What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 19-25, 2022

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Explore Alachua County’s charming historic towns this weekend and discover arts, culture, fun celebrations and a whole lot of What’s Good! Stroll through the sidewalks of downtown High Springs and meet local artists and makers at Art Walk. Get a taste of the sweet life at the 77th Annual Newberry Watermelon Festival complete with a parade, pageant and delicious treats, or cruise on over to the Waldo Community Car Show for a look at jaw-dropping cool rides – plus, consider making it a full day of adventure exploring nearby nature, shopping and restaurants with the new Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe Paddling Guide (pdf).

Be among the first to see the Cade Museum’s new Animationland exhibit with a cocktail in hand at Cade After Dark. Discover a Papua New Guinea native species with World Tree Kangaroo Day at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. Rock out to classic hits with Crooked Counsel at the Free Fridays Concert Series, with Dylan Fest at Heartwood Soundstage, or at the opening weekend of Green Day’s American Idiot at Gainesville Community Playhouse.

Read on for more of What’s Good!

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. 

People attending Cade After Dark

Kick Off Your Weekend with Drinks, Games, Good Vibes, and an Exciting New Exhibit at Cade After Dark
Friday, May 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Bring a friend and celebrate the Cade’s 4th birthday at a fun evening with old-school board games, science experiments and a live performance from Madwoman. Admission includes a drink ticket and snacks.

animationland at cade

New at the Cade: Immerse Yourself in the Cade Museum’s New Animationland Experience
Animationland empowers visitors of all ages to experiment, learn, and tell their own stories through animation. Join Tracey the pencil dog and her crew—Rooth, Drop, Inky, Uno, and Kari—on a fantastically immersive journey to create stories using science and imagination.

high springs art walk may

Stroll Through Charming High Springs and Meet Local Artists Along the Way at Art Walk
Saturday, May 21, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Downtown High Springs

Highlights of Art Walk in May include featured artist Holly Mathis, the closing of 5th Annual Santa Fe Springs Plein Air Paint Out exhibit at Lanza Gallery and Art Supplies and the Farewell to Adulthood exhibit at Good News Arts. 

Known as the “Gateway to the Springs,” High Springs is located along the Santa Fe River and welcomes over 1 million visitors each year. The charming downtown features walkable streets with boutiques, antique shops, cafes and restaurants. You’ll also find cave diving outfitters, the historic Grady House Bed and Breakfast, mini-golf at the Pink Flamingo Diner, the High Springs BMX race track, disc golf and more.

waldo car show

Get Up Close to Cool Cars at the Waldo Community Car Show
Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Waldo City Square

14450 NE 148th Ave., Waldo, FL 32694 

The 2nd Street Hot Rods and the City of Waldo present classic and custom show cars, trucks and motorcycles. Enjoy the day with delicious refreshments and live DJ. Awards presented at 2:30 p.m. 

Make it a full day of fun and adventure exploring nearby nature, shopping and restaurants. Download the Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe Paddling Guide here (pdf).


Harvest Family Fun at the 77th Newberry Watermelon Festival
Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | CountryWay Town Square

1739 SW 248 Dr., Newberry, FL 32669 

Celebrate the watermelon harvest season with over 100 vendors, food, crafts, kid’s zone, pony rides, face painting and more. See the watermelon parade and golf cart competition at 10 a.m. Admission is free with $5 parking per vehicle.

View winners of the annual Watermelon Pageant and more photos on the Newberry Watermelon Festival Facebook Page.

world tree kangaroo day

Discover a Papua New Guinea Native Species at World Tree Kangaroo Day
Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL 32606 

The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is home to the Matschie’s tree kangaroo. See these rare, majestic animals and learn how you can help them in the wild. Learn from zookeepers with training demonstrations, take part in kangaroo-themed activities and crafts, sample Papua New Guinea coffee and meet a tree kangaroo with a new augmented reality (AR) experience.

