What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, December 7-13, 2023

whats good guide of weekly events
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Decorate your weekend with holiday performances, gift markets, festive parades and choral concerts. Make your plans with What’s Good. Feel the thrill of a fairy tale come to life with Danscompany of Gainesville’s ballet production of Cinderella. Browse gift shops, art galleries and enjoy an all-day holiday gathering at Micanopy 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll. Waive to Santa at the Alachua Christmas Parade.

Add festive colors to your landscape at the UF Environmental Horticulture Club Poinsettia Sale. Travel back to a 1940s radio studio for Holiday Harmonies X – A Staged Radio Play with Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and Barbergators Chorus. Enlighted Hanukkah with Choral Songs from the ShabbaTones Chorus and the Jacksonville Jewish Center Singers with Maestro Will Kesling. 

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.

cinderella ballet dancers

Feel the Thrill of a Fairy Tale Come to Life with the Elegant Choreography, Elaborate Costumes and Magical Staging of Danscompany of Gainesville’s Cinderella
Friday, December 8, 7 p.m., Saturday, December 9, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

The Fairy Godmother transforms the Phillips Center main stage for a full-length ballet performance of Cinderella. Behold the splendor of elaborate costumes and dancing. Children under 10 get in free with the donation of a new toy or book.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

micanopy holiday stroll

Experience the Magic and Charm of the Holidays at the Micanopy 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll
Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Micanopy Downtown Historic District
207 NE 1st St., Micanopy, FL 32667

The oldest inland town in Florida lights up for the annual holiday event. Browse art galleries, boutiques and antique shops. Enjoy live music by Gumbo Limbo and Martin Family Band. Tour the Micanopy Historical Society Museum. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and view the tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

alachua christmas parade

Waive to Santa at Alachua’s Annual Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 9, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Main Street Alachua
Main St., Alachua, FL 32615

The Alachua Christmas Parade is a long-lasting tradition in the City of Alachua bringing holiday cheer for all to enjoy. Join the fun as the festive procession of parade floats marches by. Make a little time to explore Main Alachua’s unique shops, plus sample delicious food and drinks from nearby restaurants.   

pierce pettis with guitar

Share an Evening of Holiday Songs with Acclaimed Songwriter Pierce Pettis
Thursday, December 7, 8 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage

619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

This holiday show features songs only performed during the holidays, like “Miriam,” “If It Wasn’t For the Night,” in addition to new material. All Compass Records releases will be available as well as the award-winning album “A Blue Rock Christmas.”

collection of colorful poinsettia plants

Add Festive Colors to Your Landscape at the 7th Annual UF Environmental Horticulture Club Poinsettia Sale
Thursday, December 7 by appointment, Friday, December 8, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or sellout
Fifield Hall Greenhouse | 2475 Memorial Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

UF’s Environmental Horticulture Club presents the annual sale with over 4,000 plants. Select from over 40 varieties, including traditional Infinity Red, White Star, and Candy Cinnamon, with novelties like Winter Rose and Orange Glow.

Bundle Up and Get Outside for Festive Tree Lightings, Holiday Festivals and Parades:

Outdoor Movie Night with The Santa Claus at Tioga Town Center
Friday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

holiday nights

Shop, Dine and Stroll Holiday Night on Main Street Alachua
Friday, December 8, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

christmas at butler

Food, Fun and Festive Cheer at Christmas at Butler
Saturday, December 9, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

2023 High Springs Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 9, 6 p.m.

Christmas in High Springs Lights Display at the High Springs Civic Center
Sunday, December 10, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Snow, Balloon Animals, Face Painting and More at Holiday Kids Day at 4th Ave Food Park
Sunday, December 10, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

grand chanukah celebration

Grand Chanukah Celebration and Lighting of the Giant Menorah at Bo Diddley Plaza
Monday, December 11, 5:30 p.m.

swallotail farm

Relish a Unique Farm Dining Experience with Solstice at Swallowtail and Chef Justin Langer Saturday, December 9, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Swallowtail Farm
7301 SE 92nd Terr., Gainesville, FL 32641

Dining experiences at Swallowtail Farm include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, one-hour farm tour with founder Noah Shitama and live music.

holiday harmonies chorus on stage

Travel Back to a 1940s Radio Studio for Holiday Harmonies X – A Staged Radio Play
Saturday, December 9, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. | First United Methodist Church
419 NE 1st St., Gainesville, FL 32601

The 10th holiday concert features the combined voices of Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and Barbergators Chorus. Enjoy the sounds of a live broadcast with plenty of barbershop harmony from studio choruses and quartets and a bonus episode of “Bart Holiday, Private Eye.” Donations for this show benefit the Harmony Bridge Scholarship for veterans at Santa Fe College.

