What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, January 11-17, 2024

Print the PDF

Find inspiration this weekend with What’s Good. Be swept away with the first concert of the season from the Gainesville Orchestra. Laugh out loud with a comedy show from Rickey Smiley and friends. Experience an unforgettable dining experience with Chef Clay Conley at Swallowtail Farm.

Get outside on an ecologist-led healthy hike at Turkey Creek Preserve and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. See top athletes compete at season opening quad meet with Gators Gymnastics and indoor track and field at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational.

On Monday, honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr with community holiday events.

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.

the gainesville orchestra

Be Swept Away by the Orchestration of the First Concerto of the Year from the Gainesville Orchestra
Friday, January 12, 7:30 p.m. | Santa Fe College Jackson N Sasser Fine Arts Hall
3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606

The Gainesville Orchestra kicks off 2024 with Johann Strauss, Ravel’s dancing “La valse,” Mahler’s stunning “Adagietto” and a debut by Sarah Park and Brett Ochoa of The Gainesville Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

hikers and birders on a trail

Stay Healthy on an Ecologist-led, Family-friendly hike at Turkey Creek Preserve
Saturday, January 13, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. | Turkey Creek Preserve

6300 NW 93rd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32653 

January is “National Staying Healthy Month,” and the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department hosts an ecologist-led, family-friendly, healthy hike at the Turkey Creek Preserve. Environmental expert and talented wildlife photographer Michael Drummond leads the hike, accompanied by several members of the ACEPD staff. Admission is free.

surrealist illustration of seashell

Get (Sur)Real at Museum Nights
Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Harn Museum of Art

3259 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

Experience the new exhibition “Surrealism at the Harn” with gallery talks, fanciful performances, funky creative activities and (re)freshing snacks. The exhibit marks 100 years of the Surrealist movement which began in Paris in 1924.

Image: Gertrude Abercrombie, “Long Ago and Far Away,” 1954, From the collection of Dr. August and L. Tommie Freundlich

gators gymnastics

Cheer on Gators Gymnastics with a Quad Meet Season Opener
Friday, January 12, 6:45 p.m. | Exactech Arena

250 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611

Four teams compete as pre-season #2 Gators Gymnastics host Fisk, George Washington and Talladega. Bring the entire family to dance along to musical routines and cheer on amazing athletes. 

swallotail farm

Treat Yourself to an Unforgettable Dining Experience with a Menu from Chef Clay Conley at Swallowtail Farm
Saturday, January 13, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Swallowtail Farm
7301 SE 92nd Terr., Gainesville, FL 32641

A 4-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: South, Chef Clay has brought fine dining to new heights in Palm Beach with three distinctive restaurants – Buccan, Imoto, and Grato. Farm dinners are unique experiences and are all-inclusive with an open bar, farm tours, multi-course dinner and live music. 

jazz music event poster

Enjoy an Afternoon of Jazz with the Darren Burgess Jazz Collective
Saturday, January 13, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Matheson History Museum

513 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The Darren Burgess Jazz Collective, featuring Patricia Markoch on vocals and Rafael Abdalla on bass, perform on the front porch of the historic Sarah Matheson House. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy jazz standards from the American songbook. Admission is free. 

jazz on the green

Warm Up to Multiple Jazz Styles with Nino Castaneda at Jazz on the Green
Saturday, January 13, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe

4848 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

Latin jazz recording artist Nino Castaneda heats up the stage with flamenco guitar riffs. Spread a blanket or pull up a chair and enjoy live jazz from the Promenade stage. Enjoy food, drinks and sweet drinks from nearby restaurants. 

jimmy carnes logo

Watch Top Track and Field Athletes Compete at the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Track and Field Invitational
Saturday, January 13 – Sunday, January 14 | Alachua County Sports and Events Center
4870 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

Feel the excitement of the premier event at Jimmy Carnes Track. Indoor track and field events take center stage with hurdles, pole vault, shot put, high jump and 60m dash.

