What’s Good in Gainesville & Alachua County for Memorial Day Weekend

What’s good this weekend?
Your weekly guide to events brought to you by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County.

Swimmers at Poe Springs Park

We’re expecting record temperatures this weekend over 100 degrees. Not to be deterred, Floridian’s (and those who love to visit Florida) know how to keep cool and still have fun in the sun!

If you’re looking for new ways beat the heat and enjoy this holiday weekend, grab your water bottles and enjoy our Top Ways to Stay Cool This Summer.

We have dedicated a portion of this week’s What’s Good newsletter to events that honor and remember Veterans and Military Service Members and those who lost their lives in service to our nation. Listed below you will find a variety of Memorial Day activities and services around the greater Gainesville area.

In this week’s issue we have also added new sections: Arts & Music, Bites & Brews, Football, Sports & Fans, U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets.

– Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County.

Read on for What’s Good this weekend and get out there and have some fun!

Free Fridays Concert Series

Kick-Off Your Weekend with Urban Blues and Riff Driven Rock by the Bridget Kelly Band
Friday, May 24, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

Bridget Kelly Band

The City of Gainesville’s Free Fridays Concert Series occurs each Friday from May 3 to Oct 25.

Inspired by classic and electric blues, the Bridget Kelly Band has placed their unique stamp on the blues genre with high-energy live performances, and a hybrid sound that mixes Texas and Memphis blues with various southern blues traditions. The sultry vocals of singer Bridget Kelly and the incendiary lead guitar work of Tim Fik forge a signature hybrid sound that combines female urban blues with riff-driven rockin’ blues guitar. Other band members include Mark Armbrecht and Greg Mullins on bass and Tim Mulberry on drums.

This event is supported in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County.

Experience Musical Magic Distilled by Raelyn Nelson and Kaleigh Baker’s Someday Honey
Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.| Heartwood Soundstage
619 South Main St., Gainesville FL 32601

From a small valley in New York, Kaleigh Baker has fostered a connection with her audiences since her early days performing. Now she travels more than 300 days a year playing her bluesy blend of songwriting. Kaleigh’s gypsy ancestry has started to take root in her music, melding with her rock attitude, jazz and mountain-soul influences. She continues to mold her music with every bend on her journey. There are few bands that have captivated us the way Kaleigh Baker and her band Someday Honey have. Don’t miss this incredible night of Bluesy Soul and Soulful Blues. For tickets visit Heartwood Soundstage.

Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park

Cool Off at Kulaqua’s River Ranch Water Park
Monday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Kulaqua Retreat and Conference Center
23400 NW 212 Ave., High Springs, FL 32643

On Community Days, Kulaqua’s River Ranch Park is open to the general public. This Memorial Day, don’t miss your chance to enjoy a family good time at this one of a kind venue. There’s something for everyone at the River Ranch, from the 600 ft. lazy river, to the huge water slide and the undulating wave pool. This is a great opportunity to get into the summer spirit!

Admission is $12.50 per person, and children 3 and under are free when accompanied by their parents.

Memorial Day Ceremony

Memorial Day Ceremony
Monday, May 27, 11 a.m. | Forest Meadows Cemetery
3700 SE Hawthorne Rd., Gainesville FL 32641

A respectful commemoration to honor and remember Veterans and Military Service Members and those who lost their lives in service to our nation.

Presentation of Colors by the Vietnam Veterans of America, an American Flag Ceremony, musical tributes, Congressional, County, City and VA greetings, the Gold Star Families presentation, special Remembrance Ceremony, a Wreath laying, TAPS by the Buchholz High School Band, Rifle salute by the Korean War Veterans of America.

Free barbecue provided by Forest Meadows Funeral Homes. It is advised to come early and bring seating. For more information, contact Jim Lynch at 352-538-3119.

VA Memorial Day Program

Malcom Randall VA Memorial Day Program
Friday, May 24, 10 a.m. | Malcom Randall VA Medical Center
1601 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

Pay tribute and honor servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price to ensure the democratic principles upon which our nation was founded. For more information, please call Alachua County Veteran Services at (352) 264-6740.

