Marion County gearing up for bash to celebrate 175th anniversary

Marion County is preparing to celebrate a special anniversary – and everyone is invited to a festival at the end of the month.

The county will commemorate its 175th anniversary on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the McPherson Complex in Ocala. This event is the first of its kind for the region that’s been dubbed the Horse Capital of the World.

The grand finale to the March 30 festival celebrating Marion County’s 175th anniversary will be held at the Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park, located at 2601 SE Fort King St.

Organizations from around the area will participate in the event by telling Marion County’s story in a fun, informative and interactive way. Chefs and restaurant owners are prepared to meet the needs of even the most particular palates, with international dishes like shish kebobs and handcrafted Cuban sandwiches. And not to be overlooked, attendees also will be able to enjoy American classics like freshly made burgers and Philly sandwiches drenched in melted cheese.

Desserts and ice-cold beverages served in commemorative cups will be available. And a talented lineup of local musicians will perform everything from country to contemporary to folk music.

There will be plenty of activities for children. The Parks and Recreation’s kid zone will be fully equipped with recreational activities and games. And there will be bounce houses, a face-painting station and a petting zoo.

The Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band will play a variety of songs at the March 30 celebration for Marion County’s 175th anniversary. The group will be performing at the Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 7 p.m.

Prizes will be given away during various drawings throughout the day, including the Marion County Trivia and Scavenger Hunt prize. More details on the scavenger hunt can be found online at library.marioncountyfl.org.

Visitors to the event will be able to take a stroll down memory lane through an exhibit showcasing Marion County’s unique history. The walk-through will display artifacts dating back hundreds of years and include presentations by local historians, giving attendees a glimpse into the community’s past.

Residents also are encouraged to attend the grand finale in the evening. The Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band will begin playing a variety of songs at 7 p.m. in the Ocala/Marion County Veterans Memorial Park, located at 2601 SE Fort King St. A fireworks display will follow the performance.

For more details, check out Facebook.com/MarionCountyFlorida.