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Gratitude for the Good Things We Have

It’s so nice to have nice things! 

As we reach a certain age, we begin to appreciate not only the people we have cultivated over the years as family, but objects of fancy that hold precious. From trinkets to appliances to vehicles to homes, we sometimes find embedded joy in material things.

 

We spend our lifetime collecting mementos, collectibles, items that hold us in a different time and place when we interact with them. Sometimes these items have no value except the memory we connect with them, and sometimes, these things hold surprising value.

Mini Cooper Club

We recently had the privilege of being speakers at a gathering of the Ocala Mini Cooper Club. Watching the friendship and respect amongst these wonderful Cooper enthusiasts pointed out to us that the joy of owning a special car is far more than just possessing these objects for others to covet. Joy comes from having a relationship with our favorite things, especially a relationship we can share with other people. 

 

Since cars grew to popularity in post-WW2 America, they have been integral to U.S. culture. The rise of the American car led to so many changes in the way we live our lives, affecting many different industries, such as restaurants (replaced with diners and bellhops) and movies (replaced with drive-in theaters). Cars are often a teenager’s first taste of freedom and self-reliance, and it’s a part of our culture to bond with a vehicle. Which makes the special vehicles even more special! And Coopers are particularly special, loved by a very awesome subset of the population, who value their design and verstility.

It’s about the people we share it with

Merely possessing a Cooper is fun, but joy comes from sharing the experience with others. Joy comes from working with a mechanic to keep it maintained. Joy comes from the pride we feel when others express attraction or even a touch of jealousy at the nice car we have, and instead of that threatening us, we let it extend ourselves to share the experience with them.

 

As we roll into Thanksgiving, there’s a big emphasis on being grateful for the things we have. Let’s be grateful for that and for the nice memories we put into the thing we own, as well. Let’s be appreciative of the people that make our nicest things worth a lot more.

Thanks for reading! If you're looking for a charity to partner with, we hope you’ll consider volunteering or donating to our partners at the Public Education System of Marion County, as they have a big burden this year in Florida. Visit Pals Ocala Auto Repair at 2821 SW College Road, Ocala, FL, 34474, and schedule an appointment online to keep your vehicle safe on the road!

Events

November 1st

2022 Notting Hill Invitational Jumper Show

Florida Horse Park, 11008 S Highway 475

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Notting Hill Stables is excited to present the second annual Notting Hill Stables Invitational. It will be a two day show On Tuesday November 1st and Wednesday November 2nd, 2022. This year we have changed the schedule to give more horses, riders and owners the chance to compete at the show. On Tuesday November 1st there will be open jumper classes and then on Wednesday we will have the two Invitational classes where some of the best Three-Day Event riders in the country will be invited to compete in the $5,000 Eventing Show Jumping Invitational in the morning and then in the afternoon it will be the Show Jumpers turn to come and compete in the featured class for $10,000 in their own USEF recognized Fall Jumper Invitational. To compete on Wednesday in this show is by invitation only. A select group of riders will be invited to come and compete at the Invitational and we will keep the list of confirmed riders updated. General admission is free so come on out and watch some of the best riders in the country compete.

November 4th

Ocala Food & Wine Festival

World Equestrian Center, 1750 NW 80th Ave.

Join us at World Equestrian Center for Ocala Food & Wine Festival. Returning in its second year, the event is a celebrity-chef led celebration featuring a head-to-head culinary competition, wine education and samples of extraordinary cuisine. Enjoy entertainment including live music, cooking demonstrations, an iron-chef style competition, and samples of food and drink from over 50 local restaurants, premium wineries, breweries and distilleries. 

November 4th - 6th

36th Annual Ocklawaha River Raid

Florida Horse Park, 11008 S Highway 475

Step back in time November 4th through November 6th as the 2nd Battalion, Hardy’s Brigade returns for their 36th annual reenactment of the Ocklawaha River Raid. During the Civil War, Union soldiers raided and stole eighty gallons of syrup and two hundred containers of sugar and other property from the Marshall Plantation in East Marion County. In response, the Confederate Infantry Regiment battled against this Union Group. The 2nd Battalion, outfitted with cannons and guns in authentic military uniform, will be reenacting this engagement Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10 per carload and spectators are welcome to watch the reenactment and walk through the authentic camps complete with Civil War Sibley Tents, horse drawn wagons, and camp fires preparing food for the participants of the reenactment. There will be plenty of vendors and excitement for the whole family.

