What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, August 5-11, 2021

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Keep your summer weekend filled with fun things to do and new experiences in Gainesville and Alachua County. Bring chairs or a blanket for reggae under the stars at the downtown Free Fridays concert with De Lions of Jah. Grab a delicious scoop of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ mango recipe ice cream and celebrate the 125th birthday of this Pulitzer Prize-winning author at the historic state park homestead in Cross Creek. Explore the past in Waldo as the history museum opens on Saturday or enjoy a guided tour through Sweetwater Wetlands Park or Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. 

The state’s ninth-largest restaurant, Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, complete with a football memorabilia museum, celebrates its grand opening next week at Celebration Pointe.

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. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

Individual businesses in Alachua County may have masking and distancing requirements at their private establishments. We encourage you to become familiar with businesses, venues and attractions you intend to visit and to reach out directly to these establishments should you have questions regarding their current public health and safety procedures. 

happy birthday marjorie

Celebrate the 125th Birthday of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Saturday, August 7, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park
18700 S CR 325, Cross Creek, FL 32640 

Take a trip to the homestead of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings which is now a Florida Historic State Park. The celebration includes music, cupcakes, mango ice cream and a video interview of Claude Jarman, Jr. who starred in the movie adaptation of The Yearling.

da lions of jah

Groove and Dance with the High-Energy Reggae Band De Lions of Jah at the Free Fridays Concert Series
Friday, August 6, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville 

Returning to the concert series by popular demand, De Lions of Jah deliver classic and original reggae to Bo Diddley Plaza’s stage. The Free Fridays Concert Series is the region’s longest-running free outdoor concert series featuring local and regional talent. Grab dinner at a downtown Gainesville restaurant, and find a cozy spot on the Bo Diddley Plaza lawn to enjoy a live music concert every Friday night through October.
Photo by Suzanna Mars

sloth at florida museum exhibit

Chill Out with Animal Friends and Find Out How “Slow and Steady” can Win the Race at Survival of the Slowest
Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611 

Visit the Survival of the Slowest exhibit and meet creatures that have survived for millions of years despite their apparent disadvantages. Discover the difference between warm- and cold-blooded animals, and see the unique ways they hide from predators. Preview the exhibit and plan your museum visit online.

Additional exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History include hundreds of flying butterflies inside the Butterfly Rainforest, Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land, Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife and more. 

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Find the county’s most comprehensive and searchable list of area hotels and restaurants at

Learn about our lodging partner’s commitment to a safe stay for all who visit, work and live in Alachua County at Safe Stay Pledge.

jb crockett

Dust Off Your Boots for a Night of High-Energy Country Music with JB Crockett
Friday, August 8, 8 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

Backed by full bands, Nashville country artist JB Crockett returns to Gainesville, joined by Jamie Davis. JB Crockett’s music blurs the line between country and rock and roll with catchy and instantly relatable anthems.

limpkin and snail at sweetwater wetlands park

Explore Nature and Spot Wildlife on Ranger-Led Tours of Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, August 7, 8:30 a.m., Sunday, August 8, 4:30 p.m. | Sweetwater Wetlands Park
325 SW Williston Rd., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Join a park ranger to see birds, alligators and more wildlife on the trails at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. The ranger-led tour is free with general park admission and includes a one-mile walk that lasts about an hour. Bring water, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes.

giant victoria waterlilies at kanapaha

See Record-Breaking Giant Victoria Water Lilies on a Guided Walk through Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, August 7, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608  

Warm summer months are the growing season for Giant Victoria Water Lilies. Don’t miss this spectacular seasonal display as they can reach over 6 feet across. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens has 24 major collections featuring the largest public display of bamboo in Florida, the largest herb garden in the southeast and more – showcased along a meandering 1.5 mile paved walkway throughout the lush 68-acre property.

dunbar supper club

Try New Foods and Share a New Local Dining Experience at Pleasant Street Neighborhood Supper Club
Saturday, August 7, 6:30 p.m. | The Dunbar Hotel
732 NW 4th St, Gainesville, FL 32601 

Four courses served at a leisurely pace with drinks supplied in partnership with Downtown Wine and Cheese. The new dining series brings together members of the community with guest chefs, family recipes and shared experiences.

the hipp pop up series

Liven Up Your Summer Evening with a Hippodome Pop-Up Series Live Cabaret Performance
Tuesday, August 10, 6 p.m. | Cade Museum
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 
Wednesday, August 11, 7 p.m. | One Love Café
4989 NW 40th Pl., Gainesville, FL 32606 

The Hipp Pop-Up Series features 45-minute cabaret performances by professional Hippodrome actors ‘popping up’ all over Gainesville and Alachua County. Tuesday at the Cade Museum, Savannah Simerley belts out rock and roll hits from today and yesterday. And on Wednesday, experience original music with David Patrick Ford at One Love Café.