This event will be held outside the Bell Tower. Should inclement weather occur, the ceremony will move to the auditorium.

Memorial Mile

Memorial Mile
Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park
1001 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605

The Memorial Mile makes its official return this year. One tombstone will be placed alongside NW 8th Avenue for each U.S. service member who lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001. Loved ones who would like to place a flag to remember those they lost at a future memorial event can find information on tables positioned at the beginning and end of the display.

Please join Veterans for Peace, Chapter 14 in remembrance of all of those who gave their lives during their service and in reflection of the true costs of war.

Milton Lewis Young Marines Ceremony

Milton Lewis Young Marines Unit Ceremony
Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m. | Evergreen Cemetery
401 SE 21 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32641

This Young Marines unit, chartered in 2001, was named after Milton Lewis, the first casualty in World War II who lived in Gainesville. Students from the 8th and 12th grade will honor veterans with the help of host Bob Gasch, a Purple Heart recipient and also an Iwo Jima veteran. For more information, call Evergreen Cemetery at (352) 393-8535.

Florida Museum CROCS exhibit

Free Admission for Veterans on Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 10:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

The Florida Museum of Natural History is offering free admission to the “Butterfly Rainforest” and “CROCS” exhibits for veterans on Memorial Day. Please bring a valid form of identification such as: a military ID, DD Form 214, VA card or driver’s license with a blue “V” in the bottom right corner.

For more information visit the Florida Museum of Natural History website or call (352) 846-2000.


Memorial Day MURPH 2019 at the B3 Gym
Monday, May 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

B3 Gym will be honoring the men and women who lost their lives while serving our country with our annual Memorial Day MURPH event. This event will include a workout and potluck, and will also serve as a fundraiser for the Jonathan Cote Memorial Scholarship.

Memorial Day Challenge at LIV Athletic
Monday, May 27, 5:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Every Memorial Day, LIV Athletic does the CrossFit HQ workout called Murph. Murph is a hero workout in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. Class will last about 90 minutes.

MURPH 2019 at Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Park
Monday, May 27, 8 a.m.

Tackle the Murph and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day Workout at Burn Boot Camp
Monday, May 27, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The workout: A 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 unweighted squats, followed by another 1-mile run in a nod to the workout’s military roots.

MURPH at Risen Strength Crossfit
Monday, May 27, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Memorial Day Murph at Summit Fitness
Monday, May 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


The Lion King Jr. at the Phillips Center
Thursday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.

The African Savannah comes to life on stage with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again.

Meeting Gorbachev at the Hipp Cinema
Friday, May 24, 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Werner Herzog and André Singer’s riveting documentary, filled with unforgettable archive materials provides incredible access to, arguably, the world’s greatest living politician.

Cocktails & Classics: North By Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock at the Hipp Cinema
Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

This thriller follows Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), an advertising executive, as he is mistaken for a government agent. The adventure culminates at the classic Mount Rushmore scene, but does he manage to escape?

Meet @ the Cade Inventor Series: UF Linguistics
Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Meet the UF Department of Linguistics this Saturday and learn all about language.

Design Your Own Wall Hanging at Unique Notions
Sunday, May 26, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Create wall hangings using a variety of ribbon and yarn.

Whiskey Jones at the Tioga Town Center
Friday, May 24, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Bring a lawn chair and blankets for a FREE concert on the Tioga Town Center stage.

Max Helgemo, Ricky Kendall, Johnny Lee, and Ben White at The Atlantic
Friday, May 24, 9 p.m.- 1 a.m.

Four performers come together to create a night full of folksy fun.

Behind the Scenes in Historic Preservation: A Photographic Journey at the Hawthorne Historical Museum
Saturday, May 25, 2 p.m.

A behind the scenes look at preserving architectural heritage.


Sally B’s Dashing Revue at the High Dive
Friday, May 24, 8 p.m.

