Ocala News

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We know most of you are practicing social distancing by staying at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some FUN. Our Recreation & Parks staff is here to help! Throughout the week we’ll bring you a variety of live and pre-recorded videos of engaging activities, most of them you can do with us right from your own living room. Meet the critters and perform science experiments from the Discovery Center, get active with our quick fitness routines, explore the Fort King National Historic Landmark and learn about public art!

All you have to do is “LIKE” and “FOLLOW” us on Facebook at Ocala Recreation & Parks @OcalaRecPark

For more information, call our office at 352-368-5517

Post Date: 03/16/2020 5:20 PM

OCALA, Fla. (March 16, 2020) – The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department has begun closures of community facilities in the interest of public health and safety caused by the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of today, Monday, March 16, the following recreation facilities will close until further notice.

  • Eighth Avenue Activity Center, 830 NE Eighth Ave.
    • Barbara Washington Adult Activity Center, 210 NW 12th Ave.
    • Fort King National Historic Landmark Visitors Center, 3925 E Fort King St.
    • Discovery Center, 701 NE Sanchez Ave.
    • Citizens’ Circle Splash Pad, SE Osceola Ave.
    • Lillian Bryant Splash Pad, 2200 NW 17th Pl.
    • Ocala Skate Park, 517 NE Ninth St.

The following closures will go into effect beginning Tuesday, March 17. Continue reading

Post Date: 03/16/2020 1:55 PM

OCALA, Fla. (March 16, 2020) – The City of Ocala recognizes the financial impact of COVID-19 on our customers and believes that no one should lose service during this critical time.  We have temporarily suspended service disconnections for the next 30 days and will reevaluate the policy and timeframe as the situation develops.  While billing for usage will continue during this time, we are committed to the reliability of essential services to all our residential and business customers.

Customers are encouraged to maintain their accounts.  Customer service representatives will be available by phone at 352-629-2489, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions.

Payments can be made at self-service kiosks, Fidelity Express and MoneyGram locations.  Additional payment options and online tools are available at www.ocalafl.org. Customers have the option to start and stop services, transfer residential services, request a payment extension, update contact information, view rate and fee information and sign up for auto-pay and electronic billing. Customers can make phone payments via the automated phone system at 844-286-1785.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Municipal Services at 352-629-2489 or email OEU@ocalafl.org.

OCALA, Fla. (March 10, 2020) – The City of Ocala is providing residents with free tire disposal Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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. This service is for residents living within the city limits. A driver’s license listing a city address may be requested.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Residential Sanitation Division at 352-351-6697.

OCALA, Fla. (March 10, 2020) – The City of Ocala invites the public to an opening exhibit reception for the “MOMENTUM” Student and Emerging Artist Competition Thursday, March 19 at 5:30pm at City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave.

Guests will experience the work of local student and emerging artists, high school through age 30, which explores how they express themselves through art, while enjoying music by The Mudds Jazz and Blues Band. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

All artwork will be available for purchase and will be on display Thursday, March 19 until Thursday, July 9 at City Hall during normal business hours.

A juror will select awards in each division including Best of Show. The prizes for this competition include more than $2,000 in awards, including scholarships to the College of Central Florida (high school division), a feature in Ocala Magazine (Best of Show), a professional artwork scan (first place in each division), an annual memberships to the Appleton Museum of Art, Marion Cultural Alliance, and a registration fee waiver for the 2020-21 season of First Friday Art Walk (all winners). Continue reading

OCALA, Fla.  – The First Friday Art Walk will feature Retro Sounds March 6, 6 to 9 p.m. at the downtown square. Retro Sounds, a music and art event, celebrates the sounds of the 1950s with Cote Deonath, a Marion County native, headlining as Elvis. Step back in time and revel in the era with music, activities and dress that will have you “All Shook Up”.

The Retro Sounds at First Friday Art Walk will include the following special performances and activities:

  • 6 to 7 p.m. – The Forty-Fives This opening act will start the evening off with favorite songs of the 1950s.
  • 7 to 7:30 p.m. – Honey’s School of Dance and Marion County Center for the Arts Dance Team will be performing dance routines inspired by the 1950s.
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. – Cote Deonath. This headliner will perform on the main gazebo stage and has been an Elvis Tribute Artist for 19 years. He is a World Title Memphis Ultimate Elvis Contest Winner, a TOP 3 artist for World EPE’s Ultimate Elvis Contest for 2 consecutive years and has won many other Elvis accolades at the Tupelo, Branson and Niagara Falls Festivals.

Enjoy favorite First Friday Art Walk activities with a 1950s twist such as: local arts organizations providing free, hands-on art activities; visual artists working live throughout downtown; signature drinks and dishes, like an Elvis Sandwich at The Lodge, and participating restaurants with special sales and extended business hours at local shops. In addition, a vintage car exhibit by the Ocala Street Cruisers will be displayed on the east side of the square and the Proper Tease Hair Studio will provide 1950s-inspired hair demonstrations. Continue reading

Post Date: 03/02/2020 3:58 PM

OCALA, Fla. (March 2, 2020) – The City of Ocala has awarded Ohlson Lavoie Corporation (OLC), an Orlando design firm, to create and design the Mary Sue Rich Community Center for Ocala. The project is part of the revitalization efforts in West Ocala and will carry the namesake of longtime City Councilwoman, Mary Sue Rich for her 24 years of dedicated service to the City of Ocala.

The new 41,750 square foot, two-story center will serve as the hub of the community. The facility will include designated indoor spaces for senior, youth and family programs; a 400-seat banquet/event space that can be dividable into three rooms; and a kitchen to serve seniors and children after school, in addition to catering and public cooking options.

Health and wellness facilities include an open fitness area; indoor walking track; two multi-purpose studios with an operable partition for larger groups; a mind, body and dance studio; two full basketball courts; a gymnasium with 120-person bleachers for each court; indoor playground with connection to one of the courts which will be used for camps; senior studio and multipurpose room; and library and media center. There are also huddle rooms for tutoring and health advice. Continue reading

Post Date:03/02/2020 2:51 PM

OCALA, Fla. (March 2, 2020) – In order to accommodate the Stormwater Project at SW First Avenue, at the intersection of SW Sixth Street, there will be road closures beginning Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 20.

All necessary devices will be in place to redirect traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Detour routes:

  • • Northbound Traffic: Left onto SW Seventh Street, right onto SW Second Avenue, right onto SW Fifth Street, back to SW First Avenue.
  • • Southbound Traffic: Left onto SW Fifth Street, right onto S. Magnolia Avenue, right onto SW Seventh Street, back to SW First Ave.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

Sunday, March 29 – Thursday, April 2

Ocala Civic Theatre is celebrating an amazing milestone in the 2020-2021 season: our 70th year of providing quality live theatrical productions to our community!

To celebrate this memorable achievement, Ocala Civic Theatre – with your help! – will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Continuous Theatrical Performance. The big event will take place from March 29 to April 2, 2020. The time to beat is 78 hours, 45 minutes, and 16 seconds. A theatre that’s lasted 70 years clearly likes to do things in a big way – so OCT is going for 79 hours! And we’d love for YOU to be part of our 79 FOR 70!

The world record attempt will begin on Sunday, March 29 at 7 p.m. and will end at noon on Thursday, April 2. A cast of 20 actors, in alternating shifts, will present the 79 hours of continuous performance, selected from the 600+ productions in OCT’s 70-year history. Continue reading

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