The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is the only zoo on a college campus accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Free tickets are available at our office while supplies last, 33 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.

gators softball hosting ncaa tournament

Welcome Softball Fans as Gators Softball Hosts the 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament
Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22 | Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
2880 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608 

Gators Softball is a 14-seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament and hosts Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Canisius in the Gainesville Regional. Click to buy weekend passes or single-game tickets online.

green day's american idiot

Take a Journey of Youthful Rebellion at the Tony and Grammy Award-Winning Rock Musical Green Day’s American Idiot
Friday, May 20 – Sunday, June 12 | Gainesville Community Playhouse
4039 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605 

Based on Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics from the Grammy Award-winning album, Green Day’s American Idiot follows the story of Johnny, Will and Tunny as they flee their restrictive suburban lifestyle for freedom in the big city. Contains adult language and content.

the works of alyne harris at the thomas center

Explore the Art of Alyne Harris with an Insightful and Entertaining Art Talk “Chickens, Hellfire, Funerals and Folk”
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. | The Historic Thomas Center
302 NE 6th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

A talk by Dr. Porchia Moore, UF SA+AH with comments by Anne E. Gilroy on the works of Alyne Harris in the City of Gainesville collection. 

Gainesville native artist Alyne Harris has been making art for more than 40 years. The exhibit Between Heaven & Earth at the Thomas Center presents over 200 of her paintings in a tribute to Harris as a living cultural treasure.

live and local concert series

Hear 10 Musicians Perform 10 Minutes Each at a Singer-Songwriter Showcase at the Live and Local Concert Series
Thursday, May 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville 

MusicGNV and the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department present the Live and Local Concert Series featuring local talent each month. The outdoor concert in May includes music by Purple Kloud, Hannah Toombs, Lionel Jr., Mike Dorsey, Clay Dixon, Kim Lecouter, Jordan Burchel, Giselle & Erik, Maggie Clifford and Austin Brockner.

chris kattan

Laugh Out Loud with an Evening of Comedy from Chris Kattan and Friends
Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Chris Kattan’s credits include Saturday Night Live, Night at the Roxbury, Corky Romano and Celebrity Big Brother. Find more reasons to laugh with comedians Allie Goodwich and Surfer Jesus.

High Dive has hosted top live entertainment and music acts since 2011. It was named #74 of “100 Greatest American Music Venues” by Consequence of Sound.

gator collective fan fest

Collect Autographs and Take Photos with Athletes at Gator Collective Fan Fest
Saturday, May 21, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
157 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611 

Connect with Gators athletes, coaches and other fans of the orange and blue. The annual Fan Fest includes meet and greets, live DJ, raffle prizes, food by Sonny’s BBQ, Shannon Snell’s “Relationship Ribs” and more. Tickets available online.

dylan fest

Celebrate the Songs of a Music Icon at Dylan Fest
Saturday, May 21, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage

619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

In celebration of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, Heartwood Soundstage presents an all-day songwriter festival from the outdoor stage. Curated by Gary Gordon, DylanFest brings musicians together to celebrate Dylan’s music and the art of composition. 

Heartwood Soundstage is a state-of-the-art recording studio, video production facility, intimate performance venue with an outdoor music stage – built by musicians for music lovers and music makers. 

free fridays concert series

Rock Out to Classics Hits with Crooked Counsel at the Free Fridays Concert Series
Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville 

Crooked Counsel takes the stage at Bo Diddley Plaza for a night of 1960s and 1970s classic rock hits. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy music from the outdoor stage. Make a night of it and grab dinner and drinks from a downtown restaurant. This year’s concert lineup features jazz, folk, hip hop, reggae, blues and more.

The Free Fridays Concert Series brings live music to downtown Gainesville each week from May through October and is the region’s longest-running and largest free outdoor music program. 

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Arts & Theatre

august osage county

Go On a Family Reunion at the Dark Comedy August: Osage County
Now through Sunday, May 29 | Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. August: Osage County won Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best New Play in 2008.

Dance Sun Country 15th Anniversary Recital Rock This Stage at UF Phillips Center
Saturday, May 21, 1 p.m. 

Drunken Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at High Dive
Wednesday, May 25, 9 p.m.

Events & Festivals

florida skies constellation

Take a Guided Tour of the Florida Night Sky at Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College
Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

florida color horse club show

Florida Color Horse Club All Breed Show at the Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Saturday, May 21 – Sunday, May 22

City of Alachua Presents Movies in the Park: Encanto at Hal Brady Recreation Center
Friday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.

50% OFF Family Day at the Hatchebury Axe Throwing Bar
Sunday, May 22, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Journey to Juneteenth Kickoff at City of Gainesville City Hall
Friday, May 20, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Plan ahead for more City of Gainesville month-long Journey to Juneteenth celebration events at

Celebration of Florida Emancipation Day and Fish Fry at Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Friday, May 20, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

journey to juneteenth scavenger hunt

Journey to Juneteenth: Children’s Scavenger Hunt at Depot Park
Saturday, May 21, 4 p.m.