rickey smiley and friends

Laugh Out Loud with Rickey Smiley and Friends on Tour
Sunday, January 14, 7 p.m. | UF Philips Center

3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Legendary comedian, radio host and performer Rickey Smiley brings his comedy show tour to the UF Phillips Center main stage. In 2021, Rickey Smiley won his 2nd Marconi Award for “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”

historic welcome signs of devils millhopper

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Sunday, January 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park

4732 Millhopper Rd., Gainesville, FL 32653

Enjoy a walk on the half-mile nature trail. Then, stop by the visitor center to decorate mini-Bundt cakes into your own sinkhole.

martin luther king jr holiday events

Honor the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Community Celebrations

Stephan P. Mickle Jazz Concert with Gruv Therapy at Bo Diddley Plaza
Friday, January 12, 7 p.m.

Florida Carillon Concert with Guest Carillonneur Koen Van Assche and Music by African American Composers or Singers at UF Century Tower
Saturday, January 13, 6:15 p.m.

MLK Stage Play Walk Don’t Ride at Star Centre Theatre
Sunday, January 13, 7 p.m. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events:

Monday, January 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join the celebration at Cleather H Hathcock Sr. Community Center (15818 NW 140th St., Alachua, FL 32615) for a performance by 1000 Voices of Florida and special guest speaker Adrian Peterson.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County 

MLK Hall of Fame Enshrinement Program in Downtown Gainesville
Monday, January 15, 11 a.m.

MLK National Holiday Parade from Downtown Gainesville to Citizens Field
Monday, January 15, 12 p.m.

National Holiday Celebration at Citizens Field
Monday, January 15, 1 p.m.
Join guest speakers and a performance from Little Jake and the Soul Searchers.

Monday, January, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The celebration begins at 10 a.m. at the Willie Mae Stokes Community center and guest speaker Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, IV. 

Monday, January 15, 11 a.m.
The day kicks off with a celebratory march, starting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (25515 NW 6th Ave., Newberry, FL 32669) at 11 am. The Newberry Fire Department leads a meaningful journey to Mentholee Norfleet Municipal Building (25420 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669). The program begins at 12 p.m. with Marsha Kiner, Executive Director of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County.

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

Vintage Clothing, Jewelry, Crafts, Décor, Art, Tea and More at the Flashbacks Recycled Fashions
Saturday, January 13, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Events & Festivals

dressage horse with rider

Horse Shows in the Park at Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Saturday, January 13 – Sunday, January 14

sugar cane boil and farm tours

Sugar Cane Boil and Farm Tours at Frog Song Organics
Saturday, January 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

(sold out) Dried Flower Bouquet Workshop at Coterie Market
Thursday, January 11, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Donuts and Drawing at Good News Arts
Friday, January 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Bike Night at Dave and Buster’s
Friday, January 12, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Kukri Blacksmithing Class at Crooked Path Forge
Saturday, January 13 – Sunday, January 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

(sold out) Sandhill Crane Sculpture Metal Working Class at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Saturday, January 13 – Sunday, January 14, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Beginners Mosaic Workshop at The AUK Market
Sunday, January 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Florida Bridal Expo at Best Western Gateway Grand
Sunday, January 14, 1 p.m. 

Sewing Workshop at Coterie Market
Monday, January 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Music & Performance

Blues with Moondog at One Love Café
Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Poetry Slam at Civic Media Center
Thursday, January 11, 8 p.m.

top house illustration

Roots with TopHouse at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursday, January 11, 8 p.m.

Bluegrass with Boilin’ Oil at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, January 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Wild Blue Yonder at One Love Café
Friday, January 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Electronic Music with Marvel Years at Signal
Saturday, January 13, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Roots with Eric Lindell at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, January 13, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

musicians with instruments

Swing with Death and Taxes Swing Band at The Opera House
Sunday, January 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

brendan abernathy

Singer-Songwriter Brendan Abernathy at Heartwood Soundstage
Sunday, January 14, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Traditional Irish Session at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Singer-Songwriter and Tap Dancer Liana Gabel at Lightnin’ Salvage
Wednesday, January 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

(sold out) Folk with Mary Gauthier at Heartwood Soundstage
Wednesday, January 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Afro Futurism Week with Improvisational Ensemble History Dog at Baby J’s
Wednesday, January 17, 8 p.m. – 10 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

Make a resolution to visit every brewery on the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail in 2024.