Experience the class and sass of Sally B’s Dashing Revue. This show features burlesque performances by local and touring artists with live music by Swing Theory.

NSAI Songwriter’s Night at the Cypress and Grove Brewery
Friday, May 24, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Songwriters from the Gainesville Chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International present original music in a song circle format.

New Beer Release Alert! Hibiscus Blonde at the Cypress and Grove Brewery
Thursday, May 23, 3 p.m.- 10 p.m.

Hibiscus Blonde is the perfect summer beer, striking a delicate balance of light body, a hint of sweetness, floral slightly-fruity German hops, and a crisp subtle hibiscus tartness.

Gosia and Ali at Cypress & Grove
Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Come see Gosia and Ali and hear their extensive repertoire: anything from Latin to Jazz to Celtic music-and more.

Grand Opening at Cry Baby’s
Friday, May 24, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

A new member of the downtown scene. This burgers and beers restaurant/bar with a retro feel will have records available to play during Happy Hour.

Spring Salad Tasting at Saporito Oil, Vinegar, Spice
Saturday, May 25, 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Swing by for some foodie tips, learn a bit about extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy some delicious, fresh-picked, locally grown produce, straight from the Haile Farmer’s Market.


NCAA Softball Super Regionals
Friday, May 24-Sunday May 26 | Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
2880 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32608

The Florida Gators softball team will host an NCAA Super Regional for the 15th consecutive season at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Joining Florida (44-15) in the Gainesville Super Regional will be the Tennessee Volunteers.

Sunshine State Games Basketball
Saturday, May 25-Sunday, May 26

2019 Sunshine State Games Basketball is a designated as a US Amateur State Qualifying event which means it will count as one of two state qualifiers needed to be eligible to participate in the US Amateur Basketball State Tournament.


Alachua County Home Grown Farm Tour at UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County
Thursday, May 23, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The tour teaches about local agriculture, ranging from horticulture, beef cattle, nurseries, row crops, and more.

Green Kids Workshop at The Green House Nursery
Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Kids ages 3 and up enjoy a fun garden craft and activities!

Alachua Farmers Market at Main Street Alachua
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

Alachua County Farmers Market at US 441
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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


Gainesville Modern Landmarks

Gainesville’s Modern Landmarks
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., | Matheson History Museum
513 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

Every city has a period of time that defines its built environment and architectural character. For Gainesville, that moment was the mid-20th century. This exhibition highlights some of the outstanding examples of the Mid-Century style that are worthy of consideration for landmark status.

This event is supported in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County.

Divergent Convergence: The Arts of Creativity, Discovery & Inquiry
March 31 – July 21, 2019 | Harn Museum of Art
3259 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

D52 by Tony Robbin
(detail) Tony Robbin, “D52,” n.d., digital print, gift of Norma Canelas Roth and William D. Roth

This exhibition, offered as a part of the University of Florida’s campus-wide celebration of invention and creativity, will investigate and celebrate how various artists discover, question the past, re-interpret the present, and imagine the future. Drawn from the Harn Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition will demonstrate the mindfulness of artists over the last century, encouraging discussions and investigations centered on multiple questions, such as: what are the roles of innovation and imagination in the visual arts; how are boundaries between the arts and other disciplines connected and/or broken down; and where are artists going next?

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World
May 18, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020 | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

Crocs exhibit at the Florida Museum

See the result of 200 million years of predatory evolution and learn about one of nature’s oldest and stealthiest hunters: crocodilians. This unique exhibition educates guests on the history and significance of these creatures using live reptiles and realistic models. Interactive elements allow visitors to test their strength against a crocodile’s bite and see how they use sound waves to make water dance. A life-size model tells the story of Gomek, the largest crocodile ever exhibited in , and how he became a symbol of crocodile conservation. A “digital curator” reveals the behavior and intricate social lives of these animals. See alligator fossils found at the Montbrook dig site in nearby Levy County, Florida, and the skull of one of the University of Florida’s last live mascots.

For a complete list of events please visit

What's Good Alachua County

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