With more than 60 years of theatrical experience, Ocala Civic Theatre presents more than a dozen fully staged productions each year in its 401-seat venue at the Appleton Cultural Center. Having nothing to do with amphibians or singing, When Bullfrogs Sing Opera is a charming comedy of manners focusing on two sisters from the country town of Bullfrog Waller. When Millicent, who has jettisoned her rural roots for a big-city lifestyle, is suddenly forced to deal with her thoroughly countrified sister Coreen coming back into her life, she panics and, in an effort to keep her roots hidden, tries to pass her sister off as an actress deep inside a role as a backwoods girl. In ensuing mix-ups, misunderstandings, and deceitful dealings, relationships are threatened, secrets are revealed, and library cards are left unused as Millicent is forced to confront the embarrassment she feels toward her past.
A famous tautologist once said that nothing pairs better with a crawfish festival than crawfish. This thought-provoking maxim is an apt summation of the Ocala Crawfish Fest, an annual celebration of Louisiana-style cooking and live music. In an interview with Ocala.com, festival organizer Deb Cone described the event as an opportunity to combine kids-education fundraising efforts with casual, laid-back fun. As she put it, “We wanted to do something for the entire community where you don't have to dress up.” Attendees can throw down blankets or lawn chairs and kick back to musical stylings that are as Cajun as the cuisine that is being served up, all while reveling in the knowledge that their merriment is helping the independent education facility Hale Academy.
Groupon is a combination of the words group and coupon. Each day, we offer an unbeatable deal on the best of Ocala: restaurants, spas, sporting events, theater, and more. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, we get discounts you won't find anywhere else. We call it "collective buying power."
At Gatewood Arabians Training, Fran Lee and Diane Alonso welcome riders of all levels onto their sylvan, 12-acre plot for horseback riding. While engaged in riding lessons in the shade of tall Grand Daddy Oak trees, dropping a horse off for training, or recruiting accomplices for old-timey bank robberies, visitors will also find themselves surrounded by rolling pastures filled with grazing cows and Milo the farm cat.
The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
In the wide pastures of The Gypsy Gold Farm, sunlight dances playfully upon the long, flowing manes of Gypsy Vanner mares and stallions. The rare horses, which were first bred in the gypsy camps of Great Britain nearly 70 years ago, made their North American debut at The Gypsy Gold Farm after a chance discovery by owner Dennis Thompson and his late wife Cindy.
The couple had been driving through the countryside of England when the oddly compelling sight of a far-off stallion prompted them to pull over. Soon after, the two tracked down the owner and found themselves immersed in a culture rich with vibrant caravans and music.
The selectively bred horses currently roam the Ocala farm where Dennis educates visitors on their smart, affectionate nature and origin. Wagons also help enliven the landscape.
Brianna M. Seltser began her equestrian journey at the age of 6, when she first felt the freedom and exhilaration only found on the back of a galloping steed. That first taste inspired her to pursue the sport throughout her childhood; she’d go on to become a young member of the United States Pony Club and compete on show circuits throughout Florida, Massachusetts, and Georgia.
Today she passes on her lifetime of equestrian experience to new riders at the 20-acre Silverstride Equestrian Center. Her aim is to foster a bond between horse and human through lessons for riders of all ages seeking to learn for pleasure, competition, or to finally have an excuse to wear their ten-gallon hat. Lessons take place on the center's half-mile track, on an impressive jump field, or in a secluded schooling area. Since no two riders are alike, she customizes a detailed lesson plan for each student with the end goals of developing riding skills, building confidence, and learning the value of proper horsemanship. Seltser's equestrian center also hosts birthday parties and summer camps designed to inspire budding equine aficionados.