and events from around town.

Co u ntr y

41 44




CLASS ACTS School news from Marion County Public Schools.







Yes, our generation has killed some traditions, and we’re OK with that.

Time management skills.

News you can use from Ocala’s city hall.







What’s in season? Need a license? We break down the basics.

EDITOR’S PICKS A guide to our favorite happenings and can’t-miss events.


Tab le

There’s always something happening in Horse Country.

What to plant for the ideal crop of summer vegetables.

Dawn Lovell has perfected the art of presentation.

The root vegetable Chef Randal calls a “goldmine of goodness.”

Your guide to some of our area’s best eateries.

E N T S Ro ad


THE NEW LOOK OF RELIABLE Jesse introduces us to the redesigned Toyota Rav 4.

Ar ts






Jorge Blanco gives his nature images larger-than-life appeal.

Highlighting the Appleton Museum of Art’s Orientalist gallery.

83 88

WELCOME HOME Spring looks to update your front porch style.

BLING AROUND THE RING Equestrian styles that go beyond the barn.

ON THE COVER: Ocala Culinary Festival Photography by Ralph Demilio



C O V E R 51




OCALA CULINARY FESTIVAL Foodies Rejoice! The festival is back for a third year with a new fashion show event, more celebrity chefs and a diverse lineup of food and drink delights.

SPRING BREAK DESTINATION: LITTLE GASPARILLA ISLAND To really unwind, consider this barrier island, a holdout of Old Florida that offers an unplugged beach paradise way off the beaten path.

FRESH FASHION How do you break out of your jeans and T-shirt rut? This year’s spring accessory trends make it easy to refine your wardrobe.

DECADES OF DÉCOR The Koontz family celebrates a century of success for the furniture store that has stood the test of time.

Fall in love with where you

Work Falling in love where you work can happen in an

instant– Monday mornings sipping coffee in your office. Laughing with colleagues in the break room. Closing that first major deal. If you’re ready to fall in love with where you work, contact us today to see how our team can assist you in the sale or purchase of your next commerical property, or land to build from the ground up. As an independent real estate brokerage born right here in Ocala, Showcase Properties of Central Florida is dedicated to helping others fall in love with Ocala and Marion County. Whether you’re looking for the perfect home or farm to call your own, the right tract of land, or interested in listing your property, our expert REALTORs® can guide you every step of the way. If you’re ready to begin your real estate journey, get in touch with our team today.

www.ShowcaseOcala.com • 352.351.4718 5780 SW 20th St, Ocala, FL 34474

BEERS & BITES Publisher


Jennifer Murty


Magnolia Media Company, LLC 352-732-0073 1007 E Fort King Street, Ocala, FL 34471 Home of Ocala Style & Healthy Living Magazines

Production Manager

Melissa Peterson melissa@magnoliamediaco.com

Art CREATIVE DIRECTOR Maureen Fannon maureen@magnoliamediaco.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Lisa Anderson lisaanderson@magnoliamediaco.com Kristy Taylor kristy@magnoliamediaco.com


ADVANCED COMPREHENSIVE CARE FOR YOUR FEET AND ANKLES Treatment of Common Ailments such as Bunions, Hammertoes, Heel Pain, Sprains, Fractures, Athlete’s Foot, Ingrown Nails, Fungal Nails Sports Injuries Children’s Foot Care Custom Orthotics Diabetic Foot Care Warts Neuromas Ankle Pain Ulcers






٠ ٠


GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN Destiny Villafane PHOTOGRAPHERS Ralph Demilio John Jernigan Dave Miller VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos Ramos ILLUSTRATOR Maggie Perez Weakley

Marketing Dr. Andrew Franklin, DPM, PHD

Dr. Sheila Noroozi, FACFAS

Dr. Kathleen Telusma, AACFAS

352.867.0024 2825 SE 3rd Ct. | Ocala

FamilyFootAnkle.org 14


MARKETING MANAGER Kylie Swope kylie@magnoliamediaco.com SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Vianca Torres vianca@magnoliamediaco.com

Editorial MANAGING EDITORS Karin Fabry-Cushenbery karin@magnoliamediaco.com Lisa McGinnes lisamcginnes@magnoliamediaco.com FOOD CONTRIBUTOR Chef Randal White CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kevin Christian Jim Gibson JoAnn Guidry Jesse James Cynthia McFarland Katie McPherson Patricia Tomlinson

Sales ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Evelyn Anderson evelyn@magnoliamediaco.com Kyle Bernhard kyle@magnoliamediaco.com Skip Linderman skip@magnoliamediaco.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES Sharon Morgan sharon@magnoliamediaco.com

Distribution Dave Adams Rick Shaw


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CONTRIBUTORS JESSE JAMES WRITER Aside from driving and sharing his experience behind the wheel for Ocala Style and his journeys with the blog stupidDOPE, Jesse is passionate about creativity and style, especially with broad interests in music and especially sneakers. Follow Jesse on Instagram at @Thee_JesseJames.

KATIE MCPHERSON WRITER Katie is a freelance writer who started her career in the office of Ocala Style. Today she lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Zack, and two extremely needy dogs. Outside of work you’ll find her listening to true crime podcasts, looking for excuses to go to Target or ordering Mexican food.

DAVE MILLER PHOTOGRAPHER Dave uses photography to capture the moment and convey a strong sense of story to share with others through his images. Living abroad as a child and his time in the U.S. Army instilled in him a passion for adventure, creating a desire to meet new people and interact with his community.


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MAGGIE WEAKLEY ILLUSTRATOR Maggie has been creating illustrations and portraits for companies and private collectors for over 30 years. Maggie is also the administrative coordinator for Fine Arts For Ocala. She is married to Kent and has two sons, Lucas and Max. View her work at MaggiesAngels.com.

RANDAL WHITE CHEF & WRITER Chef Randal grew up hunting and fishing in wild Florida. His love of grilling and his mom’s family dinners steered him toward the food business. The TV personality, author and executive chef at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse has been cooking and promoting local cuisine for nearly 40 years.

2019 2019

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March ‘19


Cancer.Family. Family. Cancer.

ure. ure.


wouldthe theRobert RobertBoissoneault Boissoneault Oncology Institute differ much from any other hyhywould Oncology Institute differ soso much from any other cancerpractice? practice?Because Becauseyou you become...our family. And together, impossible cures cancer become...our family. And together, impossible cures havebeen beenachieved achievedforforgreater greater than three decades. have than three decades.

addition, InIn addition, wewe recognize our valued recognize our valued medical resources from medical resources from both local providers both local providers asas well academic centers. well asas academic centers. Every detail is examined Every detail is examined and weighed. and weighed. How cancer care How is is cancer care given? More than half given? More than half ofof allall patients require radiation patients require radiation some point. Treatment atat some point. Treatment at the Robert Boissoneault at the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute Oncology Institute is is often given five days often given five days a a week, sometimes twice week, sometimes twice daily, several weeks. daily, forfor several weeks. This schedule encourages This schedule encourages recovery healthy cells recovery ofof healthy cells asas the cancer dies. the cancer dies.

Chemotherapy Chemotherapy oror immunotherapy delivered immunotherapy delivered medical oncologists byby medical oncologists occurs every two three occurs every two oror three weeks, seldom more often. weeks, seldom more often. The idea of all care in one The idea of all care in one building meaningless building is is meaningless and misdirects our focus and misdirects our focus because the frequency because the frequency of of visits for each specialty visits for each specialty differs. Excellent medical differs. Excellent medical oncologists are available oncologists are available Ocala, but this in in Ocala, but this is is why treatment can why treatment can bebe combined when some combined when some elect chemotherapy elect chemotherapy at at academic institutions academic institutions Gainesville, Orlando, in in Gainesville, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Jacksonville, and

Tampa while radiation don’t require one physical Tampa while radiation is is don’t require one physical seamlessly provided location for enrollment seamlessly provided byby location for enrollment in ain a our practice. treatment trial. our practice. treatment trial. The National Cancer Could medical The National Cancer Could medical Institute’s definition oncologists employed Institute’s definition oncologists bebe employed of a “comprehensive within our institute? Yes, of a “comprehensive within our institute? Yes, of of cancer center” never course! And asked cancer center” never course! And wewe areare asked implies radiation and constantly to provide implies radiation and constantly to provide anan chemotherapy need in-house resource. chemotherapy need to to in-house resource. ButBut at at be delivered close to this time, we defer. Our be delivered close to this time, we defer. Our each other. The emphasis ultimate ultimate effort always each other. The emphasis effort willwill always on structural closeness remain with you. You see, on structural closeness remain with you. You see, detracts from true cancer specialists have detracts from thethe true cancer specialists have mission medical healing. different different areas expertise. mission of of medical healing. areas of of expertise. Delivery treatment There There seven radiation Delivery of of allall treatment areare seven radiation within a single facility physicians practice. within a single facility physicians in in ourour practice. misleads one expect same token, misleads one to to expect ByBy thethe same token, to to communication. Not exclude outstanding communication. Not exclude outstanding And medical studies medical oncology so.so. And medical studies medical oncology

physicians would deny a name. practice in person. In this area dear price to pay when a name. OurOur practice in person. In this area physicians would deny youyou dear price to pay when a critical choice. The right youyou avoids a thoughtless of Florida, already become victim. avoids a thoughtless lineline of Florida, youyou already a critical choice. The right become thethe victim. team optimizes results... Only of waiting stretches know know someone Only maintaining thatthat stretches someone whowho hashas team optimizes results... by by maintaining thethe of waiting and peace of mind. We like a train. experienced our care highest standards is this like a train. experienced our care and peace of mind. We highest standards is this remain committed both accreditation Where treated should firstfirst hand. accreditation earned. Where treated should hand. remain committed to to both earned. medical and emotional always remain your choice: We welcome Academic centers always remain your choice: We welcome youyou to to medical and emotional Academic centers needs. a cure, “one without exception! When come come hello, demand it. All insurance without exception! When by, by, saysay hello, andand needs. ForFor a cure, “one demand it. All insurance size” fits no one. it comes to radiation, meet our staff: to sense providers recognize ACR it comes to radiation, meet our staff: to sense size” fits no one. providers recognize ACR Instead, your unique demand There is no comfortable difference. accreditation to be demand us! us! There is no thethe comfortable difference. Instead, your unique accreditation to be thethe medical team becomes substitute. And care is It will truly feel like home. ultimate standard of care. substitute. And care is It will truly feel like home. medical team becomes ultimate standard of care. personalized, interacting never denied because Because if you ever need expected, never denied because Because if you ever need personalized, interacting As As expected, constantly. Working closely of finances. Please keep us, you will want our technically intense options of finances. Please keep us, you will want our constantly. Working closely technically intense options with your primary provider, of stereotactic-body article, refer to and it, and practice practice to be...your home. of stereotactic-body thisthis article, refer to it, to be...your home. with your primary provider, cost-sensitive medical check your insurance: you The Robert Boissoneault radiation therapy (SBRT), check your insurance: you The Robert Boissoneault cost-sensitive medical radiation therapy (SBRT), judgment is reinforced. us there. Review Oncology Oncology Institute: internal applications willwill findfind us there. Review Institute: a a judgment is reinforced. As As internal applications research has proven, oneour credentials: on-line higher standard of care. known as brachytherapy, our credentials: on-line higher standard of care. research has proven, oneknown as brachytherapy, location cancer facilities website, with friends, intravenously administered website, with friends, location cancer facilities intravenously administered can encourage internal radio-pharmaceuticals, can encourage internal radio-pharmaceuticals, andand financial incentives stereotactic radio-surgery financial incentives to to gogo stereotactic radio-surgery unchecked, and increase (SRS) (SRS) administered unchecked, and increase areare administered in in your expense. our facilities every day. your expense. our facilities every day. 100 percent of the confines 100 percent of the TheThe confines of aof a Robert Boissoneault building don’t stop Robert Boissoneault building don’t stop Oncology Institute facilities ourour staff from making Oncology Institute facilities staff from making remain the only designated house calls. Recall how remain the only designated house calls. Recall how American College many times have American College of of many times youyou have Radiology private practice experienced that level Radiology private practice experienced that level comprehensive cancer of concern in the comprehensive cancer of concern in the lastlast centers in North Central 50 years. The Robert centers in North Central 50 years. The Robert Villages 352.259.2200 / Ocala 352.732.0277 TheThe Villages 352.259.2200 / Ocala 352.732.0277 Florida...for over Boissoneault Oncology Timber Ridge 352.861.2400 / Inverness 352.726.3400 Florida...for over twotwo Boissoneault Oncology Timber Ridge 352.861.2400 / Inverness 352.726.3400 Lecanto 352.527.0106 / RBOI.com Lecanto 352.527.0106 / RBOI.com decades! Why is this Institute is named after a decades! Why is this Institute is named after a accreditation important best best friend a young accreditation so so important friend lostlost at aatyoung compared to any other age to cancer. His memory compared to any other age to cancer. His memory national cancer board? strengthens sincere national cancer board? strengthens ourour sincere Because protecting your commitment to you, rather Because protecting your commitment to you, rather health and safety demand than than outside corporate health and safety demand an an outside corporate strict national guidelines. influence influence emotionally strict national guidelines. emotionally Cutting corners deaf to your needs. Cutting corners onon deaf to your needs. YouYou personnel sophistication willwill NEVER treated personnel or or sophistication NEVER be be treated reduce overhead a number, rather than to to reduce overhead is ais a likelike a number, rather than Lecanto Office Lecanto Office

January ‘19


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TOWN The Social Scene With a thundering of hooves, teams of six to eight one-ton draft horses showed o their skills at the inaugural Grandview Invitational International event. Photo by Dave Miller


Malena Delaluz and Nan Bonfield

Grandview Invitational


Jim Brinkman and Jordan Felton


pectators came from far and wide for the 2019 Grandview Invitational, held February 1-3 at the Florida Horse park. This elite, international draft horse hitch show featured Clydesdales, Belgians and Percherons in a one-of-akind display of horse power. Â

David and Ava Hendrickson

Brian Cox




“Is a little chest pain normal?”


Emergency symptoms are good at hiding. Not all signs of an emergency are obvious. Ongoing symptoms like indigestion, shortness of breath and chest pain could be an emergency in disguise. Thankfully, an Ocala Health ER is here to help. With dedicated emergency experts and faster wait times, you can trust us for even better care. We’re here 24/7 to help you through any emergency — even the tricky ones.

Text ER to 32222* for average wait times at an Ocala Health ER near you. *Message and data rates may apply. For more information, go to texterhelp.com.


