ColorOcala Contest

Grab your crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers and cray pas, and join the hot new coloring craze!

Floridians, are you ready to COLOROCALA? Create beautiful art and compete for valuable prizes in Ocala Magazine’s latest big giveaway contest. You could win tickets for four to the Walt Disney World® theme park in Orlando, a family Christmas for four at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, and more. Color us excited!

Our latest contest is specially designed with family fun in mind. With a contest for both children and adults, you and your kids will have plenty to do this summer. And best of all, you can be creative together!

You can always count on Ocala Magazine for the best in news and entertainment, family fun, and fabulous prizes, so let’s get coloring! Show off your artistic side, and you might have a summer you’ll never forget.

Feeling Social?

Visit Ocala Magazine’s Facebook and Instagram pages and Colorala’s Facebook and Instagram pages – and while you’re at it, we hope you’ll Like our pages!

Here’s How You Enter:

You must complete Steps 1 through 4 to qualify for prizes!

  1. Download, print, and color your favorite specially drawn Ocala-themed coloring page from contest sponsor Colorala. (You can download pages as many times as you like.)
  2. Fill out the entry form (below) on the Ocala Magazine website before 6 p.m. Eastern time, July 22, 2016.
  3. Upload a photo of your completed coloring page using the File Upload feature provided on the form.
  4. Post your photo on Facebook OR Instagram before midnight, July 22, 2016. Use the hashtag #ocalamagazinecontest on Facebook OR Instagram in your post. Don’t forget to tag your friends and show off your creative genius!

That’s it. You’ve entered!

Click Each Image to Download a Coloring Page! (PDF Format)

Adult Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page - Thoroughbred
Adult Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Adult Coloring Page - Silver Springs

Children’s Coloring Page – Thoroughbred
Children's Coloring Page - Thoroughbred

Children’s Coloring Page – Silver Springs
Children's Coloring Page - Silver Springs


Entries Are Now Being Judged, Stay Tuned!

Click for Contest Rules

Official Rules

  1. By entering, you agree to abide by The COLOROCALA Official Rules.
  2. All contestants must reside in the state of Florida.
  3. The contest will be administered by contest sponsor 7Hills Communications of Tallahassee, Florida.
  4. Entries must be submitted through the online form located at and all entry requirements must be met before midnight, Friday, July 22, 2016 in order to qualify.
  5. Entries submitted will be screened by 7Hills Communications and/or contest sponsor Colorala of Newport Beach, California, to ensure all entries meet contest requirements.
  6. Ocala Magazine, 7Hills Communications, and Colorala cannot be held responsible for email that is misdirected or undeliverable.
  7. Entries that do not meet all the “Here’s How to Enter” criteria will be disqualified.
  8. 7Hills Communications may, at its sole discretion and depending upon volume of entries, notify contestants whose entries are incorrect and must be resubmitted.
  9. 7Hills Communications will send only properly completed entries to Ocala Magazine.
  10. Completed coloring pages, along with the artist’s name, will be posted on the Ocala Magazine Facebook page and Instagram profile, and the Colorala Instagram profile. If the artist is 12 years of age or younger, the artist’s age also will be published.
  11. Following the conclusion of the contest, a team of fine artists from Colorala will judge the entries and select the winners.
  12. A list of winners will be published on the COLOROCALA Contest official web page, located at; the Ocala Magazine Facebook page; the Ocala Magazine Instagram profile; and the Colorala Color Instagram profile.
  13. Winners must claim their prizes by 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, August 22, 2016. Any prize not claimed by Monday, August 22, 2016 will be awarded to an alternate winner.
  14. Ocala Magazine and/or 7Hills Communications will make every effort to notify winners via email, telephone, or postal mail within the 31-day prize redemption period. Ocala Magazine and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for winners who cannot be located for notification within the prize redemption period.
  15. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications will hold all contestants’ personal information except name, age, and city of residence confidential, and will not reveal said information to any third party unless required by law.
  16. By entering, contestants agree to allow Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications to post their names, ages if applicable, and photographs of their coloring pages to social media.
  17. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish their coloring pages in Ocala Magazine without remuneration. Published entries will be credited.
  18. By entering, contestants grant Ocala Magazine permission to publish photos of the winners, if applicable, without remuneration.
  19. Anyone employed as a professional artist, or who holds a college or university degree in studio art or graphic design, is not eligible to participate.
  20. Employees of Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications and their families are not eligible to participate.
  21. Each participant may enter the contest only once.
  22. All children 12 years of age or younger in a single family may submit one entry each for the children’s contest.
  23. Only one contestant 13 years of age or older from a single family may submit an entry to the adults’ contest.
  24. Only one prize per family will be awarded.
  25. While we encourage parents and legal guardians to experience the joy of coloring together with their children, contestants 12 years of age or younger must color their own coloring pages without physical assistance from any third party.
  26. All contestants 13 years of age or older must color their own coloring pages without assistance from any third party.
  27. Because children must be 13 years of age or older to have a Facebook or Instagram account, entries from children 12 years of age or younger must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
  28. Entries submitted by children 12 years of age or younger without parental supervision and consent will be disqualified.
  29. Contestants must abide by all Facebook and Instagram rules. Ocala Magazine, Colorala, and 7Hills Communications cannot be held responsible for any adverse decisions made by Facebook or Instagram as a result of a contestant’s violations of their Terms of Service.
  30. Contestants may use crayons, colored pencils, watercolor markers, or oil pastels (cray pas) to complete their coloring pages.
  31. Contestants may not use online or electronic coloring apps to complete their pictures. All entries colored with electronic coloring applications will be disqualified.
  32. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the children’s coloring contest.
  33. One grand prize and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the adults’ coloring contest.
  34. Contestants, or the parent or legal guardian of contestants 12 years of age or younger, must pick up prizes by appointment at the offices of Ocala Magazine, located at 743 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, Florida 34471. Ocala Magazine, at its sole discretion, may waive this requirement for winners who are not area residents.
  35. Winners must present a picture ID to receive their prizes.
  36. Ocala Magazine may, at its sole discretion, require a scanned or faxed copy of a picture ID before shipping prizes to winners who are not area residents.
  37. The Children’s Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of the Walt Disney World® theme park.
  38. The Adults’ Grand Prize Package is subject to the terms and conditions of Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
  39. While we invite contestants to be fans, liking or following any Facebook page or Instagram profile is not required to win a prize.
  40. No purchase is necessary to win a prize.
  41. All judging/winner decisions made by Colorala Color are final.
  42. All contest decisions made by 7Hills Communications are final.
  43. Questions about The COLOROCALA Coloring Contest must be submitted via email to No telephone calls, please.

