Light Up Ocala canceled, other events available, including for Halloween


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Ocala, Florida — During a meeting, due to COVID-19, The City of Ocala council voted to cancel Light Up Ocala.

The event was scheduled for November 21.

The council said instead of Light up Ocala, the city will host several small holiday events.


As for Light Up Ocala, the city says it will still display all of the Christmas lights as usual.

Light Up Ocala typically brings a crowd of more than 20,000 people. The city said it is the size of the crowd that’s the issue.

Other events throughout the holiday season

Santa’s Calling

Tuesday, December 8 – Thursday, December 10 | 6 – 9 p.m.
Free program

Ocala Recreation and Parks have partnered with the North Pole to directly connect Ocala’s good little boys and girls to Santa! You can schedule an evening call from December 8-10 when Santa’s helpers will call your home so your child can speak directly with Mr. or Mr. Claus! Click the button below to submit an application for Santa to call your child. The deadline is November 30.

Santa on the Square

Thursday, December 3 – Thursday, December 17
Tuesdays & Thursdays | 6 – 8 p.m.
Downtown Square
Free event

Take a picture with Santa in Downtown Ocala! On Tuesday and Thursday evenings in December, socially distanced photos will be offered with Santa. This program is free. Pre-registration is required; email to reserve a time slot.

Senior Holiday Luncheon

Thursday, December 10 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ocala Golf Club
$5 per person
Ages 50+

For ages 50+, come celebrate the season with an afternoon of fun, prizes, games, and a delicious lunch at the Ocala Golf Club! $5 per person. Face coverings encouraged.

Register here.

Santa Paws

Wednesday, December 16 | 5 – 8 p.m.
Downtown Square
Free event

Whether your four-legged fur baby has been naughty or nice, Santa would still love a picture with them! Join us at the Ocala Downtown Square for Santa Paws where your furry family members can have a professional photo with Santa. $10 donation for photos will fully benefit the Human Society of Marion County. Due to COVID-19, only pets will be allowed in the portrait, no people.

After Dark in the Park: Holiday Movie Series

Select Nights in December | Movies start at 7 p.m.
Free event

Movies are free to attend! Attendees should bring their own chairs or blankets. Free hot cocoa will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with additional concessions available for purchase. Hot cocoa courtesy Marion Bar & Bubbles.

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol | Dec. 4, | Citizens’ Circle (110 SE Watula Ave.)
  • The Polar Express |Dec. 11 | Tuscawilla Art Park (213 NE Fifth St.)
  • Elf | Dec. 18 | Tuscawilla Oak Grove (500 NE Ninth St.)

Halloween Events

Boo Bash

Saturday, October 31
ED Croskey Center
1510NW Fourth St.

Join us for a scary good time at this family-friendly Halloween event! There will be face painting, creepy crafts, candy, and more! All ages welcome.
To reserve a time slot, email

Halloween Family Fun Run/Walk 5K

Saturday, October 31
8:30 – 11 AM
Downtown Citizens Circle
160 E. Fort King St.
$5 Registration

Join Ocala Recreation and Parks for our Halloween Family Fun Run benefiting United Way of Marion County! It will start at Citizen’s Circle downtown with staggered start times to allow for proper social distancing. Staggered start times will be emailed to participants prior to the start date. Face covers are encouraged.

Register here.

Let’s Do the Time Warp at Fort King: The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been canceled.

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