Robert Edmonson at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, January 12, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Singer Songwriter Bobby James at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, January 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Singer Songwriter Griffin Williams at Daft Cow Brewery
Friday, January 12, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Classic Rock with Southern Burn at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, January 12, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Reggae Sunday with the Easy Crew at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Sunday, January 14, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

U-Picks and Farmers Markets


U-Pick Strawberries at The Bryer Patch
Saturdays and Sundays through April
Please be aware strawberry picking is weather dependent; please stay up to date with The Bryer Patch on Instagram and Facebook.

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.

Newberry Farmers and Makers Market
Saturday, January 13, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

Bites and Brunch

munecas roaring grand opening

Costume Contest, Cocktails, Raffles, DJs and More at the Roaring Grand Opening at Muñecas Downtown
Sunday, January 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy at Plantation Hall
Thursday, January 11 – Friday, January 12

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at the Traveler Wine Bar
Thursday, January 11, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

(sold out) The Art of Italian Cooking Master Class at The Fat Tuscan
Saturday, January 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Wine Fundamentals Tasting Class at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Saturday, January 13, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Flight to Europe Macaron and Wine Pairing at Le Macaron
Saturday, January 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

BOGO “Build Your Own Flavorite” Mania at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
Monday, January 15, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sports & Fans

archery targets

Funstastic Fridays Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, January 12, 5 p.m.

All Welcome Test and Tune Drag Racing at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, January 13, 10 a.m. 

Gators Men’s Basketball vs. Arkansas at Exactech Arena
Saturday, January 13, 4 p.m.

Gators Women’s Basketball vs. Georgia at Exactech Arena
Sunday, January 14, 2 p.m.

Premier Girls Fastpitch National Qualifier and Winter World Series Softball Tournament at Champions Park
Saturday, January 13 – Sunday, January 14

Parks & Trails

Accessible Tram Tours at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Ongoing, Check for Availability
Friday, January 12, 9 a.m.
(sold out) Monday, January 15, 2 p.m.

Weekly Walk and Talk with Alachua Conservation Trust at Tuscawilla Preserve
Friday, January 12, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Free Timed 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Saturday, January 13, 7:30 a.m.

Ranger-Led Hike at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, January 13, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Ranger-Led Rim Ramble Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park La Chua Trail
Saturday, January 13, 9:45 a.m.

Dudley Kids Day: All About Milk at Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Saturday, January 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

bird at sweetwater wetlands

Wednesday Bird Walks with Alachua Audubon Society at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, January 17, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 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

Art Cart at the Harn Museum of Art
Friday, January 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Tot Trot: Birds at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Tuesday, January 16, 9 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

The Mothers Portraits Solo Exhibition by Keiaria Williams at the Hippodrome Gallery
Now through Thursday, February 1

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

people looking at dinosaur exhibit

Chill with Cool Dinos at the Interactive Exhibit “Antarctic Dinosaurs”
Now through April 21 | Florida Museum of Natural History

3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611
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.

Explore additional exhibits at the Florida Museum including the Butterfly Rainforest featuring hundreds of flying butterflies, South Florida People and Environments, Florida Fossils and the kid-friendly Discovery Zone. Plan your visit online.

Save The Date

American Spiritual Ensemble, January 18

Parsons Dance, January 23

Playground Music and Arts Festival, January 20

Sunshine State Book Festival, January 26-27

Artwalk Gainesville, January 26

Hoggetown Medieval Faire at Depot Park, January 27-28

YCA on Tour, January 30

Newberry BBQ and Blues Festival, February 3

The String Queens, February 8

NMRA Spring Break Shootout, February 22-25

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.

  • Share this story!