What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County December 21, 2023 – January 3, 2024

whats good guide of weekly events
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Ring in the new year with What’s Good. See a fireworks display at Depot Park with Sparks in the Park. Party with the Cade Museum at Spark Wonder 2024. Enjoy live music at Bo Diddley Plaza at Downtown Countdown. View the list of additional New Year’s Eve events for one-of-a-kind dinner menus, champagne toasts and more.

On Saturday, reach for the stars on the wings of a pig with whimsey, music and laughter at the Hogtown’s first Flying Pig Parade.

Get outside on New Year’s Day for a First Day Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and join Alachua Audubon Society for “The Big Day” starting at Sweetwater Wetlands Park.

Read on for more of What’s Good.
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.

celebrate new year's eve

Welcome the New Year with Fireworks Displays, Dance Parties and Champagne Toasts

Tu Fiesta Radio Presents New Year’s Eve Eve with Elio Piedra at Tioga Town Center
Saturday, December 30, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sparks in the Park New Year’s Eve Celebration at Depot Park
Sunday, December 31, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Downtown Countdown at Bo Diddley Plaza
Sunday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Spark Wonder at the Cade
Sunday, December 31, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

New Year Party with Classic Rock from Crooked Counsel at One Love Cafe
Sunday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.

NYE Decades Dance Party at Vecinos
Sunday, December 31, 6 p.m.

2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Dance Party with DJ A-Train at Heartwood Soundstage
Sunday, December 31, 7 p.m.

Party Like a Champion at Visors Rooftop
Sunday, December 31, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Midtown Git Down New Year’s Eve Country-Themed Bash at Social at Midtown
Sunday, December 31, 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Party with Buffet, Open Bar and Live Piano at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Sunday, December 31, 7 p.m.

Pop Punk Emo Night New Year’s Eve Party at High Dive
Sunday, December 31, 8 p.m.

Embers Wood Grill and Spark at Embers New Year Cocktail Bash
Sunday, December 31, 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Studio 54 Dance Party at Baby J’s
Sunday, December 31, 8 p.m.

NYE Celebration with DJ Rey Rey at Fluid Lounge
Sunday, December 31, 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Ball with the Savants of Soul at The Wooly
Sunday, December 31, 8:30 p.m.

Electronic Music at Midnight Mass at Simons and Signal
Sunday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Party at Local Provisions
Sunday, December 31, 10 p.m. 

flying pig parade poster

From the Co-Founder of Coconut Grove’s King Mango Strut Comes Hogtown’s First Flying Pig Parade – Head to Downtown Gainesville and Take Part in the Whimsey, Music and Laughter
Saturday, December 30, 2 p.m. | Downtown Gainesville

SE 1st Ave. and E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Gainesville’s streets with be filled with music, and laughter with the “World’s First, More-Fun-Than-Staying-Home, Flying Pig Parade!” With a whimsical mission to “reach for the stars on the wings of a pig,” The Flying Pig Parade features floats, bands and performers including Weeds of Eden and Star Center Theatre’s Baton and Flag Corps. Gregg Jones serves as Master of Ceremonies and Paul Ortiz and Sheila Payne serve as the parade’s Grand Marshals.

At 2 p.m. the parade will begin on SE 1 St and march south to the Hippodrome Theater. At the Hipp, the procession will take a few turns and eventually end up where it began.

After the parade, from 2:45 p.m. – 4 p.m., the party continues in Bo Diddley Plaza to celebrate Bo Diddley’s 95th birthday with The Showtime Band. Flying Pig Parade artwork by Heidi Stein.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

winter wonderland light display

Be Dazzled by 100,000 Lights at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display
Fridays and Saturdays through December 30 | North Central Florida YMCA

5201 NW 34th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605

Walkthrough the mesmerizing display show by Twinkle Nights Holiday Lights and experience an illuminated wonderland. Activities include character meet and greets, ornament making, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, snowball throwing, photo ops and more. Learn more and get tickets online.

happy kwanzaa

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Local Events

Kwanzaa Celebration with Cultural Arts Coalition at Wilhelmina Johnson Center
Sunday, December 31, 4 p.m.
Cultural Arts Coalition invites you to celebrate Kwanzaa for the 6th day: Kuumba/Creativity. Enjoy music, dance, spoken word and Karamu (feast) with food.

dudley farm

It’s the Perfect Time of Year for a Guided Bird Walk on the Grounds of Historic Dudley Farm
Saturday, December 30, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Dudley Farm Historic State Park

18730 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669

Ted and Mary Ellen from the Alachua Audubon Society lead a bird walk through Dudley Farm Historic State Park. The tour is free with paid entry to the park.

group hiking at paynes prairie

Stroll Into the New Year on a First Day Hike
Monday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. | Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitor Center

100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL 32667

Kick off the new year at a Florida State Park and take a short stroll or embark on a longer trek. Explore on your own or join a guided hike and explore Cones Dike Trail. 

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park spans 20,000 acres an features nearly 300 species of birds, alligators, wild horses and roaming bison. 8 trails and a 50-foot observation tower allow diverse ways to explore the park and view wildlife.