On The Menu: A Legacy Reimagined

The Suleiman family find new ways to deliver the classic dishes you know and love.

By Sarah Jacobs

In life, few things matter more than the legacy we will leave behind. The Suleiman family is working hard to ensure that the name they are building for themselves in the restaurant industry is one that will stand the test of time. The family owns three restaurants in the Ocala area, and each of them have their own unique flair. A year ago they decided to add Legacy at Nancy Lopez Country Club to their business endeavors and, in true Suleiman style, curated a gorgeous restaurant for their customers. Manager Joseph Suleiman works hard to ensure a personal touch is delivered to every guest. If you are looking for a distinctive dining experience, Legacy is sure to deliver an atmosphere and a meal that will have you immediately planning your next visit.

Upon arriving at Nancy Lopez Country Club, the restaurant is easy to locate on the beautiful grounds. The exterior of the building is quintessentially Floridian in its design and blends nicely with the tropical feeling of the golf course. The moment you set foot through the door, you will feel as if you are in a whole new world. The Suleimans did a full renovation from floor to ceiling of the building, and no detail was overlooked. The pattern of the carpet, the embellishments on the wallpaper, and the custom light fixtures come together to create the perfect ambiance for fine dining. Furniture was handpicked to fit the space, and every piece adds to the rich mood the interior exudes.The bar was redone and completed with red light glass from New York City, which rounds out the feeling that you could be in the Big Apple itself. Nancy Lopez’s legacy is proudly displayed through family portraits and memorabilia from her golf career and flows smoothly into each piece of the restaurant. Diffused lighting helps make the setting more intimate, and sound panels were built in to dampen the normal noises of the restaurant, allowing guests to focus on their conversations with minimal interruptions. It is apparent that any need a customer might have was taken into consideration when designing Legacy.

The menu was created with the idea that fine dining and service would be provided at competitive prices. The cost of each dish is reasonable for the amount of care that is put into every item. Legacy boasts an array of dishes that are not easy to find in the Ocala area. The Suleimans work closely with their kitchen staff to make sure that every plate arrives at the table with the perfect presentation. Whether it be edible flowers, delicious sauces, or a bit of fiery flair, each menu item is a work of art on its own.

Appetizers for the table could include beef carpaccio or escargot. The beef carpaccio is served with yogurt blended with local honey and dijon mustard and will be a perfect start to your meal. The escargot is prepared perfectly and each of the twelve pieces served will feel as if they melt in your mouth. If you want a memorable drink , the bar menu should be fully explored. A refreshing lemon drop martini is a fun way to start your meal, or if you are feeling adventurous, order a smoked old fashioned. The old fashioned is delivered in a cloud of smoke that appears otherworldly. The smell and the flavor of the drink are enough to make anyone stop and savor each sip.

When you are ready to move on to the main course, there are several options that should be featured. Pear and Ricotta–stuffed Sacchettini comes tossed in a pulled short rib, marsala cream sauce and envelops your tastebuds. The creamy sauce compliments the crisp bite of the pear, and the expertly prepared sacchettini is important from Italy. If you are looking for a rich meal that delivers flavor and comfort, look no further than the Salmon Wellington. The crispness of the pastry combined with the moistness of the mushrooms and the salmon make this dish a stand out. Slow roasted for 14 hours, the lamb shank is another meal that is sure to impress. It is drizzled with a port wine reduction and delivered to the table with freshly roasted rosemary. Chateaubriand is a rare find on any menu, but Legacy will win you over with theirs. Many of these items are accompanied by whipped garlic potatoes and vegetables that are capable of stealing the show on their own. To end your dining experience, there are a variety of desserts to pick from. Chocolate lovers should try the Chocolate Trilogy. It is sweet and light but still manages to bring a richness that could bookend any meal.

Legacy does not just provide a place to enjoy fine dining but also takes their customers other entertainment needs into consideration. Personalized wine lockers are available for customers to store their collections and allow access to wine tastings and difficult to find wines. They are beautifully displayed with custom name plates. If you have a particular bottle in mind, you can also bring your own wine to chill before your meal. Legacy also provides a scotch collection that features vintages aged as long as 35 years. VIP membership is available and earns you special discounts and promotions, making dining with Legacy even more accessible. For those that like to try their hand at new adventures, cooking classes are offered on Mondays at 12:30 and 2 p.m. A chef immerses you in every step of making a dish as you sip on a glass of wine and sample the completed meal. Private dining is also available for any event you might be hosting and will allow you and your guests to have a memorable evening.

Consider visiting Legacy for your next date night or special occasion. The Suleimans will make your fine dining experience unforgettable, and you will definitely want to return to sample all of the phenomenal food they have to offer you.

For more information,

Eva’s Story

By Benjamin BaughThe complexion of one’s life can change in an instant.

Eva Shloss

The anxiety associated with hiding; being forced to abandon one’s previous life, often being stripped of one’s identity in terms of a profession and being denied the opportunity to make a living with an existing skill set; living in fear and uncertainty; remaining circumspect in one’s actions and relationships—all of these were variables that left long-lasting psychological trauma, whose effects resonated a lifetime with survivors of the Holocaust.

