What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 13-19, 2021

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Sweeten your weekend plans with adventures and activities inspired by What’s Good. Discover fun for the entire family at the Newberry Watermelon Festival, celebrate Henry the Rhino’s 40th birthday at Carson Springs, take a stroll through downtown and meet local artists at Artwalk High Springs, or get gardening tips and shop thousands of plants at the Master Gardener Plant Sale at Cuscowilla.

Top-notch musical talent takes the stage with an album release concert from Ramblin’ Mutts outdoors at Heartwood Soundstage, a Chris McCarty performance at Tioga Town Center, and a rockin’ show by American Idol Winner Laine Hardy at Knockin’ Boots Saloon. Read on and find 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 business 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. 

henry's 40th birthday

Happy Birthday Henry, 40 is the New 30! Celebrate “Henry” the Indian Rhino’s Big 4-0 at Carson Springs
Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
8528 E County Rd. 225, Gainesville, FL 32609 

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation celebrates the 40th birthday of Henry, the oldest Indian rhinoceros in captivity. See Henry and his friends on a wildlife tour. A morning walking tour begins at 10 a.m. with drive-thru tours beginning at 1 p.m. Reserve your tour online.

Bite Into Something Sweet at the 76th Newberry Watermelon Festival
Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | CountryWay Town Square
1739 SW NW 248 Terr., Newberry, FL 32669 

Bring the family for a day of fun for the annual celebration of all things watermelon. At 10:30 a.m. watch the Watermelon Parade including decorated golf carts, a watermelon-themed dog pageant and more. Parking is $5 per vehicle. 

ramblin mutts band members

Groove to New Blues Music from Ramblin’ Mutts at their Outdoor Album Release Concert
Saturday, May 15, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.| Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

ramblin mutts album cover

Ramblin’ Mutts, two-time International Blues Challenge participants, share their new album Pity & Mercy from the outdoor stage at Heartwood. Fronting the band is Dan Stepp on lead vocals, keyboards and slide guitar, with Paul Goble on lead guitar. Richard Heipp on bass is joined by the driving drum beats of Rich Patrick to fill out the rhythm section. Ben Grier adds to the mix on saxophone.

american craft beer week

Celebrate #AmericanCraftBeerWeek with a Visit to a Local Brewery 

American Craft Beer Week celebrates independent brewers and small breweries around the country. In Gainesville and Alachua County, you’ll find six local breweries with a lineup of local flavors and award-winning brews. Blackadder Brewing Company is celebrating the week with tappings of their Eisbock on Thursday, IPA on Friday, with savings on growler fills on Saturday. At Swamp Head Brewery, find new merch and special twists of their core beers like Arnold Palmer Wild Night with added lemon and black tea.  Add a local brewery to your next itinerary. Click here to view our brewery map and learn more about the local craft beer scene.

safestay logo

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.

dierks bently at knockin boots

(sold out) Multi-Platinum Country Artist Dierks Bently Delivers #1 Hits on the High Times & Hangovers Tour
Friday, May 14, 6:30 p.m. | Knockin’ Boots Saloon
201 W University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

The rowdy High Times & Hangovers Tour brings Deirks Bently to five club shows in five nights, highlighted by Friday night’s show in Gainesville. With nineteen #1 hits, countless award nominations and over 6.4 billion streams, Dierks Bently continues to be a dominant voice in country music. 

laine hardy

From American Idol Winner to Recording Artist, Enjoy an Evening with Laine Hardy
Saturday, May 15, 8 p.m. | Knockin’ Boots Saloon
201 W University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Known for his triumphant run on American Idol, musician Laine Hardy blends genres beyond country. Hear new music as he begins a nation-wide tour. Get tickets online here.

chris mccarty at tioga town center

Jam Into the Weekend with the High-Energy Acoustic Music from Chris McCarty
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Tioga Town Center
13085 SW 1st Ln., Newberry, FL 32669 

Set out your chair or spread a blanket for an outdoor concert from the Tioga Town Center stage. Singer-songwriter Chris McCarty blends acoustic, funk, soul and reggae for an eclectic night of music. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby restaurants.