Journey to Juneteenth: Movie on the Lawn: Queen of Katwe at Depot Park
Saturday, May 21, 7 p.m.

Pop-Up Markets

Just Between Friends (JBF) Kids’ Mega Sale at Legacy Park Multipurpose Center
Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22

Music & Performance

jon branch comedy extravaganza

Jon Branch Improv Comedy Extravaganza at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

Local Voices w/ Lauris Vidal at The Bull
Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Fortune Child, The Annie Dukes and Mr. Cool at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, May 20, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. 

Cosmic Country with Daniel Donato at High Dive
Friday, May 20, 9 p.m.

bedlam in the belfry dance party

Bedlam in the Belfry Goth Dance Party with DJ Blonde Ambition at The Wooly
Friday, May 20, 10 p.m. 

Alt Rock with the Remedy at One Love Café
Friday, May 20, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Americana with Front Porch Backsteppers at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, May 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Jazz with Swing Theory at One Love Cafe
Saturday, May 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

fest presents superbloom at looseys

Fest Presents Rock Music with Superbloom, Palomino Blond, Supertwin at Loosey’s
Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. 

Comedy, Spoken Word, Poetry and Open Mic at Voices at Coconut’s Lounge
Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. 

Sally B’s Dashing Revue with Jazz from Swing Theory at High Dive
Sunday, May 22, 7:30 p.m. 

Memphis Bluesman Mick Kolassa and Gainesville Bluesman Paco at Heartwood Soundstage
Sunday, May 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  

The Joe Breidenstine Jazz Band at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, May 24, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Jurassic Park Trivia at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Charity B-I-N-G-O Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 

Jazz Bandits at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Faster Than Flash and 29:11 BBQ at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, May 20, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

brewery yoga

Brewery Yoga with Cara from My Yoga Connection at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, May 22, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

florida springs

Florida Springs Film Series: Shifting Baselines with Florida Museum of Natural History at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Monday, May 23, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

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

GNV Market at South Main Station Featuring Live Music
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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

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

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Haile Village 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

bundt cakes at Nothing Bundt Cakes

NOW OPEN: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Choose from delicious Bundt flavors made from the finest ingredients and crowned with signature cream cheese frosting. Save the Date for Grand Opening events Wednesday, June 8 – Saturday, June 11.

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Petit Uppercrust
Sunday, May 22, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m

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.


Funtastic Fridays Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, May 20, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Summit Racing Bracket Series at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, May 21 – Sunday, May 22 

people runing at celebration  pointe

Run, Jog, Walk at Swamp City Obstacle Race through Celebration Pointe
Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m. 

Gators Baseball vs. South Carolina at Condron Family Ballpark
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 20, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 21, 2 p.m.

Parks & Trails

paynes prairie speaker series

Speaker Series: Bartram’s Alachua Savannah and The Bartram Trail Featuring Sam Carr at Paynes Prairie Preserve Visitor Center
Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Free Family-Friendly 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Saturday, May 14, 7:30 a.m.

Guided Tuscawilla Lake Paddle with Lars Andersen at Tuscawilla Preserve
Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

ferns at devils millhopper

Sinkhole Guided Walk at Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. 

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Longleaf Flatwoods Preserve
Saturday, May 21, 8 a.m.

Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands with Alachua Audubon Society at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, May 25, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.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.

Museums & Galleries

Pop Up Museum with Family Histories and Bake Sale at High Springs Historical Society Museum
Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

“Farewell to Adulthood” Work by Paul Shortt at Good News Arts
Now through Saturday, July 2

painting by ernest m lee

The Works of Ernest M. Lee at Santa Fe College Art Gallery
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

fossil exhibit

Dig Into the Past at the Florida Museum’s New Fossil Exhibit, Now Open
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Take a unique look behind the scenes, interact with scientists while they work and explore some of the museum’s coolest specimens in the “Science Up Close: Fantastic Fossils” exhibit. Come face-to-face with giant dinosaur skeletons, beautiful botanical fossils and ancient microscopic life.
Photo by Florida Museum/Jeff Gage 

Copia II: Bringing to Light Photographs from the Permanent Collection at the Harn Museum of Art
Now through October 30
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

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

Save The Date

Easton Archery Gator Cup, May 27-29

Micanopy Memorial Celebration Saturday, May 28

2022 Memorial Day Ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery, May 30

Honky Tonk Laundry at Hippodrome Theatre, June 3

UF International Piano Festival, June 4-11

Family Days Open House at High Springs BMX, June 4

For a complete list of events please visit

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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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