Ocala (ōkălˈə) [key], city (1990 pop. 42,045), seat of Marion co., N central Fla.; inc. 1868. It is a trade and processing center for citrus fruit, vegetables, and truck farm goods. The surrounding region is known for its thoroughbred horses, cattle, lumber, and phosphates. Tourism is also important to the city; fish and game abound in the many nearby lakes and streams and in Ocala National Forest. Silver Springs, a nature theme park featuring glass-bottomed boats, is adjacent to the city. The site was named for the Native American village Ocali (visited by De Soto in 1539), which had been nearby.
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