What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, June 18-24, 2020

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Enjoy a fun and relaxing Father’s Day weekend with a safari tour of Carson Springs Wildlife Sanctuary or a cool day floating down the lazy river at the Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park Father’s Day Community Event. The weekend also features the Newberry Watermelon Festival, plus delicious dining specials, u-pick blueberries, live music and more.

Friday, June 19 is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, which commemorates freedom from slavery in 1865. Although this year, social distancing affected the scheduling of in person celebrations, the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center invites the public to take part in a special Juneteenth Zoom Gathering. And, Chef Empowerment Underground Kitchen presents an inspired and delicious Juneteenth Pre Fixe menu featuring, braised oxtails, Florida lobster, shrimp mac-and-cheese, and blackened salmon with desserts by Sandy Sweets.

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Please continue to be safe. 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.

– Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County 

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

Newberry watermelon festival

Make a Sweet Celebration of All Things Watermelon at the Newberry Watermelon Festival
Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | CountryWay Townsquare
1739 SW NW 248 Terr., Newberry, FL 32669

The annual celebration of the watermelon started in 1946. This year’s festival features a parade starting at 10:30 a.m. complete with a dog pageant and golf cart competition, food trucks, craft vendors kids activities. Live entertainment continues on the Square at 6 p.m. featuring americana music from the Ronny McKinley Band.

Per Alachua County guidelines, masks shall be worn when social distancing measures are not possible. Additionally, the festival has hand-sanitizing stations available throughout the grounds. Parking is $5.

A Night in the Garden

Relax and Unwind with Live Music and Food Trucks at A Night in the Garden
Friday, June 19, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | The Green House Nursery
15207 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669

Green House Nursery hosts food trucks and live music from the Barstool Prophets. The plant nursery features decorated outdoor displays, fountains and ponds to make a unique outdoor venue to kick off the weekend.

DIY Art Projects at Island Grove Tasting House

Create Your Own Sippin’ Grillin and Chillin’ Hand-Painted Sign with DIY Wood Signs
Friday, June 19, 6:30 p.m. | Island Grove Wine Tasting House
21848 S Co 325 Hwy, Hawthorne, FL 32640

Island Grove Wine Tasting House hosts an evening of art making. Many wine options will be available in addition to non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks. 3 art projects are available, choose your project here.

Cotton Club Musuem and Cultural Center presents Juneteenth Zoom Gathering

Observe Juneteenth with an Online Zoom Gathering “We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest”
Friday, June 19, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Online event with The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center

Friday, June 19 is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorating freedom from slavery in 155 years ago. Join an online gathering featuring guest speakers and presentations, candle lighting and prayer. Access the online gathering at this Zoom link, or find a call in number here. Meeting ID: 991 5737 0499

happy father's day

Celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday 
Fathers and father figures deserve at least one day out of the year, right? Let Dad know how important he is with a special outing, new experience or treat him to a special meal out at his favorite restaurant. Plan your weekend with some ideas for dad.

Father’s Day Wildlife Tour at Carson Springs
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Free Admission for all Fathers at Kulaqua River Ranch
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

U-Pick Blueberries at Deep Spring Farm, RSVP Required
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Art Projects with or for Dads at Painting with a Twist:
You Make My Heart SAUR
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Fishing With Dad
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Take a Break and Travel Happy with 20% off at the Gainesville Drury Hotel
Enjoy vacation savings with 20% off your next stay plus enjoy best-in-class amenities provided at no extra charge so you can Travel Happy® and focus on the good stuff.

Their friendly team members and generous, free amenities guarantee you a carefree vacation!
-Free Hot Breakfast
-Free Dinnertime Snacks & Drinks at the 5:30 Kickback®
-Free Wi-Fi
-Swimming Pool & Whirlpool
-Microwave & Mini Fridge in Guest Rooms

Book now thru 12/31/20 and Save 20%

Offer is subject to availability and advance reservations are required. Rates are net, non-commissionable. Discount applies to standard rates and is not valid for groups or any other discount, special offer or package. Black-out dates may apply.

Check out more Gainesville, Alachua County Places to Stay.

exhibit at Historic Haile Homestead

Reflect On and Learn About the Local History of Enslaved Laborers and Freedmen at the Newly Reopened Historic Haile Homestead
Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sunday, June 21, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Historic Haile Homestead
8500 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

The Haile family moved from South Carolina to Alachua County in 1854 to establish a cotton plantation named Kanapaha. The Historic Haile Homestead is a Florida Historical Marker and Kanapaha is on the National Register of Historic Places. Reclaiming Kin, Once Lost, Now Found is the newest exhibit at the museum. It features photos and historical information gathered over 13 years by descendant and historian, Tanya Peterson, describing the history of enslavement and the legacy of Hampton and Grace Hathcock.