Caden Osian

Chad Christianson, Ansley Christianson, Caden, Chance and Canon

Sneakers and S’mores 5K COUNTRY CLUB OF OCAL A Photos By DAVE MILLER Steven Preston, Shane Jones and Amber Soltis


he 6th annual Sneakers and S’mores 5K on January 19 included a record number of registrations. Proceeds from this event help raise scholarship funds for deserving students through the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, which provides more than 850 Marion County Children with a life-changing scholarship. Dean Waterman

Dr. Ryan Stewart, Dr. Brittney Mckenney Stewart, CathyStewart, Emmy and Chapman



Blake Hufalt, Alyssa Sanber, Giselle Cesperdes, Yisiara Aguirrre and Daniela Santiago

Erika Garcia and Eastyn Yancey

Affordable Elegance B U I L D I N G




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Maggie Weakley, Melissa Townsend

Bert Smith AKA Big Bert

Lisa Midgett

All You Need Is Love and Art BRICK CITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS Photos By RALPH DEMILIO Liz Newsome and Heather Sumner


Crystal Fernung, David D’Alessandris

ife is groovy when you’re partying with these cool cats! The February 9 event started with a VIP reception at the Corkscrew featuring music by Left on Broadway covering hits by The Beatles. DJ Big Bert kept the party grooving and moving through the night. Proceeds from this Fab Four-inspired costume party benefit the Marion Cultural Alliance and our local arts community.

Dee Collier

Debbie Cox, Don Sparkman

Xochitl Jacques-Smith, Dee Collier



Chef Loring Felix




Something most of us never even think about, could be costing you a lot more than you realize! Whether your home is old or new, it is prone to leaky air ducts. Leaks force your HVAC system to work harder and cycle more often, and this is extra stress to the system and to your wallet!

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Editors’ Picks A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events. By LISA MCGINNES

Wildlife Day Chinsegut Conservation Center, Brooksville March 9 | 10am-2pm Families can explore a variety of wildlife habitats, including gopher tortoise, white-tailed deer, bobcat, sandhill crane and turkey in the 850-acre Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area. Take part in free, kid-friendly activities and crafts, see wildlife survey techinques in action, and learn more about bird banding and pollinators. https://bit.ly/2St5Ddu

Love Letters The Sharon, The Villages March 12 | 5pm and 8pm

Santos Fat Tire Festival Santos Trailhead March 8-10 Ocala Mountain Bike Association’s signature event draws mountain bikers to Ocala from all over the country for the largest expo of bicycles and bike shops in the Southeast. Test ride new models and shop bike-related gear, accessories, clothing, art and jewelry. A raffle of amazing prizes supports the Bikes for Kids program. The expo is family-friendly; even the littlest riders are invited to hit the trails! santosfattire.com



The long-running Broadway play is now starring two iconic TV stars: Barbara Eden and Hal Linden, bringing star power and supreme acting to A.R. Gurney’s most famous production. This funny and emotional portrait of love is told through a lifetime in 50 years of love letters. thesharon.com


Shamrock Shenanigans Ocala Downtown Market March 16 | 5pm Enjoy a variety of local music acts, including headliner Propaganjah to kick off your St. Patrick’s celebration at this music festival fundraiser for the Marion County Literacy Council. marionliteracy.org

Couch Sessions: Artist Finale Reilly Arts Center March 21

Ocala Spring Carnival Southeastern Livestock Pavilion March 14-17 The 2nd annual carnival features a full midway, food, arts and crafts vendors, live music, dance and cheer performances, karaoke contest, games and pony rides. ocalaspringcarnival.com

Mass Gothic Tuscawilla Park March 15 | 6-9pm This third performance in the 2019 Art Park Series features musical husband and wife duo Mass Gothic and their exhilarating sets of guitardriven pop rock against the backdrop of Tuscawilla Park’s sculpture garden. ocalafl.org/performingarts

St. Paddy’s Day 5k Citizens’ Circle March 16 | 8am Break out your green running gear for this St. Patrick’s Daythemed event that includes a costume contest. The final super race of the Big Hammock Race Series will have Pot of Gold Challenge medals for the fastest 400 across the line, and Super Race Challengers will receive their medals for the series. The year-long Big Hammock Race Series of fitness challenges supports local charities. bighammockraceseries.com

Florida Mermaid Festival Linda Pederson Park, Spring Hill March 16-17 Celebrate mermaids and their history on Florida’s Adventure Coast. Participate in the mermaid contest and outdoor activities like kayak races, and enjoy live entertainment, crafts and an array of food vendors. thefloridamermaidfestival.com

Mount Dora Spring Festival Downtown Mount Dora March 16-17 | 9am-5pm The streets of historic downtown Mount Dora come alive as thousands of visitors shop more than 250 exhibitors offering arts and crafts, collectibles and antiques. Shuttle from the parking area at Mount Dora Plaza aboard a climate-controlled vintage 1940s train. mountdoraspringfest.com

The grand finale celebrating the 2018 Couch Sessions Series brings together artists and musicians for an intimate evening—offering guests not just a front row seat but an onstage seat up close to musicians Michelle Ingrham, Ecliff Farrar and Left On Broadway for the main stage performance. The event will begin with pop-up galleries by artists Jordan Shapot, Teddy Sykes, Tyrus Clutter, Mel Fiorentino and Derek Gabriel Grimsley. The art furniture pieces crafted by the 2018 featured artists will be auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Reilly Arts Center, and guests will get an exclusive VIP look at the 2019 Couch Sessions lineup and the opportunity to purchase tickets. reillyartscenter.com

Down for Donuts CrossFit Iron Legion March 23 | 9am The functional fitness competition gets a fun twist— coffee and donuts for everyone, provided by Symmetry Coffee and Crepes! This event is a fundraiser for GiGi’s Playhouse in Gainesville, a Down syndrome achievement center, and offers fun for the whole family, including a silent auction. For more information, follow @DownforDonuts on Facebook or call 352-620-2625.

March ‘19



HUGS 11th Annual Fundraiser One Health Center March 28 | 6:30pm Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction with casual attire. All funds raised stay in Marion County to provide critical help to families facing cancer and the Cancer Alliance of Marion County. hugscharities.org

Wine & Seafood Festival Lakeridge Winery, Clermont March 22-24 This 11th annual event marks the start of spring with a weekend of outdoor music and entertainment to accompany Lakeridge wine and a variety of seafood specialties. Winery tours and tastings are complimentary and children are welcome. lakeridgewinery.com

Absolute Journey Circle Square Cultural Center March 23 | 7pm The most traveled Journey tribute band in the world, Absolute Journey from Toronto performs a faithful reproduction of the Steve Perry era—complete with audience interaction, projections, backdrops and true-to-theoriginal costume changes. Hear all of your Journey favorites including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Who’s Crying Now” and many more. csculturalcenter.com



Assisted Living: The Musical Reilly Arts Center March 29 | 7:30pm Laugh at later life in this vaudeville-esque revue that centers around a couple entering heaven…with a suspicion that their son pulled the plug to get his hands on Dad’s vintage Corvette. They get caught up in a singing, dancing celebration fondly remembering their adventures in their active retirement community. reillyartscenter.com

Marion County’s 175th Anniversary Celebration McPherson Complex March 30 | 10am-4pm

Gainesville Native American Festival Alachua County Fairgrounds March 29-31 Enjoy traditional dancing, music and art presented by native performers from all over North America in elaborate traditional regalia. Vendors will offer traditional native foods like frybread and buffalo as well as modern fair food. gainesvillenativeamericanfest.com

Autism SuperHero Fun Walk Sholom Park March 30 | 9:30 am The 6th annual walk to benefit Ocala’s Outreach Autism Services Network includes a superhero costume contest, live entertainment by Macey Mac and barbecue for purchase from Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue. outreachautismservicesnetwork.com

After Hours Concert Series: Southern Express Organizations from around the area will participate in telling Marion County’s story in a fun, informative, interactive way. The event will include plenty of food, games and more. https://bit.ly/2E1sTpB

Appleton Museum of Art April 4 | 5pm Local 17-piece big band Southern Express plays jazz and diverse musical selections while visitors are invited to peruse artwork displays by the Ocala Art Group and sample French-inspired bites from La Cuisine. appletonmuseum.org


Magnolia Junkin’ Spring Market Three Sisters Vintage April 5-6 | 8am-4pm Like vintage shopping? More than 50 vendors converge in downtown Ocala’s North Magnolia Business District offering rare antique, vintage and “junque” finds as well as arts and crafts. facebook.com/twosistersvintagethrift

Spring Heritage Tour of Homes Ocala Historic District April 6 HOPS, the Historic Ocala Preservation Society, presents the 2019 spring heritage tour, which includes tours of six lovely homes in the Ocala Historic District, complimentary refreshments, an antiques and treasures sale, and a History of Ocala program presented at the HOPS headquarters at Bryant House. historicocala.org

Citizens’ Circle April 20 | 2 pm Admission to this 6th annual downtown favorite includes an afternoon of unlimited beer and wine sampling from more than 30 vendors from around the state and beyond. Enjoy live southern and classic rock music by R-Style and a variety of food trucks, as well. The event also includes admission to the Feel Downtown LIVE concert at 6pm featuring The Titans of Rock, a tribute to iconic arena rock bands like Journey and Bon Jovi. Proceeds will be donated to local charities. brickcitybeerfest.com

Spring Arts Festival Santa Fe College, Gainesville April 6 | 9am-5pm This 50th annual festival showcases original artwork, including paintings, jewelry, photography and ceramics. The Children’s Hands-on Art Jungle offers fun kids’ activities, crafts and face painting. Enjoy live entertainment at Bo Diddley Plaza throughout the day, and nosh on diverse food offerings from a variety of vendors. sfspringarts.org

Spring Parade of Homes Marion County April 25-28, May 2-5, May 9-12

Cinema Sunday

Going for Baroque

Marion Theatre April 7 | 3-6pm

Reilly Arts Center April 7 | 3pm

This Is Home is an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in Baltimore and struggling to find their footing. As they learn to adapt to challenges, including the newly imposed travel ban, their strength and resilience are tested. It is a universal story, highlighted by humor and heartbreak, about what it’s like to start over, no matter the obstacles. The Cinema Sunday series, presented by the Ocala Film Foundation, offers film screenings and also a chance to meet and interact with the filmmaker in close-up and conversation events before and after the film. ocalafilmfoundation.org

Brick City Beer and Wine Festival

The Symphony Chorus, made up of singers from our community, joins the Ocala Symphony Orchestra for this spring concert which includes Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and “Magnificat” and orchestral works by Corelli and Handel. reillyartscenter.com

The Marion County Building Industry Association presents the 2019 Spring Parade of Homes featuring more than 40 homes and representing the top builders in the industry. Homes range from starters to custom, multi-million-dollar designs. Attendees can tour the homes and talk with builders onsite. A complete list of homes and participating builders is available on the Marion County Building Association’s website. mcbia.org

March ‘19



Class Acts

School news from Marion County Public Schools By KEVIN CHRISTIAN, APR , CPRC

Other Golden Apple Class of 2019 members: Brian Stephenson, Belleview High Teaching for 13 years, including the last three in Marion County, Brian Stephenson leads learning in his social studies classrooms with subjects like European History, Economics and Divinity Classical Studies. In fact, his students excel, with marks nearly 20 percent higher than the state average. Brian strives to produce better citizens in the community.

Teachers Shine at Golden Apple Gala It’s always a black-tie affair when educators gather at Circle Square Cultural Center, especially for the 29th annual Golden Apple Gala. Skillfully orchestrated by the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, this event showcases teachers from every public school, spotlighting five in the process who received Golden Apples. From these five, one was chosen to represent all.

2019 Marion County Teacher of the Year Hollie Cunningham, West Port High In the classroom just five years, Hollie teaches Medical Skills, Health Science Foundations, Certified Nursing Assisting and Electrocardiograph Technician classes to hundreds of students. Her students’ passing rate on state certification exams is 100 percent, and every single student who has graduated from her program was immediately employed in the local health care industry.

2019 Rookie Teacher of the Year Karla Cavalier, Shady Hill Elementary Karla’s brand new to the teaching world and the art classroom at Shady Hill Elementary. She uses her creative abilities developed as an interior designer and gymnastics instructor to help her students shine. “Never do for a child what a child can do for themselves,” she says, and Karla tries to be real with her 637 students, helping them understand not every day can be the greatest.



Jessica Carter, Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary With 23 years of experience, Jessica’s been in Marion County classrooms for the last three years. As a third-grade teacher, Jessica proudly confesses she “becomes what my students need.” Her classroom comes alive with joy, motivation, imagination, laughter, innovation, creativity, collaboration, risk taking and respect. Emily Cook, Forest High Emily joined the school district 20 years ago and previously taught the deaf/hard of hearing. This year, she helps students with Algebra I and credit recovery courses. She believes success is more than just academic and regularly convinces her students to take part in community events. Amy Owensby, Hillcrest School Keeping watchful eyes on prisoners wasn’t enough for Amy Owensby, who had quite a successful naval career. Nor was being her school’s 2011 rookie teacher of the year. Today, Amy teaches students with special needs and helps them develop the confidence, skills and communication abilities they need.

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s a part of the 1973 Super Bowlwinning Miami Dolphins when Coach Don Shula’s team defeated the Minnesota Vikings 24-7, Don Nottingham knows about being a champion. A native of Ohio who attended Kent State University, Don played his first two seasons (1971-72) for the then Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Dolphins for the ‘73 season. Don played fullback and did a good job of protecting his quarterback; he was known as the “human bowling ball.” Don’s football career ended when he broke his scapula during a game in 1978. goofiness. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” “I wouldn’t trade my time in the NFL At 69, Don still works in the insurance industry, but his passion for anything,” says Don. “I’ve always been a has become charity work. A member of the believer in the team; it was Marion Dunn Masonic Lodge, he is a Shriner all about ‘us’ and ‘we’ and as well. He’s very active in the NFL Alumni doing the best you could I’ve always tried Association and has been helping with their do. The team always came to look for the Super Bowl of Golf charity tournaments for the first. What I loved about past 40 years. good stuff in life. playing football was being In addition to working with Special Olympics part of something bigger I tell kids, ‘Don’t and Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC), Don than myself.” let anyone tell you helped launch Champions for Champions, Inc., For a decade after a Marion County nonprofit that offers programs what you can do; retiring from football, he designed to enrich the lives of families with stayed in Miami working you show them special needs children and young adults. as an insurance agent what you can do!’ One of Don’s favorite projects is their popular for Associated Grocers, a Champions Gavel Club, which offers public career he continued after speaking opportunities for special needs participants similar to moving to Ocala. He liked the small-town those found through Toastmasters. vibe of Ocala in the late ‘90s and has called “It just makes my heart want to blow up, I’m so proud of them,” it home ever since. he says. “It’s amazing to see their self-esteem levels rise when they Don has two children from his first have confidence.” marriage and one from his second, as well Don relishes any chance to speak to youth groups and his as a 4-year-old granddaughter. positive outlook is contagious. “My wife Nancy and I have been together “I’ve always tried to look for the good stuff in life. I tell kids, ‘Don’t 35 years,” he says proudly. “She’s an let anyone tell you what you can do; you show them what you can do!’” awesome person and puts up with all my



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This Millennial Is Killing Generational ‘Whodunits’ Written By KATIE MCPHERSON Illustration by MAGGIE PEREZ WEAKLEY

Imagine a world without scantily-clad waitresses serving up hot wings—their buildings shuttered and dilapidated. Picture store shelves without bar soap, only shower gels and fruit-scented goo to choose from. In this alternate universe, 9-to-5 workdays have vanished. Chaos reigns. People run amok, tapping away at laptops and conferencing with coworkers… at 6pm. In a Starbucks. The horror! News headlines describe millennials as mass murderers of society’s beloved gems. “Millennials have killed Hooters.” “Millennials are killing bar soap.” And let’s not forget the slightly less accusatory, “Did Millennials Kill the 9-to-5 Workday, or Just



Point Out That It’s Dead?” I appreciate the innocentuntil-proven guilty approach of that one. First of all, you’re welcome. Anything that brands itself as a “breastraunt” had it coming and bar soap is an overly drying relic of the past. Don’t tell me you don’t curse it every time you drop it in the shower. You know it and I know it. But second, aren’t these headlines a little much? Just Google “things millennials have killed” and read through any of the compilations that appear. Results range from marmalade and hangout sitcoms to loyalty and patriotism. Let’s not forget dating, relationships and marriage. All dead. Can you hear


me rolling my eyes yet? So, sure, to some people these headlines ring true. Millennials may seem to be killing patriotism, just like the youth throughout history “killed” patriotism—by becoming activists for change that doesn’t always jibe with what older generations believe is good for the country. We meet dates on apps which seems to lack real human connection. I get it! But hear me out. Millennials killing literally everything is simply this: capitalism meets technological advancement. And we’re not the first generation to kill a laundry list of inventions and industries. Today, baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—are known for ushering in social and political change, and rightfully so. They grappled with civil rights and women’s rights movements in the 70s, were the first generation to grow up with TV, and the first to access personal computers. Let us consider some things baby boomers killed according to Business Insider:

Five-and-dime stores Manner of death: Boomers’ preference for big box stores like Walmart, beginning in the 1970s.

