Marion County

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By Kevin Sheilley

I went Over the Edge! While many have tried to push me over the edge through the years, it was the arts that sent me. To be more precise, it was the Marion Cultural Alliance and their recent fundraiser, Over the Edge – Taking the Arts to New Heights, which saw me and approximately 60 other volunteers help to raise nearly $70,000 by rappelling off of the new 7-story SpringHill Suites hotel. When my mom saw the Facebook post where I was soliciting funds for the event, she called. She was very concerned that “you are going to die.” I assured her that I was planning on “Staying Alive” and thus rappelled in my favorite 70’s disco attire! (Note—while fun, rappelling in Florida in a polyester suit is not recommended).

Why would CEO of the Chamber & Economic Partnership join the Mayor, County Commission Chair, County Administrator, and others in raising funds for the community’s central arts funding organization? It is a fair question and one that is hopefully addressed in this column. Continue reading

By Kevin Sheilly

The Ocala/ Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership has again been named a finalist for the 2019 Chamber of the Year award, presented by Alexandria, Va.-based Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The award, sponsored by MemberClicks, is the most prestigious and competitive recognition presented annually by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). ACCE is an association of more than 8,000 professionals from 1,300 chambers of commerce, including 93 of the top 100 U.S. metro areas.

The CEP is honored to again by a finalist for this recognition. It is a great testament to the incredible work of our team, leadership, and most significantly, our partners. We were a finalist in 2017 for this award. We were awarded the Florida Chamber of the Year by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals in 2018. Continue reading

In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month, Ocala Electric Utility is urging residents and businesses to review important electric safety measures that can prevent electrically related fatalities, injuries and property loss before, during and after severe weather or natural disasters.

Post Date:05/13/2019 9:43 AM

OCALA, Fla. – In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month, Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) is urging residents and businesses to review important electric safety measures that can prevent electrically related fatalities, injuries and property loss before, during and after severe weather or natural disasters.

“Storms and natural disasters create many hazards, including electrical hazards that can be life-threatening. We advise all Ocala residents and business owners to treat electricity with extreme caution before, during and after these types of events,” said Mike Poucher, Director, Ocala Electric Utility. “With hurricane season just around the corner, now is the time to have a licensed electrician address any potential electrical hazards around your home or business.”

As hurricanes or major storms are approaching and passing through, OEU offers these electrical safety tips: Continue reading

Lillian F. Bryant Community Center | 2200 NW 17 Pl.

Mondays-Fridays | May 28-Aug. 2

*Closed on Holidays | 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Field trips, arts, crafts, games, sports, video games and more!  Weekly features: 1. Backyard Bash; 2. Camp Spirit; 3. Edible Engineering; 4. Shipwrecked; 5. Crazy Concoctions; 6. Moving’ & Grooving; 7. Ultimate Gamers; 8. Camp Spirit; 9. Sports Fanatics; 10. Funtastic Farewell. Bring water, sunscreen and wear comfortable clothes and closed toe shoes. Lunch is included beginning June 3. $25/child registration fee and $25/child/week (city resident) or $50/child/week (non-resident). Register through Aug. 2.

Child must have completed Pre-K

Mondays-Fridays | May 28-Aug. 2 | 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

An exciting camp with fun-filled various recreational activities. Each week, we will offer interactive presentations with city departments, STEM projects, local field trips (movies and city pools), recreational sports and more! Lunch and snacks provided. Dress in active wear, wear tennis shoes and bring swim wear on Mondays and Wednesdays. Closed on holidays. $25/child registration fee. $50/week/camper/resident. $75/week/camper/non-resident.


This is the year you learn to swim! Maybe a loved one needs some lessons? Knowing how to swim can save lives so save these dates and get registered to Learn to Swim! More information about this and other aquatics programs can be found online. Please visit:


Did you know we offer FREE movies in our parks throughout the year? Yes we do! In May we’ll show Basquiat at the Art Park. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets & your friends for this intriguing movie based on a true story! A full line-up of our After Dark in the Park Movies is online. Popcorn and snacks will be available for sale. This movie is rated R. See you at the park!

It is the moment we have all been waiting for! The skatepark is finally opening to the public! Join us for this event! DJ Rocket and Papa Pineapples will be there. We will host a BEST TRICK COMPETITION for a $20 entry fee (proceeds go right back to the park!) The first 300 people through the gate get a FREE commemorative dog tag. Team Pain will be there with other freebies! See you there!

For the third year in a row, Levitt AMP returns to Webb Field and brings a diverse collection of amazing talent! There will be food and beer for sale, as well as vendors, non-profits and games for the kids! These concerts are FREE so save the dates:

  • May 31 – Sons of Mystro
  • June 7 – Dr. Nativo
  • June 14 – Remember Jones
  • June 21 – Canon
  • June 28 – Tonina
  • July 5 – The Foxies
  • July 12 – Mr. Sipp
  • July 19 – PJ Morton
  • July 26 – Empire Strikes Brass
  • Aug. 2 – Kaleta and the Super Yamba Band


Boomtown Days biggest event was Crowning Queen of the Rainbow. This tradition has gone for many years.  Town people dress up like the olden days, grow beards and celebrate. This year’s Queen is Christine Adams and the King of the Rainbow was Jonas Duncan.

I was captured by the very youngest of the Boom Town Babies, the two, three and four year olds. It was a hoot. The theme was The Wizard of Oz. The mothers went all out to dress their children as one of the characters. The children had fun and I also watched the expression of the faces in the audience. It was a great event. Pictured above is all the little Baby Kings and Queens. They all got a crown.

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