This was routine for many of the Jews in Europe, one that saw the decimation and destruction of their population of nine million. By the end of the Holocaust, two-thirds of the European Jewish population was lost as the result of the wrenching event, one whose impact is still felt today. Six million people of the Jewish faith and ethnicity were systematically murdered by the Nazis.

Chabad of Ocala and The Villages are presenting a program featuring a speaker who experienced the horrors of having lived through one of the most inhumane periods in history. Eva Schloss is an author of three books and a survivor of The Holocaust, having been incarcerated in Auschwitz-Birkenau for eight months. She is also the step-sister of one of the most globally renowned authors of the 20th century, Anne Frank, whose Diary of a Young Girl has impacted generations of readers, since its first publishing in 1947. A Historic Evening with Anne Frank’s Stepsister, Mrs. Eva Schloss, will be held March 26, at the Marion Technical Institute at 6 p.m.

“For us, this is very important, especially because there’s so much anti-Semitism lately in our community,” said Rabbi Yosef Hecht, from Chabad of Ocala and The Villages. “It’s also very significant that it’s [been] 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The community is becoming less and less educated about what’s going on. You also have Holocaust deniers coming along, and so, we as a central Jewish community Center, feel that we have an obligation to educate people. The event is open to everyone, not only to Jewish people, but to all faiths and all people.”

However, it’s Schloss’ experiences along with the experiences of her family—her mother, Elfriede; her father, Erich; and her brother, Heinz—that have played a pivotal role in the author’s life, allowing her to tell her story of personal heartbreak and eventual triumph that has impacted audiences globally. Both Erich and Heinz perished during the Holocaust. Schloss’ tomes—“Eva’s Story,” “The Promise,” a book paying tribute to her artistically gifted brother Heinz, and “After Auschwitz”—provide readers with a first-hand look at the adversity and challenges associated with the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and Schloss’ spirit for living and her connection with her mother, that would lead to Schloss’ eventual triumph.

“The concept that all men are created equal, and that everyone is created in the image of God; everyone has a meaning and purpose,” said Hecht. “That’s what’s really so important.”

The Austrian-born Elfriede Schloss and German-born Frank were neighbors in The Netherlands. They knew each other and played together, so it’s poignant that Schloss’ writing would continue a story that should resonate as loudly today as it did more than 70 years ago, with a far greater impact. Schloss’ mother married Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, in 1953.

When Schloss first began writing “Eva’s Story” in 1986, she realized that the human race really hadn’t learned anything from the experiences associated with The Holocaust, that prejudice, discrimination, and hatred were still prevalent in society. The memoir tells in great detail the ordeal that Schloss and her mother went through. “Eva’s Story” was published in 1988.

“People really didn’t talk that much about it [The Holocaust], but this was an opportunity to come out with it,” said Schloss, who’s 90 and lives in the United Kingdom. “It became very popular and I was always asked to talk at different schools, different venues and so the message spread. That was my first book [Eva’s story], and my mother was still alive, and she had experienced quite a few miracles.”

Schloss’ second book, The Promise, was intended for a younger audience.

“I lost my older brother—he was not quite 18—when he was murdered by the Nazis,” said Schloss. “He was a wonderful musician. But in the course of hiding, we were hiding for two years, he couldn’t make any music, and he created some amazing art work, paintings, and a lot of poems.

“Very often my mother said, ‘Anne has become world-renowned and well-known through her diary, and she has become immortal, but what about Heinz? He had been a wonderful young man, possessed so much promise in his life, and his life was cut short.’ And being artistic, he [Heinz] was very much afraid of dying. I think we all are a bit. He asked my father one day, ‘What will happen when we die?’ and my father said, ‘Of course, your body will disintegrate, but if you have children, you will live on in your children.’ And Heinz said, ‘But what if I die before I have any children?’ And this is what happened to him. He died at 17. And my father said, “Whatever you’ve done in your short life, people will know about it, and you will not be forgotten.’”

It was then that Schloss decided to write a book, featuring images of Heinz’s artwork, some of his poetry, leaving a legacy that’s poignant and powerful.

“That’s what I think we would all really like to be, to have lived in this world and to leave something behind to help people create a better life, or an interesting life so people can remember what you’ve achieved,” said Schloss. “Someone has made a postcard book with all the pictures in it. You can tear them out and send them as postcards or you can keep them as well. It’s very beautiful.”

After the second book, Schloss didn’t see herself writing another, but the author would soon be back at work, having been commissioned to write a third, “After Auschwitz.”

“Of course, it’s not only after Auschwitz,” said Schloss. “You just can’t start someone’s life story in the middle of something. It’s a bit of a different version of “Eva’s Story” and much more of how I had to struggle about not being able to share my experience, how I had the hatred, trying to get over that, and that will interest the reader as well. And of course, a play came from it, “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank.” It’s a play about the Frank family and my family.”

The presentation in Ocala will provide a platform for Schloss to share her experiences.

“I will explain what happened, how unprepared we were, but even worse, Hitler didn’t really want to kill the Jews, he just wanted to get rid of them,” said Schloss. “He intended to make Europe his big powerful empire, and he wanted to do it without the Jews. So, at first the Jewish people were able to go to America, Australia, Canada, England, France and other European countries. We came from Vienna, Austria. But at that time, nobody wanted anymore Jews. And then, Hitler realized, people don’t seem to care about them. So, if you were going to kill them, nobody was going to object, lift a finger or anything, and indeed, that is what happened.”

The experiences left Schloss full of acrimony. She was not just bitter with the Germans and Nazis, but with the whole world because The Holocaust could easily have been avoided. She sees some parallels now with what’s transpiring in the world, with the vast number of refugees.