Slide rules Manner of death: Calculators were invented, and boomers preferred to use them.

Typewriters Manner of death: IBM introduced the first widely used personal computer in 1981.

Automats Manner of death: Fast food restaurants became more popular in the 60s.

Railroads Manner of death: CARS. See what I mean? Millennials aren’t killing things because of their entitlement issues, a desire to watch the world burn or anything else we’re accused of in

sweeping generalizations. Just like the boomers before us, products, stores and industries die with the advent of new products that appeal to the market more. If you really want to cling to the slide rule as a staple of Americana, by all means, please do so. Just don’t do your own taxes. In the cases of our victims diamonds, golf and homeownership, it comes down to economic differences. The media has explained the economic forces behind this elsewhere so I won’t bore you here, but millennials can’t afford these things at the same ages the generations before us could. I have a four-year degree that cost me $30,000—with scholarships. I can’t afford a round of mini golf, let alone the real thing. Despite the obvious attempts of millennials to bring about the destruction of the world as we know it—we’re not all bad. Statistically, millennials visit libraries more frequently than boomers or Gen Xers. The Pew Research Center found that 53 percent of millennials visited them in the past year compared to 31 percent of all adults. Because who needs a Kindle when library books are free? It’s amazing. Also, despite the (ridiculous, soul-crushing, yet somehow required for even an entry-level job) cost of education, millennials have earned the title of the most educated generation in history: 27 percent of women and 21 percent of men have bachelor’s degrees versus 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women from the baby boomer generation. And in perhaps the biggest plot twist, millennials love them some vinyl records. According to MusicWatch, 72 percent of vinyl purchasers today are 35 or younger. We grew up hearing that vinyl just sounds better and, guess what? We agree! So the next time you read an article accusing millennials of yet another mass murder, just remember we’re not the first generation to usher in change and we won’t be the last. Supply and demand have always been in play, and that’s really no generation’s fault. That said, we’re not sorry about the breastraunts. They had it coming.

March ‘19


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Using Immunotherapy Treatments To Fight Brain Cancer By CYNTHIA MCFARL AND

Photo courtesy of IHMC


attling cancer is a full-time commitment for many doctors and researchers. Among those leading the search for innovative cancer treatments is Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and Director of the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program. Interestingly, the first documented cases of physicians trying to engage the immune system to fight cancer dates all the way back to the late 19th century, but nothing compares to the enormous strides made in the last decade. “The field of cancer immunotherapy has undergone a rapid expansion, even an explosion, in terms of interest and application for the treatment of a number of advanced cancers over the last five to 10 years,” notes Mitchell. “Immunotherapy treatments are the most significant change in how we think about treating cancer in the last 30 years,” he adds. “For the last three years the American Society of Clinical Oncology has cited advances in the field of cancer immunotherapy treatment as the most important advances in all of clinical oncology.” Although brain cancer is not the most common cancer, this malignancy is one of the most deadly and most difficult to treat, and it has been a challenge to develop safe and effective treatments for patients. Although cancer is rare in children, brain cancer is one of the most common types seen in children and adolescents. “At the University of Florida over the last 5 1/2 years we have developed and expanded a large and comprehensive research program pursuing a number of different strategies on effectively engaging patients’ immune systems, spanning from cancer vaccine and T-cell therapies to nanoparticle-based treatments and stem cell therapies,” says Mitchell. “All of these are different ways to engage the immune system in the fight against invasive brain tumors.” With more than 100 full-time employees in the UF brain cancer center in both treatment and research, this constitutes a huge effort. “Several of our approaches have moved into early phase

clinical trials and we have seen some very promising results in treating glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest malignant brain tumor in adults, as well as in children with recurrent brain tumors,” notes Mitchell. “We’re encouraged by both the early phases clinical results and our pre-clinical laboratory studies.” Mitchell will lecture on “The Cancer Immunotherapy Revolution and Relevance for Brain Tumors” at IHMC Ocala. Attendees can expect to learn more about recent advances and specific approaches being taken to develop immunotherapy treatments for both adult and pediatric patients with brain tumors. Learn More › IHMC Evening Lecture Series › Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D. › Thursday, April 11, 6-7pm (doors open at 5:30) › ihmc.us › (352) 387-3050

March ‘19







Photo by Ralph Demilio


everal years ago, I was attending a continuing education course for family law judges. Having just rotated from the civil docket to a family law docket, I recognized there were plenty of differences between the two types of cases. One of the instructors—all of which are sitting judges—informed us of his standard practice in pending family law cases to bring the parties to court once every four months so he can learn how the case is progressing. Upon hearing this, I raised my hand and asked what I believed to be a logical question… “What about the Rule of Judicial Administration which provides that family law cases are to be resolved within 180 days of their initial filing?” After an extended (in my opinion) delay, one of the other instructors chimed-in and replied, “I wouldn’t worry about that rule.” Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.250(a) outlines the presumptively reasonable time periods for completion of cases. Uncontested family law cases are to be resolved within 90 days of filing, and contested cases within 180 days. For misdemeanor cases, 90 days is determined to be the reasonable time from arrest to final disposition. Felony cases should be resolved within 180 days. Obtaining a resolution of all cases within the time standards provided by the rule is an extremely optimistic goal. It is for this reason Rule 2.250(a) contains an additional provision which recognizes there are complex cases which may present problems that cause reasonable delays. One such example of a complex case would be the State of Florida vs. Nicholas Cruz, where the defendant is charged with

17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida on February 14, 2018. The judge in Mr. Cruz’s case has set a tentative trial date for September of 2019… 19 months after the defendant’s date of arrest. The committee assigned to drafting Rule 2.250 was far more generous in Case management assigning time standards for civil cases. is one of the most Non-jury civil cases are to be resolved within 12 months from date of filing to important tasks final disposition. That’s the equivalent of assigned to judges. allowing twice the amount of time for a The steady influx of mortgage foreclosure civil case than for an armed robbery criminal case where new cases highlights the defendant has the right to a jury the importance of trial. Civil cases where a jury trial has resolving cases in a been requested are afforded 18 months within which to be resolved. timely manner. Case management is one of the most important tasks assigned to judges. The steady influx of new cases highlights the importance of resolving cases in a timely manner. The image of Lucy and Ethel working at the chocolate factory assembly line often resembles what I believe the clerk’s office does on a daily basis with new cases being filed. It is for this reason that I believe reminding attorneys and parties of the time standards provided by Rule 2.250(a) is certain to pay off… over time.

Judge Steven G. Rogers currently serves as a circuit court judge. He lives in Ocala with his wife, three children and an extremely spoiled Australian Shepherd.


City Update News you can use from Ocala’s city hall.

Upcoming Events The First Friday Art Walk returns Friday, March 1 from 6-9pm throughout downtown Ocala. Enjoy live music, dance performances, artist displays, family-friendly art activities, extended shopping hours and more! To learn more, visit ocalafl.org/artwalk. The Spring Art Park Series continues Friday, March 15 from 6-9pm at the Tuscawilla Art Park. This event will feature live music by Mass Gothic. For more information, please call (352) 629-8447 or visit ocalafl.org/performingarts.

Citizens Academy Applications are being accepted for the City of Ocala’s Citizens Academy program. Citizens Academy is a free, exciting, 10-week program that touches upon virtually every facet of city government. Sessions will be held Thursdays, April 4 through June 6 from 5:30-7:30pm at various locations. For more information, visit ocalafl.org/citizensacademy or call (352) 401-3978.

The City of Ocala is providing residents with free tire disposal Saturday, March 16 from 9am-2pm. Disposal locations will be at the corner of NE 14th Street and NE Eighth Avenue and the Hampton Aquatic Fun Center located at 255 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Tires generated by businesses will not be accepted and there is a limit of 10 tires per resident. To learn more, call (352) 351-6697. The Discovery Center’s exhibit, Eco Invaders, is on display through Saturday, March 23. Eco Invaders is a family-friendly, interactive exhibit, educating guests on the invasive species and the impact they have on Florida’s ecosystems. For more information, call (352) 401-3900 or visit mydiscoverycenter.org.

Ocala Fire Rescue

Ocala Electric Utility

Injury prevention is just as important as emergency services to Ocala Fire Rescue. We’d like to offer the following tips to decrease the impact daylight saving time has on your system before the time to adjust your clocks arrives on Sunday, March 10. •

Adjust your daily schedule by at least 15 minutes. Starting evening routines ahead of your typical schedule will provide your body with “time clues” of retreating to bed earlier. Place your sunglasses in the car. The change in daylight hours may have direct sunlight affecting your commute. Refrain from driving while distracted. Although this is true year-round, additional precautions should be taken for a day or two following a time change. Differences in sleeping patterns will affect us all differently. For additional daylight saving time tips, check out the National Safety Council’s Spring Forward review safety checklist at bit.ly/2OnHdAG.

Ocala Electric Utility, in partnership with Energy Saving Trees, will provide residents with one free tree now through June 30, while supplies last. This program is designed to help residents better understand where to plant trees on their property for maximum energy savings. By planting the right tree in the right place, residents can reduce energy consumption by approximately 20 percent annually. To learn more, visit ocalafl.org or call (352) 629-2489.

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Twitter - @cityofocalafl Instagram - @cityofocala

March ‘19


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Hunting and Fishing The Sunshine State By JIM GIBSON


y family lived in the country, and as a young boy, I spent every spare minute in the woods. I loved the solitude and I loved everything nature had to offer. Much of my young adult life was spent hunting and fishing all throughout the Central Florida area. Although I no longer hunt, I am still an avid fisherman. Any chance we get, my wife TeResa and I pack up the SUV and head for the coast. There is nothing like fishing Florida waters, whether they be fresh or salt. The more than 30,000 lakes, almost 6 million acres of managed wildlife areas and 1,350 miles of ocean coastline in Florida make our state one of the premier recreational hunting and fishing states in the nation.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was created to protect the wildlife and maintain the protected lands and waters throughout the state. To this end, FWC has established rules and regulations governing the state’s fish and wildlife resources. It pays to know those rules and regulations. If you are caught fishing or hunting without a license, it will cost you $50 plus the cost of a license. The second offense will cost you $100 plus the cost of a license. Ignorance of the law will not be excused. It is your job to buy the proper licenses, know which types of game and fish can and cannot be harvested and in what amounts. Any Florida resident between 16 and 65 years of age and any state visitor over the age of 16 must get a license to hunt or fish. Licenses can be purchased online, at sporting goods stores, many bait and tackle shops, and at your local tax collector’s office. Anyone born after June 1, 1975 may be required to take one or several safety courses prior to receiving hunting or fishing license(s).


Your fishing license is required to be with you any time you attempt to fish in a freshwater stream, river or lake. If you cast a line into the water and catch nothing you still need a license. A license is also required to help someone else fish. For example, if you are baiting hooks, you must have a license. You don’t need a license if you are a resident fishing with live or natural bait, using poles (cane poles, etc.) that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism (reel), and you are fishing for noncommercial purposes in the county in which you reside. Anyone fishing in a fish management area must have a license no matter which equipment he or she uses. A saltwater fishing license is required when fishing from a vessel, island or shore and is also needed to harvest any native or nonnative marine organisms, such as crabs, lobsters and marine plants. Florida residents may get a resident recreational saltwater shoreline fishing license at no cost. This allows you to fish from land or any structure attached to land. Even though the license is free, you must have one in your possession when fishing from shore. Visitors must



purchase a 3-day, 7-day or annual nonresident saltwater fishing license to shore fish. No license is required to use a cane pole while shore fishing in your home county.


Residents and visitors must have a license to hunt in Florida. Anyone who is assisting another person who is hunting (setting decoys, calling birds, etc.), whether actively hunting or not, must also have a license.

Hunters may use bows, crossbows, precharged pneumatic air guns, pistols, rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders. Deer, turkey, gray squirrel, quail, bobcat and otter may be hunted only during designated seasons. Rabbits, wild hogs, raccoons, opossums, skunks, nutrias, beavers and coyotes may be hunted year round. Visit myfwc.com for a detailed Florida fishing and hunting regulations guide or to purchase your license(s) online. Many license types are available and prices vary.


ZONE C GUIDELINES (Includes Marion County and most of North and Central Florida)

Weapon Specifications Archery - Only bows may be used. However, it is prohibited to use bows equipped with sights or aiming devices with electronic computational capabilities or light/laser projection during archery season.


Statewide: Dec. 1–March 31

Antlered Deer

Crossbows – Only bows and crossbows can be used.

(deer that meet antler regulations within DMU)

Muzzleloaders - Only muzzleloaders fired by wheel lock, flintlock, percussion cap or centerfire primer (including 209 primers) and crossbows and bows may be used. Muzzleloaders that can be loaded from the breech are not legal during muzzleloading gun season.

Archery season: Sept. 15–Oct. 14 Crossbow season: Sept. 15–Oct. 19 General gun season: Sept. 15–Oct. 19

General Gun - Centerfire rifles, shotguns, centerfire pistols, muzzleloaders, pre-charged pneumatic air guns, crossbows and bows may be used during general gun seasons.

Antlerless Deer

Turkey (gobblers and bearded turkeys only)

(deer without or with less than 5-inch antlers)

Archery season: Sept. 15–Oct. 14 Crossbow season: Sept. 15–Oct. 14 General gun season: By Deer Management Units (DMU) DMU C1: Nov. 16-19 DMU C2: Nov. 16-18 DMU C3: Nov. 16-18 DMU C4: Nov. 16-19 DMU C5: Nov. 3-4, Nov. 17-18 DMU C6: Nov. 16-19

Archery season: Sept.15–Oct. 14 Crossbow season: Sept. 15–Oct. 19 Fall turkey season: Nov. 3–Dec. 30 Shotguns, rifles, pre-charged pneumatic air guns, pistols, muzzleloaders, crossbows or bows may be used.