holiday cheer and beer

Browse the Outdoor Artist Market for Festive Shopping at Holiday Cheer and Beer
Sunday, December 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Artisans’ Guild Gallery
224 NW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The annual holiday market features local artist booths outside, handmade ornaments on the porch and unique gifts inside the gallery. Enjoy live music, vegan fusion food by Radha’s Kitchen and craft beer from First Magnitude Brewing Company.

jazz on the green

Warm Up to Bossa Nova and Jazz with Natalie Rella at Jazz on the Green
Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

Spread a blanket or pull up a chair and enjoy jazz under the setting sun. Stroll through festive light displays and enjoy food, drinks and sweet treats from nearby restaurants.

book discussion with kevin kokomoor

Discover America’s Early History at the Book Discussion of La Florida: Catholics, Conquistadors, and Other American Origin Stories
Sunday, December 10, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Matheson History Museum
513 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The Matheson History Museum hosts author and historian Dr. Kevin Kokomoor to discuss his book followed by a Q&A and book signing.

La Florida explores a Spanish thread to early American history that is unfamiliar or even unknown to most Americans. Focusing on America’s Spanish heritage, this collection of stories complicates and sometimes challenges how Americans view their past.

montage of decorated tree and farmhouse

Tour the Historic Home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at the Festive Annual Holiday Party
Saturday, December 9, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S CR 325, Cross Creek, FL 32640

Visit the homestead of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. This year’s holiday event features refreshments, live music and walkthroughs of the preserved farmhouse.

illustrated map with location markers

Explore Sites of Black Cultural Significance with the New Alachua County Black Heritage Trail Map and Website

The Alachua County Digital Black Heritage Trail Map and website highlight the Black community’s cultural significance to counter the systematic century-long effort to erase black culture beginning during the Jim Crow era. Demonstrating the importance of Black place-making and institution-building, the map reflects the intergenerational memories of Black culture. Download a PDF of the map here (pdf).

Printed maps can be picked up at the front desk of the County Commission Office on the second floor of the County Administration Building (12 S.E. 1st St., Gainesville, FL 32601).

Unity choral and orchestral concert

Be Inspired as 1000 Voices of Florida and Annasemble Community Orchestra Present A Holiday Concert for Community Connection
Tuesday, December 12, 7 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

The 1000 Voices of Florida chorus and the Annesemble orchestra, inspired by Tacachale, get in the spirit of community connection with this free performance. The concert features many cultural representations, dancers, dramatizations and more. Admission is free.

Chorals songs to enlighten hanukkah

Enlighten Hanukkah with the ShabbaTones Chorus
Wednesday, December 13, 7:15 p.m. | Congregation B’nai Israel
3830 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605

The ShabbaTones Chorus and Jacksonville Jewish Center Singes present choral songs to Enlighten Hanukkah with Maestro Will Kesling and Hazzan Jesse Holzer. Enjoy toe-tapping Hannukah choral songs, modern arrangements, 18th century, jazz, yiddish, Ashkenazi, and Sephardic with guitar, cello, clarinet and more.

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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

vendors at the auk market

Holiday Mini Makers Pop-Up Market at The AUK Market
Saturday, December 9, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

fright fair

Pop-Up Flea Market with Live Music at The Fright Fair Before Xmax Volume 2 at Bo Diddley Plaza
Sunday, December 10, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

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

Arts & Theatre

annie warbucks the musical adventure continues

Continue the Storie of Annie with New Laughs, Unforgettable Songs and Familiar Characters at Annie Warbucks at Star Center Theatre
Thursday, December 7 – Sunday, December 17

the addams family

Connect with the Magnificently Macabre and Hilarious Addams Family A New Musical Comedy at Gainesville Community Playhouse
Now through Sunday, December 10
In The Addams Family, America’s darkest family comes to life in a musical about love, family, honesty and growing up. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, falls in love and families are put to the test as the Addams host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

ultimate christmas show

The Ultimate Christmas Show(abridged)
Book by Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin
Now through December 23 | The Hippodrome Theatre
This audience favorite is back! The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) bursts with festive, slapstick fun as these cheerful comedians celebrate all of our favorite holiday traditions—at the same time.

achristmas carol

A Christmas Carol
Now through December 23 | The Hippodrome Theatre
“A Christmas Carol” is a beloved Gainesville holiday tradition featuring singing and storytelling people of all ages will enjoy. Join us as we celebrate Scrooge’s redemption through dance, laughter, and heartfelt songs, and become part of this cherished annual family and community event.

Untangle a Hilarious Web of Mistaken Infatuations at the of Opening Weekend of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Now through Sunday, December 17 | Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
3501 SW 2nd Ave., Suite O, Gainesville, FL 32607
William Shakespeare’s comedy follows Duke Orsino who is in love with the noblewoman Olivia. She, however, has fallen for his servant Cesario, who is actually Viola, a woman disguised as a man, who loves Orsino: confusion is rife. Meanwhile, Olivia’s arrogant steward Malvolio is cruelly tricked by her uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and the maidservant Maria into believing his mistress loves him.