“We make wars in different countries, like Syria and Libya, and then people have no way of living,” said Schloss. “Their house and their property are destroyed. There is no work. There’s disaster, illnesses, and maiming of children. People try to go to a different country to start a new life, and then the world isn’t interested, doesn’t want them, and you know, I try to explain this to people that it has to stop, and that we need to make the world a good place, where you don’t have to move from your own country. We need to find hope for these people. I don’t see why there’s prejudice against people from a different race or a different color or a different religion. It’s very personal. I just don’t understand why this hatred is between people.”

The apathy that still exists after decades is troubling, with many turning away with an all too familiar indifference.

“I think they realize that but don’t seem to care. These people have become very selfish, very self-centered, living in a world and in a community where people should care about each other and that enriches lives,” said Schloss. “I wouldn’t say everybody is bad, there are some wonderful young people growing up now who really care about things … the whole world has problems and we have to solve them and not go against it.” 


or call (352) 330-4466.

Prose and Cons: Call of Duty

By: Judge Steven G. Rogers

The few. The proud. The chosen.

“I don’t believe in your whole system here,” said the gentleman as he looked me in the eye. Rather contentious language for our initial meeting. Especially when considering this statement was his request to be excused from one of the principles upon which our legal system is founded … jury duty.

The right to a jury trial in criminal and civil cases is guaranteed by the sixth and seventh amendments to the U.S. Constitution. With rights come responsibilities and our court system cannot guarantee these rights without responsible citizens willing to serve as jurors.

In Marion County, prospective jurors are selected by a computer program which compiles a random list from the Florida driver license and identification card databases. But not everyone is excited with their winning the “prospective juror lottery.”

Requests to be excused from jury duty are regular occurrence. Some of these requests are genuine and authorized by law. They include expectant mothers, full-time law enforcement officers, and individuals over the age of 70 who do not wish to serve. Even the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are excused from jury service.

Aside from the authorized excuses listed above, the second most common requests fall under the hardship category. Small business owners and employees comprise the group who state they simply cannot afford to miss time from work. The $15 a day juror pay and free lunch is hardly an adequate substitute to those who depend on their normal paychecks.

Schoolteachers will often ask for their jury service to be postponed until the summer months. Others have claimed physical limitations which prevent them from sitting for long periods of time.

Then there are those who have requested to be excused from jury duty for other, atypical reasons. Aside from the “I don’t believe in your whole system here” comment, I’ve also had jurors tell me such things as “I was planning on visiting my sister that day,” “I don’t like judges or lawyers,” and—my personal favorite—“I get sick in courtrooms.”

One reason people are reluctant to serve on a jury is the fear their being selected is going to require significant personal sacrifices, such as being sequestered away from work and family for several weeks. I explain this may be common practice in John Grisham novels but is definitely the exception to the rule in actual cases. Most circuit court jury trials are completed in less than a week, and rarely does a county court jury trial last more than a single day.

So the next time you retrieve your mail and find a jury summons with your name on it, consider yourself special. The few. The proud. The chosen. Citizens willing to serve as jurors in civil and criminal cases are necessary to protecting the longstanding rights afforded to us under the United States Constitution. As a sign of our appreciation, we will even include a free lunch.   

Live Oak International: 2020

It’s a competition that has continued to evolve, emerging from its nascent stages as a combined driving event to its present state as it enters its 30th year. Live Oak International has cemented its place, taking on global status and attracting many of the world’s best horsemen. The competition now features more than one equestrian sport discipline, featuring not only the sport of combined driving but also many of the world’s best show jumpers. The objective of the competition is to improve annually. It provides a world-class environment that caters to riders from around the globe. The worldwide scope of the competition has been the fuel that has ignited the Live Oak International team and the Weber family, expanding the event’s significance in the Ocala/Marion County community.

The brother and sister team of Chester Weber and Juliet W. Reid are co-presidents of Live Oak International. The Weber’s commitment to excellence and love of equestrian sport has made the Live Oak International one of the most highly anticipated competitions on the Ocala area calendar. The event itself resonates deeply with those who make the competition a success: the organizers, exhibitors, sponsors, and spectators, making for a fun-filled weekend in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Juliet W. Reid isn’t an exhibitor, but that hasn’t stopped her from being deeply involved in the show world, serving in several capacities as a horse show organizer and manager as well as being a horse show mom. Juliet gained her knowledge of show management by serving as president of the Washington International Horse Show, earning the distinctive title of “ringleader” of Washington, the renowned horse show in the nation’s capital, for eight years. With Juliet’s attention to detail and event expertise, each and every year, Live Oak International is more exciting than the last. Juliet brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Live Oak International and drives the team forward with a positive outlook and a can-do attitude.

Chester continues to represent the U.S. in many European competitions and shares his love for combined driving, generating exposure for the sport nationwide and locally. He’s set the standard in the sport of combined driving, reaching elite status in the upper levels, having won the USEF Combined Driving National Championship for the Advanced Four-in-Hand division 16 times. Chester is poised for success in 2020 and has his sights set on another title. A veteran horseman, Chester is well-seasoned and looking toward competing at home, in a familiar and welcoming environment.

If you haven’t seen Chester competing in the marathon phase of the combined driving event at Live Oak International, you need to! It’s worth the price of admission. Spectators will have an opportunity to watch Chester compete in all three phases of the CDE, dressage, marathon, and cones, March 5-8 and in the marathon phase on Saturday, March 7.

Other notable drivers this year include crowd-favorite Mary Phelps, the talented Jennifer Keeler and her Zeppo, as well as the internationally renowned driver Suzy Stafford.