Gray Squirrel


Statewide: Oct. 13–March 3

Statewide: Nov. 10–March 3 Rifles, shotguns, pistols, muzzleloaders, air guns, crossbows and bows may be used. Gray squirrel and quail also may be taken during archery, crossbow and muzzleloading gun seasons using the respective methods allowed during those seasons.

Rabbits, Wild Hogs, Raccoons, Opossums, Skunks, Nutrias, Beaver and Coyotes May be taken year round by rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader, air gun, crossbow or bow. May also be trapped, except for rabbit.

Fishing Regulations and Limits There are 23 separate General Species fish and each has its own rules and limits. There are also unregulated species with a general rule for all of them.

There are eight reef fish with different rules and limits. There are also gear regulations and unregulated species.

There are eight species of Crabs, Shrimp and Shellfish with different rules and limits. There are also unregulated species.

March ‘19



Horsin’ Around

Check out these upcoming equestrian events for the month of March. Compiled by JOANN GUIDRY

HITS Post Time Farm

13710 US Hwy 27, Ocala › hitsshows.com Wednesdays-Sundays, 8am-4pm Grand Prix events take place at approximately 2pm every Sunday, as well as select Fridays. Parking is free. No admission charge for performances Wednesday-Saturday. Children 12 and under are free throughout the event. For Weeks I-IV and VI-IX, Sunday general admission tickets are $5 per adult. For Weeks V and X, Sunday general admission tickets are $10 per adult for the $100,000 Ocala Electric Utility Grand Prix, Sunday, February 17 and for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 24.

2019 Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS)

March 5-10: Ocala Winter Finals VIII $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix $50,000 Summit Joint Performance Grand Prix March 12-17: Ocala Winter Celebration IX $25,000 SmartPark Grand Prix $1,000,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix March 19-24: Ocala Championship X HITS Equitation Championship $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Great American $1 Million Grand Prix

Parade of Nations Horse Celebration Ocala Downtown Square March 7 at 4pm

The Parade at 5pm will feature 30 breeds of horses; top equestrians competing at Live Oak International and HITS; Grand Marshal Chester Weber; and vendors, exhibitors and fun activities for all ages.

Live Oak International Combined Driving and Show Jumping


1701 SW 60th Avenue, Ocala › (352) 237-2154 › obssales.com March 12-13: OBS Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale

The Grand Oaks Resort

3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale, › (352) 7505500 › thegrandoaks.com March 2-3: Hunt Country Horse Shows March 22-24: Special Olympics

Live Oak Plantation, 2215 SW 110th Avenue, Ocala › liveoakinternational.com March 7-10

Millwood Polo Club

Florida Horse Park

Social Arena Polo every Saturday

11008 South Hwy 475, Ocala › (352) 307-6699 › flhorsepark.com March 1-3: Pat Parelli Exposition March 3: STRIDE #2 March 9-10: Mounted Games March 15-17: Ocala Winter Horse Trials II March 16-17: IHSA Western Semi-Finals March 23-24: Sunshine Region Games Rally March 29-31: Marion Saddle Club Hunter/ Jumper Show

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala › (352) 671-8400 › marioncountyfl.org March 1-3: Southern Regional Paso Fino “A/O Youth Schooling” Show March 2-3: Running K Livestock–Team Sorting March 22-23: Southeastern Pro Rodeo March 30: 4-H Specialty Horse Show


Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company

2780 NW 165th Street, Citra › (352) 591-3162 › millwoodpoloclub.com

Gypsy Gold Farm America’s Gypsy Vanner Foundation Farm

12501 SW 8th Avenue, Ocala › (352) 307-3777 › gypsygold.com Two-Hour Farm Tour on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays by appointment

Guided Trail Rides

cactusjackstrailrides.com › (352) 266-9326 ocalahappyacres.com › (352) 489-8550 ocalatrailrides.com › (352) 342-8891 zipthecanyons.com › (352) 351-9477

3 Mar Ocala Style-Mane_Full.indd 1

2/5/19 9:21 AM


How Does Your Garden Grow? By CYNTHIA MCFARL AND


Information on each individual seed packet tells you when to plant based on your zone. If the seed packet refers to Zone 9, that’s us. - Maxine Hunter



ne of the joys of living here is that we can get serious about gardening long before our friends farther north. This month is a perfect time to get your spring garden established. We chatted with Maxine Hunter, horticulture agent at UF/IFAS Extension Marion County, to find out what we should be doing—and not doing—in the garden. The good news is you’re not too late if you have hopes of planting a spring vegetable garden, so long as you’re planting the right things. For example, if you want to grow tomatoes into the summer, choose a variety that is heat-tolerant. Around March 1 is the target for getting plants in the ground. Because March can still have freezing nights, transplants are a safer bet than seeds—whether you’re working with seedlings you started indoors this winter or you’re purchasing plants. Hunter recommends starting your own seedlings, simply because seed companies offer much greater selection and variety than buying established plants locally. (Plus, it’s fun to

peruse seed catalogs as you plan your garden.) Marion County lies in USDA Planting Zone 9a, which runs horizontally across the state from Levy to Volusia counties. “Information on each individual seed packet tells you when to plant based on your zone. If the seed packet refers to Zone 9, that’s us,” says Hunter. “Some seed packets aren’t that specific, but will give you a region. If that’s the case, we are the Southern region.” Hunter says one of the biggest mistakes people make is planting the wrong varieties. Often, people have moved to our area from other regions and try—unsuccessfully—to grow the same plants they did in another part of the country.

How About That Dirt?

Whether you’re planting in the ground or in containers, odds are your soil could use some help. If you’re planting a big garden, a soil pH test costs just $2 at the UF/IFAS Extension Marion County office. If you have very sandy soil or high clay content, you’ll need to improve the soil with organic matter before planting your veggies. “The higher the organic matter, the better the soil,” says Hunter. Good choices for organic matter include mushroom compost, fish emulsion and manure that has been composted for at least 90 days to destroy any pathogens. “Rabbit manure is good in gardens, but it’s high


in nitrogen, so it needs to be composted or aged before you use it,” notes Hunter. “Fish emulsion works great, but it is smelly so some people don’t like it for this reason.” Don’t use fresh manure because it could contain potentially harmful bacteria. (Buying already composted manure eliminates most of the worry about pathogens.) Unless the ground is very compacted, you don’t really need to till it up. Place bagged garden soil (a better choice than top soil) and composted manure on top, then rake or hoe it into the soil before planting.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Once your plants are in the ground or container, don’t make the common mistake of over-maintaining them with excessive watering and fertilization. “It’s really ‘killing them with kindness’ and leads to more pests and disease problems,” explains Hunter. “Vegetable plants need a light application of fertilizer every three to four weeks, but look for a balanced fertilizer made specifically for vegetables, as many are too high in nitrogen,” she notes. “You don’t want over 10 percent nitrogen because too much nitrogen and the plants will be large and very green, but many won’t produce. “For vegetables, it’s best to have a drip irrigation system set to go off at least once a day when transplants are getting established, and then cut back to every other day, unless it’s really hot.” However you water your garden, be careful to water just the roots. “Leaves don’t absorb water and when they stay wet, this can lead to fungal and bacterial problems,” Hunter explains.

prevent the need to use chemicals. Look under the leaves for aphids, ants, caterpillars, etc., and remove by hand. You can also apply an insecticidal soap or horticulture oil (such as neem oil) to ward off pests. Don’t use antibacterial soap or one containing degreaser as this can damage and burn plants. Dilute two tablespoons of liquid soap in one gallon of water and spray plants once every seven to 10 days as needed. Hunter advises this method first rather than opting for pesticides, which kill beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, butterf lies, bees and other pollinators. If you have any questions about insects, planting or gardening advice, don’t hesitate to contact our local extension office. It’s a great, no-cost resource for identifying insects, poisonous plants, year-round gardening advice.

Garden Smarter With These Helpful Links Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021

Gardening with Perennials in Florida https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg035 Natural enemies and biological controls https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in120 Learn More › UF/IFAS Extension Marion County › 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala › (352) 671-8400 › marioncountyfl.org/departments-agencies/departmentsa-n/extension-service/

Scout For Pests

Monitoring your plants regularly for pests may

March ‘19



Community Bank & Trust of Florida TAKING LOCAL BANKING TO THE NEXT LEVEL


hen it comes to finances, you want to trust the people handling your money and advising your decisions. It can be frustrating when you have financial questions but aren’t sure who to ask or have to settle for a phone call about a loan application when you’d much rather talk face to face with an expert. As Community Bank & Trust of Florida celebrates its 21st anniversary this spring, there are many reasons why it not only survived the recession but actually expanded. The biggest reason: This truly is a local bank that understands what patrons want. “When we started in 1998, there were several locally owned banks in the region, but we are the only one still standing. Locally owned means that we have shareholders who own the bank—not 48


institutions or venture capitalists—and those shareholders live here in our community,” says President Hugh Dailey. “At the end of the day, it’s about personal service. You can sit down in any one of our 11 branches in three counties and talk to someone in detail about any of your banking needs.” “We enjoy working with individual clients, and we don’t just offer ‘fit-in-thebox’ products,” says Sharla Greene, who heads up consumer lending and loans. You would expect a bank to offer such services as auto loans, home equity loans, lines of credit and more, but Community Bank & Trust of Florida takes “Community Commitment” to another level. For example, area young people involved in the

Southeastern Youth Fair can apply for a small, short-term agricultural loan to buy their fair animals if they can’t afford to pay for them outright. “It’s an opportunity to provide financial education to young adults,” says Greene. “Not only can they learn about the importance of credit and budgeting, but they can establish a banking relationship, something that can be hard for many young people to achieve.” Cindy Van Heyde, a private wealth advisor with Community Bank & Trust of Florida has been in the business over 30 years. She appreciates being able to offer an entire suite of trust and investment

management services, something rarely found in locally owned banks. “We have a boutique department with comprehensive trust and investment management services,” notes Van Heyde, adding that the trust and investment officers and administrators have more than 190 years of combined experience. “It’s great that clients can meet with their portfolio manager or trust officer, rather than having a video conference or long-distance call to discuss personal matters,” she adds. “While some other institutions have very high balance requirements on what accounts they will manage, we can serve every client and give them individualized service, regardless of their investment amounts.” A broad variety of commercial loan options are also available at Community Bank & Trust of Florida, and because lending decisions are made locally, loan officers have greater flexibility than large chain banks when crafting loans to fit specific needs. online security, whether you’re filling out “We meet with business owners in a loan application or conducting routine person, and we have the capacity to help banking transactions.” with anything a business needs financially,” The more people understand about notes commercial loan officer Jeff Baker. finances, the better they can manage “Our bank was founded to help build their money, but too often money matters business in our community, and we pride seem complicated. ourselves in taking people from start to Community Bank & Trust of Florida offers finish on their business ventures, while solutions and regularly provides free financial helping them grow and transition.” literacy classes at area schools and faith-based Baker points out that the type of organizations. In fact, over 2,300 individuals industries they work with runs the took advantage of these opportunities in gamut—everything from doctors starting 2018 alone. practices and This personalized professional services At the end of the day, attention is a hallmark to manufacturing, of Community Bank & contractors and even it’s about personal Trust of Florida, where agricultural equine service. You can sit a real person answers businesses—a niche down in any one of our the phone in each market that many branch. It may seem a banks don’t service. 11 branches in three little old fashioned, but In this era of counties and talk to it’s one of the things technology, it’s also someone in detail customers love. important to know They also appreciate your money and about any of your that Community personal information banking needs. Bank & Trust of are protected. Florida gives back, “People want safety typically donating - Hugh Dailey, President and security where between $30,000 and they bank, without $50,000 annually to various community worrying about hackers getting into a organizations. From Habitat for Humanity huge database and stealing information,” home builds and Little League to school says Dailey. “We’re very progressive about

clubs and teams, the March of Dimes, United Way and more, this is a bank that walks the talk. “For the last 11 years, we’ve hosted Tee Time for Tots, a golf fundraiser that has raised over $160,000 for homeless children in our school districts. Every dollar goes to the children; nothing is taken out for administrative services,” says Dailey. “We’ve also helped hundreds of local kids learn to swim by sponsoring swimming scholarships through the local Swim America program.” So whether it’s buying a first home, securing a commercial loan, sending a child to college or investing for retirement, the experts at Community Bank & Trust of Florida are here to guide you through each step of the process. It’s the only way they know how to do business, and for a bank with “community” in its name, it makes perfect sense. Community Bank & Trust of Florida cbtfl.com (352) 369-1000

Investment and Insurance products and services are NOT a deposit, NOT FDIC insured, NOT guaranteed by the bank, NOT insured by any federal government agency and MAY go down in value. March ‘19


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Foodies Rejoice! The 3rd annual Ocala Culinary Festival begins April 4. Some events are already sold out, so reserve your seat now at ocalaculinaryfestival.com. The Ocala Culinary Festival is dedicated to providing a platform for extraordinary talent to convene for the purpose of creating unforgettable culinary experiences and generating insightful dialogue about food, wine and spirits.

Photo by Ralph Demilio


Food For The Soul By Chef Rosh Location TBA | Thursday, April 4 | 6pm

This year’s festival kicks off with an evening of fresh, fragrant, Indian fusion comfort food presented by award-winning chef Roshni Gurani. In Indian cuisine, tandoori is the traditional family comfort food, featuring meats marinated in yogurt with aromatic spices like ginger, coriander and cayenne pepper, cooked over a charcoal fire. Much like American barbecue, the South’s favorite comfort food, tandoori-style cooking produces lean but moist, flavorful, smoky meats that are easily complemented by fresh vegetables. Chef Rosh is known for her fusion of Indian cuisine and American Tex-Mex, resulting in specialties like Bombay chicken and tandoori-spiced brisket with cilantro bacon chutney. To accompany these flavors, festival mixologists Shelby Goelz and Brenda Terry will be custom mixing libations.

Photo by Ralph Demilio

Attire: Comfortable Casual

Spirits & Smoke

Bridlewood Farm, 8318 NW 90th Terrace | Friday, April 5 | 5 pm Back for a second year by popular demand, The Local Palate brings together the South’s top pitmasters: Sam Jones of Sam Jones BBQ, Griffin Bufkin of Southern Soul BBQ, Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, and locals Rashad Jones of Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue and Jackson Rust of Brick City Southern Kitchen. Gather around the fire and enjoy meats smoked on site with all the fixins paired with the firewaters of bourbon, scotch and whiskey that are sure to ignite your night. Relax with a cigar and enjoy live music—this will be one hot party, presented among the pastoral live oaks of the world-class equestrian estate Bridlewood Farm. Attire: Casual Country. Please note the venue is a working farm so we encourage you to use care in selecting footwear that allows you to walk on grass and uneven pavement.