Musician Don David performing on stage

Enjoy Incredible Singing and Songwriting with Don David at Gainesville Live!
Friday, June 19, 8 p.m.
Virtual Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Don David (The Impostors, the Don David trio) performs at this week’s Gainesville LIVE! livestream concert. Don is a 12-year alum of our Free Fridays Concert Series with Beatles tribute band The Impostors.

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.

atwork creation of life on earth

Explore an Art Gallery from the Comfort of Home with Sci Art Virtual Showcase
Friday, June 19
Online Event with Florida Museum and Santa Fe College Art Gallery

This virtual showcase presented in collaboration with Santa Fe College Art Gallery features artwork created by the local community based on the Museum’s mission of “Inspiring people to care about life on Earth.”

The pop up movie tour

Pull Up To the Movies with The Pop-Up Movie Tour
Thursday, June 18 – Sunday, June 21 | The Oaks Mall
6419 West Newberry Road, Gainesville, Florida 32605

High Dive and Glory Days Presents are bringing drive-in movies to the Gainesville. The Pop-Up Movie Tour is showing movies at The Oaks Mall through the weekend, starting on Thursday night with Shrek. Find the movie lineup and buy tickets here.

Visit Artisans Guild Gallery Before Their Big Move and Browse the Red Dot Sale
Open Daily 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment until July 1 | Artisans’ Guild Gallery

201 SE 2 Pl., Gainesville, FL 32605 Founded in 1970, the Gainesville Artisans’ Guild is one of the oldest artist owned and operated cooperative galleries in the country. The gallery begins its big move in July to a historic building in downtown Gainesville before reopening in August. During the Red Dot Sale, look for items with a red dot for discounts up to 75% off.

Sunday Sci Fi Serials

Take a Trip to the Unknown with Sunday Sci-Fi Serials
Sunday, June 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Online Event with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre

Sunday Sci-fi Serials, presented by the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, is a collective of writers who are each committed to creating new stories in the style of old serialized science fiction shows. This group will be writing new material and presenting it each week in readers style theatre online from June 21st to August 9th. Each writer will be working on their own series, which will be updated by episodes each week. Join Sunday Sci-fi Serial each week to see new stories unfold before your very eyes.

Two riders on the trails at San Felasco

3 Must Ride Off-Road Bike Trails in Gainesville, Alachua County

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
The area’s best off-road biking. This state park offers a variety of all-level trails and stunning scenery. San Felasco Trail Maps.

Sweetwater Preserve West Trail
Have fun riding over 1.75 miles of winding trails through upland mixed and floodplain forests along Sweetwater Branch. Sweetwater Preserve brochure and map.

Newnan’s Lake State Forest Pithlachocco Bicycle Trail
Bike a 5.5 mile loop through hardwood and pine forests leading to views of the lake. Newnan’s Lake State Forest trail map.

Upcoming Bike Events:
Participate in a Weekly Urban Trail Ride from Goodbike Bike Shop
Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fun, evening urban trail ride around Gainesville. Bring your bike, helmet, water and a light. All are welcome.

Next Saturday Challenge Yourself to 40-50 miles of Urban Trail Riding at the 6th Annual Summer Steamer
Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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 on weekends, 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.

Kayaks on the Santa Fe River
Kayaking on the Santa Fe River

Cruise by Turtles and Birds on Your Own Paddle Adventure. Book a Trip on the Santa Fe River and Springs 
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643

Wave to other paddlers from afar as you gently cruise down the Santa Fe River in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddle. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Pick-ups are now being offered, with some restrictions. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Exterior of the Cade Museum

Spark Wonder with a Tour at The Cade Museum
Friday, June 19 – Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention
811 South Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 ​

Plan your visit to the Cade Museum! The Cade reopens this weekend with a re-envisioned Cade Museum experience. The museum will initially be open on Fridays and Saturdays for limited-capacity experiential tours, led by our talented team of Cade educators. Purchase your tour tickets online.

The Cade Museum celebrates invention and is proud to partner with Violet Defense, Orlando-based creators of patented, ultraviolet disinfectant devices that eliminate more than 99% of bacteria and viruses. Bolstering the strict cleaning protocols already in place, Violet Defense’s mobile ultraviolet disinfection units – currently utilized in hospitals – will be used before and after each guided tour. You can also find east to do STEAM activities for all ages from the Cade Education Team with Cade at Home.

Book your stay at the Cade Museum’s partner hotel Aloft Gainesville – a Marriott hotel.

social distancing illustration of two people and a 6' alligator between them

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 ​County Emergency Order 2020-30.

