What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, August 3-9, 2023

whats good guide of weekly events
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August is National American Adventures Month – set out to explore What’s Good! Celebrate the 127th birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings with a bash at the historic homestead, featuring samples of her beloved mango ice cream recipe. Take a leisurely guided walk at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and catch a glimpse of the giant Victoria water lilies or go birding and wildlife spotting at the First Magnitude Brewing Bird-and-Brews gathering. 

Catch the Pet Detectives playing 90s alt-rock covers at the Free Fridays Concert Series in Downtown Gainesville. And if you’ve ever wondered what terms like “Volley Llama,” or “Pickledome” mean, stop by and see top players in action at the 6th Annual Gainesville Indoor Pickleball Showcase taking place at the new Alachua County Sports and Events Center at Celebration Pointe. Tournament slots are sold-out, but spectators are welcome to attend.

Read on for more of What’s Good.

Be safe and be well,
Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

Be Informed: The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. 
Please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

band members on stage with hawaiian shirts

Alrighty, Then! Kick-off Your Weekend with ‘90s Alt-Rock Covers from Pet Detectives at the Free Fridays Concert Series
Friday, August 4, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

With Hawaiian shirts and blaring guitars, the Pet Detectives deliver alt-rock covers of 1990s hits. The region’s largest and longest running free outdoor concert series features live music in downtown Gainesville through August 25. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby cafes and restaurants within walking distance. Admission is free.

thornebrook first fridays chalk party

Let Kids Leave Their Mark at the First Fridays Chalk Party
Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Shoppes at Thornebrook

2441 NW 43rd St., Gainesville, FL  

Join the Shoppes at Thornebrook for a family-friendly evening decorating the sidewalks chalk art. Bring creativity and imagination as chalk is provided and admission is free.

Artwork remains on display for the Kids Activity Faire on Saturday.

marjorie kinnan rawlings and happy birthday cake

Celebrate the 127th Birthday of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Saturday, August 5, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

8700 S CR 325, Cross Creek, FL 32640 

Enjoy live fiddle music, cake with the legendary mango ice cream from her classic cookbook and a special walk-through tour of Mrs. Rawlings’ historic Cross Creek farmhouse starting at noon.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ most successful novel The Yearling was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 and was adapted into film in 1946 resulting in several Oscar nominations. Learn more about The Yearling’s production into a movie with the new documentary “From Novel to Movie: The Yearling in Florida” airing on WUFT-TV Tuesday, August 8 at 9 p.m. Check with your local PBS station for broadcast details.

indoor pickleball showcase

See the Fastest Growing Sport in Action at the 6th Annual Gainesville Indoor Pickleball Showcase
Friday, August 4 – Sunday, August 6 | Alachua County Sports and Events Center
4870 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

Curious about the sport everyone is talking about? Wondering what terms like “Volley Llama,” “The Kitchen” or “Pickledome” mean? See top players in action at the Indoor Pickleball Showcase. The Gainesville Sports Commission hosts 3 days of competition across multiple age brackets with singles and doubles divisions at the brand-new Alachua County Sports and Events Center. Tournament slots are sold-out but spectators are welcome to attend and see the action.

actors warehouse lungs

See a Love Story Examined on Stage at the Opening Weekend of “Lungs”
Thursday, August 3 – Sunday, August 13 | Star Center Theatre

11 NE 23rd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609

Actors’ Warehouse presents Duncan Macmillan’s off-kilter love story set in a world of uncertainty. Lungs is a smart and funny drama that follows a couple through the surprising lifecycle of their relationship. It won the 2013 Best New Play award at the Off West End Awards.

pagoda plant blooms

Color Your Weekend with Summer Blooms on a Guided Tour at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

4700 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

See colorful displays across 24 major collections including the largest herb garden in the Southeast, the largest public display of bamboo in Florida, Children’s Garden and more. Don’t miss the giant Victoria water lilies in the peak of their growing season. Plan your visit online.

birds and brews

Pair a Nature Tour with a Craft Beverage at Birds and Brews
Sunday, August 6, 5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company

1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Go birding at the brewery as volunteers from Alachua Audubon Society lead a nature walk from First Magnitude Brewing Company to Depot Park. The one-hour walk returns at about 7 p.m. leaving plenty of time for a night cap. Wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated with a water bottle and bring binoculars or borrow a loaner pair. All birding skill levels are welcome.  

First Magnitude Brewing Company is part of the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail digital passport program. Pass holders can check-in when you attend the event to get points toward great merch, featuring Billy the Bison and the Brew Birds. Get your pass and join the fun.

under the spell of the palm tree exhibit in the harn museum

Explore a Crossing of Generations and Geography from More than 54 Artists Featured in “Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art”
Now through January 7, 2024 | Harn Museum of Art
3259 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

This exhibition is drawn exclusively from the collection of Susie and Mitchell Rice and offers a glimpse into the complexity of culture and history that has inspired Cuban art throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. Plan your visit at

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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