November 5th

Guy Fawkes Day

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”

McIntosh 1890's Festival

8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The McIntosh 1890s Festival is recognized as one of Florida’s premiere festivals. Over the years, it has grown to over 250 vendors and as many as 40,000 visitors. Shop along Victorian McIntosh' tree-lined streets.  A day for the whole Family with arts, crafts, antiques, artisan jewelry, one of a kind gifts, garden and homemade treats! Annual Fall Festival. Family friendly event with live music.  Hand crafted treasures. Gourds and decorative wood creations. Free to attend.

Marion County Chili Cook-Off

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

From chili samples and live music to a children's area and car show, there is something for everyone at the Marion County Chili Cook-Off! The Marion County Chili Cookoff is an annual fundraiser to benefit The Cornerstone School. It has a long history of tradition since 1981 and is the primary fundraiser for the school. The Cornerstone School's mission is to hold a community event, which emphasizes tradition, food, family, and fun while creating relationships between businesses and organizations in Marion County. For more information regarding the event visit marioncountychilicookoff.com. For information regarding tickets and pricing please contact the Cornerstone School at 352-851-8840. 

November 8th

Election Day

Get out and VOTE!

CF International Film Series: “Breaking Bread”

The College of Central Florida’s Ira Holmes International Film Series is excited to be offering its first full, in-person season since 2019. Themes of humor and perseverance will take center stage in this year’s 11 films selected from around the globe. All films will be shown Tuesdays at 2 p.m. at the Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, and at 7 p.m. at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road, Building 8, Room 110, unless otherwise noted. Films at the Ocala Campus are free and open to the public. Films at the Appleton are free to all museum and film series members; nonmembers pay museum admission. Films may contain mature content. “Breaking Bread” is much more than a documentary. A treat for the senses, this film explores Israel’s groundbreaking A-Sham Festival, which puts Arab and Jewish chefs side by side to create mouthwatering dishes and foster social change. This delectable showcase of culinary heritage gives hope to the idea that collaboration in the kitchen could be a bridge to mutual understanding.

November 8th - 18th

A Dickens Christmas: The Urban Family Holiday Exhibition

Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd.

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays in the annual “A Dickens Christmas: The Urban Family’s Holiday Exhibition.” This beloved display adorns the first floor of the museum with themed trees from the collection of Ocala cardiologist Dr. Paul Urban, his wife, Joyce, and daughters, Katie, Kristie, Kassie and Karlie. In addition to ornately decorated trees, see the architecture, customs and history of Victorian England come alive in the popular Dickens Village miniature. Also on display, an extensive collection of nutcrackers from all around the world features handmade Byers’ Choice caroler dolls.

November 9th - 13th

2022 November Show Series I

World Equestrian Center – Ocala presents the 2022 November Show Series. The two-week horse show begins November 9 and offers all levels of competition.

November 11th

35th Annual Sunshine State Mopar Car Show

Florida Horse Park, 11851 SW 16th Ave.

NEW AND IMPROVED VENUE FOR OUR 2022 35th ORIGINAL SUNSHINE STATE MOPAR CAR SHOW AND SWAP MEET FEATURING MOPARS WITH MR 4-SPEED HERB MCCANDLESS

November 17th

Lunch with the Archaeologist

Fort King National Historic Landmark, 3925 E Fort King Street

11 AM - 1 PM

Bring a lawn chair, pack a lunch and join us for Lunch with the Archaeologist! We will be talking about Fort King and the artifacts that have been found on site as well as Q&A time with the archaeologists.

November 17th - 20th

November Dressage CDI 3*

World Equestrian Center, 1390 NW 80th Ave

The World Equestrian Center – Ocala will host two additional international dressage competitions in 2022. Following a very successful week in April that saw more than 220 national and international competitors and well-received Fédération Equestre International (FEI) classes held in the Grand Arena, the new CDI3* shows will be held on September 15-18 and November 17-20. The 2022 series of dressage shows, which now includes three CDIs along with 11 USEF/USDF-rated shows, is presented by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage. National dressage competition was held at WEC – Ocala in January, February, March, and April.

November 19th

Light Up Ocala

Downtown Square, 1 SE Broadway St.

4:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Light Up Ocala is a longstanding community tradition to kick off the holidays that attracts thousands to downtown Ocala. This year marks the 38th anniversary of the holiday merry making event! Light Up Ocala will have over 100 vendors including crafts, art and plenty of food options to choose from! Live entertainment will fill the air with festive sounds and an interactive kids zone will keep the whole family entertained. You won't want to miss the Junior Sunshine holiday parade with a special appearance by Santa. All of which culminates in the most exciting part of the event: lighting up downtown Ocala!

