What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, October 19-25, 2023

whats good guide of weekly events
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The weekend is jam packed with What’s Good. Celebrate the musical legacy of a hometown hero and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty with a 3-day music and memorabilia festival – Tom Petty Weekend. Strut your PRIDE at the 2023 Gainesville Pride Festival or stroll through Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and browse the annual Fall Plant Sale and Orchid Show.

Be awe struck with world’s largest bats at Florida Bat Fest or find creative inspiration and one of a kind gifts at the 38th Annual Fall Arts Festival at Thornebrook Village. Enjoy family-friendly fun at the High Springs Fall Festival or brew up Oktoberfest good times on the Sippin’ Seven Ale Trail.

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.

tom petty weekend 2023

Happy Birthday Tom Petty! Experience 3 Days of Music Tributes and Storytelling at Tom Petty Weekend
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22 | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Tom Petty’s birthday is October 20 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer would have been 73 this year. Heartwood Soundstage hosts the official festival of Tom Petty Nation and the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Fan Club. Indoor and outdoor stages host 3 days of music featuring Americana Music Association award-winning Shovels and Rope. View the full band lineup, daily schedule and get tickets online.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

pop icon nick carter

Enjoy an Evening Nick Carter, Singer, Songwriter and Youngest Member of the Backstreet Boys
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m. | UF Phillips Center

3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611 

Nick Carter became an international pop star at the age of 12 with the iconic boy band Backstreet Boys. To date, the Backstreet Boys are the best-selling boy band in history and are one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. In 2002 he released his debut solo album which debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200, marking the beginning of a successful solo career alongside his Backstreet Boys fame.

orchids on display

Stroll the Gorgeous Grounds of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Browse the Annual Fall Plant Sale and Orchid Show
Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608

Explore the beautifully manicured grounds of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens at the annual fall open house and plant sale. Browse 50 booths with a wide variety of plants for sale. Inside the entrance building, view the American Orchid Society’s annual judged show with colorful blooms on display. Admission is free.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

pumpkins and fall squash

Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun at the High Springs Fall Festival
Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | High Springs Museum Courtyard and James Paul Park
23718 W US Hwy 27, High Springs, FL 32643

The annual High Springs Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival features crafts and food vendors, kids activities and live music. 

florida bat festival

Meet the World’s Largest Bats at the Florida Bat Festival
Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Lubee Bat Conservancy

1309 NW 192nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609

Spread your wings and celebrate all things batty with Lubee Bat Conservancy. The annual Florida Bat Fest raises awareness of bat conservation and education efforts. Enjoy a fun-filled day with Kids Zone activities, bat-themed gifts, a variety of food trucks, live music, craft beer garden with Florida breweries, bat experts, local conservation organizations and more. 

pride festival

Celebrate PRIDE at the 2023 Gainesville Pride Festival
Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

Browse over 100 vendors and resources, enjoy activities for all ages, live music and entertainment from LGBTQ+ performers featuring Dragula Season 3 winner Landon Cider. Admission is free. Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

The Pride Community Center of North Central Florida hosts a calendar of events leading up to the 2023 Gainesville Pride Festival.

Pride Walk and Talk with Alachua Conservation Trust at Tuscawilla Preserve
Friday, October 20, 3 p.m.

Join Alachua Conservation Trust for a community hike at Tuscawilla Preserve

Queer Joy Street Party at The Bull
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

On the eve of Gainesville’s Annual Pride Festival, enjoy local queer-owned businesses, speed friendship dating and networking, live music, prizes and costume contest.

Pride Sip N’ Spin at Studio TM Ceramics
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Get your hands dirty and learn wheel-throwing skills.

Gainesville Pride Festival 2023 at Bo Diddley Plaza
Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Browse over 100 vendors and enjoy live entertainment from LGBTQ+ performers in downtown Gainesville. Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

Rhinestones & Rust: A Queer Country Showcase at Civic Media Center
Saturday, October 21, 8 p.m.

Rhinestones & Rust: A Queer Country Showcase, featuring performances by Brooklyn-based artists Paisley Fields and Wiley Gaby, alongside Gainesville’s own Wax Wings and Cooper. Get ready to strut your stuff with line dancing instruction with Alice Hix.

fall arts festival

Find Creative Inspiration with Colorful and Artistic Displays at the Thornebrook Fall Arts Festival
Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Shoppes at Thornebrook

2441 NW 43rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606

Stroll through the park-like setting at the annual showcase of artwork and artists. View paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed-media from fused glass to paintings with additions, fiber arts, wood carvings, furniture, pottery and jewelry. Enjoy food vendors and restaurants at the Shoppes at Thornebrook. Admission is free.

fall book sale

Flip Through the Largest Sale of its Kind in Florida at the Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale
Saturday, October 21 – Wednesday, October 25 | Friends of the Library