Visiting Chef Rosh is from Houston, where she is the corporate chef at Cookery Cuisine, a farm-to-table, 100 percent local food company, and is also a culinary instructor at the Art Institute of Houston. Perhaps best known as a Chopped champion, she took top honors on the popular TV show in 2009. Chef Rosh was also a 2012 contestant on Hell’s Kitchen earning accolades from the famous Gordon Ramsay as a “passionate, well-rounded chef that blended flavors magically.” You may also have seen her in 2017 on Cut Throat Kitchen and in 2018 on Beat Bobby Flay. Chef Rosh believes “food is a journey, not a destination,” and takes inspiration from her traditional Indian family heritage. Follow @chef_rosh on Instagram.

Visiting Chef Kenny Gilbert is the owner of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, known for bringing his passion for herbs and spices to his barbecue, producing delicious seasonal comfort food dishes. The St. Augustine native has created his own spice line, Chef Kenny’s Spice Blends. You may recognize Chef Kenny from his 2010 appearance on Top Chef or his appearances on The Today Show. He’s cooked for the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party and for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Samuel L. Jackson. Chef Kenny credits his barbecue prowess to the teachings of his father, who presented him with his first grill at age 7. He’s the published author of A Chef’s Journal. Follow @chefkennyg on Instagram.

Executive Chef Tony Deras started working in the culinary arts as a young adult and quickly fell in love with creating food experiences. He is the executive chef at Katya Vineyards and has been nominated for many local awards. His favorite thing about the festival is “putting local talent together” to “build something very beautiful.” Follow @cheftonyderas on Instagram.

Photo by Ina Pandora Photography

Photo by Ralph Demilio


High Design: Food, Fashion & Art

Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | Saturday, April 6 | 10am As owner and chef of Feta Mediterranean cuisine, Chef Dimitri’s cuisine is defined by the freshest local meats and produce available. In fact, he often drives to Crystal River to procure fresh-offthe-boat crab. “The food should do the talking” is his philosophy. Chef Dimitri is excited about creating an elaborate brunch complete with special mimosas. “I’ve never done anything like this but I’m up for a challenge!”

New this year, this event is a collaboration with the Appleton Museum of Art for a truly unique brunch experience. Seven fashion designers each created a couture look inspired by art from the Appleton collection. Local chefs Tony Deras and Dimitri Pomakis were challenged with creating a scrumptious brunch menu to complement both high fashion and the sparkling wines of the Sonoma Valley Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards. “It’s a complete art event,” says Chef Tony. “They create art and we create art. Whenever you cook something it should be art.” Fashion designers Breanna Hare and Mayra Pereira-Pulkowski both found inspiration in powerful women. “I chose a painting called ‘Mandolinata,’” Hare says. “Something about the woman spoke to me. She’s exactly the kind of woman I dream to be and to sew for.” Pereira-Pulkowski chose the Chinese sculpture “Lokapala.” “I envisioned strength, power and a warrior,” she says. “My vision through all my designs seeks to inspire and bring out the strength, power and beauty of woman from all walks of life and cultures.” Attire: Daywear. Please note the fashion show will be outside in the museum’s courtyard, followed by brunch inside.

March ‘19



Photo by Ralph Demilio

Feast at the Farm

Eddie Woods Training Center, 14870 W. Hwy 40, Ocala FL 34481 Saturday, April 6 | 5:30pm This dinner event sponsored by Showcase Properties has enjoyed a loyal following for three years and is always the first to sell out. This year, acclaimed local chef and fifth-generation Floridian Randal White collaborates with Chef Digby Stridiron, visiting from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Both chefs take inspiration from seasonal ingredients and regional recipes and are looking forward to blending their respective heritages to create a spectacular dining experience. Locals will recognize Chef Randal as the host of The Chef ’s Table on PBSTV, executive chef at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse and author of the Southern Family Recipes cookbook. This beautifully-presented meal will be made even lovelier by the tranquil setting of Eddie Woods’ thoroughbred training facility, the 240-acre equine operation built by the Ireland native and former steeplechase jockey which features expansive pastures flanked by rose bushes and venerable live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Attire: Country chic. The venue is a working farm so we encourage you to use care in selecting footwear that allows you to walk on grass and uneven pavement.



Visiting Chef Digby Stridiron is a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chef Digby is the chef and co-owner of the award-winning restaurant Balter and was recently named Caribbean Chef of the Year for 2018 by Caribbean Journal. His simple elegance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients and sustainably sourced seafood is highly acclaimed across North America. Chef Digby says he grew up with what we now call the “slow food” movement that included proteins gathered from the nearby sea combined with fresh, locally harvested produce. A strong West Indian influence along with African diaspora culture make for his diverse gastronomic identity. Follow @chefdigby on Instagram to see his beautifully-presented dishes and tropical Carribean paradise.

Photo by Ralph Demilio


Grand Tasting

Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., Ocala FL 34471 Sunday, April 7 | Early Access 11am | General Admission 12–3 pm

Ocala’s Tribute to Anthony Bourdain This year’s festival finale pays homage to the legendary Anthony Bourdain and his influence on the food industry. Festival chefs have been invited to serve food inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s travels, unique attitude and passion for trying new flavors. Downtown Ocala’s Citizens’ Circle will be transformed into the Grand Tasting, the culmination of the four-day festival. Attendees are invited to spend the afternoon leisurely strolling the open-air festivities, mingling with likeminded foodies, chefs, winemakers, mixologists and culinary vendors while enjoying live music. One price includes a diverse array of delicious food choices, wine, beer and spirits. All proceeds benefit Ocala Culinary Festival Charities, a nonprofit focused on improving culinary education and fighting hunger in Marion County. Attire: Casual

Festival FAQ How do I attend the festival? All events require tickets, which can be purchased at ocalaculinaryfestival.com. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Events go on rain or shine. Can my diet restrictions be accommodated? No. Unfortunately, the logistics do not give chefs the room to be flexible with their menus. Participating chefs are given creative license to serve whatever inspires them without the need to anticipate diet restrictions. Can I bring my children or pets to the festival? Unfortunately, we cannot allow anyone under 21 to attend the festival. No animals are allowed at any of the festival events.

March ‘19



In The Kitchen With Dawn Lovell By ANGEL A DURRELL Photography by RALPH DEMILIO


nergetic and warm, Dawn Lovell has a twinkle in her eyes, accompanied by an open smile as she approaches with an outstretched hand. Her 2-yearold Doberman, Calli, a sleek black package of curiosity, pokes hopefully at me with the toy she’s brought in her jaws. It’s the perfect icebreaker, and Dawn later tells me she brings Calli to job sites and meetings quite often for just that reason; she’s the ideal ambassador to get a conversation started. Her business, Party Time Rentals, is one of the busiest event companies in the region, handling everything from 700-person banquets to two-person intimate dinners. For her, it comes down to the connection between the people, the surroundings and the food. “My mom cooked. All the time. Every meal, we ate at home,” she recalls. Her mother was big on gatherings. Not just cooking, but the full tilt experience of a dinner party, with multiple courses accompanied by linen, china, crystal and candles. The food was presented with elegance and flair, with an eye toward making the entire affair enjoyable and memorable for guests. It was, Dawn says, a creative outlet. “I think she just enjoyed doing it. The table and the room were the canvas for her.” There is a familiar comfort in the shared experience of a meal that goes beyond the mere preparation and consumption of food. It’s the simplicity of the communal; the exchange of conversation, the pleasure and engagement of beautiful surroundings that gives us a moment to pause, breathe and enjoy the tangible connection with other human beings. In a space where everything has been carefully designed and chosen to entertain, to please, to whet the senses and delight the spirit, it’s easy to relax in the security of a warm welcome. It’s a concept her mother instilled in her from an early age, and has remained with her.



Her Mom’s big-ticket event was New Year’s Eve; everyone wanted to be at that party. “She’d go all-out,” the nativeborn Floridian remembers. “Everything was from scratch; roasts, homemade pâté, desserts. I liked it because I got to have the next day’s leftovers.” It was a coveted invitation among friends who made an elegant evening of the affair in gorgeous dresses, suits and jewelry, the women’s hair done up in flattering styles. Lovell’s home would be filled with music, conversation and warmth, with delicious aromas in every room. The memory still resonates with her in crystal-clear detail, and likely inf luences her love of creating beautiful and equally memorable experiences for her customers. Using her talents as an architect to make an empty room her canvas has proved to be a creative, artistically fulfilling pursuit with a real purpose. “I’m big on tradition; I think there’s a place for it,” she says. “When people take the care to dress up and get ready for something, they’re going to take the time to really absorb and

enjoy the experience.” Reflecting her mother’s aesthetic, her showrooms are full of delicate collections of china and tea services, crystal stemware, silver samovars and serving dishes, soft curtains and candles, carved wood furniture, and plush sofas and chairs. Each gallery on “Inspiration Alley” has a theme; from elegant to edgy, kitsch to casual. They look like dream rooms that have been plucked unobtrusively from lived-in homes; little samples of ambience to whet the appetite. Lovell is a firm believer that the visual enhances the food, making the moment into a full experience. “Before you even get to the culinary aspect, you want to set the tone,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be elaborate–just well thought out and well-appointed.” As much time as she spends creating and organizing beautiful tableaux and food experiences for a living, Lovell herself doesn’t cook much outside of work. “I like to bake,” says the former University of Florida architecture student. “I’m very good at instruction; I’m very precise.” She didn’t take advantage of her mother’s cooking prowess as a kid and ask for lessons, though now she thinks she probably should have. “I was never in the kitchen with her,” she says, and laughs, “because I was probably more of a nuisance!”


Time of the Turnip: An Underdog Rising By CHEF RANDAL WHITE Photography by JOHN JERNIGAN




rue story: An old farmer looked around the field and stooped over to pull a turnip straight from the ground. With a wizened hand, he twisted off the leafy green top and brushed the dirt off the root. He lifted the freshly picked turnip to his mouth, bit into the bright white and purple flesh and smiled—as if it were the juiciest apple in the world. Who knew a lowly turnip could be so loved! Often overshined by the buttery taste of swiss chard, the cloying, candied sweetness of carrots

TA B L E and the engrained reputation of potatoes, the turnip is one of the most versatile yet underappreciated natural foods. High in vitamins, minerals and fiber, the majority of consumers probably don’t realize the goldmine of goodness this underdog vegetable has to offer. An easy-to-grow Florida crop, both the greens and the root of the turnip are edible, and offer a peppery taste to any dish. Turnip greens can be cooked like collard greens but with a much shorter cook time. To eat them southern-style, add some pork fat f lavoring while you’re cooking them. You can use the greens in soups and stews as well for color and healthy eating. The tuber roots of turnips are the magic beans. You can peel, slice and dice them to cook with the greens. Chop them up and add them to your stews in lieu of potatoes. Or peel them and boil them alone and mash with butter, salt and pepper for a healthier version of mashed potatoes. The younger turnips can be treated like radishes. Wash and slice them thin or julienne and add to salads and stir-fry. Try these two different recipes from one delicious and multi-faceted vegetable:

Southern Style Turnip Greens Turnip greens are hard to clean, but they have to be pristine or you may end up with a mouthful of dirt. Whether you are buying them fresh or using your own straight from the garden, wash them well. And then wash them again. These greens are a southern delicacy. And a true Sunday southern meal is not complete without a steaming plate of fresh greens at the table.

Remove the tuber roots from the greens for this recipe—but don’t throw them out! Wash them off and set them aside for later.

Ingredients: ½ 2 2 3

pound salt pork tablespoons bacon grease cups water bunches turnips, roots and tops washed clean twice with about 1 ½ gallons of water Pinch of sugar Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Boil the salt pork in a pot for about 30 minutes with the bacon fat and enough water to cover. › Add the chopped greens, cover pot and cook for another 30 minutes. › It will seem like a lot of greens but they will cook down and you do not want them too soupy. › Add a pinch of sugar (if necessary) and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Peel and dice the turnip roots and add to the greens while they are cooking for a full-use turnip recipe.

March ‘19



Turnip & Spinach Salad Sometimes our Florida weather is too hot for cooking—yet we are surrounded by our fall and winter vegetable bounty. This salad is a good dish to make during those times. Use a mandolin to shave the vegetables paper thin if you can.

Ingredients: 3 ¼ ¼ ¼ 1 1 ¼ 4

young turnup roots, about 1 cup peeled and shaved thin cup red onion, sliced thin cup red pepper strips cup toasted almonds tablespoon Chinese parsley (cilantro) teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted cup Asian dressing (recipe follows) cups baby spinach

Preparation: Mix everything well (except the spinach) in a bowl and let sit for about 2 to 3 minutes to marinate. › Then toss with the spinach, saving a little for the top after dividing onto two plates.

Asian Dressing Ingredients: ¼ ¼ 3 1 1 1


cup rice wine vinegar cup dark balsamic tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce teaspoon ginger, freshly grated teaspoon garlic, freshly minced tablespoons sesame oil cup peanut oil

Preparation: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together well.






Owner Mike Rossignol reminds hether you are heading customers that the main quality of a cigar is to the Ocala Culinary its relaxation value. Festival’s Spirits and “When you light a cigar it relaxes you,” he Smoke event, planning a gathering in your home, or just want to enjoy some says. “You sit, you relax and you enjoy.” He explains that Roz offers a comfortable lounge “me” time, the experts at Roz Cigar where customers are invited to recline on Emporium can assist you in not only choosing the perfect cigar, but pairing leather sofas, play billiards, and enjoy the social aspect of cigar smoking. it to complement your “It’s sort of like a large man preferred beverage as cave,” he laughs, adding that With more well. both men and women are “Premium cigars, than 900 welcome. He says it’s a very though 100 percent premium cigar social environment where tobacco, have essences people get “the opportunity varieties in of other qualities and to sit and talk just like people can pair well with their humidor, used to do.” bourbon, whisky or port you’re sure to Because Roz specializes wine,” says Robert Allan. find what you’re only in cigars and pipe “For instance, a cigar tobacco, you’ll find the can have peppery notes looking for. like bourbon does, or you can find f loral notes in it, so you want to keep a balance.” With more than 900 premium cigar varieties in their humidor, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for—from full, spicy Nicaraguan cigars that complement a full-bodied scotch or whisky to Maduro-wrapped cigars with their essence of espresso and dark cocoa, to Cameroon-wrapped cigars with their natural sweetness, which pair well with a smoky or spicy liquor. Not into spirits? Robert enjoys pairing cigars with port wine, and says many cigar varieties also pair well with coffee, like a woody, creamy, nutty Dominican cigar with an afterdinner Irish coffee or café con leche.

largest selection of premium cigars in town along with a knowledgeable staff that give you the kind of old fashioned customer service that only a family owned and operated shop can offer. Whether you’re an experienced smoker or just getting into cigars, looking for something inexpensive or hard-to-find rare and limited cigars, Mike and Robert are happy to take you on a guided tour of their humidor or sit down for a conversation. Mike says their guiding philosophy is a simple one: “We do one thing and we do it well.”