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).


Gainesville summer drive in movie series at celebration pointe

Cars3 and Ford v Ferrari Double Feature at Gainesville Summer Drive-In Movie Series at Celebration Pointe
Friday, June 19, 7 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Virtual Poetry Jam with Civic Media Center
Thursday, June 18, 8 p.m.


[Pictured Above: Skatune Network]
Bad Time Records Online Party with Performances by Catbite, Omnigone, Kill Lincoln and Skatune Network with FEST at Home
Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m.
FEST hosts its 19th music festival in downtown Gainesville on October 30 – November 1, 2020. In anticipation of this yearly sellout event, ‘Fest at Home’ is producing Thursday evening live music sets from this year’s music festival lineup. FEST19 will feature 300+ bands, comedians and pro wrestlers, tickets on sale now.

Southern Rock with Houston Keen at Wahoo Seafood Grill
Friday, June 19, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Acoustic Duo Richy & Chelsea at One Love Cafe
Thursday, June 18, 6 p.m.

Favorite Alternative Music with The Remedy at One Love Cafe
Friday, June 19, 6 p.m.

Swamp Rock with Mr. Aullie at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, June 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Singer, Songwriter George Gomez at One Love Cafe
Saturday, June 20, 12 p.m.

Cassie Keenum at lighnin salvage

Blues and Folk Inspired Music with Cassie Keenum at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, June 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Moondog at One Love Cafe
Saturday, June 20, 6 p.m.

Acoustic Hits with Shawn Manley Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Saturday, June 20, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Jazz and Blues with Middleground at One Love Cafe
Sunday, June 21, 11 a.m.

Classic Rock with Moondog at One Love Cafe
Sunday, June 21, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

MusicGNV presents Safe at Home Facebook Live Virtual Concert with Hatchery Presents

Electronica with Hatchery Presents by MusicGNV Facebook Live Virtual Concert Series
Monday, June 22, 7 p.m.


Outdoor seating area at cypress and grove brewing company

Sip Responsibly at Local Breweries Now Open Enjoy a pint in the beer gardens of High Springs Brewing Company or Cypress and Grove Brewing Company (pictured above). The indoor taprooms are open at Blackadder Brewing Company and First Magnitude Brewing Company with outdoor seating also available. Sit indoors and outdoors at Big Top Brewing Company. Find new can releases to-go at Swamp Head Brewery.

Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant 20th Birthday Festival with First Magnitude Brewing Company
Virtual Music Festival Stream. Interactive, online, music, arts, yoga and wellness festival.
Saturday, June 20, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

$6 Burger Mondays at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Monday, June 22, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

$3 Taco Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, June 23, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Team Trivia Wednesdays at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Juneteenth pre fixe menu from Chef Empowerment's Underground Kitchen

Juneteenth Pre Fixe Menu at Chef Empowerment Underground Kitchen
Friday, June 19, call to place order in advance

Chef Empowerment’s mission is to reverse the increase in crime and decrease in employment by providing vocational training and immediate job placement for those who successfully complete the program. By partnering with chains and local mom and pop restaurants, they are completely dedicated and passionate about training future culinary leaders. Learn more at

Father's Day at Pomodoro Cafe

Father’s Day Specials at Pomodoro Cafe
Sunday, June 21, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Dine at Local Restaurants and Enjoy New Outside Seating Options
Some restaurants are welcoming diners back into their dining rooms, and 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.


fresh picked blueberries

U-Pick Blueberries at Bluefield Estate Winery
Through Friday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Basil and Okra U-Pick and Food Market at Frog Song Organics
Sunday, June 21, 3 p.m. – 5 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.

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


United States Fast Pitch Association at Champions Park
Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, June 21

High Springs BMX is Now Open for Practice on the Track
Thursday, June 18, 6:30 p.m., Registration is required


author john m dunn with book cover Drying Up

Virtual Author Talk: John M. Dunn Discusses “Drying Up: The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida” with Alachua Conservation Trust
Wednesday, June 24, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.


gfaa attending to wonder exhibit

View the National Juried Exhibition “Attending to Wonder” from Gainesville Fine Arts Association

Covid-19 Community Archive from the Matheson History Museum

View Online Classes and Activities presented by the Cade Museum

Take a Virtual Museum Tour with the Greatest Hits from Florida Museum of Natural History


Gainesville Orchestra POPs Together, June 27-28

2-Day Blacksmithing Worksthop with Crooked Path Forge, July 4-5

Anne of Green Gables at High Springs Playhouse, July 24 – August 9

Paula Poundstone at the UF Phillips Center, August 27

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

What's Good Alachua County

The more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Tickets are available while supplies last and will not be held. 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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