November 22nd - 26th

Fiddler's Turkey Run Barrel Racing Event

World Equestrian Centerm, Arena 5

Join us for the 20th Annual Fiddler's Turkey Run at World Equestrian Center - Ocala. Come and watch the largest paying barrel racing event in the southeast! Admission and parking are free.

November 24th

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about families, but it’s also about sharing with new people. In a largely divided America, we hope you will take a moment this Thanksgiving to be gracious to the viewpoints of each of your family members, and make an honest effort to understand each other. The spirit of the holiday is gratitude for what we have in life. Show your family this year that you are grateful for them and accept them— even if you have ideological differences.

November 24th - 26th

AHAF Holiday Festival Arabian/Half Arabian Horse Show

1390 NW 80th Ave, Arena 3

8:00 AM to 12:00 AM

USEF/AHA/USDF/WDAA Sanctioned Arabian and Half Arabian show with added Open Breed Western Dressage. This event is free and open to the public. The Arabian and Half Arabian show offers opportunities to interact with Arabian Ambassador horses! Live Stallion Presentation will be held on Friday and Saturday evening.

November 25th

Black Friday

This year's annual shopping day for Christmas promises to be hectic and very competitive– be safe!

Fiesta Latina @ The Market

Ocala Downtown Market, SE 3rd St. and SE 3rd Ave

5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Come join us for this Fiesta Latina @ The Market. This market is FREE! We will enjoy great food, music, vendors, dancing, and lots of fun.  Come shop all of the amazing things that our vendors have to offer after enjoying some yummy food and before dancing the night away while the kids enjoy their activities.

Christmas Cruise-In at Cottom Farm's Christmas Village

Cottom Farm, 4250 Marion County Road

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Bring your family and friends, as we invite our guests to a drive through tour of our Christmas Display, for one night only! $5 per person/$20 max per carload! (Large buses/RV's not permitted)

November 25th - December 3rd

The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular

Florida Horse Park, 11851 Southwest 16th Avenue

Bundle up in the car and tune into 88.1 JOY-FM or K Country 93.7 to enjoy Christmas Music as you travel through the more than 1.8 mile route through the holiday light show!  ICE SKATING, FOOD TRUCKS, AND WALK-THRU AREAS ARE OPEN EVERY NIGHT!! SANTA LAND WILL BE OPEN EVERY FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY FROM  NOV 25 THROUGH DEC 23 PLUS THE ENTIRE WEEK LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS - INCLUDED IN YOUR CARLOAD ADMISSION TICKET: Free visit with Santa, Train ride, Slides, Inflatable activities, kids activities, live music, walk around area. Food available for purchase from local food trucks AND ICE SKATING FOR $7 PER PERSON!! The event is open evenings beginning at 6 pm sharp, select dates beginning November 25th 2022 (closed Dec 24 and 25th). The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular is the only drive-through holiday light spectacular in all of North Central Florida! Featuring dozens of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family! Visitors are welcomed through December 30 2022, and tickets can be purchased online through the "buy tickets" button on our website or at the gate!

November 26th

4th Annual MTRA Holiday Market & Car Show

Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, 6850 SE 41st Ct.

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

MTRA will be hosting its 4th Annual Arts & Crafts Market. This is a FREE family-friendly event supporting Small Business Saturday with local vendors while raising awareness for some of MTRA's programs to include Therapeutic Riding, Freedom Reins for Veterans, and the Equine Experience for Foster Children & At-Risk Youth. This event is open to the community and gives local artists and small businesses a way to showcase their arts and crafts! Please come out and enjoy a day of arts, crafts, and family activities!!! The market hosts 40+ Arts & Crafts Vendors and Direct Sales Vendors, Live Music & Dance Performances, a Photo Booth, Car Show, Food, Pony Rides, Pie Eating and Pie Baking Contests, and a fun activity area for the entire family!

November 27th

Pack Walk at Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park, 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd.

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Shelter dogs from Marion County Animal Services are headed to Silver Springs State Park for their monthly adventure. You are invited to meet our homeless dogs and take them for a staff-led walk around the park. All of the dogs are in need of a loving home, so if you've been considering adoption but haven't yet made it to our shelter, this event may be for you. The cost to join us is only the $2 park entry fee. No pre-registration is required. We will have several loops though the park, so if you can't make it at 9am, don't worry, we will be there until 10:30am and would love to see you. And the bonus? If you decide to remain in the park after the Pack Walk, you're welcome to stay!

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