Roz Cigar Emporium › 352-2363499 › 8585 State Road 200, Unit 16 › rozcigars.com

March ‘19



Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar 10 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala

(352) 512-9458 › Sun-Wed 11a-10p › Thurs 11a-11p › Fri-Sat 11a-12a Located in downtown Ocala’s historic town square, Brick City Southern Kitchen’s aroma is recognized for several blocks around. Once inside, you are met with a wall of over 400 whiskeys from around the world and a collection of custom folk art from Nicklos Richards. To the rear of the restaurant is their scratch kitchen where all the sides, barbecue sauces, dressings and seasonings are prepared. But the heart of this kitchen is the custom-built smoker, where the low, slow heat of burning hickory smokes beef brisket, ribs, pork shoulders, whole chickens and turkey breast.

Latinos Y Mas 2030 S Pine Ave., Ocala

(352) 622-4777 › latinosymas.com Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri-Sat: 11a-10p › Closed Sunday Latinos Y Mas is the perfect gathering place for family and friends to enjoy the food they love the most. Come feel at home, and try the exquisite fusion of Latin food, such as one of our entrees, including Pargo Rojo, Paella, Ceviches, home-made Tres Leches and our amazing passion fruit Mojitos. Enjoy in house or order from the takeaway menu. Our friendly staff is more than happy to help plan an extraordinary dining experience.


Happy Hour Mon-Thur 3-7pm. Kids Eat Free Mondays NEW CURBSIDE PICK UP! Latinos Y Mas Catering Full Service plated, full service buffet, along with self serve pick up options. Ask us about our easy Catering On The Go Option

VIP room, patio available for private events & catering for all occasions.

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2707 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala (352) 622-2110 › brusters.com Sun-Thur 12p-10p, Fri-Sat 12p-11p You scream ice cream, we scream Bruster’s. More than just any ol’ ice cream parlor, Bruster’s knows how to satisfy the needs of any ice cream lover. Their large variety of premium flavors and desserts is made right in the store where they are served, including crunchy handmade waffle cones, customized sundaes, candyfilled blasts, thick milkshakes, frozen yogurts and no-sugar-added flavors. If you really want to crank up a party, Bruster’s will bring their scrumptious sweets to you. Sweeten your next big day with Bruster’s, and choose from endless flavors such as Blueberry Cheesecake, Peach Melba and Black Raspberry.



Don’t forget their free doggie sundaes and baby cones, with purchase, for children under 40 inches. Banana Thursdays: Bring your own banana and get 1/2 price on a banana split!


Book your party at Tony’s today.

Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala

(352) 237-3151 › tonysushi.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun Noon-10p With abundant menu choices and over 100 off-menu rolls, you certainly won’t run out of options at Tony’s Sushi. If you can’t decide, the waitstaff is excellent at suggesting items you’re sure to enjoy. Every roll and sushi dish is made to order from the freshest ingredients. In the steakhouse area, highly trained chefs prepare a memorable meal as they cook on the tableside grills, preparing chicken, steak or seafood just the way you like it. Entrées include soup or salad and rice. Tony’s Sushi has a family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections.

NOW SERVING WINE & BEER! SPECIAL Tuesday & Wednesday 16”-inch 1 topping pizza $9.99 Dine In, Take Out and Delivery available.

Locations: 3351 W Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala; (352) 789-6001 › 3400 N Pine Ave., Ocala; (352) 877-7900 › 2900 SW 27th Ave., Ocala; (352) 861-9234 › 6033 SW Hwy 200, Ocala; (352) 351-1541 › 13451 SW 17th Ct., Ocala; (352) 347-5775 › 868 E SR 44, Wildwood; (352) 748-0221

Louie’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant

422 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, FL

(352) 304-5199 Mon-Sat 11a-9p This family-owned and-operated restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients and everything on the menu is made to order. To get your meal going, try the mozzarella caprese, garlic knots or fried calamari. The antipasto and Greek salads are two more favorites! Entrées include a huge variety of chicken, seafood, pasta and veal options. If you crave it, chances are they make it. The pizza, though. You have to try the hand-tossed pizza. Pile it high with your favorite toppings, or try the Sicilian with its one-of-a-kind meat sauce. No matter what you order, you’ll be satisfied and ready to call Louie’s a new family favorite.


Six locations in Ocala and Wildwood zaxbys.com

Try the absolutely craveable chicken, Zalads and Zappetizers, or enjoy any one of the many Party Platterz catered for your next game, party or event. Always fresh and made to order, Zaxby’s offers family-friendly, fast service featuring daringly zesty chicken fingers, wings and more. Open seven days a week with six locations to serve you throughout Ocala and Wildwood, you can drive thru on the go or dine in with family and friends. ZAXBY’s: Always so Zatisfying!

March ‘19



Craft Cuisine

2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd., # 102, Ocala

(352) 237-7300 › info@craftcuisineocala.com Lunch Mon-Sat 11a-4p Dinner: Mon-Thur 4-9p › Fri & Sat 4-10p Craft Cuisine World-Inspired Culinary Creations is now taking reservations for Easter Brunch! Book your in-house gatherings, private parties, weddings or off-premise catering today! Mouthwatering Monday: Build your own four-course menu selections from $13.99-$19.99. Tuesday Ladies Night: 1st well drink FREE, $3 margaritas & 2-4-1 martinis. Wine Down Wednesday: From 4-7p order a charcuterie board paired with a house wine for $10. Burgers and Bourbon Thursdays. Prime Rib Fridays. Sangria Saturdays: $5 all-day brunch specials from 11a-3p endless mimosas $10, bloody marys $4.

Feta Mediterranean Cuisine 306 SW Broadway St., Ocala

(352) 433-4328 › fetaocala.com Mon-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7p $5 select tapas & drink specials. Golden Spoon Award Winner Let us host or cater your next event. Craft Cuisine offers full service plated, buffet and catering on the go options. Please contact our Catering Manager to a schedule consultation.

Rated “excellent” on TripAdvisor. Follow @fetacuisine on Facebook for specials. Full menu at fetaocala.com

Feta in downtown Ocala is the only place for authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. The guiding philosophy for the Pomakis family is that all recipes must start with the freshest, healthiest ingredients available, locally sourced when possible. Chef Dimitri interprets your favorite Mediterranean dishes with an artistic flair that ensures the flavor, texture and aroma will excite your senses: from the perfect Greek salad and succulent grass-fed lamb chops to wild-caught branzino and flaky, melt-in-your mouth baklava.

Ivy on the Square 53 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala

(352) 622-5550 › ivyhousefl.com Closed Sun-Mon › Open Tue 11a-9p › Wed 11a-9p › Thu 11a-10p › Fri-Sat 11a-11p

106 NW Main St, Williston

(352) 528-5410 › Sun-Wed 11a-2p › Thu-Sat 11a-8p “Come on home, it’s suppertime!” is our motto. We want you to feel you have come to our home to eat. The family-owned Ivy House Restaurant now has two locations, Williston and Ocala. The downtown Ocala location has added several specialty items, and the restaurant has been named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster, delicious hand-cut steaks and our famous Baked Krispy Chicken. Trying our delicious homemade desserts like the Key Lime Pie or Chocolate Midnight Cake is a must when dining here.



Stop by our new speakeasy bar and enjoy our speciality drinks! For information on catering contact Waica or Evelyn at WMHIvyHouse@yahoo.com


Artman Country Smokehouse offers custom smoked meat. Call ahead to order whole briskets, whole pork butts, turkey, ribs and take out.




Happy Hour Specials: 2-7p every day, $3 Draft Beer $4 House Wine & Premium Cocktails $5 Super Premium & $6 Harry’s Signature Cocktails $7 off bottles of wine Every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday at Harry’s. Happy Hour all day long!

We invite you to consider Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse to host or cater your next event. Ipanema provides an authentic experience, featuring the flavors of Brazil and the unique service concept of Rodizio. If you are interested in booking a group dinner reservation or full service catering at your venue please contact our events manager.

Artman Country Smokehouse 6900 SE Hwy 42, Summerfield

(352) 307-6240 Wed-Sat 11a-7p › Sun 11a-6p › Closed Mon & Tues As all the 5-star online reviews will tell you, Artman Country Smokehouse is the place to go for barbecue. Located close to The Villages, they slow smoke their meat—a long process that guarantees your meal is tender and made fresh daily. Fans come from miles around to sample the sliced Angus brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken and ribs. And even if the meat is the main attraction, you’ll still want to try an appetizer like fried green tomatoes, fried okra or smoked jalapenos and pair your meal with sides such as sweet BBQ baked beans, mac and cheese, and corn casserole. After all that, make sure to end your meal with a delectable dessert—we’ve heard the cobbler is worth rave reviews all on its own.

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille

24 SE 1st Avenue, Ocala

(352) 840-0900 › hookedonharrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun 11a-9p Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Blackened Red Fish and Louisiana Shrimp and Crawfish Pot Pie. Other favorites, like Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Their full bar features Harry’s Signature Cocktails, such as the Harry’s Hurricane, Bayou Bloody Mary or the new Southern Mule. They also feature wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer. Harry’s menu is sure to have something for everyone!

Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse 2023 S Pine Avenue, Ocala

(352) 622-1741 › ipanemaocala.com Lunch Friday 11a-2:30p › Brunch Sunday 11a-3p Dinner Tue-Thu 5p-9p › Fri-Sat 5p-10p › Sun 4p-9p A Churrascaria (Portuguese for barbecue) where roaming gauchos slice and serve fire-roasted meats from skewers in continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse boasts 12 of the finest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent 50 item salad-vegetable bar, decadent desserts, wines, beer and cocktails. Book your holiday party and catering today! Our Sunday Brunch from 11a to 3p includes the 50 item salad bar plus crepe, waffle and omelet station. For $32.95 you’ll receive all of the above plus a free mimosa or bloody mary and five different cuts of meat and our grilled pineapple.

March ‘19



El Toreo

3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala

(352) 694-1401 › 7 days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala › (352) 291-2121 › 7 days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Mondays, $5.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $5.45; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $7.95; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $6.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $5.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $10.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $8.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $9.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $9.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.95 children’s meals (take-out not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).

Wednesday: 99¢ House Margaritas All Day Thursday: Trivia Night, 7-9pm (Blvd. location) Thursday: Mariachi band at the 200 location, 6-9pm


Braised Onion

754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala

(352) 620-9255 › braisedonion.com Tue-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p › Sun 11:30a-8p Braised Onion Restaurant, where you’ll experience “Comfort Food with Attitude” in a fun, warm and colorful but casual atmosphere, is open for lunch and dinner. Winner of Culinary Combat and Taste of Ocala for four years and most recently voted Ocala’s Best of the Best; the menu options are plentiful and guaranteed to make your taste buds explode with happiness. And don’t forget the dessert menu, which includes our prize-winning bread pudding and coconut cream pie. So call today to make your reservation; you won’t regret it.

Creole 21

16580 S Highway 475, Summerfield

(352) 307-9300 Restaurant: Mon-Sun 12p-9:30p Deli: Mon-Sat 11a-2p Creole 21 opened its doors to the public in early July—and diners can’t get enough of their authentic Latin fusion cuisine. Enjoy a mix of Latin food specialties, such as the popular mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish that uses fried plantains as its main ingredient. The restaurant was named after the Creole cuisine because of its unique mix of all the best flavors and tastes of Latin America. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes, including the Big Can Can Pork Chop, Whole Red Snapper, and Stuffed Mofongo, pictured here. Creole 21 also has a children’s menu for the little ones, offering chicken tenders, pizza and more.



Make sure to try the deli next to the restaurant, where they have daily menu choices for $6.99 and desserts such as dulce de papaya with cheese. HAPPY HOUR EVERY DAY Medalla beer (6 cans) $10 Medalla beer (6 bottles) $12


The Peacock Cottage Ocala’s New Plant Shop! • Unique Houseplants • Fun Classes

Fairy • Garden Gifts Gardens • Supplies

Located in Chelsea Square 3243 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 352-624-0116 • thepeacockcottage@gmail.com Like us! facebook.com/thepeacockcottage


Come live in Marion County’s premier apartment community. CARLTON ARMS OF OCALA offers our residents country club-style living with outstanding services and value. Visit us today to select your apartment as your next home in which to live, work and play.

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FREE Water Utility FREE Wi-Fi at 2 Sparkling Pools FREE Valet Trash Removal FREE Pest Control Large Private Patios/Balconies Rapid Response Maintenance 2 Private Party Clubhouses Fitness Center w/ Steam Showers Lighted Tennis & Basketball

• • • •

Freshwater Fishing Children’s Playground Pet Friendly / Dog Park Car Care Center

5001 SW 20th St. Suite100 Ocala, FL 33474



Affordable Luxury Living... You Deserve It! • • • • • •

Retirement Living At Its Best

Chef-prepared dining twice daily Housekeeping and linen service Full-service beauty salon and barber shop Monthly rental, including utilities Outings and daily engaging activities Membership to AJ’s Fitness Center is included!

Call today for a complimentary lunch or dinner tour!

Not-For-Profit Provider

3211 SW 42nd Street, Ocala, FL 34474 352-237-7776, Ext. 254 www.hawthornevillageofocala.com March ‘19



Spring Break In Old Florida


hen you live in Florida, it’s easy to forget what a paradise it is. To indulge in Florida’s white-sand beaches, waterways and nature preserves, consider spring breaking on Little Gasparilla Island. It’s one of the few places left where there are no cars, no roads and no commercial establishments— just a little slice of sand, sea and sunshine. Don Pedro Island State Park

Photo by Pedro Castellano


Photo by Pedro Castellano


Getting There

Little Gasparilla Island is a narrow slip of land off Florida’s West Coast, nestled between Ft. Myers and Sarasota. It’s just north of Gasparilla Island, separated by Gasparilla Pass, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Little Gasparilla Island is connected with Don Pedro Island by a thin beach and mangrove swamplands. From Ocala, the drive to the island takes about three hours and 15 minutes, but there’s one extra step. When you arrive in Placida, a coastal town on the mainland, you’ll need to take a private boat or ferry over to the island. Locals have protested building a bridge for years to keep the island free of roads and cars. Pirate’s Water Taxi ((941) 697-5777) is a private ferry that runs daily between 8:30am and 5:00pm, but make a reservation at least a week in advance to ensure you have a spot onboard when you arrive. The ferry costs $20 for two people and $10 for each additional person. Parking and pickup are at Eldred’s Marina (6301 Boca Grande Causeway, Placida, FL 33946; (941) 697-1431). 70


Bring cash to pay for the ferry and parking, which is $6 per night. Also, be sure to bring groceries along with you to prepare meals, or plan to travel by boat back to the mainland for access to restaurants. If you hope to avoid waiting on the ferry, private boats are available for rent. Be sure to call ahead this time of year!

Enjoying The Stay

There are a number of house, Casa Contenta cottage and condo rentals available on the island, and each comes with its own unique perks. On an island with few stores and no vehicles, it’s important to communicate with your hosts about whether to bring groceries with you for your stay, and if they will provide shuttle services, golf carts, bicycles or another form of transport if you don’t feel like hoofing it once the ferry drops you off. Because there is no internet connection on the island, be sure

Photo Courtesy of LGIvacation.com

Little Gasparilla Island

to bring a wi-fi hot spot or check with your rental’s manager about how they handle connectivity. Or, better yet, use this as an opportunity to unplug completely. Certain hotels, condos and bed and breakfasts offer private ferries to their guests, such as Hideaway Bay Beach Club (hideawaystay.wordpress.com), which runs more frequently than the Eldred Marina ferry. These two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos are highly rated by past guests.

