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Living in Ocala – Culinary Festivals This Week!

March 2, 2017

food-grabCulinary Festivals Top This Week’s Entertainment Options in Ocala!

It’s true Ocala is “The Horse Capital of the World”, but the greater Marion County region has much more to offer beyond the horse shows and equestrian activities.

Our urban center continues to flourish with a multitude of cultural options, and this week Ocala is serving up multiple choices for area foodies!

This Week’s Festivals Include:

  • Ocala Culinary Festival
  • Taste of Ocala
  • Habitat Strawberry Festival
  • Florida Springfest

The Ocala Culinary Festival – March 1st – 5th, 2017

“A group of dedicated industry professionals have joined forces to provide a platform for extraordinary talent to convene in Ocala/Marion County for the purpose of creating unforgettable culinary experiences and generating insightful dialogue about food, wine, and spirits.”

One of the festival co-founders Elodie Perron explains, “Some of my favorite meals have been at a table set with simple foods prepared well and with friends similarly disposed to really taste life with all their senses. It is my hope that we can help others make those types of memories.”

This multi-day event is open to those who are 21 and older and includes tickets to a variety of festivities throughout the week and the weekend. The event includes not only great food experiences but also features tastings of wine and beer.

Tickets are required and full information can be found on the Ocala Culinary Festival Website.


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The Taste Of Ocala – Saturday, March 4th

The Taste of Ocala is a separate event being held on Saturday night, but this runs in tandem with the week long Ocala Culinary Festival! In its 29th year, the Taste of Ocala remains one of the College of Central Florida Foundation’s premier events, which raises scholarship money for attending students. This year’s Diamond Jubilee is being held at the College of Central Florida and is a fun-filled evening of delicious area cuisine, fine libations, and musical entertainment.

  • When: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 4th
  • Where: Ewers Century Center, College of Central Florida, Ocala
  • Ticket Cost: $100 each or $150 per couple, available for purchase here.

Outdoor Festivals For The Whole Family!

Looking for outdoor fun, food, and entertainment for the whole family? This weekend also offers up two fantastic outdoor festivals that celebrate Ocala’s philanthropic efforts within the community. The following information is courtesy of the Ocala Star Banner and outlines key information on the Habitat Strawberry Festival and the Florida Springfest, both of which raise money for area organizations and causes.

Habitat Strawberry Festival

The cause: Habitat for Humanity of Marion County. Now in its fourth year, the festival literally is responsible for putting roofs over the heads of locals. Three homes in Marion County have been built from festival funds. They are dubbed Strawberry Houses. Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes through volunteer labor, including the families who will occupy the homes. Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no profit and are financed with zero-interest loans.

  • Festival facts: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the McPherson Governmental Complex, off Southeast 25th Avenue between Fort King Street and Maricamp Road.
  • Cost: The festival is free. Food, drinks and other goodies cost money.
  • Attendance: Last year’s festival drew about 30,000 people, said Joanne Black, director of development of Habitat for Humanity of Marion County.
  • More information: 351-4663 or visit their website here.

Florida Springfest

The cause: Hosted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, this festival’s benefactor is, indeed, Florida’s springs. The event is all about education, teaching about the gorgeous-yet-sensitive — and threatened — springs leading to the Floridan aquifer. This festival’s mission is awareness, preservation, and stewardship.

  • The facts: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Silver Springs State Park, 5656 E. Silver springs Blvd., Silver Springs.
  • Park admission: $2
  • More information: 236-7148, ext. 4, or visit their website here.

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