Get the Holidays on Track with The Christmas Express Departing from High Springs Playhouse
Now through Sunday, December 23
The nostalgic theatrical greeting card is full of holiday spirit. Meet eccentric small-town characters on their journey to find the true wonder of Christmas. 

Alachua Children’s Theatre One-Act Performance of A Seussified Christmas Carol! at Theatre Park
Friday, December 8, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre at 4th Ave Food Park
Sunday, December 10, 3 p.m.

Events & Festivals

3-Day All-Breed Dog Show at the Suwannee Valley Kennel Club at Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Friday, December 8 – Sunday, December 10, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Bike Night at Dave and Buster’s
Friday, December 8, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

gainesville cars and coffee

Gainesville Cars and Coffee at Ford’s Garage
Sunday, December 10, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. 

Music & Performance

Rock with Hillbilly Casino at Loosey’s Downtown
Thursday, December 7, 8 p.m.

High-Energy Bluegrass with Boilin’ Oil at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, December 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Enlightened Rogues at One Love Café
Friday, December 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Faster Than Flash at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, December 8, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Metallica Tribute Medal Militia at High Dive
Friday, December 8, 8 p.m.

Singer-Songwriter Keith Rea at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, December 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Jazz with Swing Theory at One Love Café
Saturday, December 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Roots with Two Crows for Comfort at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Saturday, December 9, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Pop Punk with Signs of Progress at Loosey’s Downtown
Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m.

heartwood indoor stage

Songwriter’s Showcase with Leon Majcen, Bryan Elijah Smith, Haylin Watkins and Hollyanne Paige at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Comedian Ben Bailey (from Cash Cab) at High Dive
Saturday, December 9, 8 p.m.

Jazz with Ryan Devlin Trio at Baby J’s
Saturday, December 9, 8 p.m.

Gainesville Community Band Holiday Concert at Santa Fe College Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall
Sunday, December 10, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Drag, Burlesque and Sassy Christmas Cheer at Scene Queens: Slay Belles in the Hippodrome Theatre Basement
Monday, December 11, 8 p.m.

Jazz with Brazilian Side B at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, December 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Folk with Little High Little Low at High Dive
Tuesday, December 12, 7 p.m.

(sold out) Americana with John Paul White at Heartwood Soundstage
Wednesday, December 13, 7 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.

first magnitude cloud 9 anniversary party

Cloud 9 – Nine-Year Anniversary Party at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Saturday, December 9, 2 p.m.

Christmas Cookie Contest at Blackadder Brewing Company
Saturday, December 9, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Americana with Johnny Debt at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

sunday with santa

Sunday with Santa at Blackadder Brewing Company
Sunday, December 10, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Country with Austin Hunter at Daft Cow Brewery
Sunday, December 10, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

U-Picks and Farmers Markets

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

sign at archer farmers market

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 Market at South Main Station
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
Saturday, 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

clean juice grand opening

Grand Opening of Clean Juice at Butler Town Center
Saturday, December 9, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, December 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, December 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at the Traveler Wine Bar
Thursday, December 7, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Cocktails and DIY Hot Chocolate at the Nutcracker Pop-Up Bar at The Traveler
Friday, December 8, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., Saturday, December 9, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Breakfast and Photos with Santa at Brown’s Country Buffet
Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Wine Tasting Class – Uncorking America: A Journey Through the Finest American Wines at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Saturday, December 9, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

macarons and bottles of wine

Flight to Spain Macaron Wine Pairing at Le Macaron
Saturday, December 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Build Your Own Pancakes, Decorate Donuts at Santa Brunch at Local Provisions
Sunday, December 10, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

(sold out) Holiday Cookie Exchange Cooking Class at the Fat Tuscan
Sunday, December 10, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Premier Girls Fastpitch Florida Fall State Championship at Champions Park
Saturday, December 9 – Sunday, December 10

Spider Cup #6: USAA Indoor Round Barebow Novice and Recreational Divisions at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Sunday, December 10, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Accessible Tram Tours at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Ongoing, Check for Availability
Friday, December 8, 9 a.m.

ugly sweaters for the ugly sweater parkrun

Free Timed 5K with Ugly Sweaters at Depot Park parkrun
Saturday, December 9, 7:30 a.m.

Ranger-Led Rim Ramble Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park La Chua Trail
Saturday, December 9, 11 a.m.

holiday mingle

Holiday Mingle Annual Celebration with Alachua Conservation Trust at Prairie Creek Lodge
Sunday, December 10, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Ranger-Led Tour at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, December 2, 10 a.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

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

Dance Alive National Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, December 15-17

Stargazing at Paynes Prairie, December 16

The Curry’s Christmas at Heartwood Soundstage, December 21

Flying Pig Parade in Downtown Gainesville, December 30

Tu Fiesta Radio New Year’s Eve Eve, December 30

Spark Wonder at the Cade Museum, December 31

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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