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Though many people think of summer as “festival season,” the excitement of these events not only rolls on through fall, but the celebrations just keep getting bigger and better.
Autumn in Central Florida is an especially great time to get outside and enjoy the company of friends, family and neighbors at a local festival, and Marion County’s diverse calendar of events offers something for just about anyone.
The fall festival season kicks off on October 17 with not one but two free events in historic downtown Dunnellon. This year’s theme for both festivals is “Rollin’ on the Rainbow River,” celebrating the natural beauty of Ocala/Marion County with an adventure and fun-filled day for the whole family. Taking place from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Dunnellon’s Two Rivers Arts and Crafts Fall Festival starts the day’s activities with unique, handmade arts and crafts vendors and fresh, delicious foods to check out and enjoy. Artists will also be creating and displaying incredible works of chalk art on sidewalks and roads along Cedar Street and West Pennsylvania Avenue.
As the afternoon rolls in, festivalgoers can keep the celebration going at the Jazz Up Dunnellon Music Fest. Happening from 3–9 p.m., the evening will feature over 10 local bands, food vendors and beer gardens along Cedar Street and West Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of the Dunnellon Historic Village. Shops will be open late, making this the perfect way to wrap up an already exciting day in Ocala/Marion County. For more information on both events, visit www.dunnellonhistoricvillage.com.
Whether you’re a dedicated collector of antique vehicles or simply enjoy the historic beauty of classic cars, the Ocala Pumpkin Run Fall Festival and Classic Car Show, taking place the weekend of October 23, is an area must-see celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. A three-day event, this family-friendly gathering is hosted at Castro Farms and features cars of all makes, models and eras, as well as local vendors, unique displays and much more. There will even be free monster truck rides, NASCAR simulator rides, live drag races and bands taking the stage throughout the festival’s duration. Admission for one day is just $12 for adults, $10 for military and free for kids under 11. For more information, visit www.ocalapumpkinrun.com.
Wrapping up the month of October, the Ocala Arts Festival is a longstanding fall tradition, bringing together fine artists from across the country for the past 49 years. The event takes place October 24 and 25 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. in Historic Downtown Ocala and is free for both adults and children. From art exhibits featuring all mediums and expressions, a variety of food concessions and unique holiday gifts for every budget, the Ocala Arts Festival is the perfect place to spend a cool October day surrounded by your family and all forms of artistic expression. To learn more about the festival, visit www.fafo.org.
Fans of great music and delicious food will want to mark their calendars for the second annual Feel Downtown LIVE HarvestFest, happening at Tuscawilla Park on November 14 from 3–10 p.m. The free event will feature two stages where local artists and bands will perform everything from rock to soul, country and more, as well as a fleet of food trucks serving up both savory and sweet plates. To find out more about HarvestFest, visit www.feeldowntownlive.com.
If you’re ready to begin planning your fall festival agenda, want to develop a personalized travel itinerary or are looking to discover even more to see, do and experience in Ocala/Marion County, visit www.OcalaMarion.com.