high springs art walk

Meet Local Artists and Stroll the Charming Downtown of High Springs at Art Walk
Saturday, May 15, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Downtown High Springs 

Saturday’s art walk features live painting, exhibit receptions, store discounts and more. Unique Notions hosts artist Jemathyst Webb and the grand opening of Sanna’s Closet. Santa Fe Plein Air Artists present the reception for Renaissance Art Revival Exhibit at Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies. Browse artwork at the Beth Hodges Exhibition at Good News Arts. Stroll through High Springs and meet over a dozen more artists, shop store discounts and relax at a restaurant or cafe. 

next to normal

See a Powerful Stage Performance of the Tony Award-Winning Rock Musical Next to Normal
Friday, May 14 – Saturday, May 23 | Star Center Theatre
11 NE 23rd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609 

Winner of three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal explores mental illness and the impacts on a seemingly typical suburban family. The lives of each character are presented with love, sympathy and heart. The energetic rock/pop soundtrack won the Tony Award for best original score.

onward and upward benefit concert

Support Gainesville’s Innovation Economy at the Onward and Upward Benefit Concert
Saturday, May 15, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Midpoint Park and Eatery
931 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

The celebration includes the unveiling of the GNV Innovation Walk of Stars followed by an afternoon concert featuring Madwoman and Giselle Felice & Erik Abernathy. Proceeds benefit the Onward and Upward Grant Program, awarded to first-time startup founders. Find ticket info and more details here.

Kulaqua River Ranch

Float Down the Lazy River at Kulaqua River Ranch
Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Kulaqua River Ranch
23400 NW 212th Ave., High Springs, FL 32643 

Beat the heat and squeeze in a day of fun at a unique area water park. Traditionally only open to private parties, on community days, the Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park is open to the public for a day of fun. Cruise down the lazy river, descend the huge water slide and float in the wave pool.

master gardener plant sale

Get Plant Care Advice and Browse Thousands of Plants at the 2021 Master Gardener Plant Sale
Saturday, May 15, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Cuscowilla
210 SE 134th Ave., Micanopy, FL  

Select from a variety of herbs, annuals, perennials, natives, trees and more grown by Master Gardener Volunteers. Choose from thousands of plants at unbeatable prices. Talk to Master Gardener Volunteers on-site for advice on selection and care of your plants. This sale benefits the Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteer Program. Admission and parking are free.

free fridays concert series

World-Renowned Musicians Duo Paloma Present “A Night in Montmartre” Live on Facebook
Friday, May 14, 8 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Longineu Parsons (trumpet, guitar) and Joanna Sobkowska (piano) celebrate the music of Claude Debussy and other French composers for the Free Fridays Concert Series. Friday’s performance features the premiere of an original Longineu Parsons composition. Live in-person concerts return to the stage at Bo Diddley Plaza on June 4. Gainesville’s longest-running concert series features a fully booked weekly schedule through October 22. Find the upcoming schedule here.

museum nights

Sample the Flavor of Asian Art and Culture with the Harn Museum Online with Museum Nights: Everyday Extraordinary
Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m. | Online Event with the Harn Museum of Art
Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

Join the Harn Museum for an evening inspired by the current Harn exhibition, “Everyday to the Extraordinary: Highlights From the Korean Collection.” See a mouth-watering demonstration of a Korean noodle dish. Explore exhibit artifacts ranging from the everyday to the extraordinary, with many related to food. Join Museum Nights on Youtube.

Plan your visit to the Harn Museum of Art and explore the “Everyday to the Extraordinary” exhibit in person. Additional exhibitions include “A Florida Legacy: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers,” highlights from one of the world’s most extensive collections of Florida-themed art, “Terry Evans: Stories of the American Prairies,” a love-letter to Amercia’s Heartland, “Tempus Fugit:: 光陰矢の如し:: Time Flies,” an exploration of the symbolism of time in the Japanese art collections and more.

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.