Photos courtesy of PureFlorida.com


Don Pedro State Park

Little Gasparilla Vacation Rentals (littlegasparilla.com) owns numerous beachfront and waterfront properties that are ranked among the Top 10 by Trip Advisor guests. They have homes for parties of two to 10, and many are pet-friendly. A portion of every rental fee is donated to the nonprofit Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, a marine research institution with a field office in Boca Grande, so your stay actually gives back to Little Gasparilla. Shuttle services to and from the ferry are provided. Guests can also purchase grocery delivery packages, private chef packages and more when staying here. Casa Contenta is also highly rated. It’s a 1,000-square-foot cottage with stairs leading down from the screened porch, through the sea grapes and right onto the beach (lgivacation.com). Like this property, most of Little Gasparilla Island’s rentals are privately owned homes, so be sure to check Airbnb and VRBO for a comprehensive list of houses and condos available for rent.

Seeing the Sights

Once you arrive on the island, you’ll see

that most of the buildings are single-family homes—about 350 in total—with parttime residents. There are no big stores and no gas stations. As the locals say, Little Gasparilla is a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem. Its largest “road” is a golf cart pathway jokingly called Grand Avenue. The island’s focus is all about rest, relaxation and celebrating nature. Nearby, there are four state parks in the Barrier Island Geo Park System. The largest is Don Pedro Island State Park, a 225-acre preserve accessible only by boat or kayak from Little Gasparilla. The island has more than a mile-long stretch of white-sand beach perfect for shelling, swimming, fishing or picnicking. The area is known to be inhabited by dolphins and manatees. The Grande Tours ferry ((941) 697-8825) offers roundtrip guided tours of the island. Stump Pass Beach State Park is a short island-hop away, located on the southern end of Manasota Key. The park includes a hiking trail through five different natural environments, so you can see every version of Florida flora

and fauna. Visit f loridastateparks.org for more information on these parks as well as Cayo Costa State Park and Gasparilla Island State Park. The nearby Gasparilla Sound (floridadep.gov) is a harbor famous for its tarpon and goliath grouper as well as snorkeling—a number of artificial reefs here make for lively underwater communities. Also pay a visit to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum, a large house with a lighthouse structure on top that has guided ships ashore since 1890. Originally known as the Gasparilla Island Light Station, it’s the oldest structure on Gasparilla Island. Today it operates as a museum, providing a tour through the island’s history from 12,000 B.C. to present day.

Doing It All

Little Gasparilla Island’s best activities all happen outdoors. Once you’ve lounged on the beach and floated in the gentle waves of the Gulf, there’s still plenty left to do the rest of the week. Little Gasparilla Island offers excellent March ‘19




waters, snorkeling is a great way to get in the water and learn about the local ecology. Check in with rental businesses on the island and in nearby Placida to arrange for lessons and equipment rentals if you want Don Pedro Island State Park to spend one day learning and the rest exploring independently. Although it’s not everyone’s pace, Little Gasparilla is a bird-watching paradise. Commonly sighted birds include bald eagles, great white herons, egret, white pelicans, osprey and more. And along the

12 miles of shoreline on the island, there is a plethora of shells and sharks’ teeth to examine and collect. Lastly, be sure to plan at least one sunset viewing on the beach before heading home. They’re said to be some of the most beautiful in the country.

Sources: littlegasparilla.com, tripadvisor.com, thefloridalivingmagazine.com, tarponrealestate.com

fishing. Nearby Placida Harbor is known for its snook, trout, redfish, snapper, grouper and more. There aren’t a ton of fishermen here at any given time, so it’s perfect for a relaxing day on the dock. Boca Grande Pass, just south of the island, was once the site of the “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament.” For the best experience here, consider connecting with a fishing guide or charter captain—they’ll know how the fish behave this time of year and where they’re likely to be. The east side of the island has mangrove-covered shorelines, a great place for kayaking between the island and the mainland. The Gulf ’s waters are perfect for trying a hand at standup paddleboarding, too, and many rental businesses offer jet skis as well. Because of this area’s crystal-clear

Photos courtesy of PureFlorida.com





4 Time Power Lifting World Record Holder Since Receiving Bi-lateral Arthrosurface Shoulder Implants

The motion preserving Arthrosurface Shoulder & Wrist Implant Systems restore only the damaged area of the joint without removing excess bone & tissue. The natural anatomy of the joint is preserved resulting in NO ACTIVITY RESTRICTIONS unlike traditional Total Joint Replacements which can limit a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and maintain an active lifestyle. *All Images Show Actual Patients*

To find a surgeon508.520.3003 near you: www.arthrosurface.com/find-doctor-area



4391 SE 6th Avenue, Ocala 34480 This beautiful 4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom custom home is where elegance meets comfort. This home is located in a desirable guarded community that is convenient to Ocala’s best schools, hospitals and shopping. Details include a chef’s kitchen, large screened pool enclosure complete with outdoor kitchen and covered entertaining area. ML#538985 $615,000

Carol Newman 352-875-6312 Deccarealestate.com


707 Trevino Drive, Lady Lake Gated Resort-Style 55+ community in desirable Lady Lake. The Malibu, by Palm Harbor is great for entertaining! 1800 square feet, 2-car garage, split bedroom floor plan. Gourmet kitchen, stainless steel appliances, coffered ceilings, walk-in closets, master bath has tiled shower and double vanity. Price includes 1-year golf membership. $153,995 Sun Homes Sales 888-256-8534 wateroakcountryclub.com

OCALA HISTORIC AREA 1807 SE 8th Street, Ocala, FL

This one of a kind property features 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, Chef’s kitchen with views of the stunning backyard with pool, spa, and expansive fire pit area. MLS# 529515 $645,000

Joan Pletcher 352.804.8989 JoanPletcher.com




Charming home on 4.71 acres. 4 Bedroom, 4 Bath home with 2-car attached garage plus additional 1-car garage. 2-stall stable plus 3 lush green paddocks. MLS#537790 $649,000

Beautiful 1-acre corner lot located in one of Ocala’s premier gated communities. Enjoy a quiet private neighborhood that is close to great schools, shopping and hospitals. ML#546864 $180,000.

Within the private community of The Marquesas, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, multi-story home has been meticulously updated. With two separate living spaces, contemporary lighting and a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, new stainless appliances, island with built-in wine cooler, there is so much to discover in this home. MLS#547408 $489,000

1995 SW 97th Place, Ocala, FL

Joan Pletcher 352.804.8989 JoanPletcher.com

Southeast Ocala 34471

Carol Newman 352-875-6312 Deccarealestate.com

1715 SE 28th Street, Ocala, FL 34471

Valerie Dailey 352.816.1080 ShowcaseOcala.com


Photo by Dave Miller, Instagram: @dmiller1023


New Look, Same Reliability By JESSE JAMES


ependable, reliable and functional: three words that perfectly describe any of the vehicles in Toyota’s fleet. Sleek, stylish and sporty are three words that I don’t generally think of when the Toyota RAV4 comes to mind. Toyota is looking to change that with the redesigned 2019 RAV4, and recently I had the chance to get a bit more familiar with the new-look SUV. Toyota went all in with their redesign of the RAV4, providing something that is as good looking as it is functional. This isn’t your typical RAV4, and that is precisely what Toyota was shooting for. Let’s start with looks. Toyota drastically revamped the 2019 RAV4, doing so with an entirely new look. Gone is the boxy, understated and boring look that the RAV4 was known for. Instead,

the look is contemporary and audacious, with a decidedly sporty aesthetic. Inside, a comfortable and spacious cabin awaits. The RAV4 boasts a prominent touchscreen that offers effortless control over the infotainment system, while a two-tiered dashboard and large center console provide plenty of storage space for small items. The cargo area features a low floor that makes loading easy and effortless, while a premium appeal comes thanks to high-quality materials and a bevy of soft-touch details. The 2019 RAV4 is radically different inside and out. That applies to the power and drive features as well. The RAV4 is offered in an array of powertrain options, while the XLE features a 2.5-liter inlinefour cylinder. The engine provides plenty of power to get around while delivering decent fuel economy in the process. The RAV4 may appear sporty and quick;

however, it’s still a crossover, and it’s not designed to be a sports car. It’s easy to drive, comfortable and responsive in terms of power and handling. The RAV4 boasts a fuel economy of 32mpg, as well as a full array of driver assist features to help keep you safe on the road. Toyota might have restyled the RAV4 for 2019, but beneath that bold new look is the superior dependability we’ve come to expect. Bigger is better in 2019, and the new RAV4 provides ample space. Looking for adventure? Looking for a reliable vehicle for the family? Hunting for a sharp looking vehicle with a functional approach? The RAV4 is a worthy option. No matter where the road in front of you may lead, the RAV4 will provide plenty of assistance and comfort on your adventure. March ‘19



That Never Quits • Personalized Rehabilitation • State-of-the-Art Therapies • Compassionate Skilled Nursing • Post-Acute Care • Outpatient Services

LIFE CARE CENTER OF OCALA LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com 2800 Southwest 41st St.




352 .873.7570


Into The Light By JOANN GUIDRY


hrough his fine art landscape photography, Jorge Blanco wants to bring nature’s wonders to life. “Nature constantly inspires me. My main focus is to depict nature and its surroundings in my photography,” says Blanco, a self-taught photographer whose artistic passion began two decades ago. “I enjoy featuring details that many times are seen but overlooked. I want to bring out what often hides in the shadows.”

Photo by Jorge Blanco


Photo courtesy of Jorge Blanco

based at Gallery Works, his art studio/showroom in the Crystal River Mall. “I find that the larger photographs, as close to true scale as possible, have more of an impact. My goal is to bring a still image to life with a three-dimensional quality that draws people right in.” Case in point is a commissioned 45-foot mural that covers the balcony wall of Village Toyota in Homosassa. Depicting iconic scenes of Florida’s Nature Coast, the vibrant panoramic piece makes you want to step into it and sit right next to the egret. Blanco has also donated pieces to area nonprofits including Jessie’s Place Children’s Advocacy Center. A computer programmer for 30 years, Blanco likes to problem solve and sees his art as ever-evolving. “There are so many photographic techniques to use that can make such a subtle difference,” he says. “I love to experiment. You never know what aspect of nature’s beauty might reveal itself in the next photograph.”

Blanco’s unique process begins simply with his specific artistic vision. “When I first look at a scene to photograph, I imagine it as a work of art and then work from there,” says Blanco, who was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to Tampa with his family when he was 3. “The human eye can see 20 stops of light. No camera can replicate that so I take multiple shots in different exposures to capture as much of the light as I can. Then, in my digital darkroom, I layer the different exposures to bring what lies in the shadows into the light.” His recent work of manatees in Three Sisters Springs began with 50 pictures taken by a drone. From those he created an 80-inch by 40inch aerial photograph with a lovely watercolor quality to it. The soft blue of the springs is subtly accented by the surrounding fall foliage and congregating gray manatees. “I struggle with doing nature’s magnificence justice, conveying the emotional connection to what I see,” says Blanco, who since 2011 has been



Photo by Jorge Blanco

Learn more › Gallery Works › 1801 US 19, Crystal River › (352) 201-6972 › Find Jorge Blanco Photography on Facebook

Saturday, March 30th 10am - 3pm



John Sikorski

Antique Appraiser

Michael Matthews

“A one-man cruise ship floor show!” - Tampa Bay Times

Nancy Lopez

World Golf Hall of Fame Member



An Eclectic Collection


Photo by Ralph Demilio

lthough the Appleton Museum of Art is filled with extraordinary art, the Orientalist collection is among its brightest stars. The redesign of the museum’s second floor features a faienceblue gallery dedicated to these important artworks. Gifted entirely by Arthur I. Appleton, the collection features both painting and sculpture by such renowned artists as JeanLéon Gérôme and Edwin Lord Weeks. Although many people Jean-Léon Gérôme, “Odalisque,” 19th century, Oil on canvas think of “Orientalism” as having to do with In addition, Middle Eastern-themed Japan or China, when pavilions at the series of International used in art history, the Exhibitions and recent discoveries on term has a different archaeological digs further stirred European meaning. The term, as an and American interest in the “exotic” Middle artistic movement, can be East. Unsurprisingly, the art produced at this roughly dated from the time fed the public’s fascination. Depictions 1800s to the early 1900s of alluring harem women and bold Arab and refers to the mainly warriors became fashionable to have in the European colonization of Edwin Lord Weeks, “Market Day,” 19th century, Oil on canvas home and showed a person’s worldliness and what was then referred to sophisticated tastes. as “The Orient,” namely Filled with depictions of both the realistic and fantastical, the Levant and North African countries such as Orientalist art can present the quiet elegance of a market scene Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. or the implausible depiction of an alluring “harem” woman, yet is In the 19th century, it became fashionable for undeniably beautiful. We invite you to visit the Appleton Museum wealthy young people, especially unmarried men, of Art to learn more about this fascinating style. to take a year-long coming of age trip referred to as the “Grand Tour.” The trip was seen as educationally Learn more › Appleton Museum of Art › 4333 E Silver Springs important to learn about different cultures and Blvd., Ocala › appletonmuseum.org › (352) 291-4455 experience unfamiliar artwork and architecture. North African and Middle Eastern locales such as Egypt and A former professional archaeologist, Patricia Turkey were essential stops on the Grand Tour. Tomlinson joined the Appleton Museum of Art Due to cultural differences and language barriers, as Curator of Exhibitions in 2016 after having many assumptions were made about the people and served as curatorial staff in the New World places visited, and sometimes information was completely Department at the Denver Art Museum for fabricated. For example, Eugène Delacroix painted many eight years. Orientalist themes yet never visited the Middle East.



Photos of art courtesy of the Appleton Museum



AND FOR THEM LOW-DOSE COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (LDCT) “A quick LDCT scan can help our Board Certified radiology team identify abnormalities in the lung with exceptional speed, promoting faster treatment and better outcomes.” — John M. Cain, MD & John S. Scales, MD You matter to so many. That’s why if you are or were a heavy smoker, it’s important to ask your doctor if LDCT lung cancer screening is right for you. Just a few painless minutes of your time can help protect your life and the love others cherish.


For guidelines you can share with your doctor, visit www.raocala.com/services/low-dose-ct-screening It’s worth it.

www.RAOcala.com • (352) 671-4300 ACR Accredited Computed Tomography available at Medical Imaging Center and TimberRidge Imaging Center

We are proudly contracted with a variety of insurances and file all claims with the exception of non-contracted HMO's. Visit our website for a detailed list of contracted insurances. Contracted insurances are subject to change.


The Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is soliciting nominations

for the 2019 Communicators of the Year. NOMINATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 and may be submitted at fpraocala.org/nominate/

Candidates do not have to be members of FPRA but must exemplify the highest professional standards in the communications field. Candidates may include journalists, educators, community/ civic leaders and professionals from allied fields, such as advertising and marketing. The Individual Communicator of the Year recognizes the person who uses their position to enhance Marion County’s community causes, advance the field of public relations and uphold the ethical standards that represent FPRA. Institutional recognition will go to the Institution/Media Outlet that has gone above and beyond to provide timely, accurate and critical information to the community, and has demonstrated mastery of communications skills and strategies. The later recognition could be awarded based on year-round consistent effort or a singular outstanding example of communication during an emergency, or both.

To learn more, including a list of past winners and to nominate individuals or institutions, please visit www.fpraocala.org/nominate/


MidState Skin Institute

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Welcome Home Though they may look too pretty to wipe your muddy feet, modern doormats offer a fashion statement without compromising durability. Another way to express your personal style, a new doormat is an easy way to update your front entrance. Check out some of our favorites.


1 1.

Hand-tufted 100 percent natural coir Hello Coco doormat in black, Grandin Road, grandinroad.com.

2 2.


Rubber-backed, Essex Coir welcome mat made in the USA from Whitehall Products, whitehallproducts.com.



Handmade bicycle coir door mat from Three Arrows Collective, etsy.com/shop/threearrowsco.




Don’t want to invest in a new doormat? Our design expert, Suzanne Rice, suggests repurposing an old (or new) Persian rug to give your front entry a pop of color and a more sophisticated style.


“This store gave me the best price for the best bed I could find for my needs. They were patient during my three visits, offered assistance and never tried to persuade me into anything. ” - Martha C.

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Accessorizing For Spring By LISA MIDGET T Photos by RALPH DEMILIO


s the temperature rises and the flowers bloom, we naturally get excited about what to wear in the warmer weather. Spring 2019 trends have a very different feel from those we saw in fall. Has our mood lifted with the changing of the seasons? According to the spring fashion runways, the answer is yes. We’re highlighting a few of the biggest trends so you can easily update your wardrobe with fresh accessories. What’s great about these trends is that you can throw on a nice T-shirt and jeans and let your accessories do all the talking. And they have a lot to say! If your look is in need of a bit of refinement, read on. Trend Spotted: Pearls. We are seeing them stitched onto clothing as well as on every kind of accessory. But make no mistake, this look isn’t old fashioned at all. Go for a dainty pearl perched on an oversized hoop or added to a leather bracelet. What you want is the contrast of hard and soft. Look for bold earrings, rings and bracelets to wear this look well. Trend Spotted: Gold. Large statement necklaces, both long and short, are being seen in all the magazines and on the runways. Think 1980s gold—chunky long chains, bold statement necklaces and stacked bangles. Seems that rose gold may be taking a back seat to yellow. Check out these looks from Agapanthus and Odette Boutique and also give Oscar de la Renta a little Google to peruse his runway pieces for inspiration. Trend Spotted: Elegant handbags, paired with oversized totes. Let’s face it, we want to carry tiny bags. They are beautiful and dainty, and hearken back to times past when we wore gloves and hats. But these days we need more space! Designers such as Stella McCartney, Givenchy and Michael Kors are answering the need to carry our larger items like gym clothes and computers



by creating matching totes and handbags. Not into matchy matchy? Check out Longchamp bags and totes at Agapanthus in Ocala for a contemporary coordinating look. Trend Spotted: Florals, feathers and stones, oh my! When you’re feeling in touch with Mother Earth, these are your go-to pieces. Just make sure to go big or go home! For example, go for the large, sparkly floral earring and pair it with hair tied back and a statement lip. Feathers are dangly and soft and should be paired with simple clothing for a classic look. Stones of every type are in style, from emeralds and turquoise to neutral-colored stones. If you’re wearing them as bracelets, stack; as necklaces, layer. Trend Spotted: Hats. The biggest look for spring is the bucket hat, with the baker boy hat coming in as a close second. The spring and summer 2019 hats are made of lighter materials in a lively, vivid arrangement of colors, patterns and prints. One of the benefits? Think stylish sun protection. Turn to Dolce & Gabbana for hat inspiration and a selection of headware that’s on trend for the upcoming season. Trend spotted: Oversized sunglasses. Pay attention, Florida residents! You’ll need this one. The tiny lenses of fall barely helped us stop squinting. Fortunately for us, and our eyes, the popular trends for spring and summer include shield sunglasses, both classical and sporty. Go for creative frames, whether you’re focusing on color, print or even shape. Triangular-shaped and cat eye sunglasses have remained very popular while aviator glasses have taken a backseat to the newer trends. Make sure to choose the best shape for your face before soaking up the sunshine.


Floral, Feathers and Stones

Faux turtle chain necklace, Agapanthus, $67; Grey blue feather earrings, Agapanthus, $54; Floral raffia necklace, Agapanthus, $94; Silk floral and crystal necklace, Agapanthus, $56


Pink Peepers sunglasses, Agapanthus, $23; Black Peepers sunglasses, Agapanthus, $23; Tortoise Peepers sunglasses, Agapanthus, $23


Floral bucket hat, Dillard’s, $25; Vintage Italian straw bucket hat, White Elephant, $15

Gold: John Medeiros gold necklace, Agapanthus, $350; John Medeiros gold hoops, Agapanthus, $55; Stacked gold bangles, Odette Boutique, $125 Elegant Handbags: Longchamp

Shop-It tote, Agapanthus, $470; Longchamp Shop-It zip, Agapanthus, $95; Longchamp Amazone denim, Agapanthus, $765

March ‘19



Bling Around The Ring Grand Prix Equestrian Couture

Earrings Kim Rogers, Belk, $14

Equestrian fashion embodies classic, traditional style but there’s always room for personal interpretation.

Lapis Lazuli custom necklace, Cynthia Oller Carrion, $200

Bracelets Chain bracelet, Macy’s, $29 Gold and silver cuff, Sundance catalog, $125 LV leather cuff from, The RealReal, $250

Belt Rhinestone and leather western belt, Boot Barn $44.99

Scarves Ralph Lauren silk scarves, Macy’s, $48-$50



Fashion Editor: Maureen Fannon Photographer: Ralph Demilio Model: Morgan Zack Assistant: Elizabeth Martinez Styled by: Samantha Dailey


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Celebrating A Century Of

Koontz Furniture Co. By Katie McPherson

New buildings. Widening roads. Changing times. For 100 years, the Koontz family has watched Ocala blossom. Koontz Furniture Co. has grown, too—through two locations, multiple generations and 100 years of helping customers feel at home. At 4 years old, when someone asked for her name, Chloe Koontz responded, “Chloe Diane Koontz Company.” Four generations of her family before her had owned and operated the business, so no one was surprised at the misunderstanding. It has always been part of the family’s identity. The story of Koontz Furniture Co. starts many years prior to Chloe’s endearing introduction, with a man named H.D. Peebles. In 1919, H.D. Peebles was living in Ocala when his daughter Ruth was born. At that time, he was working for two local businesses selling furniture: Theus Bros. and the George MacKay Mercantile. Both were owned and run by Ocala families who still live in the area today. But Peebles had ambition and a plan, enough that in 1923 he and a friend, Claude Furr, opened their own store, the Eagle Furniture Co. After several years of partnership, Peebles opened his own

business, the Ocala Furniture Company. As World War II drew to a close, Ruth’s husband Madison Koontz and Ruth’s brother Willard Peebles joined Mr. Peebles in running Ocala Furniture Co. Business boomed as people returning from the war looked to settle down, purchase homes and begin families—all of which required some furniture. In those days, furniture wasn’t always sold in a storefront as it is today. Pickup trucks were loaded down with furniture, which was taken all over town and out into the country and sold right off the truck. Like other furniture stores at that time, Ocala Furniture Company sold all types of furniture for every room in the house, but also space heaters, linoleum flooring and washtubs—anything for the home. After a purchase off the truck, customers could choose to make weekly or monthly payments, and the store established routes that regularly took them out into the country to collect the payments in person and sell new merchandise. In 1953, the business was renamed Peebles-Koontz Co. Madison Koontz built a brand-new store, where Koontz Furniture Co. is still located today,

just south of Downtown Ocala. The store became a regional hub for home furnishings thanks to its large display of furniture and accessories. They continued to sell heaters, flooring, appliances and furniture in every price range to meet the needs of everyone in the community. As the store thrived in its new location, so too did the city of Ocala. When the store was built in its current location, it was set well back from a two-lane road that was the major north-south artery for Florida: U.S. Route 441. Now that road is six lanes wide, a testament to the rapid growth of the area in the last century. When Ruth and Madison’s son, Michael, was young, he began working summers and some days at the store along with his sisters, Sharon and Kathy Koontz. He remembers visiting the furniture industry’s annual market and showcase in Chicago with his father, Madison Koontz. “It was all very innovative to me and I liked it very much,” he recalls. “That was when I started getting excited about it, seeing these spectacular showrooms and displays, all the new ideas and ways to do things. That turned me onto it before I started working here as a buyer myself full-time.” March ‘19


“We’re very

proud of the

business and

how long it’s

been a part of

Ocala and the

community.” Kathy Koontz Snyder



Michael attended college at the University of Florida and was most interested in finding a creative career, which is what ultimately led him back to furniture and design when he graduated in 1961. “The decision wasn’t made until I went to college. I knew I wanted to do something creative, like become an architect or a landscape architect,” he says. “My father convinced me I should take advantage of the fact that we had a family business already, and have the same opportunity to be creative but not have to start from the ground up. It was sensible and it definitely fit into my desires for what I wanted to do.” Kathy Koontz Snyder also joined the family business by running Florida Living, an outdoor and rattan business that was begun at a separate location, then moved to its present location. “I’m close to my family and I like being involved with them, and I care about this business,” she says. “We’re very proud of the business and how long it’s been a part of Ocala and the community.” Mary Alice Adkison knows well just how much the store has grown since it first opened its doors—she celebrated 60 years of working there at the end of 2018. “I got started on December 1, 1958,” she recalls. “I was friends with the Koontz family before that and Mr. Koontz Sr. asked me to come work for him. I started with bookkeeping and still do the financial duties.” Over the years, Adkison and her family have grown even closer with the Koontz family. “My husband and I were very close

friends of Michael’s mother and father. They are a fabulous family to work for, and I feel like they are my family. I’m on my fourth generation of them, and they’re wonderful people. I’ve raised three children while I’ve worked here. I can’t say how nice it is,” says Adkison. “They’ve all been Florida Gators and I always travelled with them to away football games. We even went to one in Chicago when the furniture market was there, and there happened to be a football game at Northwestern.” Not only is she thankful that bookkeeping technology has evolved— from handwritten records and payment slips to computerized everything—but Adkison notes that the store has grown tremendously with the times, too. “The store has grown to be fantastic for design. When I started it was only a furniture store, but now it’s full-service from draperies to rugs to accessories,” she says. And Koontz Furniture Co. isn’t the only mark the Koontz family has left on the Ocala community. H.D. Peebles was an active member of the city council. His name was engraved on a marble plaque placed at the City Auditorium, now the Reilly Arts Center. Madison Koontz worked most of his life with state and local organizations to benefit veterans. In 1963, Florida governor W. Haydon Burns appointed Madison Koontz to the Board of Veterans’ Affairs in his district of the state, where he helped make decisions in the best interest of local war veterans on an even grander scale. Michael, along with Manal Fakhoury,

“It would be impossible to name all of the wonderful people who worked with the family to the extent that they became like family,” Michael says. “Gladys Peebles Carriker and her husband Carl, Elwood Stafford, Helen Hanes, John Billings and Gene Ryals. This also goes for our current staff, Mary Alice Adkison who has been with us for 60 years, David Gadlage for

years of bringing special pieces and design expertise to the people of Ocala and Marion County. And just as pickup trucks full of furniture became showrooms and two-lane roads became veritable highways, Koontz Furniture Co. will continue to grow—all while preserving the passion that has kept them going for 100 years. “In this day of enormous, rapid changes Photo by John Jernigan

founded H.U.G.S. Charities and its offshoot, Cancer Alliance of Marion County, which was begun by Linda Koontz, who’s married to Michael’s son John. H.U.G.S. is a 501(c)(3) charity working to benefit those affected by cancer, and the Cancer Alliance of Marion County brings together the best and brightest regional organizations working in the field of cancer prevention, education and treatment. “We started H.U.G.S. here at the store, and now it helps maintain the Cancer Alliance,” says Michael. “It was a small idea that grew into something really wonderful. It has grown to what it is today with a dedicated board of directors. Its main sponsor is Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute. It involves all the major groups and organizations working in that field.” Diane Koontz, married to Michael, also worked in the store over the years in charge of the books for the design studio. In partnership with Altrusa International, Inc., she founded the Koontz Ladies Golf Tournament and Girls Golf Camp. Her mission was to teach girls the sport of golf because, in the beginning days of equal gender representation in sports, college golf scholarships for girls were going unused. Today the store is run by Mak Koontz, one of Michael’s sons, whose name harkens back to his grandfather, Madison Alexander Koontz. Mak’s brother John Koontz is a residential designer, but makes time to help with in-store furniture displays. Many of the Koontz Furniture Co. team members have worked with the family for anywhere from 20 to 60 years.

Micheal Koontz, Mary Alice Adkinson, Kathy Koontz, Mak Koontz and Diane Koontz

38 years, Jessica Withrow for 32 years, Jill Brown for 20 years, Phil Pederson for 19 years, and many others whom we will forever consider family.” As a century in the home furnishings business comes to a close for the Koontz family, they also look forward to many more

in the way merchandise is sold and distributed, we hope to be of benefit to people who love their homes and want them to be special,” says Michael. “I imagine we will always work with people who love their homes because they are the reason we love what we do.” March ‘19


Debbie drove the distance when her breast cancer kept her from teaching. At UF Health, she found a problem-solver who made the trip worth it.

Dr. Lisa Spiguel and her multidisciplinary team create customized treatment plans for patients with breast cancer. For Debbie, that meant surgery and a round of radiation, avoiding the side effects of chemotherapy. That option made the 228-mile drive to see Dr. Spiguel well worth it. Now Debbie’s back to teaching, while Dr. Spiguel continues her unending search for answers that move medicine forward.

Learn more at ProblemSolvingCare.org.


Old-Time Ocala


arion County, named after General Francis Marion, was born 175 years ago this month. By the year 1847, families had begun settling in the area and a post office, newspaper and courthouse were established. By 1858, Ocala was a leading social and business center for the state. In 1883, on Thanksgiving Day, fire destroyed much of the newly established town square. The businesses were eventually rebuilt, this time with brick, leaving Ocala known as the Brick City.

The above photo, taken six years after the fire, shows a view looking east down Broadway towards First Avenue. The Marion Block Building is seen in the center of the photo. Today, that building houses Harry’s Restaurant. At the time of this photo, Ocala had grown to four square miles and the population had increased to 1,895. It was the fifth largest town in Florida. To view more historic photos, visit the Marion County Public Library’s main headquarters or explore the online archives at http://cdm16873.contentdm.oclc.org

The library has made the best effort to adhere to all known copyright and rights of privacy and encourages anyone with additional information concerning any item in this collection to contact the library. Images in this collection may not be downloaded or printed.

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