Published February 6, 2014
Country music legend Willie Nelson is “On The Road Again” after kicking off his 2014 U.S. tour at Silver Springs State Park last Saturday, February 1st. Central Florida fans of Nelson came out in full force to the Twin Oaks Mansion stage to eat, drink, and listen to the tunes that he’s made famous over the years. Singing along to Whiskey River while on the banks of the Silver River, a greater than anticipated crowd filled the park for an evening of Southern entertainment.
“We were overwhelmed by the incredible number of loyal fans who traveled from far and wide to see this music legend,” Bobby Genovese, concert sponsor and Chairman of BG Capital group noted, “World class talent like Willie Nelson is the kind of live entertainment we will continue to showcase at this landmark venue.”
The Silver Springs attraction (now Silver Springs State Park) has a long history of providing entertainment for the local community, as well as on the silver screen. While the State Parks primary goal is for that of the health of the spring and the surrounding habitats, continuing the traditions of the park as a community entertainment venue is valued as well.
“The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks promotes private/government partnerships to create exciting opportunities, and Silver Springs State Park is among the most diverse opportunities in the system,” says Sally Lieb, Silver Springs State Park Manager, Department of Environmental Protection. “And, we are off to an amazing start with this collaboration.”
Having attracted visitors to the area since just after the time of the Civil War, Silver Springs has well over a century’s worth of history in tourism. The recent transition into a State Park (October 2013) has brought many changes to the park in the forms of both preservation and redevelopment. Efforts include the kayak and canoe concessions and, of course, the concert’s that are currently underway.
“We are excited to have a performer like Willie Nelson out at Silver Springs,” concert promoter and owner of What’s Up Media, Joel Wiessner commented, “Bringing big name performers to the park is both good for the park and good for the local economy. Events like this are what Ocala needs, and we look forward to continuing the tradition.”