The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department is getting ready for the always-fun Cattle Drive and Cowboy Round-Up.
The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tuscawilla Park, located at 500 NE Sanchez Ave. A cattle drive will kick things off in downtown Ocala and will end at the park, where the real festivities will begin.
The cattle drive will begin at 9 a.m. near Jesse’s Computers and Repair, located at 300 SE Eighth St. The cattle will come down SE First Avenue, cross Silver Springs Boulevard, then turn toward Tuscawilla Park along Watula Avenue. The public is invited and encouraged to line the streets to watch the cattle pass by on their way to the park.
The event will feature live entertainment by regional bluegrass band Brett Bass and the Melted Plectrum, cowboy demonstrations, authentic gunfighting re-enactments from the Six Gun Territory Gunfighters, can-can dancing from the Palace Saloon Revue dancers, pony rides, mechanical bull rides, a farm animal petting zoo, a kids’ corral with family-friendly games, antique tractors and trailers and more.
Food vendors will include Big Lee’s Bar-b-que and Chick-fil-A, as well as kettle corn, cotton candy and funnel cakes. Additional food and drink, including adult beverages, also be available at the event for purchase.
This year’s event will feature the first Marion Rotary Duck Derby. The Rotary clubs of Marion County will race 5,000 rubber ducks on Lake Tuscawilla at 1 p.m. The fundraising activity will benefit the Discovery Center – a family science center providing an interactive educational experience which stimulates a desire to expand personal knowledge.
Duck adoptions are $5 for one duck or you can increase your chances by purchasing six ducks for $25 or a flock of 24 for $100. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places for ducks crossing the finish line. Ducks are available for adoption at www.duckrace.com/ocala and also will be available onsite at the event from 10 a.m. to approximately 12:45 p.m.
General admission is free. For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at (352) 368-5517.