Gently Used Clothing Swap at the Repurpose Project
Saturday, August 5, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Arts & Theatre

kinky boots

Celebrate Life with Glitter, Glam and a Whole Lot of Sole at the Stage Production of Kinky Boots at Gainesville Community Playhouse
Now through Sunday, August 13
The inspiring story follows Charlie, who inherited his father’s nearly bankrupt shoe factory and Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together they find they have more in common than they realized… and discover that when you change your mind, you can change your whole world! The Tony Award-winning show is inspired by a true story and features a Grammy-winning musical score by Cyndi Lauper. 

wind in the willows

Hang on to Your Hat with the Fun Tale of The Wind in the Willows on Stage at High Springs Playhouse
Now through August 6
Sit back and hang on for a play with travel, adventure and excitement. The play The Wind in the Willows is based on the book by Kenneth Grahame and dramatized by Joseph Baldwin. It is directed by Carter Hill and produced by special engagement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, NY. Follow the famous English gentleman, Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, as he sees his first motor car and promptly falls uncontrollably in love with motoring. Mr. Toad buys a car which he then crashes. Another car is bought, followed by another crash and another—and another! Soon he is ruled off the road. Find out what happens next with the opening weekend of The Wind in the Willows at High Springs Playhouse.

Summer Dance Intensive at UF School of Theatre and Dance, McGuire Pavilion
Friday, August 4 – Sunday, August 6


Modern Square Dancing with High Springs Dance Club at High Springs Civic Center
Thursday, August 3, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

UF Innovation Academy Catalyst Showcase at UF Reitz Union Rion Ballroom
Friday, August 4, 1:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Kids Activity Faire at Shoppes at Thornebrook
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

plants in pots

Plant for Pollinators with the Florida Museum of Natural History at Depot Park
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Free Scuba Diving Workshop for Persons with Disabilities at UF Florida Pool
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m., registration required

Movie Night with DC League of Super-Pets at Tioga Town Center
Friday, August 4, 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

(sold out) Single Day Knife Blacksmithing Workshop at Crooked Path Forge
Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Rev. Fantastik and the Heretics Live Movie Riffing and Hijinks with the Hippodrome Cinema and The Wraith (1986) at The Backyard at Boca Fiesta & Palomino
Friday, August 4, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Bicycle Basics Presentation at Gainesville REI
Tuesday, August 8, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Learn How to Square Dance with the Grand Squares at the Meizon Church in Gainesville, FL First Class is Free. Follow link for details.
Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Music & Performance

Battle of the Bands Karaoke Kickoff Party at HOW BAZAR
Thursday, August 3, 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Comedian Morgan Gallo and Friends at High Dive
Thursday, August 3, 8 p.m.

Jon Jackson Jazz at Baby Js Bar
Thursday, August 3, 8 p.m.

Punk Glam Power Pop Rock and Roll with DJ City Baby at The Pearl
Thursday, August 3, 10 p.m.

orbit electronic dance music

Drum and Bass at Orbit Presents Illterror, Lights and Sound, Les Voss and Mikey Bird at The Wooly
Thursday, August 3, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Classic Rock with Couch Messiahs at One Love Café
Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Motown, Soul and R&B with The Browns at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

musicgnv recording grant

Benefit Show for MusicGNV Recording Grant at Loosey’s Downtown
Friday, August 4, 7 p.m.

In The End (Linkin Park Experience) with Emerge and Wolves of Oz at High Dive
Friday, August 4, 8 p.m.

malibu nights at the backyard

Malibu Nights with Latin, Hip-Hop, Dancehall and Afrobeats at The Backyard at Boca Fiesta & Palomino
Friday, August 4, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Dueling Pianos with Ingrid Rey and Steve Dunn at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Friday, August 4 – Saturday, August 5, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Classic Rock with The Shambles at One Love Café
Saturday, August 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Touring Country Artists Jeneen and J. Marc at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, August 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Indie Rock with Gravess, Rugh, Dime and Funeral Homes at Civic Media Center
Saturday, August 5, 7 p.m.

Comedian Dustin Sims with Jesse Peyton at High Dive
Saturday, August 5, 8 p.m.

Bossa Nova, Spiritual Jazz, Sountracks and more All Vinyl Set with DJ Don Miller at Baby J’s Bar
Saturday, August 5, 9 p.m.

swamp boiler room

Tropical Beats at Swamp Boiler Room Luau Party at Swamp Boil
Saturday, August 5, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Indie Night with DJ Cam at The Pearl
Saturday, August 5, 10 p.m. 

the function open air

Electronic Music at The Function (Open Air) at The Backyard at Boca Fiesta & Palomino
Saturday, August 5, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

R&B Night at The How Bazar
Saturday, August 5, 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Jazz Standard Tuesdays with BBjazz Quartet and The Joe Breidenstine Quartet at Baby J’s Bar
Tuesday, August 8, 6:30 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Image of the Sippin' Seven Ale Trail logo depicting a blue bison witj seven blue birds siting on the Bison's back. Photo also shows a pint glass with the same logo. Text on image says: Award-winning breweries. Gainesville. Alachua. High Springs. Visit

There’s nothing better than an ice-cold pint on a hot summer day – except for when that pint comes with free cool merch. Join Billy the Bison and thousands of craft-beer lovers on the Sippin’ Seven Alachua Ale Trail. 

