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What’s Good® Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 16-22, 2024

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Discover ways to sweeten your weekend with What’s Good®. Savor spring’s best bite with the Newberry Watermelon Festival. Head to Bo Diddley Plaza for a celebration in honor of Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month.

The Gainesville Orchestra presents a spectacular season finale with The Wonderful Music of Oz at Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall. Learn about the endangered Matchie’s tree kangaroo at World Tree Kangaroo Day at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. Stroll through picturesque downtown High Springs for the last High Spring Art Walk of the season. 

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.


wonderful music of oz

Follow the Yellow Brick Road for the Gainesville Orchestra Season Finale: The Wonderful Music of Oz
Thursday, May 16 – Friday, May 17, 7:30 p.m. | Santa Fe College Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall

3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL 32611

Take a fun musical journey with music from The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, The Wiz, Return to Oz and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Costumes are encouraged for this spectacular pops finale. Enjoy the debut of Honoree Alexander Kaufman of The Gainesville Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition. Featured guest artists include John Boswell (pianist) and vocalists Jessica Handy, Campbell Walker Fields and Scott Coulter.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County


world tree kangaroo day

Discover the Endangered Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo at Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo’s World Tree Kangaroo Day
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606

Learn about the rare, majestic animals and learn how you can help them in the wild. Enjoy a full day of zookeeper talks, presentations and tree kangaroo-themed crafts and games. 9 a.m. is “quiet hour” (no music or presentations on a microphone) for those with sensory sensitivities.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County


newberry watermelon festival

Take a Bite Out of the Sweet Life at the Newberry Watermelon Festival
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | CountryWay Town Square

1739 SW NW 248 Terr., Newberry, FL 32669

The watermelon harvest season is a sign that summer is just around the corner. Sample delicious watermelon slices and enjoy family fun with over 100 craft and gift vendors, food, kids zone, carnival games and more. The watermelon parade begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the pet costume pageant and crowning of the Watermelon Queen.


high springs art walk

Relax on a Stroll Through Enchanting Downtown High Springs While Viewing Art Displays by Local Painters and Creators
Saturday, May 18, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Downtown High Springs

The last High Springs Art Walk of the season features 15-20 local artists and makers situated on the sidewalks of downtown. Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies hosts new artisan and creator 7 Oaks Studio and their custom woodworks. Enjoy restaurants, cafes and shops throughout walkable High Springs. Keep an eye out for storefront specials and sales. Monthly High Springs Art Walk events return in the fall.


gainesville asian festival

Celebrate Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month with Family-Friendly Fun at the Gainesville Asian Festival
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

Take time to reflect and celebrate the role that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) have played in our shared history. Bo Diddley Plaza hosts a celebration featuring delicious food, gift vendors, live performances and more. Admission is free.


circus inside out

See Acrobatic Feats at a Weekend of Circus Events: Circus Inside Out and Swampland Obscura
Friday, May 17 – Saturday, May 18 | Gainesville Circus Center

1925 NW 2nd St., Gainesville, FL 32609

Circus Inside Out is a spring showcase featuring youth performers of aerial acrobatics, dance, juggling and more. Admission is free for kids ages 12 and under.

swampland obscura

Saturday night’s Swampland Obscura is a farewell performance for Liz Bouton, student, artist, coach and Gainesville Circus Center board member. Enjoy a mesmerizing and entertaining new circus production with skillful displays of aerial silks and lyra.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County


goc bike day

Pedal Through a Fun Group Bike Ride at Gainesville Opportunity Center’s Bike Day
Saturday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company

1220 SW Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Gainesville Opportunity Center hosts a fun bike ride for all skill levels. The beginner ride is two miles circling Depot Park and back. The intermediate route travels eight miles to La Chua Trail and back. Advanced riders travel to Hawthorne and back for an estimated 34 miles. 


free fridays michael claytor

Find Your Weekend Vibe with Singer-Songwriters Michael Claytor and Ricky Kendall at the Free Fridays Concert Series
Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

The Free Fridays Concert Series is the region’s largest and longest-running free outdoor concert series featuring performances on Friday nights in downtown Gainesville. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby cafes and restaurants within walking distance. Admission is free.


hogtown opry Wil and Robert

Bask in a Night of Bluegrass at the Hogtown Opry
Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m. | University Auditorium
333 Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611

The Hogtown Opry returns to the University Auditorium stage for its second year. Enjoy a night of quality bluegrass, country and Americana. The musical lineup features The Music City Ramblers, Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin and the Hogtown Opry Band.


women in blues showcase

Vive la Différence with the North Central Florida Blues Society Florida Women in Blues Showcase
Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage

619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Celebrate the contributions from female performers to blues music. Local musicians and traveling artists include Barbara Armbrecht, Gayle Harrod, Sheba the Mississippi Queen, Niecie, Gayle Harrod and more.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County


highdive farell show with the hails

Rock Out at High Dive One Last Time at the Venue’s Last Show, “Farewell, Old Friend”
Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. | High Dive

210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

Over the years, High Dive has hosted tremendous shows and they are going out with one last hurrah. The Hails return to the venue that gave them their start and are joined by Madwoman, Sooza, Rohna, Quail Hollow, Apex, Bli & the Miles and Buboy. Enjoy menus from food trucks Fat Tiki, Back Porch Burgers and Verde Spice. Take a memory from High Dive with you by purchasing a t-shirt or a piece of memorabilia at the yard sale.


bike pit stop

Celebrate the Benefits of Cycling at the National Bike Month Pit Stop
Wednesday, May 22, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. | 6th Street Trail near SW 2
nd Ave.

