What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, August 6-12, 2020

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As the summer rolls on, find your weekend plans in our What’s Good event guide. Enjoy live music at Jazz on the Green or make a road trip stop in High Springs for the refreshing river and springs, quaint shops, delicious food, live music and your last chance to catch the fun-for-all-ages, live theatre performance of Anne of Green Gables at the High Springs Playhouse. Plus there’s still time this summer to ice skate at the Cade Museum, treat yourself to retail therapy, explore the University of Florida campus and more.

Remember to keep it safe, while you are out there making the most of each day. Please continue to adhere to public safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

We are proud to live in this mindful, resourceful and resilient community, and to share with you all that we have to offer – What’s Good.

Be safe and be well,
– Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County 

Special Announcement for Our Local Readers:  
Early this week, the Alachua County Commission approved the Alachua County CARES Act process for distributing $46.9 million allocated to Alachua County via the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Of the total relief funding award, $36.1 million will be distributed to individuals and businesses. These funds may be used for necessary expenditures incurred for the COVID-19 emergency response. This program is for Alachua County residents only. Please read on just below our featured events for additional information.

The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

Safety First. Be Informed About COVID19

In Alachua County, certain types of businesses require masks. Masks or face coverings are also required when social distancing is not possible. For additional details on the requirement as well as any exemption information please read the latest Alachua County Emergency Order.

For additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County COVID19 Community Resource Portal, the Alachua County Facebook page, call the Coronavirus Information Line at 866-779-6121, visit the Florida Department of Health website, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

jazz on the green at celebration pointe

Unwind with Virtuoso Pianist Ed Roth at Jazz on the Green
Saturday, August 8, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

The stage on the promenade hosts live jazz from Ed Roth. Ed is an accomplished jazz pianist with a recently released studio album Can’t Find My Way Home (featuring Robby Krieger of The Doors). Grab a chair or spread a blanket to enjoy live music as the sun sets. Food and drinks are available from nearby restaurants at Celebration Pointe.

high springs gateway to the springs mural

Go Off the Beaten Path and Spend a Day in Good Natured High Springs

High Springs is an international eco-tourism destination known for the beautiful Santa Fe River, freshwater springs and other natural attractions worth a visit. Poe Springs, Blue Springs and Ginnie Springs all invite swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers and sightseers. Float or paddle down the Santa Fe River with your own gear, or visit a nearby outfitter. After a day on the water, stroll through High Springs to grab a bite to eat and browse antique shops, boutiques and art galleries. 

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.

staybridge suites pool in background whats good promotion

Enjoy a SAFE-caytion and Earn Bonus Points at the Staybridge Suites Gainesville I-75

Book a fully equipped suite at one of Gainesville’s newest all suites hotels, the Staybridge Suites Gainesville I-75, and earn 4X Bonus Points towards your next trip. Their resort style pool with plenty of space to lounge and swim, a large fitness center and a basketball court provides plenty of enjoyable activities for the whole family.

Safe-cay knowing Staybridge Suites is committed to the clean and safety of their guests, not only are they a Visit Gainesville, Alachua County Safe Stay property, they operate under the IHG Way of Clean

Click here and book by September 8 and earn 4X Bonus Points.

For the list of all the Alachua County places to stay, including information about the safety measures being taken at hotels and inns, click here.

anne of green gables at high springs playhouse

Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Watch the Fun-for-all-Ages Live Performance of Anne of Green of Green Gables
Thursday, August 6 – Saturday, August 8 p.m., Sunday, August 9, 2 p.m. | High Springs Playhouse
130 NE 1st Ave., High Springs, Florida 32655

A classic tale of hope and resilience, “Anne of Green Gables” tells the story of 11-year-old Anne Shirley. Over the course of six years, this determined and energetic girl wins over the hearts of her adopted family and turns the stodgy, rural Canadian community into a bright world of “kindred spirits.” This swift and theatrical adaptation of the classic novel is an all-ages crowd-pleaser.Please note that limited tickets are sold in advance by 6 p.m. the day before the show. Tickets are not available at the door.

archer aiming at targets

Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, August 7, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Ave., Newberry, FL 32669

Join the most fun you can have with a bow for open shooting and archery games including tic-tac-toe, battle ship, bowling with bows and more. A free orientation is required and is offered at 5 p.m.

