More for Less: 5 Events, $15 and less
File photo: Rashad Jones poses with his signature brisket at Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue on Northeast First Avenue in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.
Editor’s Note: Because we’re all feeling the pinch of inflation, the Gazette has begun “More for Less,” a recurring list of budget-friendly things to experience and buy to help stretch your dollar a little further.
Let’s face it. Theme parks and shows can cost upward of $200 or more for a family of four. If you’re single or married without kids, concert tickets and other events can cost way too much.
Here are five events well worth your and your loved ones’ time that won’t bust your bank account.
Lake Sumter Art & Craft Festival
The forecast says this weekend will be cool and sunny, so grab that jacket or sweater and head down to the Villages to browse vendors selling their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, ceramics, photography, plants, handmade soaps and other decor, accessories and wares. Food vendors and live entertainment will also be featured. Takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 572 Old Mill Run, the Villages. Event information on Facebook and EventBrite.com.
Kirby Family Farm Fourth Annual Snow Party
Just because your kids live in Florida doesn’t mean they can’t experience a snow day. Head to Kirby Family Farms in Williston for Kimberly’s Fourth Annual Snow Party, which will feature falling snow, slides, a Ferris wheel, ice skating, bounce houses and more. Grown-ups can browse 50-plus craft vendors or order from onsite food trucks. Live entertainment includes the Irish dancers from the Gainesville School of Dance at various times throughout the day.
Takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are a $12 donation in advance and $15 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at EventBrite.com.
Tickets include free parking, all rides including the train, bounce houses, pony rides, snow slides, ice skating, Fort Kirby, and live entertainment. All rides and train rides will open at 11 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. The train runs approximately every 30 minutes. Kirby Family Farm is located at 19630 NE 30th St., Williston. Call (352) 812-7435 for more information.
32nd Young Artist Competition: Honors Recital
Hear the melodious voices of finalists from the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s 32nd Annual Young Artist Competition. The young musicians perform in the orchestra’s Junior division and Senior division and will take the stage to sing their concerto for a live audience. The winners of this competition will go on to perform as a soloist at the March subscription performance. Subscribers will receive complimentary tickets to the Honors Recital. Takes place Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and available at OcalaSymphony.com.
CF Faculty Art Exhibition Opening Reception
The College of Central Florida is showcasing the artwork of its Visual Arts faculty in the biennial Faculty Art Exhibition through Feb. 2. New artwork created by Tyrus Clutter, James O’Leary, Michele Wirt and Graham Young will be on display. A variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works, including ceramics, prints, photography and mixed media, will be on display in the Webber Gallery.
A reception for the exhibition takes place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19. Light refreshments will also be served. The 2023 CF Faculty Art Exhibition can be viewed through Feb. 2. Admission is free.
Ocala Bluegrass & BBQ
Enjoy live musical performances by Appalachian Road Show with The Wandering Hours, International Bluegrass Music award-winning bluegrass artists, amid the public art and verdant picturesque of the historic Ocala Union Train Station. The event features the beloved barbecue of Big Lee’s Serious About BBQ and Country Boyz BBQ, desserts from Big Man’s Cafe and a cash bar. Takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan 20. General admission is $10 online at ocalabluegrassBBQ2023.eventbrite.com and $15 at the gate.