Chloe Reid’s passion for horses and the Live Oak International is as deep as that of her family’s. The 23-year-old has distinguished herself in the show ring, ascending to the top tier of the sport as a leading international show jumping professional. The daughter of Juliet W. Reid and Sam Reid, Chloe has been involved with horses from the age of four and has become increasingly involved in the event and tournament each year. Chloe has accepted additional responsibilities over time, helping with marketing and show initiatives to make Live Oak International a must-see event. Chloe’s practical experience and astute understanding has helped to transform the event into a world-class competition. She is a grand prix rider herself with many top results. She won the four-star Grand Prix in Wiesbaden, Germany, this past June. Chloe has enjoyed success on the international stage and was part of the U.S. team that went to Falsterbo, Sweden, in July, and represented the U.S. in the FEI Nations Cup Final this past September in Barcelona, Spain. Chloe, like her uncle, brings global experience to the Live Oak International team.

The Live Oak International transformed its status by hosting a show jumping World Cup qualifier. The change came about when Chloe mentioned to her mom, Juliet, that it would be fun to compete at home. The competition starting with a two-star grand prix continues to evolve, and the venue with its idyllic setting is poised to host the world’s greatest show jumpers, with show rings featuring top-notch footing, elevating the level of competition to rival any place in the world.

The venue hosts only one competition annually, so the footing is considered second to none.

Chloe will compete in this year’s $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala on Sunday, March 8, as this is the final competition in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League, and it’s the last chance for riders striving for points to earn a sport at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final this April 15-19, 2020, which will be held in Las Vegas.

The lineup of competitors this year includes a list of top riders including Adrienne Sternlicht, who has entered her World Equestrian Games Gold medal–winning mount Cristalline; young rider superstar Katie Dinan; and the previous winner of the World Cup Final, Beat Mändli.

In addition to some of the world’s best riders and drivers, this year Live Oak International will feature special presentations by the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Young Living Essential Oil Percherons, and the Paso Fino Association. With an AdventHealth KidsZone, Audi Beirgarten, and the Stella Artois Airstream Trailer, this year’s event is set to be four days full of live action with something for all to enjoy.

Come out to the show March 5-8. For the Live Oak International 2020 schedule, please visit 

Music Scene: Shine & The Shakers

By Joshua Jacobs

When you ask around town about Shema Shine and her band, Shine and the Shakers, two words come up more often than not: vibe and groove. And let me tell you, she does not disappoint. Her vibe shines brighter than any known star and her band’s groove is sure to shake the deepest of foundations.


My mother bought me a mini piano when I was three. It was modeled after an upright piano with real hammers and tines. According to her, I was always musical but the piano upped the ante in my fledgling journey.

How long have you been in the Ocala Music Scene?

I have been playing in Ocala for 13 years. There was always word of jams around town. One day, I made it over to one. Then from there, word caught that I was around and I’ve been gigging here ever since.

What got you interested in music?

Music started taking a hold of me when I performed for my church. I would see the way the music moved people. It caused a healing. I’ve wanted to be a part of that healing ever since.

Who are some of your Greatest  influences within your music?

It’s quintessential for a budding musician to pass through the doors of certain players. On guitar my biggest influence would have to be Jimi Hendrix, John Scofield, and Peter Green. On piano, the players that inspired me were Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Bill Evans, and Bach. Vocally I would say I’m most inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, and Nina Simone.

What is music to you?

Music is so deeply ingrained in my world; it’s comparable to the air I breathe. I can’t imagine a day without music or access to instruments.  It heals the wounds no one can see. It revitalizes and rejuvenates me. When I’m stomping on some gnarly pedal, the guitar is wailing, and people are screaming and cheering, my soul comes alive. Music is the greatest gift I could’ve ever received.

How hard is it to be a career musician?

Music is incredibly difficult. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. It requires sacrifice, constant adaptation, a large dose of humility, and unyielding persistence. It is also incredibly rewarding. When you have the opportunity to bring people together, when you’re watching people smile and feel what you feel for a moment, you forget about those steps you just lugged that 50-pound speaker up.

Take us through the songwriting process when in comes to the band. What approach do you use?

Songs happen to me. I don’t write them. They just come. I’ll be driving home at night when the world is quiet, dark, and beautiful. Then out of nowhere, a rhythm will start in my head. Next thing you know, words are following it. I’m scrambling at this point to get to my voice recorder to catch it. When I’m trying to make a song happen, it usually doesn’t come out. But when I live life and experience things, the heart becomes full and spills out in the form of music. I think songs are born from that.

Being in the music scene here in Ocala, what would you say is the best thing about it?

I think the best thing about the Ocala music scene is it’s always growing and changing in an unexpected way. The scene isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. Before, there were only a handful of people playing, with only a few places to play. Now, there are more venues. There are more musicians forming alliances. It’s a cool thing to see.

What has been your most standout performance to date?

This question is hard because I have a bunch of wonderful memories. But, the one that comes to mind as a monument in my career was the second year we played the Rocking Robinson Festival in Orlando. When we got on stage and started playing, from the stage perspective, people were literally pouring into the venue. First just a handful, then what looked like a giant mob filling up the room. Soon it was shoulder to shoulder, with people stretching back all the way to the entrance. The energy in the room was so thick it felt like you could slice it with a knife. I only had the stage perspective but post playing the show we kept hearing about how there was, as Jason Earle put it, “a mass exodus” from the main stage. It confirmed to me how powerful music can be. It showed me that people want to hear what I have to say. It was crazy, overriding my nerves, overriding fear, and taking charge of the moment. That’s my favorite memory.

What message do you wish to convey with your music?

I hope people see me as an example that you don’t have to let anything stop you from being who you desire to be. Challenges arise and it’s easy to get swept up in them. It’s easy to feel like giving up. I hope my music inspires people to keep going no matter what they face.

Where would you like to see yourself and the band five years from now?