If you worked up an appetite after all that fun, you may wish to visit nearby restaurants like Arepas Milko, Villaggio Pizzeria, Woodyard Grill or neaby Tioga Town Center.

And if you want to keep the fun going over the weekend, set your sights on the Sunshine State Games Archery Competitions at Easton Newberry Archery Center and Gator Bowman Archery Range.

skating at the cade museum synthetic ice rink

Take the Double Dutch Bus on Down to the Cade Museum ‘80s Flashback Ice Skating Night
Thursday, August 6, 5:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

This fun ‘80s themed skate night takes place on the Cade’s innovative synthetic ice skating rink and dovetails with the museum’s summer celebration of cool inventions. Retro costumes with neon colors, headbands and slap bracelets are optional. Learn about “cool” inventions like air conditioning and refrigeration at The Science of Cool. Skating on the new synthetic ice rink is included with regular admission. Advanced registration is required.

shopper holding shopping bags

Treat Yourself to Retail Therapy and Take Advantage of Florida’s Sales Tax Holiday

Grab a mask and your favorite shopping buddy and get ready to check off your back-to-school (or that self-care) shopping list. Gainesville and Alachua County are a shopping destination with many unique local shops and national brands, featuring Bass Pro Shops, Best Buy, Dillard’s, Gainesville Artisans Guild Gallery, Lululemon, Nike Factor Store, Palmetto Moon, Pandora, REI Co-op, Saporito Oil Vinegar Spice, Shoppes at Thornebrook Village, The Auk Market, Total Wine, Trader Joes and Whole Foods just to name a few. Find delectable treats at restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, craft breweries and more to sustain your energy for all that exercise. Retail therapy is serious business!

bat houses at university of florida

Wind Your Way from Flying Butterflies to Flying Bats with a Day Exploring the University of Florida

The UF Cultural Plaza makes a great first stop on campus with the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Butterfly Rainforest and the Harn Museum of Art all next door to each other. Next, make your way to notable land marks like The Baughman CenterCentury Tower and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. For a meal break, consider a nearby restaurant in the 4th Avenue Food Park, downtown Gainesville or along University Avenue. As your day comes to an end, head to Lake Alice to watch the sunset and stick around at the UF Bat Houses to watch the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of bats flying into the night. 

musicians cathy dewitt and janet rucker

Harmonize with a Streaming Performance from Cathy Dewitt and Janet Rucker for Gainesville LIVE!
Friday, August 7, 8 pm. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Cathy and Janet can be found in the all-women group Patchwork. On Friday night, they’ll feature stellar harmonies and spectacular songwriting with a retrospective of their musical careers.

Gainesville LIVE! is brought to you by the City of Gainesville as a temporary way to share with the public the joy of the Free Fridays Concert Series. The series typically takes place from May to October when hundreds of visitors and locals head to the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to listen and dance to a superb assembly of bands and talented musicians. It is the region’s longest running free outdoor live music series.

resort style pool at staybridge suites

Escape to the Pool Life for a Hassle-free Change of Scenery

Create your own vacation and take in the city-scape on a rooftop pool or watch the sunset over the water at a hotel in Gainesville and Alachua County. Book a room and bring your loved ones and family to enjoy a day poolside. Let your worries wash away knowing these properties have taken the Alachua County Safe Stay Pledge.

AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown, rooftop views
Holiday Inn Express I-75, resort-style
Hotel Indigo, outdoor pool and patio
Staybridge Suites, resort-style
Sweetwater Branch Inn, secluded oasis

Click here for list of all Alachua County’s lodging properties.

people paddling on stand up paddleboards

Book a Paddling Trip on the Santa Fe River and Make an Adventure with Springs, Scenery, and Wildlife
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643

Cruise down the Santa Fe River in your stress-free time capsule… err, we mean in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fee Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.