Learn more and sign up for free at

Singer-Songwriter Tori Lee at Daft Cow Brewery
Friday, August 4, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Water Day Festival with Creekend Warriors at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Sunday, August 6, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmers Markets

Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

sign at archer farmers market

Archer Farmers Market Spring Plant Sale at Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum
Tuesday, March 7, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

GNV Market at South Main Station
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

High Springs Farmers Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Haile Village Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Back to School Bash with Free Live Wrestling Show and Meet and Greet with Bryan Idol at Waldo Farmers Flea Market
Saturday, August 5, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Newberry Farmers Market returns Saturday, October 14

Bites and Brunch

sweetberries eatery and frozen custard

Discounts for Sandwiches and Frozen Custard Concretes at the Grand Opening of SweetBerries Eatery and Frozen Custard
Saturday, August 5, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, August 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, August 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Music, Drinks and Deep Fried Goodies at Deep Frydays at The How Bazar
Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

(sold out) Master Chef Class: Sauces at The Fat Tuscan
Saturday, August 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
View the upcoming fall schedule of cooking classes

Sabores de España: A Journey through Spanish Wine at Laurel Oak Inn
Sunday, August 6, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


archery targets

Funtastic Fridays Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, August 4, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

ben hill griffin stadium

Florida Gators Football Open Practice at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Saturday, August 5, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Gators Soccer vs. Georgia Southern Exhibition at Donald R. Dizney Stadium
Sunday, August 6, 3 p.m.

people playing pickleball

Join Open Gym Sessions for Pickleball, Volleyball, Basketball and Cheerleading at the Alachua County Sports and Events Center

Parks & Trails

Free Timed 5K at Depot Park parkrun
Saturday, August 5, 7:30 a.m.

Hide & Go Seek: Introduction to Geocaching! at Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park
Sunday, August 6, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Accessible Tram Tours at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Ongoing, Check for Availability
Monday, August 7, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

River & Springs

Kayaks on the Santa Fe River

Launch Your Canoe, Kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard for Free at Santa Fe Canoe Outpost

Explore Natural Wonders with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventure and Visit 8 Springs in 8 Miles with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fed by the underground Floridan Aquifer, North Florida has one of the highest concentrations of springs in the world. Anderson’s Outdoor Adventure offers an easy way to experience 8 springs in 8 miles. Paddle along the Santa Fe River in a canoe or kayak and experience crystal clear water, see native wildlife and relax in a tranquil nature setting. 

scuba divers under water

Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States.

Museums & Galleries

Tom Petty with Guitar

Go Behind-the-Scenes with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer at the new Exhibit “Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers” at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Open Now through December 31, Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers explores the joys, pains, and creative awakenings that Gainesville native Tom Petty experienced while pouring his soul into his magnum opus, Wildflowers, released in November 1994. The exhibit includes artifacts previously on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. 
Explore three unique aspects of the Wildflowers creative process: songwriting, recording, and reception and delivery. The exhibit runs through December 31.
Image of Tom Petty photographed by Robert Sebree

harn museum after dark

Art After Dark at the Harn Museum of Art
Thursday, August 3, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tot Time for Ages 2-5 at the Harn Museum of Art
Friday, August 4, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Family Discovery Camp: Mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Saturday, August 5, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

kids looking at spiders

Get Up Close and Explore the World of Arachnids at Spiders Alive! at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Now through September 4
With more than a dozen live species from around the world, the new exhibit dives into the world of spiders, scorpions and their relatives. Featured animals on display include the Asian Forest Scorpion, Brazilian Red and White Tarantula, Southern Black Widow, Wolf Spider and more. Go hands-on with large touchable models revealing a closer look at spider anatomy. Plan your visit online.

New at the Matheson History Museum, We Are Here: Stories from Multilingual Speakers in North Central Florida
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Discover a Unique African American Culture at Gullah Geechee – African Connections and Cultural Traditions in America at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Save The Date

Hip Hop GNV: Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop, August 10

Kulaqua River Ranch Community Day, August 13

Baturdays of Summer at Lubee Bat Conservancy, August 26

Gators Football Home Opener at The Swamp vs. McNeese, September 9

11th Annual ARTSPEAKS “Bringing Poetry & People Together” at the Historic Thomas Center, September 10

Museum Nights Noche de Museo at the Harn Museum of Art, September 14

Gators Football Championship Reunion Weekend vs. Tennessee, September 16

For a complete list of events please visit

Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

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Put simply, the more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please read the attached PDF document for additional ways in which your organization can participate.

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County | (352) 374-5260 | 33 North Main Street, Gainesville 32601 Never miss an event: Follow Visit Gainesville, Alachua County on social media.

The images and materials included in the Alachua County What’s Good guide of weekly events may be copyrighted works and property of the content provider, and thus subject to legal protections. Display by the County of such does not authorize another to copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, modify, or in any way exploit any such works.

This publication contains information about events, venues and activities in Alachua County, Florida. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors or omissions in the information provided. For complete details, contact the host directly. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not represent, warrant, undertake or guarantee that the information is correct, accurate, complete or non-misleading. We will not be liable to you in respect of any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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