I would like to see more expansion in the next five years. We haven’t released an album yet. I would love to give the people something that encapsulates where we were and where we are. Shine & The Shakers has been in operation for three years. It started out of necessity and now it’s become a thing, a little fire that I’ve watched slowly grow. I know big things are on the horizon for us. I can’t wait to see them!

To listen to Shine and the Shakers, be sure to follow them on social media

Isn’t it Romantic?

Story + Photos by Robin Fannon of RSVP Robin

What is romance to you? To spark ideas, we offer loving recipes and a few of Ocala’s happily-partnered folks share their views on this eternal question

It should come as no surprise that when I think of romance, my thoughts immediately turn to food. Food and beverages (especially champagne!) are sexy and romantic. Oysters on the half shell, lobster, slowly braised meats, tons of chocolate and fresh whipped cream are just a few items that would be on my romantic dinner list. Cook these delicacies together, enjoy the meal next to a roaring fire, while listening to anything by Mendelssohn, and that’s my idea of romantic nirvana.

I posed this romance question to several friends in the community and there was a common theme present in most people’s idea of romance. It has nothing to do with revealing lingerie or sexy time in le boudoir. Their responses told a story of relationships and how love weaves a way into our daily routines.

So while snuggling together on the sofa and watching Casablanca on a rainy afternoon can evoke a romantic vibe, it would appear that romance actually starts in the brain and then travels to the heart where it lives. So raise your bubbles and toast to romance this Valentine’s Day!

“For me, something romantic doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or a long planned event. It’s the small unexpected things that really hit home: coffee in bed, a hidden Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a note in the car. Sometimes just sitting on the couch together, listening and talking about music and artists—in those moments there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than with my wife.” 

—Matthew Wardell


“I love the little things most—the intangible gifts, the sweet favors. Mike has always been my helper and my protector. His handmade birthday cards are my favorite along with his creative gift wraps for his well-thought-out packages. The best was when I came home from a long day at the store the week after Thanksgiving, this past holiday, and found he had set up the Christmas tree and decorated it for me. Fabulous! He really does it all and without being asked. I love unexpected little outings that are not planned, coffee and breakfast in bed every morning, random sweet or funny texts, and just knowing he’s always there. That’s romance to me.”

—Shannon Roth


“To me, romance is found in the everyday gestures of love. The fresh white hydrangeas Mike brings home to me every week. Cocktail hour on our front-porch rocking chairs. Dancing in the kitchen to John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Getting lost together for a few hours in the bookstore. Long walks in our neighborhood. There’s really nothing better.”

—Amy Mangan


“When I think of romance, I think about what the word originally meant in the Middle Ages when it was used to describe the vernacular—common, everyday speech. To me, that’s still what it means—the common, everyday ways that we say ‘You’re special to me.’ It’s a shared snort over an inside joke, a pitcher with two cold mugs after a long day at work, a call in the middle of the day for no reason. It’s a way of living everyday life that takes seriously the idea that someone else matters to you.”

—R.J. Jenkins

A Match Made In Stella’s

By Ben Baugh | Photography by Ralph Demilio

They say that love is sweeter the second time around. And for Larry and Carmen Shroads, that’s definitely the case. For both, it’s their second marriage. However, it’s the value they place on their relationship, on the importance of communication and listening, and on a tradition started on their first date that holds their marriage together as strongly as their vows.

The couple had agreed to meet at a place that would become an integral part of their lives, so much so, it has been part of their monthly routine. Carmen had been divorced for three years and Larry for much longer, prior to the initial encounter. “We met online,” said Carmen. “It was a blind date. We had seen pictures. I had gone to Stella’s [Modern Pantry] before with my daughter, and I knew some people at Stella’s. We used to go in the afternoon, every once in a while, and have some dessert or a glass of wine.”

The two agreed to meet on the afternoon of January 14, 2012, beginning a sojourn that evolved from its nascent stages, flourished into love and understanding and an even deeper commitment, all from that very first meeting where the stars aligned.

“Jeremy, one of the people who worked there, he said, ‘I haven’t seen you in a while, how are you?’” said Carmen. “I said, ‘I’m doing well.’ He complimented me; I was all dressed up. And I said, ‘I have a date.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, great.’ He said, ‘Well, if it doesn’t turn out to be what you think, we’ll have the back door open for you.’”

The Shroads first face-to-face meeting became the start of a journey and a bonding process that has become stronger with each step taken. The two would eventually exchange wedding vows on June 29, 2015. But that first time at Stella’s continues to resonate in the very fiber of the Shroads’ marriage, interwoven into a relationship that is as beautiful as the most elegant of tapestries. They became lost in the moment during that first meeting.

“We were certainly happy to see each other,” said Larry, regarding the couple’s first date. “We were talking and were there for quite a while. I guess we met about 5:30 p.m. or somewhere roughly around there. So, we were looking around, we had been in there a long time, and we noticed we were the only people there. We noticed even a few chairs had been put up on the table.”

“Jeremy was mopping the floor a little bit, and I looked down at my watch, and it was almost 10 o’clock, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh! Carmen, I think they’ve closed the place. We’re the only people here.’ So, I went back and paid for dinner, and I sheepishly asked Jeremy, ‘My gosh, when did you guys close? I think we’re the only ones here.’ He said, ‘Well, we closed at 7.’ It was 10 o’clock. ‘We weren’t going to break you guys up and make you guys leave.’”

The Shroads have been embraced by the staff at Stella’s, who have shared their stories with the Shroads, and it’s the staff’s warmth and consideration that keeps the Shroads coming back month after month to celebrate something far greater than themselves as individuals.

“It was incredibly special; they didn’t want to interrupt us,” said Larry. “We were talking and enjoying, getting to know one another. We’ve been to Stella’s every month since then, since 2012. In January, it will be 96 months in a row.”

It’s Stella’s ambiance and its staff’s personal touch that creates a cozy atmosphere, where you feel you’re among a close-knit group, and there’s a real connection, said Carmen.