historic photo of waldo

Catch a Train Ride to the Past at the Waldo Historical Society Museum
Now Open Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Waldo City Square
14450 NE 148th Ave., Waldo, FL 32694 

In the 1870s, travel guides advertised Waldo as a winter playground destination thanks to its railroad, opera house and cruises on Lake Alto. Step into a historic train car and view artifacts from the City of Waldo’s past.
Photo courtesy State Archives of Florida

little women

Visit with the March Sisters at the Opening Weekend of the Timeless Classic Little Women
Now through Sunday, August 8 | High Springs Playhouse
23416 W US Hwy. 27, High Springs, FL 32643 

This not-to-be-missed youth production will have you smiling, laughing and maybe shedding a few tears. Little Women follows the March sisters’ journey from childhood to maturity during the American Civil War. Limited tickets remain and may be purchased online.

flyer for complete works of william shakespeare play

Take a Laugh-Out-Loud Romp Through the Bard’s Plays at “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)[Revised]”
Now through August 8 | Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32061

Enjoy this fast-paced, technically fascinating, comedic performance featuring William Shakespeare’s 37 plays performed by 3 actors in just 97 minutes. With dozens of events a year, something is always happening at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. Mainstage shows range from topical drama to period pieces to comedy and more with the aim of creating a theatre for thinking people.

how i learned what i learned

Go on a Heartfelt Theatrical Journey with How I Learned What I Learned
Now through August 8 | Actors’ Warehouse
New Location: 2512 NE 1st Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32609

Attend the first live performance in the Actors’ Warehouse new location with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, August Wilson’s ‘How I Learned What I Learned.’ The one-man show presents a journey through Wilson’s days as a young poet: his first few jobs, a stint in jail, the support of his lifelong friends, and his encounters with racism, music and love as a struggling writer in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Tickets must be purchased in advance by visiting

spurrier's gridiron grille

A New Destination for the Gator Nation – View Trophies and Memorabilia from Gators Football Legend Steve Spurrier at the Opening Day of Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille
Wednesday, August 11 | Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille
4860 SW 31st Pl. Ste 20, Gainesville, FL 32608

Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille celebrates Gator football’s legacy of success. Part football museum and part restaurant, Spurrier’s is the largest restaurant in Gainesville and the ninth-largest in Florida. Enjoy an elevated American-casual dining atmosphere and a rooftop bar named ‘Visors’ overlooking the Celebration Pointe Promenade and outdoor entertainment venue. Make your dining reservations online.

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Arts & Theatre

spoken word poetry slam

Spoken Word Paint and Poetry Slam at SwampCity Gallery Lounge
Saturday, August 7, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Literary Agent Peter Miller: The Future of Publishing and the Entertainment Business with Writers Alliance of Gainesville on Zoom
Sunday, August 8, 2:30 p.m.

Live on Stage: University of Florida Performing Arts Fall 2021 Events Are Announced
Get the inside scoop on the upcoming fall performances at the Phillip’s Center for Performing Arts. Tickets go on sale August 28.

Back in the Spotlight: The Hippodrome Theatre’s 2021-2022 Season
The Hippodrome Theatre welcomes back audiences back to the Mainstage for their 49th season.

Twirl into the 2021-2022 Season of Dance Alive National Ballet
Phantom, Nutcracker, Don Juan and Carmina Burana are just a few of the special performances in store this year from the incredible dancers of Dance Alive National Ballet.

Elements of Entertainment: Gainesville Orchestra Earth Matters 2021-2022 Season
Maestro Evans Haile creates an astounding new season of orchestral music themed to the 5 elements of life: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether. 

Music & Performance

Classic Rock Hits with Mark Miale at One Love Cafe
Thursday, August 5, 6 p.m.

Comedy Show and Open Mic at Flaco’s
Thursday, August 5, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

lubben brothers musicians with instruments

Acoustic Folk with The Lubben Brothers at High Dive
Thursday, August 5, 8 p.m.

Soul, R&B, Jazz, Funk and Pop Hits with Fast Lane at One Love Cafe
Friday, August 6, 6 p.m.

Southern Rock with Johnson and Burns at Wahoo Seafood Grill
Friday, August 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Soul, Jazz and Funk with The Browns at Lightnin’ Salvage Enterprises
Friday, August 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

cassie and chris

Blues and Acoustic Pop with Cassie and Chris at Creek’s 19th
Friday, August 6, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Southern Rock with Good Voodoo at the Pink Flamingo Diner
Friday, August 6, 7 p.m.

Art Show by Millan Hooper, Film and Performances at Hardback Cafe
Friday, August 6, 7 p.m.

Blues, Rock and Your Favorite Songs with Midnight Blue Band at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, August 6, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Folk Songwriting Duo Bohemian Sunshine at The Bull
Friday, August 6, 8 p.m.

