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Ocala
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Light Up Ocala returns this Saturday, road closures announced

The City of Ocala is preparing to kick off the holidays this weekend with its popular Light Up Ocala event, a longstanding community tradition that attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Ocala.

The 38th installment of the festive event will take place on Saturday, November 19, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Ocala, and it will feature the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is “Jingle All the Way.”

The family-friendly event will feature three entertainment zones throughout the downtown area that will feature live music, performers, and 100-plus vendors.

  • Stage One (Downtown Square located at SE Broadway and Magnolia Avenue):
    • Live music by Audio Exchange from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • Photo opportunities at the holiday tree.
  • Stage Two (Citizens’ Circle located at Fort King Street and Osceola Avenue):
    • Photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
    • Community showcase featuring a variety of local dance and performance groups from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Midtown Street Party (located at the corner of NE 1st Street and NE 1st Avenue):
    • Music from a live DJ.
    • Acrobatic Variety Show and Powerskip shows from 4 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Additional entertainment throughout the night will include the Punch and Judy puppet show located at the corner of Fort King Street and Magnolia Avenue, Living Angels located at Fort King Street and SE 1st Avenue, photo ops, and a kids’ zone located at the parking lot on NE 1st Street between N Magnolia and NE 1st Avenue.

At 4:30 p.m., the Junior Sunshine Parade will begin at the corner of S Magnolia Avenue and E Fort King Street. The parade will make its way through downtown, going past the gazebo, up to NE 1st Street, and then returning to SE 1st Avenue and E Fort King Street. The parade will include performances from local dance studios, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Troops, and a special appearance by Santa.

Visitors are encouraged to utilize four parking lots that will offer free shuttle rides throughout the event:

  • The first shuttle will pick up guests at the Marion Technical Institute parking lot located at 1614 SE Fort King Street, and it will drop guests off at the intersection of SE Watula Avenue and SE 3rd Street. This shuttle will run approximately every 20 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • The second shuttle will pick up guests at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center located at 1510 NW 4th Street, and it will drop guests off at the intersection of N Magnolia Avenue and NE 3rd Street. This shuttle will run approximately every 20 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • The third shuttle will pick up guests at the Ocala Skate Park located at 517 NE 9th Street, and it will drop guests off at the intersection of NE Watula Avenue and State Road 40. This shuttle will run approximately every 10 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • The fourth shuttle will pick up guests at the Discovery Center parking lot located at 701 NE Sanchez Avenue, and it will drop guests off at the intersection of NE Watula Avenue and State Road 40. This shuttle will run approximately every 10 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

The city has announced multiple road closures and detours that will be in effect on the day of the event.

The following road closures will be in effect on Saturday, November 19, from 7 a.m. to midnight:

  • NE/NW 2nd Street, from NE Watula Avenue to NW 1st Avenue.
  • NE/NW 1st Street, from NE Watula Avenue to NW 1st Avenue.
  • SE/SW Broadway Street, from SE Watula Avenue to SW 1st Avenue.
  • SE/SW Fort King Street, from SE Watula Avenue to SW 1st Avenue.
  • N/S Magnolia Avenue, from NE/NW 3rd Street to SE/SW 2nd Street.
  • SE/NE 1st Avenue, from SE 2nd Street to NE 3rd Street.
  • NE/SE Osceola Avenue, from NE 3rd Street to SE Fort King Street.
  • SE 3rd Street, from Watula to SE Osceola (for the downtown market).

The following road closure will be in effect on Saturday, November 19, from noon to midnight:

  • State Road 40, from NE 8th Avenue to N Pine Avenue (U.S. 441).

Here is a list of detour routes:

  • State Road 40: N Pine Avenue to NW/NE 14th Street (SR 492) to NE 8th Avenue, back to State Road 40.
  • NE/NW 2nd Street: NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW 3rd Street to NW 1st Avenue.
  • NE/NW 1st Street: NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW 3rd Street to NW 1st Avenue.
  • SE/SW Broadway Street: SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW 3rd Street to NW/SW 1st Avenue, back to SW Broadway Street.
  • SE/SW Fort King Street: SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE/NW 3rd Street to NW/SW 1st Avenue, back to SW Fort King Street.
  • SW/SE 2nd Street: SW 1st Avenue to SW 5th Street to SE Watula Avenue.
  • N/S Magnolia Avenue (southbound): NW 3rd Street to NW/SW 1st Avenue to SW 3rd Street, back to S Magnolia Avenue.
  • SE/NE 1st Avenue (northbound): SE 5th Street to SE/NE Watula Avenue to NE 3rd Street, back to NE 1st Avenue.
  • NE Osceola Avenue: NE/NW 3rd Street to NW/SW 1st Avenue to SW 5th Street, back to SE Osceola Avenue.
  • SE Osceola Avenue: SE 5th Street to Watula Avenue to NE/NW 3rd Street, back to Osceola Avenue.

For more information, visit the City of Ocala’s 2022 Light Up Ocala webpage or call 352-368-5517.