Live Oak International Presents the Parade of Nations on March 7
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
World-Class Equestrian Event Expands Commitment and Support to Ocala Community
The only international-level combined driving and show jumping tournament in the U.S. returns to Ocala, March 7-10, 2019. The Live Oak International, now in its 28th year, attracts equestrian athletes and horses from more than 20 countries to Live Oak Stud each year to compete.
As part of the equestrian event's mission to give back to the Ocala community, Live Oak International took over the sponsorship for Ocala Main Street's Parade of Nations Horse Celebration. Last fall, the international governing body for equestrian sport made a decision to relocate the Nations Cup show jumping competition from Ocala to Wellington, Fla. In past years, this downtown Ocala parade was held in conjunction with that competition.
Renamed the Live Oak International Parade of Nations for 2019, the parade and festivities will take place on Thursday, March 7. It is free to attend. Ocala native Chester Weber will act as Grand Marshal, leading the procession of horse-drawn carriages, different breeds of horses, and international equestrians. Weber, who won an individual silver and team gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, will be driving the Grandview Clydesdales team.
A family-friendly area, the Budweiser Garden on the Square, will open at 4 p.m. Entrance cost to the garden is $5 for adults, but free for children. Kids and adult beverages will be available, as will bleacher seating from which to enjoy the parade. The parade begins at 5 p.m. Families will enjoy photos with horses, puppies, activities with Picasso's Pallet, music, and a Vendor Village with local food and retailers. A VIP after-party will begin at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets for the after-party, visit FeelDowntownOcala.com.
"As an Ocala tradition for nearly 30 years, Live Oak International holds our commitment to the community of the highest important," Weber, who is co-president of the event with his sister, Juliet W. Reid.
Family Friendly Fun
For its 2019 edition, Live Oak International offers some exciting new features to include even more members of the local and regional communities.
The No Limits Sunday Funday is a collaboration of local non-profit service providers dedicated to providing hope and encouragement to people with a disability. Held on Sunday on the marathon course, entrance to Live Oak International also allows entrance to this special event. Non-profits participating are Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, ARC Marion, Inc., Champions for Champions, Inc., Kimberly's Center, Stirrups 'n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center, Special Olympics Florida, TLC (Transitions Life Center), We Who Care, Amrit Yoga Institute, Florida Kids Helping Kids, Marion County Parks & Recreation, Just As I Am, Ocala Recreation & Parks, United Universes, The Pearl Project, Outreach Autism Services Network, and Ocala Marion County Community Foundation. Families and individuals will enjoy a Stick Horse Obstacle Course, Bocce, Music & Dance Activities with demonstrations, Archery, Corn Hole, Balloon Darts, Robotic Maze, Wagon Pull Maze, Bowling, Fishing Game, Lazer Target Shooting. Photo Booth, Spiderman, Capt. America & other Marvel Characters, Art Activity and more. *In recognition of the No Limits Sunday Funday, children 12 and under are admitted to all the day's events free.
The Paso Fino Horse Association Parade of Breeds Exhibit is an extension of the Live Oak International Parade of Nations. Parade goers will see many different breeds of horses on Thursday evening, but Live Oak International spectators will actually have the chance to meet horses at the showgrounds, March 7 - 10. Breeds include Paso Finos, Clydesdales, miniature horses and more!
Live Oak International has supported multiple local charities and non-profit organizations throughout the years. These include but are not limited to: Marion Saddle Club, Marion County Sheriff's Office, Ocala Ministries, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, University of Florida Veterinarian Emergency Response Team, Ocala Community Foundation, the Shriners and many more.
This year, Live Oak International will host the USEF Combined Driving National Championships for the Advanced Four-in-Hand Horse and Advanced Pair Horse. Show jumping competition culminates with the thrilling $100,000 CSI-W3* Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Ocala on Sunday, March 10. It is the last chance for U.S. riders to qualify for the 2019 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Daily general admission tickets, week passes, and VIP hospitality packages are available. *Thursday through Saturday, children 6 and younger enter free.
A limited number of tailgating spots are available at each of the seven obstacles during the combined driving marathon portion of the event on Saturday, March 9, 2019.Tailgaters are invited to enter the Live Oak International Tailgating Competition, presented by Ocala Magazine. Find tailgating information at https://liveoakinternational.com/tailgating-with-style/
Guests will also enjoy boutique shopping, the Audi biergarten, local food vendors and more. Visit www.liveoakinternational.com/shop to purchase your tickets