“Stella’s was meant to be a pantry, they added a few tables, and it became what it is now,” said Carmen. “They have great dessert and great food. It’s just the fact that it’s a small venue. The people that go to Stella’s aren’t in a hurry. No one is there demanding something this way or that way. The customers are known by the people who work there. We have seen so many servers come and go. They all have wonderful personalities. It’s a special place for us because we’ve met so many people.”

But there’s one person’s presence who has made a significant difference during their monthly return engagements. Albert, who co-owns Stella’s Modern Pantry and is also the chef, is family, said Larry.

“He comes to our house, and I’m flattered because the chef loves our food,” said Carmen, who is a school teacher. “I’m Puerto Rican, so I know a lot of Puerto Rican recipes. I grew up with the best people that taught me so much. He loves the food.”

The couple has thousands of photos from having had nearly 100 dates at the restaurant, progressively capturing the memories and romance that have played a critical role in their connection. Carmen and Larry get dressed up for each date at Stella’s in matching colors, wearing their very best, with Carmen getting her hair done and Larry his beard. But one thing has remained constant throughout their eight-year relationship.

“Through thick and thin, we’ve had lots of laughter and tears,” said Carmen. “We’ve lost pets that we adore, family members that have passed, but we always make sure that we go to Stella’s. It doesn’t matter. We have a part-time home in North Carolina and we make sure to come to Stella’s during the summer. I say ‘It’s time to go to Stella’s.’”

However, the streak appeared to be in jeopardy in 2018, when Carmen became ill. In spite of adversity creating what would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle, Carmen rallied, recovering in time to make their monthly engagement. “The photo shows a very frail me,” said Carmen. “My husband held me, and we took the picture.”

The couple never envisioned their first date would lead to a life of love, listening, and lifting one another’s spirits.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this way but after talking with him, looking into his eyes, our conversation and how much we had in common… Although we’re different in so many ways, but in so many ways, we’re alike,” said Carmen.

Those commonalities and similarities provided a foundation during that initial encounter.

“It took us about two seconds to decide what we were going to eat,” said Larry. “We agreed immediately on what we were going to share, what kind of flatbread pizza we were going to have. It was a special evening, and it hasn’t changed since then. It was a wonderful evening. That’s one of the wonderful things about it. We get to celebrate it every month, to relive it, and get to experience it each time.”

And to this day, the romance, commonalities, and their irrepressible love for one another keeps the relationship healthy and flourishing, making each other a priority, finding time for one another.

“We have a candlelight dinner every night, even if we’re having leftovers. … We dim the lights, light the candles, put on some soft music and talk,” said Carmen. “He’s my best friend. He’s my best fan. He always listens and has the best advice. When he doesn’t have advice, he always offers support, and holds my hand,” she said, giggling.

The tradition of having a date night resonates powerfully with the couple, said Larry.

“It’s very important for us to do that,” said Larry. “I was in a bicycle accident, shattered my clavicle, and that didn’t stop us from going to Stella’s that month. It’s important to have those things, and we look forward to it, where we have it on the calendar with the day that we’re going to be at Stella’s. It’s something that we think about as the day’s approaching.”

Carmen is the couple’s planner and always makes sure there is time in their schedules to go to Stella’s. They try not to let more than five weeks go by before they return, she said.

The couple has served as an inspiration to others through their loyalty and commitment, according to Albert, Stella’s co-owner and chef, said Larry.

Albert will sit with the couple, acknowledging that Carmen and Larry’s love symbolizes the importance of taking the time to be with one another and how the Shroads’ relationship motivates others to start their own tradition of having a date night, said Carmen.

“They need to be each other’s best friend. … You have to be able to tell that person everything, no matter what,” said Carmen. “And also become a good listener. My husband is a good listener. He’s the best listener ever. He listens attentively.”

The deep mutual respect the couple has for one another is palpable, with Carmen referring to Larry as a gentleman and Larry to Carmen as a lady. But one thing is for certain, the Shroads will be a presence at Stella’s for years to come.

On The Menu: Latin American Café

By Sarah Jacobs | Photos by Joshua Jacobs

Serving up food as colorful as the rich culture it hails from, The Latin American cafe is sure to impress with its Cuban fair.

Food sustains us. Through cooking we are given the ability to care for one another in one of the most comforting of ways. Every culture has their own unique way of gathering around the table to feed the ones they love. Manny Camps’ family grew up with a mom who knew the importance of feeding her family. His mother was well known for her Cuban cooking, and with her authentic recipes, hard work, and resourcefulness, she was able to bring her family to America. Through cooking Cuban food, the Camps family has been able to find success.

Manny and his wife, Isabel Grisales Camps, have been in the restaurant industry for most of their lives. After selling The Charlie Horse in Dunnellon, Florida, Manny suffered a stroke. The couple was ready to slow down, but with health expenses piling up, they knew they needed to do something. Isabel was confident that if she could find a place to cook all the recipes Manny’s mother had taught her, the family would be able to make things work. They went all in on The Latin American Cafe 10 years ago and were able to bring a little piece of Cuban magic to Ocala.