430 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

The Friends of the Library warehouse opens its doors with over 500,000 items for sale including books, records, movies, comics and more. Most prices range from $0.25 to $4.00. Visit the Collector’s Corner for first editions, vintage magazines, unique DVD box sets, maps, music and posters. Plan your visit and learn more about sale procedures online.

swallotail farm

Savor the First Swallowtail Farm Dining Experience of the Season with Chef Clay Conley of Buccan
Saturday, October 21, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Swallowtail Farm
7301 SE 92nd Terr., Gainesville, FL 32641

The 2023-2024 Season of Swallowtail Farm Dining Experiences kicks off with 4-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: South, Chef Clay Conley. Since its inception in 2009, the farm has collaborated with brilliant local chefs, fellow producers, musicians, brewers, non-profits and artists to bring authentic elevated dining experiences to the community. Tickets include a farm tour, open bar, live music and a one-of-a-kind multi-course dinner featuring locally-sourced ingredients. 

hundreds of cyclistst starting a group ride

Pedal Scenic Group Rides of 100 Miles (or less!) at the Gainesville Cycling Festival
Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22 | Variety of Cycling Routes

The 42nd Annual Gainesville Cycling Festival features 100-mile tours on back-to-back days with a selection of shorter segments. Saturday includes the Santa Fe Century and Gravel Challenge, Sunday features the Horse Farm Hundred. The festival offers a unique experience of starting a ride with a large group, rest stops and ride support services along the route. 

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Arts & Theatre

sweeney todd

See a Tale of Revenge Unfold on Stage at the Opening Weekend of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Musical Thriller
Now through Sunday, October 29 | Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
3501 SW 2nd Ave. STE O, Gainesville, FL 32607
Sit on the edge of your seat for a suspenseful tale of crime and revenge. Barber Sweeney Todd returns to London to uncover the past, along the way meeting pie shop owner Mrs. Nellie Lovett, and begins a life of crime. Content contains adult themes. 

The Prom at UF Constans Theatre
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 29

Driveway Theatre Project presents Dracula! at LifeSouth Newberry Road Donor Center
Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Romanzen at UF School of Music
Monday, October 23, 7:20 p.m.

Events & Festivals

spooktacular colors show

Spooktacular Colors Show at Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22
The 1st Annual Florida Color Horse Club’s Spooktacular Colors Horse Show features a horse and rider costume contest as well as a barn party and fun games for youth and adult exhibitors.

Movie Night at Bo Diddley Plaza: Hocus Pocus
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m.

Florida Springs Institute Movie Night and Spooky Scavenger Hunt
Friday, October 20, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Sequential Artists Workshop Presents Cartoonist Tommi Parrish at Third House Books
Friday, October 20, 7:30 p.m.

Ink and Drink Screen Printing Class at Paradise Press and Print Studio
Saturday, October 21, 6 p.m.


Cosplay, Discussion Panels and Video Game Tournaments at GatorLAN at UF Reitz Union
Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Guest Speakers, Awards and Lunch at United Nations Day 2023 at Oak Hammock
Saturday, October 21, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


5th Annual Oktoberfest at Audi Gainesville
Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. 

Depot Station’s Spooky, Spectacular 7th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Howl-A-Palooza at Sun Country Sports Center
Sunday, October 22, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Bonne et Belle One Year Anniversary Open House
Wednesday, October 25, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

corn maze

Newberry Cornfield Maze and Haunted House
Now through Saturday, October 28

Crossroads Farm & Apiary Fall Festival
Now through – October 31

Peanut Patch and Corn Maze
Now through – Saturday, October 28

Hollow Oaks Corn Maze
Now through – Sunday, November 5

The Gainesville Fear Garden Presents The Haunt Lab
Now through Friday, November 3

Music & Performance

Acoustic Americana with Dim Lights at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, October 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Punk with Sports Reference at Loosey’s Downtown
Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m.

basement sessions

Basement Sessions Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month at the Hippodrome Theatre
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.

Metal with Curses at High Dive
Thursday, October 19, 8 p.m.

Country with Chase Wright with Chris Bandi at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursday, October 19, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Drum and Bass with Orbit at The Wooly
Thursday, October 19, 10 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.

Classic Rock with Enlightened Rogues at One Love Café
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Big Rascal at Pink Flamingo Diner
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m.

Classic Rock and Funk with Uncle Morty’s Rhythm Cream at the Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m.

Indie with The Forum at Loosey’s Downtown
Friday, October 20, 8 p.m.

Taylor Swift Dance Party at The Wooly
Friday, October 20, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Dueling Pianos with Robert Meadows and Brad Heron at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Friday, October 20 – Saturday, October 21, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Acoustic Pop with KennaDee at One Love Café
Saturday, October 21, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

High-Energy Bluegrass with Boilin’ Oil at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, October 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Kiss 105.3 FM Concert Series with Southern Burn at Celebration Pointe
Saturday, October 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Jazz with Cathy DeWitt and Edward White at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Saturday, October 21, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Prog Rock with Syzygy at Loosey’s Downtown
Saturday, October 21, 8 p.m.

pop punk and emo night

Pop Punk and Emo Night Costume Dance Party at Vivid Music Hall
Saturday, October 21, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Chamber Music with Balourdet Quartet at Squitieri Studio Theatre
Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m.

