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Ocala/Marion County Celebrates Veterans

Whether you are a local, from another part of Florida or visiting from another state, we welcome all our veterans to enjoy the area’s unique attractions, outdoor playground and rich arts and culture. From free entry or military discounts, to live performances and memorial parks, our community is proud thank our veterans in any way we can. As Veterans Day is coming up, we wanted to share some the fun veteran friendly things to do in Ocala/Marion County:

The Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park is a lasting memorial to all United States Veterans nestled in a quiet oasis in Ocala. With more than 5,000 bricks, 200 benches and 100 plaques, visitors can appreciate the history of our veterans from the birth of our nation forward. The park office is staffed completely by volunteers, many of whom are veterans and have first-hand recollections of the wars that were fought.

The park is entirely free and open to the public and features the Medal of Honor monument, the presidential monument (honoring all presidents who served in our military), war memorabilia and picnic areas.

PARKS

Rainbow Springs State Park, Silver Springs State Park and Cross Florida Greenway Trails all offer military discounts all year. Learn how to get a discounted or free Florida State Park Annual Pass here.

Ocala National Forest—In honor of Veterans Day, the US Forest service is waving recreation fees at the Ocala National Forest for Nov. 11, 2019. Located just east of Silver Springs State Park, the Ocala National Forest is the southernmost national forest in the continental US. Veterans can enjoy the Forest in endless ways including camping, fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking.

ART AND MUSEUMS

Marion County Veterans Exhibit and Education Center, located at 2528 E. Silver Springs Blvd next to the Memorial Park, opened in 2019 and features military service related artifacts and memorabilia. The Center showcases historic uniforms from each branch of the military. Visitors will be captivated by World War I letters and the service history of national heroes. Check out displays of service medals and WWII survival kits, along with newspaper clippings from WWII and aircraft fabric. Admission is free!

Appleton Museum of Art offers free entrance for veterans all year and is one of the area’s premier museums full of international wonders. The museum offers veterans the chance to explore international art and artifacts and a permanent collection of approximately 16,000 objects. The Appleton also hosts series of traveling exhibits showcased throughout the year.

Ocala Civic Theatre, located inside the Appleton Museum, provides free admission to performances for all veterans with proof of service. This theatre stands as the second largest community theater in Florida and produces upwards of twelve full-staged, professional quality performances every season. Click here for upcoming shows.

Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing offers discounted admission for military and veterans. With nearly 300 cars, veterans can spend hours in the chronicles of drag racing history. Explore the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and see racing cars, antique cars, memorabilia and more.

EVENTS

Veterans Light the Stars

Join the Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band for an evening of music, fireworks and American spirit to honor veterans. the Sun Concert Band is an all-volunteer, symphonic concert band with more than 100 members ranging ages from 13 to 92.

Admission is FREE
Nov.10, 2019, 6p.m.- 10p.m.

Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park
2601 SE Ft King Street
Ocala, Florida

Veterans Day Celebration

Celebrate and honor veterans with cannon fire, playing of Taps, laying of a wreath, a student chorus and poem recitals.

Admission is FREE
Nov.11, 2019, 11a.m. to 1p.m.

Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park
2601 SE Ft King Street
Ocala, Florida

For information about veterans services in the area, click here.

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