On tap: equestrians, dancers, Lee Greenwood, Goat Boy and a popular elephant

The local arts and entertainment schedule will start to slow down soon as spring warms into summer. But, as per the calendar, spring does not officially start until Tuesday, and the arts and entertainment calendar remains in full bloom.

This weekend is packed with big-deal events, things that typically would fight for the cover of this magazine and rightfully so.

So here, then, are other best bets — the second covers, if you will.

TUSCAWILLA SCULPTURE STROLL: Perhaps you have mingled with the new crop of outdoor statues in Ocala's Tuscawilla Park already. Perhaps you have, as so many others have already, taken a photo through the metal elephant between Tuscawilla and its neighboring Art Park. 

The 10 new sculptures have been up for a month, but now it is time for a free family party in their honor. The Sculpture Stroll runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Art Park, 223 NE Fifth St., just behind Ocala Union Station. That will be home base. The "Jack and the Beanstalk" puppet show with marionettes will start at 10:15 a.m. Country-folk-pop singer Audrey Spillman will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The diverse and often-sizable sculptures throughout Tuscawilla are the stars, of course. There will be a sculpture scavenger hunt, and attendees will be able to vote on their favorite sculptures; winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m. The event also will include food vendors and family art activities.

EQUESTRIAN EVENTS: The annual Live Oak International runs Thursday through Sunday at Live Oak Plantation, 2215 SW 110th Ave., Ocala. Live Oak International is a showcase of combined driving that draws top carriage drivers and riders from across the country and more than 15 nations. It also includes show jumping. Competitions start at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Daily spectator admission is $10. Week pass is $30. (liveoakinternational.com)

The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continues through March 25 at HITS Post Time Farm, 13710 U.S. 27, Ocala. This series with international competitors is free for spectators Wednesdays through Saturdays, and $5 for adults and free for ages 12 and younger on Sundays. 

The EquiVentures Ocala Winter II eventing series runs all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Florida Horse Park, 11008 S. County Road 475, Ocala. Eventing consists of show jumping, dressage and cross country. The equestrian competitions will be held alongside the Ocala Spring Carnival, which will feature rides, games, live music, food, kids zone and — on Saturday and Sunday — a youth rodeo.

Admission is free. Parking is $5, which will benefit the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association.

JIM BREUER: It seems the Reilly Arts Center has its own version of March Madness. Breuer — the famed comedian and "Saturday night Live" alum who portrayed Goat Boy — returns Thursday night for his third consecutive March show at the Reilly.

Last year before his Reilly show, he said Ocala "was one of those places where the audience goes, ‘Nobody comes here. We’re so glad you came here.’ And that definitely made me go, ‘Re-book that for next year. I really want to go back there.’”

And he did. And then he did it again. Thursday night's show will start at 7:30 at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St. in Tuscawilla Park. Tickets are $20-$30.

Comedy Central listed Breuer as one of "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time." Comic Joe Sib will open the show. Call 351-1606 and or go to www.reillyartscenter.com for tickets.

“THE RING”: Dance Alive National Ballet returns Saturday to the Reilly Arts Center. The show will start with a piece called "Rugby" and close with "The Ring" — a work the company describes as "a fantasy story of Love, Romance, Greed and Power based on (Richard) Wagner’s 'Ring' cycle."

Pieces in between will showcase two other Gainevsille artists: Classical pianist Kevin Sharpe will provide music for the dance "Fountains of the Acqua Paola," while guitarist Welson Tremura and his ensemble will back the ballet "Guitarra Latina."

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St., Ocala. Adult tickets are $15-$35, with student tickets at $10. Call 351-1606 or go to www.reillyartscenter.com.


Honky Tonkin Opry: Trinity River Band and Charee White-Salvucci will headline this month's opry show. Music starts at 7 p.m. Friday at Church at Triple Cross Ranch, 20736 NW 100th Ave. Road, Shiloh (in northwest Marion County). The show, as always, will feature Norm Edwards and the Jayc Harold Band.

Admission is $10. Call 615-491-8253.

At the Orange Blossom Opry: Lee Greenwood, the man behind the patriotic anthem "God Bless the USA," will perform at 2:20 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Drifters, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singing group behind "Under the Boardwalk" and other classics, will perform 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 821-1201 or visit obopry.com.

The Orange Blossom Opry is at 16439 SE 138th Terrace, Weirsdale. Call 821-1201 or visit obopry.com for tickets.