The aim was to keep things simple: authentic Cuban food, great customer service, and a comfortable atmosphere. After years of hard work, the Camps were able to curate a cafe that fills a hole in Ocala’s culinary offerings. They opened in their new location three months ago and their claim of being “The house of the Cuban sandwich and the king of the Cuban steak sandwich!” remains as true as ever. Isabel’s recipes transform an average meal into a quick trip to Cuba. “Food is not a secret. We can all take the same ingredients and come up with something different. It takes a special touch to bring it together,” Manny said of his wife’s cooking. Every dish is prepared with the customer in mind and made with fresh, organic ingredients. The fresh Cuban bread is made in-house and is light and fluffy: the perfect start to any meal you order. The menu boasts a colorful array of dishes including ropa vieja, a shredded beef dish. It is served in a robust tomato sauce that will leave your taste buds wanting more. On Fridays, spicy Cuban oxtail is offered as a special and is worth a try for anyone desiring something a bit bolder. For breakfast, the Machito is a popular choice. The egg sandwich is packed with flavor and provides plenty of fuel to start your day off right. If energy is what you are after, you will want to take a look at the beverages that are offered. Cuban espresso, cortadito, and cafe con leche are all on the menu and prepared perfectly. With their rich smell and bold flavor, any of the cafe’s coffee offerings could easily find their way into your morning routine. Dessert is made from scratch, for those with a sweet tooth. You will not want to miss the tres leches or flan. Both options are a mouthwatering way to end the meal. No matter what you decide to try, one thing is clear: the spirit of Manny’s mother is very much alive in Isabel’s cooking.

If you allow the Camps to feed you at their restaurant, you will be getting more than a meal. Everytime the door opens, customers are greeted like family and often by name. Isabel pays close attention to each patron and knows them well enough to have their food started before they place their order. The moment you step inside, it is evident that you are appreciated as more than a customer. There is a sense of community that has been built, and dining at The Latin American Cafe is truly an experience. Conversation and laughter can be heard throughout the meal. As customers come and go, picking up their orders or pausing to chat while they wait for their food, the overall feeling is that you are invited to stay awhile. The new location makes great use of its space and allows diners to choose between sitting around a table or grabbing a seat at the bar. A mural pays homage to Cuba, while a few bright paintings round out the straightforward atmosphere. The overall effect is welcoming and relaxed.

Manny and Isabel believe in doing things with integrity and consistency, and it is apparent in the quality of their restaurant. They are excited to announce some upcoming changes that you will want to be on the lookout for. Beer and wine will soon be added to the menu, and an outdoor patio is in the works to provide more seating options. The cafe will also be opening its doors a bit later for customers to enjoy all it has to offer. The next time you want to eat out and try something new, stop by and visit the Camps. You will have a meal you are sure to enjoy and it will be delivered with heart and passion. 

To keep up with announcements about these exciting changes, you can follow The Latin American Cafe on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website at

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

By Kaitlyn Butler

February is for lovers. This decade, elevate your Valentine’s Day plans and get her what she really wants. Whether it’s a designer bag or an afternoon exploring downtown, Ocala has you covered.

Wine Making Class

The Corkscrew Winery now offers wine-making classes, which turns the casual wine lover into a chemist. Book a private class and craft your favorite style or join a group of other wine connoisseurs by booking on

Dance Together

Become the dancers you always wanted to be. Move in sync during a dance class with Ocala’s Arthur Murray Dance Centers, which specializes in teaching couples how to dance. Located in downtown Ocala, your first dance lesson is free.

Designer Taste

All it takes is to step into one of these elegant boutiques and any shopper will land on the perfect, fashionable gift. Shannon Roth Collection features Julie Vos and Theia jewelry, Current Air and Mod Ref clothing and home goods designed by the talented Jan Barboglio. Steps away, Agapanthus boasts Pandora jewelry gift sets, Longchamp handbags and sought-after candles like Voluspa and the Capri Blue Volcano.

Food Tour

Uncover a vast spectrum of cooking styles in Ocala’s historic downtown. Each Brick City Food Tour visits five local tasting locations in the downtown neighborhood. Between samples, your informative guides will share their experiences of local customs, historic stories, and specialty shops. This walking tour is ideal for lovers eager to discover the culinary secrets and traditions that compose the horse capital of the world—book on Airbnb Experiences.

Art Aficionado

Ocala’s art scene is booming, and art enthusiasts are sure to love hand-selected pieces. Check out the First Friday Art Walk on February 7 to explore Ocala’s native art scene. Art devotees will love the innovative work of Ocala’s local artists.

Savor The Cook

Give the gift of zest and bring home the cooking of chef Albert Barrett. The woman who savors flavors will love anything from Stella’s Modern Pantry—hand crafted chocolates, Caymus wine, specialty cheese, caviar spread and more.

Sentimental Selection

Gallery on Magnolia is home to hand-crafted “spirit tiles.” Each tile begins with wood and is wrapped with copper and a glass infusion then fired to create a work of art. Each displays a glistening scene paired with a synonymous quote, and the E.E. Cummings “I carry your heart with me” tile is perfect for a special woman.

Commemorate Your Wedding

The creative team at Marley Mae Market & Paperie is known for thinking outside of the box. They’re bringing their A game for Valentine’s Day with custom pieces to commemorate your wedding day. Choose from a custom print of your wedding vows or first dance song lyrics and remind your lady of the first day of the rest of your lives.

Water Adventure

Silver Springs State Park is a natural wonder right here in Ocala. Spend the day on the water taking in the springs by paddleboard, canoe, kayak, or glass-bottom boat. It’s perfect for the couple who loves to get outdoors, and as an added bonus: finish the day sharing an ice cream cone at Paradise Treats.

A Night at the Theater

What’s more romantic than a night at the ballet? The Reilly Arts Center hosts Dance Alive National Ballet on February 21 as they present “Loveland.” This ballet is inspired by the pull of the moon, a love story that blends love, romance, and passion.

Be Inspired

Ocala is host to an award-winning museum, home to approximately 18,000 objects in its permanent collection and features temporary traveling exhibits. At the Appleton Museum of Art, take in artwork from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and more as you cozy up to your partner.

Horse Capital of the World

What could be more fitting for a romantic day out than horseback riding in the horse capital of the world? Book a private ride or join a group and tap into your adventurous side with Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides. We hear some of the best bonding experiences come from experiences that test your comfort zone.

Ocala is home to a wide variety of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether your partner prefers gifts or quality time. Regardless of how you celebrate, what matters most is who you share it with.


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