Arts & Theatre

“…there was a Girl” Encore Performance at Black C Art Gallery
Thursday, May 13 – Saturday, May 15

Sunshine State Book Festival Online with Keynote Speakers Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, Coauthors of the NAACP Image Award Nominated I’m Not Dying with You Tonight
Now through June 30

Pop-Up Markets

May Farmer’s Moo-Ket at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Sunday, May 16, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Music & Performance

little mike and the tornadoes

Blues with Little Mike and the Tornadoes at One Love Café
Thursday, May 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Singer-Songwriters Local Voices at The Bull
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

whiskey jones on stage

Rock and Roll with Whiskey Jones at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, May 15, 7 p.m. 

Rock and Roll from The Good Voodoo at SwampCity Gallery Lounge
Friday, May 14, 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. 

Local Punk Music with The Bitters, The Openers and Magnolia Haven at High Dive
Saturday, May 15, 8 p.m. 

Van Halen Tribute 1984 at Mother’s Pub and Grill North
Saturday, May 15, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. 

Rock and Blues from MidnightBlue at Chiappinis
Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

Cosmic Country Guitarist Daniel Donato at High Dive
Sunday, May 16, 7 p.m. 

Southern Rock with Houston Keen at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Wednesday, May 19, 6 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Shawn Manley at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. 

Big Lee’s BBQ and Live Music Favorites from Miguel Miranda at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. 

Bottomless Mimosas at Big Top Brewing Company
Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Laughs on the Go Presents A Live Stand-Up Comedy Event at Blackadder Brewing Company
Sunday, May 16, 7 p.m. 

Beer Bingo Tuesdays at Big Top Brewing Company
Tuesday, May 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

Spring Farm Tour and U-Pick at Frog Song Organics
Saturday, May 15, 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

U-Pick Blueberries at Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries (Check Facebook for Updates)
Open Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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

GNV Market at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 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 tastings at downtown wine and cheese

Wine Tasting at Downtown Wine and Cheese
Thursday, May 13, 6:15 p.m. 

Cheesecake Making Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Thursday, May 13, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

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.


Gators lacrosse team

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships at Donald R. Dizney StadiumGators Lacrosse vs. Mercer
Friday, May 14, 4 p.m. Photo by Courtney Culbreath, Florida Gators 

Gators Baseball vs. Georgia at Florida Ballpark
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 16, 12 p.m. 

Summit Jr. Wally Race at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m. 

Greater Florida Baseball/USA Travel Ball at Champions Park Saturday, May 15 – Sunday, May 16 

18-Hole Stableford (points scoring) at Turkey Creek Golf
Sunday, May 16, 8 a.m.

waffle ride

Bring Your Bike and an Appetite for Sunday’s Waffle Ride from SwampCity Gallery Lounge to 4th Ave Food Park
Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Pictured: Swamp City Low Riders and waffles from Satch Squared

Parks & Trails

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 & Springs

clear springs

Swim Into the Freshwater Springs and Experience Nature Near Gainesville
The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the untouched natural side of Florida. Did you know North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs? The water flows crystal clear at 72 degrees all year round so make a splash on your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.

Museums & Galleries

Santa Fe Plein Air Art Exhibit Reception at Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies
Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Closing Reception of Elizabeth Barakah Hodges’ Solo Exhibition, “Retrospective: A Blessing (Barakah)” at Good News Arts
Saturday, May 15, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Museum in the Parks: Herpetology at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Monday, May 17, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

desire exhibit

“Desire” Exhibition at GFAA Gallery
Now through Saturday, May 22Open Tuesday – Friday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

a florida legacy exhibit

Florida Landmarks and Scenic Coastlines are Depicted Across Nearly 170 Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings at “A Florida Legacy: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers” at the Harn Museum of Art
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m – 5 p.m.

See Live Animals in the Survival of the Slowest Exhibit at the Florida Museum
Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Spark Wonder at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Open Friday-Sunday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Spring Showcase at Firehouse Gallery
Open Thursday – Friday, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

Cool Cars Under the Starsat Waldo City Square, May 22

Free Fridays Concert Series at Bo Diddley Plaza, June 4

Legacy Park Concert Series, June 5

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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