​​Alachua County and the City of Gainesville celebrate National Bike Month with a bicyclist “pit stop.” Pedal your way to a friendly morning of coffee, drinks, food and bike safety gear.


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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

Pop-Up Flea and Farmers Market at VFW Post 2811
Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Florida Vintage Market at Midpoint Park and Eatery
Sunday, May 19, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

the wooly mammoth market

Local Makers and Full Bar at The Wooly Mammoth Market at They Wooly
Sunday, May 19, 1 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

this is a disaster

This is a Disaster Storytelling Meetup with Self Narrate at The Bull
Thursday, May 16, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

A Raisin in the Sun at Star Center Theatre
Friday, May 17 – Friday, May 31

once on this island

Once on this Island Jr. The Musical at The Historic Thomas Center
Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Fire and Ice: Dance Sun Country 17th Annual Recital at UF Phillips Center
Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.


Events & Festivals

florida emancipation celebration

Florida Emancipation Celebration at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Journey to Juneteenth Kickoff at City of Gainesville City Hall
Monday, May 20, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Film Screening: Before Juneteenth: Emancipation in Florida at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Monday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

equestrian rider

Horse Shows in the Park at Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19

Harvest and Movie Bingo at Gainesville Giving Garden
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Adventure Knife Blacksmithing Workshop at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Sunday, May 19, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

.4K Slacker Run with Donuts, Beer Garden, Local Vendors, Food Trucks and More at Oakmont
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Little Garden Jamboree at 4th Ave Food Park
Saturday, May 18, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.


Music & Performance

Jazz with Brenda Bayne at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Americana with Dim Lights at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Alt-Punk with 408 at High Dive
Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m.

basement sessions

Hip Hop, Artists, Vendors and Food at Basement Sessions in the Hippodrome Theatre Basement
Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Classic Rock with Enlightened Rogues at One Love Café
Friday, May 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Heritage Hwy at Pink Flamingo Diner
Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

tom sandoval

Sing-A-Long Cover Songs with Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, May 17, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Country with Houston Keen at Loosey’s Downtown
Friday, May 17, 8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Guitarist Richy Stano at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Jazz with Swing Theory at One Love Café
Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Couch Messiahs at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

old wave

’80s, New Wave and Early Alternative with DJ Cam at Old Wave at The Wooly
Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Rap and Hip Hop with Fredo Bang and Kuttem Reese at High Dive
Saturday, May 18, 8:30 p.m.

Pop Punk and Emo Night of Gainesville at Vivid Music Hall
Saturday, May 18, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

GNV Area Clarinet Choir at Gainesville Fine Arts Association
Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m.

Traditional Irish Session at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Young Annasemble Spring Concert at The Historic Thomas Center
Tuesday, May 21, 7 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 Gainesville.com

With a lineup of award-winning craft beer makers, The Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail breweries are the ultimate hangout spots to sip, socialize, and maybe even spark a little friendly rivalry. So, after a day of gallivanting around, why not kick back like a local with a taste of the AC brew scene. 

Jazz Bandits at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Women-Owned Small Business Marketplace at Swamp Head Brewery
Saturday, May 18, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

fm plays the hits

Live Music, Food Trucks, DJs and Fan Favorite Brews at FM Plays the Hits at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Saturday, May 18, 4 p.m.

Jazz with Nick DeCarlis Trio at Daft Cow Brewery
Saturday, May 18, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Swiftie Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

open mic night at swamphead

Open Mic Night at Swamp Head Brewery
Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m.


U-Picks and Farmers Markets

blueberries

U-Pick Blueberries at Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries
Open Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.

GNV Market at South Main Station
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

Wine Tasting at Superette
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at the Traveler Wine Bar
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Bumbu Rum Tasting at The Good Pour
Friday, May 17, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

nothing bundt cakes turns 2

Nothing Bundt Cakes Turns Two
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Master Chef Class: Italian Desserts at the Fat Tuscan
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Summer Series Wine Class at the Traveler Wine Bar
Saturday, May 18, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Spanish Wine Tasting Class: Bubbly and Bold from Penedès & Priorat – A Cava & Garnacha Gala
Saturday, May 18, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.


Sports & Fans

gators softball stadium

Gators Softball Hosts NCAA Softball Championships Gainesville Regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19

YBOA Gator Super National Qualifier All-Ages Basketball Tournament at the Alachua County Sports and Events Center
Friday, May 17 – Saturday, May 18

Funtastic Fridays Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, April 12, 5:30 p.m.

Scorpion Racing E.T. Bracket Series Drag Racing at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19, 8 a.m.


Parks & Trails

Adventure Outpost History and Lore Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Friday, May 17, 9 a.m.

Free Timed 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Saturday, May 18, 7:30 a.m.

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Poe Springs Park
Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Ice Cream in the Park with Alachua Conservation Trust at Rockwood Park
Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Butler North Retention Pond
Sunday, May 19, 8 a.m. – 10:30 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

cade rube goldberg exhibit

NEW at the Cade Museum: Explore Cartoonish Contraptions with “Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention!”
Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

New at the Harn Museum of Art: Kaleidoscope of Colors in Asian Art
Now through April 26, 2026

SOFT – Tradition to Rebellion in Fiber Arts at The Historic Thomas Center
On view now through Friday, August 23

Works from the Santa Fe Springs Plein Air Paintout at Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies
Now through Sunday, May 4

families attending glass bottom boat theatre at florida museum

Explore Florida’s Most Valuable Resource at the Water Shapes Florida Exhibit at Florida Museum of Natural History
Now through Sunday, May 4


Save The Date

Artwalk Gainesville, May 31

Brew at the Zoo, June 8

The Wailers at Heartwood Soundstage, June 16


For a complete list of events please visit www.visitgainesville.com/events/

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

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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