OCALA, FL — Historic Downtown Ocala will celebrate the holidays with Light Up Ocala, kicking off this year on Saturday, November 18 from 4 to 9 p.m.
The festivities will include live local music, food, crafts and a holiday tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. With more than a hundred vendors and four stages, there will be something to enjoy throughout the historic downtown, with weekend activities through the end of the year.
The celebration kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with the Junior Sunshine Parade, starting at at the corner of SE First Avenue and E Fort King Street. The parade will wind through the downtown area before returning to Citizens Circle at 151 SE Osceola Ave. Local dance studios, scouting troops and Santa himself will be featured in the parade.
The Grinch returns to Light Up Ocala this year with his very own Whoville, located at the courtyard of the Brick City Cafe. Stop by for photo opportunities!
Ice skating is back this year at a new location. The “Let’s Skate Ocala” ice rink will be open in Tuscawilla Park through Sunday, Dec. 31. Admission is $5 per person including skates. The rink will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to p.m., Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. , Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. , and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.
Light Up Ocala includes four stages this year including the Downtown Square gazebo, Citizens Circle at Fort King and Osceola, the North Lot at the corner of NE First Street and NE First Ave., and the Marion Theater at Magnolia Avenue and Fort King Street.
Free parking is available at the new downtown parking garage at 296 SE Broadway St. and the County Courthouse at 110 NW First Ave. Shuttle services will run from the parking facilities to the center of the activities.