Explore Additional Parks and Trails Bike, Hike or Just Change Your View – Explore Gainesville and Alachua County’s Bountiful Outdoor Open Spaces

Find the park that suits you best! Most of the parks and trails in Alachua County have reopened including – Alachua County Parks, Playgrounds and Preserves including Poe Springs Friday-Sunday, city parks, Alachua Conservation Trust preserves and all Florida State Parks.

Find the list of Alachua County Parks and Preserves here.
Find our What’s Good Now list of additional open spaces to explore here.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others, avoid large groups of people and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change and some facilities may not be available.

alachua county cares act plan

A Special Note for Alachua County Residents About the Alachua County Cares Act

The Alachua County Commission approved the Alachua County Cares Act process for distributing approximately $46.9 million allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). These funds may be used for necessary expenditures incurred for the COVID-19 emergency response. This program is for Alachua County residents only.

The application process will open in the following phases:
1. Individual assistance grant applications opened August 4, 2020 ($21.1 million allotted)
2. Small and medium business grant applications will open on August 10, 2020 ($15 million allotted)
3. Inter-government organization grant applications will open on August 17, 2020 ($8.3 million allotted)

The Alachua County Cares Act website is now live and residents are encouraged to fill out the application online. If you need assistance, there is a live chat on the website and a CARES Act help-line at 352-309-2505. The live chat and the help-line are opened from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Alachua County expects a high call volume and asks for your patience if the line is busy.

Arts & Theatre

A Trip to the Unknown with Sunday Sci-Fi Serials, an Online Event with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
Sunday, August 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The Sunday Sci-fi Serials is a collective of writers who are each committed to creating new stories in the style of old serialized science fiction shows.

Music & Performance

the outdoor patio at the great outdoors restaurant

Get Hooked with Exceptional Southern Food and Live Music on the Patio with Treble Hook at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, August 7, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

the browns

Grab a Slice and a Song with Soul, R&B and Motown from The Browns at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, August 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Party in Your Living Room with FEST Bands by Fest at Home
Thursday, August 6, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Variety of Classic Covers with Thomas Anthony Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Thursday, August 6, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Indie Rock with Mt. Joy Night 2 Live Stream Benefit by High Dive
Thursday, August 6, 7:30 p.m.

Country Music with Chris McNeil at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Saturday, August 8, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Indie Rock with Causa, The States, Ethan White Live Stream Benefit with High Dive
Saturday, August 8, 8 p.m.

Rock & Roll with Killer B’s Band at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Sunday, August 9, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Rock and Blues with Soulful Singer Song Writer Cassie Evans at One Love Cafe
Sunday, August 9, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

baer and the lady

Baer and the Lady Presented by MusicGNV Facebook Live Virtual Concert Series
Monday, August 10, 7 p.m.

Craft Breweries

beer pints at cypress and grove

Get Beer To-Go at Local Craft Breweries or Share a Pint at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company, pictured above

Big Top First Friday Fun Run at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Friday, August 7, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesdays at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, August 11, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Team Trivia Wednesdays at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, August 12, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sangria, Wines and More To-Go at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

Fresh produce and herbs at farmers market

Grove Street Farmer’s Market at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

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

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Bites & Brunch

Dine at Local Restaurants and Enjoy New Outside Seating Options

Some restaurants are welcoming diners back into their dining rooms. You may also notice additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks, into parking lots or into the street.

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.


North Florida Cornhole at Celebration Pointe
Thursday, August 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Museums & Galleries

alligator at florida museum

Behind The Scenes at the Florida Museum with Creative B Trivia
Thursday, August 6, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Go Behind the Scenes with Virtual Museum Trivia with the Florida Museum of Natural History
Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Explore Florida’s History and Walk With Flying Butterflies at the Florida Museum
Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Save The Date

Lessons From The Marjories with Alachua Conservation Trust, August 20

The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell, Night 2, September 12

AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, September 25-27

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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