Old Time and Traditional Music Jam at Civic Media Center
Sunday, October 22, 6 p.m.

Rock and Roll with All Them Witches at High Dive
Sunday, October 22, 7 p.m.

Halloween Scene Queens at the Hippodrome Theatre Basement
Monday, October 23, 8 p.m., for ages 18+

Gainesville Flute Ensemble Fall Concert at The Thomas Center
Tuesday, October 24, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Live on Stage at High Dive
Tuesday, October 24, 8 p.m.

Psych-Pop with Nordista Freeze at High Dive
Wednesday, October 25, 8 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

Add to the gameday weekend on the Sippin’ Seven Alachua Count Ale Trail. Check-in at local breweries and earn points with the free digital pass. Learn more and sign up online.

Learn more and sign up for free at

Click here and check out the most recent edition of the Sippin’ Seven On Tap newsletter featuring fun upcoming events at local breweries.

Soft Opening of Dry Wrought Cider at 4th Ave Food Park
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

swamp head adult trick or treating

Adult Trick or Treating Neon Encounter at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., for ages 21+


7th Annual Blocktoberfest at Blackadder Brewing Company
Friday, October 20, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Spooky Art Night at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House
Friday, October 20, 6:30 p.m.

Jazz Bandits at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rock with Whiskey Jones at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, October 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Creatures of the Swamp Conservation Eek-Stravaganza with Current Problems at Swamp Head Brewery
Sunday, October 22, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Corn Hole Tournament, Corn Husking Competition, Live Music and More at Corn Fest at Daft Cow Brewery
Sunday, October 22, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmers Markets

harvest festival

Harvest Festival at the Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturday, October 21, 8:30 a.m. – 12 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.

Fall 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.

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

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

Bites and Brunch

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, October 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, October 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at the Traveler Wine Bar
Thursday, October 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine and Cheese Tasting Costume Party at Serpentine Plants and Provisions
Friday, October 20, 6 p.m.

BBQ, Bourbon and Blues Festival at Top Hog Archer Road
Saturday, October 21, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Wine Tasting Class: A Taste of Italy at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Saturday, October 21, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

haloween ghost hunt

Paranormal Investigation and Ghost Tour of the Williams Leroy House with Soothing Teas and Delectable Treats at Teatime, Tranquility and Treasures
Sunday, October 22, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Sip and Savor: The Enchanting World of Vermouths, Aperitifs, and Amaros at Laurel Oak Inn
Sunday, October 22, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.


Gators Womens Tennis ITA Regional Championships at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex
Thursday, October 19 – Monday, October 23

gator talk

Live Broadcast of Gator Talk with Gators Men’s Basketball Coach Todd Golden at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Gators Softball Exhibition vs. Saint Leo at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Thursday, October 19, 6 p.m.

Gators Soccer vs. Auburn at Donald R. Dizney Stadium
Thursday, October 19, 6 p.m.

USA Weightlifting Sanctioned Gator Fall Open at The Ark School of Fitness
Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Summit Racing Series Annual Wally Bracket Race at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, October 21, 8 a.m.

Ray Seymour Invitational Softball at Champions Park
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22

Dynasty Hoops Basketball Tournament at Alachua County Sports and Events Center
Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22

people playing pickleball

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

Parks & Trails

Accessible Tram Tours at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Ongoing, Check for Availability
Friday, October 20, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, October 23, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Ranger-Led Sunrise Walk at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, October 21, 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Free Timed 5K at Depot Park parkrun
Saturday, October 21, 7:30 a.m.

Gate2Gate 25K and 50K Trail Runs at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Saturday, October 21, 7:30 a.m. 

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Turkey Creek Preserve
Saturday, October 21, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

group at devils millhopper

Ranger-Led Tour at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m.


Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice with Alachua Conservation Trust at Rockwood Park
Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Wednesday Bird Walk with Alachua Audubon Society at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, October 25, 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

harn museum after dark

Art After Dark with Artist Talk from José Bedia at the Harn Museum of Art
Thursday, October 19, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Opening Party at Blackbird Studios in Micanopy
Friday, October 20, 7 p.m.

Collectors’ Talk “Under the Spell of the Palm Tree” at the Harn Museum of Art
Saturday, October 21, 6 p.m.

dinosaur display

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

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.Photo courtesy of Bria Woods for the Witte Museum

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.

Save The Date

FEST 21, October 27-29

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, October 27-30

Dance Alive National Ballet Presents Swan Lake, October 27

48th Micanopy Fall Festival, October 28-29

42nd Annual Downtown Festival and Art Show in Downtown Gainesville, November 18-19

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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