Southern Rock with Rockhill, Paco’s Second and Kyle Keller at Loosey’s
Friday, August 6, 8 p.m.

Rock Music with Westfall featuring Karen Morgan at Mothers Pub and Grill North
Friday, August 6, 9 p.m.

Americana with Tuck Tucker at Lightnin’ Salvage Enterprises
Saturday, August 7, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Country Music with Sondra Hunt Band at the Pink Flamingo Diner
Saturday, August 7, 7 p.m.

Metal with Shadow the Earth at High Dive
Saturday, August 7, 8 p.m.

Space Punk with Rough Dreams, Kid You Not, Jason Guy Smiley, Leg Biters at Loosey’s
Saturday, August 7, 8 p.m.

Josh Miller Blues Revue at High Dive
Sunday, August 8, 5:30 p.m.

Jazz Night with Dexter Wilborn at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Monday, August 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Craft Breweries

swamp head brewery drink gainesville beer

Open Mic Night at Big Top Brewing Company
Thursday, August 5, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Blues with Juke Jones at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, August 6, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Bottomless Mimosas at Big Top Brewing Company
Saturday, August 7, 10 a.m. 

Brainaholics Trivia at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, August 10, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Wednesday, August 11, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

A red cut watermelon view from above.

Cypress & Grove Farmer’s Market
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

One Love Cafe Local Market
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

GNV Market at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

High Springs Farmer’s Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Alachua County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Haile Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Waldo Farmer’s Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites & Brunch

wine tasting at dunbar hotel

Pop-Up Wine Tasting with Downtown Wine and Cheese at The Dunbar Hotel
Thursday, August 5, 6:30 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, August 5, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Making Ravioli Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Wednesday, August 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Find the upcoming schedule of cooking classes online

Dine at Local Restaurants, Enjoy Outdoor Seating or Grab a Meal To-Go
Dine-in or take advantage of additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks like “GNV Commons” in downtown Gainesville.

Did you know that our dining scene regularly makes national headlines? Find out why We Chomp with the best of them!

Find a searchable list of Alachua County restaurants here.


flyer for gator football tickets for sale

Gators Football Single Game Tickets Now on Sale

Funtastic Fridays at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, August 6, 5:30 p.m. 

Summit Series Bracket Race at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, August 7, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Cars and Coffee at Butler Town Center
Sunday, August 8, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Parks & Trails

Timed 5K at Depot Park with parkrun
Saturday, August 7, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.  

10th Annual Gator Clot Trot at Veterans Memorial Park
Saturday, August 7, 9 a.m. 

Weekly Mushroom Stroll at UF Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (NATL)
Sunday, August 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Trek Through Trails: Top 5 Family-Friendly and Dog-Friendly Hikes
Spending time in nature has been proven to benefit the mind, body and spirit, so round up the kids, find the dog, or go solo and reacquaint yourself with the outdoors on Alachua County’s nature trails.

River and Springs

poe springs park

Make a Splash at Poe Springs Park, Reopening Saturday
Saturday, August 7, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., then open daily  

Museums & Galleries

texture at gfaa

“Texture” at Gainesville Fine Arts Association
Tuesday – Friday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Opening Reception: Samm Wehman Art at Hotel Indigo
Friday, August 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

shadow to substance picture of the art
Left: Sheila Pree Bright, The Rebirth of Us, 2020, archival inkjet print, Courtesy of the artist, Sheila Pree Bright Right: Ayana V. Jackson, Moments of Sweet Reprieve, 2016, from the series Intimate Justice in the Stolen Moment, archival pigment print, Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim

Now Open at the Harn Museum of Art: Shadow to Substance
Shadow to Substance exhibition creates a chronological arc from the past to the present into the future using historical photographs through the lens of Black photographers working today. The exhibition expands ideas around healing, myth, intimacy, joy, resistance and rebirth to create a space for visitors to see and identify with uplifting narratives shaped by an invigorated portrait of Black life. Exhibition open through February 27, 2022.

Museum Studies: The Artwork of Richard Heipp at University Gallery
Wednesday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Between Heaven & Earth – The Paintings of Alyne Harris at Thomas Center Galleries
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Discover How Everyday Items are Made at the CADE Museums Newest Exhibit and Shop
Friday – Sunday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.  

Trailblazers: 150 Years of Alachua County Women at the Matheson History Museum
Wednesday – Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Save The Date

The Fest Presents The Warmup, August 14

MusicGNV Live and Local Dion Dia Records Showcase, August 19

Boots and Suits Festival at Post Farm. August 20-22

Gainesville Latino Film Festival, September 9-30

Upstage at the Phillips Center: Davina and the Vagabonds, September 23

Gainesville Reggae Festival, September 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.

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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