For a limited time, save 50% on annual passes. Through January 13, 2024, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection offers Florida State Parks annual passes for families and individuals at a 50% discount.

For more of the timely entertainment information you love, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty.

Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

Puzzle and Board Game Swap at Life Unplastic
Sunday, December 31, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Shop local boutiques and national brands at Butler Enterprises, Celebration Pointe, The Oaks Mall and Shoppes at Thornebrook.

Events & Festivals

haile holiday tours

Vintage Holiday Guided Tours at Historic Haile Homestead
Saturday, December 30, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Harlem Nights at the 5 Star Event Center
Saturday, December 30, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Music & Performance

Alt Americana with Uncle Mosie at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, December 28, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

tri county reunion concert

Tricounty Hip Hop Concert at High Dive
Thursday, December 28, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Classic Rock with Chasing Rabbits at One Love Café
Friday, December 29, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Shift N’ Gears at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, December 29, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Linkin Park Tribute and Tribute to Nirvana at High Dive
Friday, December 29, 9 p.m.

Rock with Whiskey Jones at One Love Café
Saturday, December 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

End of Year Dance Party at How Bazar
Saturday, December 30, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

uneasy rider

Uneasy Rider with Hip Hop to Punk Rock on Multiple Stages at The Ox
Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Karaoke Party at Loosey’s Downtown
Sunday, December 31, 9 p.m.

The Hogtown Rounders Writers Round at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, January 2, 6 p.m. – 9 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

Here’s to the “Sippin’ Squad” and all the sippers who helped make the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County digital ale trail pass a great success!

Almost 4,000 pass holders and 15,000 check-ins showed us that visitors and residents love award-winning craft beer and making time with friends. Stay in touch with all the events and happenings with the trail breweries with Sippin’ Seven on Tap.

Classic Rock with 8 Track Revival at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, December 29, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Folk with Alma Russ at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, December 29, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Blues with Mr. Aullie at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, December 29, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Roaring ‘20s New Year’s Eve Celebration at High Springs Brewing Company
Sunday, December 31, 5 p.m.

U-Picks and Farmers Markets

Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. –7 p.m.

Archer Farmers Market at Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum
Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Union Street Farmers Market at Bo Diddley Plaza
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

GNV Holiday Market at South Main Station with Live Music from The Shambles
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Holiday Farmers Market at Celebration Pointe
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

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

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

Waldo Farmers and Flea Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites and Brunch

Citrus Preserving Cooking Class at the Fat Tuscan
Thursday, December 28, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Farewell Ice Cream Flavor Night at Sweet Dreams of Gainesville
Saturday, December 30, 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sports & Fans

Gators Men’s Basketball vs. Quinnipiac at Exactech Arena
Saturday, December 30, 1 p.m.

Gators Women’s Basketball vs. Winthrop University at Exactech Arena
Saturday, December 31, 3:45 p.m.

Florida Get Down New Year’s Basketball Showcase at Saint Francis Academy
Friday, December 29 – Saturday, December 30

(Sold Out) BMX Skills Clinic with Barry Nobles at High Springs BMX
Sunday, December 31, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Barnyard Buddies at Morningside Nature Center
Wednesday, December 27, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Mobility Night Tram Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, December 30, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

new year's day parkrun

New Year’s Day Free 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Monday, January 1, 7:30 a.m.

Go Birding with the Alachua Audubon Society on “The Big Day” Starting at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Monday, January 1, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

River & Springs

paddling on the santa fe river

Enjoy Cooler Weather and Explore the Outdoors and with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures and Visit 8 Springs in 8 Miles
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. 

tubing at the springs

Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States. The springs make a perfect destination for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and relaxing in nature. If you’re looking for outdoor fun, we’ve got you covered with our list of nearby springs, great places to stay and fun things to do.

Museums & Galleries

harn museum after dark

Art After Dark, Wine Down: New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Harn Museum of Art
Thursday, December 28, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

sign up here exhibit logo on different color backgrounds

Sign Up Here at The Historic Thomas Center
Now through January 19

“Vital and Veiled: Valerie Brathwaite and José Fernández” at the Gary R. Libby University Gallery
Now through January 26

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”
Open Now through December 31, Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

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.

Chill with Cool Dinos at the New Interactive Exhibit “Antarctic Dinosaurs”
Now through April 21 | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611 
Step back in time and discover life beneath the ice in Antarctic Dinosaurs. Uncover the history of the world’s southernmost continent and the unique species that have called it home in this interactive, family-friendly experience. Antarctic Dinosaurs is on display through April 21.

Save The Date

Swallowtail Farm Dining Experience, January 13

Jimmy Carnes Indoor Track and Field Invitational, January 13-15

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Alachua, January 15

Playground Music and Arts Festival, January 20

Sunshine State Book Festival, January 26-27

Hoggetown Medieval Faire at Depot Park, January 27-28

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

Your participation, communication, and sharing of events and programs is a key way for us to market our community to visitors and to enhance the engagement of residents in all of the incredible programs you create.

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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