What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 20-26, 2021

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Find ways to rejuvenate and connect this weekend with What’s Good. Celebrate 3 years of creativity and invention at the CADE Museum with discounted admission, goodie bags, birthday cake and a brand new exhibit. Find Cool Cars Under the Stars as Waldo City Square wows with music and a sock hop, food vendors and more. 

Craft breweries are hopping with activity as are the area stages with live music at the MAM Concert Series, Heartwood Soundstage, High Dive, the Hippodrome Theatre’s new Cabaret Pop Up performances and more. 

Get outside for al fresco dining at the Journey to Juneteenth Food Truck Rally at GNV Commons, a part of Journey to Juneteenth: A Season of Freedom – Florida Emancipation to National Celebration’s month-long series of events. 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 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. 

waldo car show

Be Wowed in Waldo with Cool Cars Under the Stars
Saturday, May 22, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Waldo City Square
14450 NE 148th Ave., Waldo, FL 32694 

The City of Waldo and 2nd Street Hot Rods present two car shows in one. View show cars from 1990 and older, and 1991 the present. Enjoy music and sock hop, awards for best dressed, food vendors, silent auction, children’s playground and more. Awards given out at 8:30 p.m. 

cade museum

Wish the Cade Museum a Happy 3rd Birthday and Check out the New “How People Make Things” Exhibit and “Eureka!” Theme
Friday, May 21 – Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

All weekend long, join the Cade Museum for discounted admission, gift shop deals, outdoor activities on the patio and more. Enjoy pizza on Friday, goodie bags on Saturday and birthday cake on Sunday.  “How People Make Things” is inspired by Mister Rogers’ factory tours. The exhibit tells the story of how everyday items are manufactured and brings to life the people, ideas and technology that transform raw materials into finished products. The museum’s “Eureka!” theme allows visitors to draw, tinker, prototype, play and meet inventors who transformed history, one idea at a time.

journey to juneteenth

Enjoy Delicious Food and Participate in a Family-Friendly Community Celebration at the Journey to Juneteenth Food Truck Rally
Sunday, May 23, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. | GNV Commons
100 SW 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

MA Entertainment, First Magnitude Brewery, and the City of Gainesville present this family-friendly 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙏𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙠 𝙍𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙅𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙩𝙤 𝙅𝙪𝙣𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙝. The event is part of a series of activities honoring and commemorating Florida Emancipation Day as well as Juneteenth and the end of slavery in America.

In addition to delicious food and drinks from food trucks and local vendors, the How Bazar features a collection of artisans and craftsmen showcasing handmade jewelry, fashion, paintings and more.

Journey to Juneteenth Marks Florida Emancipation Date With Series of Events

The City of Gainesville joins Alachua County and community partners in a month-long series of events to commemorate Florida’s actual emancipation date – May 20, 1865 – the day when enslaved Africans first learned of their freedom in Tallahassee.

A full calendar of the celebration of music, exhibits, movies and presentations at various locations, and of links for virtual events, can be found online The events are free and open to all neighbors.

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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.

Pop Over to a Live Cabaret Performance with the Hippodrome Theatre’s Anytime Anywhere Pop Up Series
Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m. | Oak Hammock
5100 SW 25th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32608 

The Hipp Pop-Up Series features free professional 45-minute cabaret performances performed by well-known Hippodrome actors ‘popping up’ all over Gainesville and Alachua County. Stay tuned for upcoming performances at Bo Diddley Plaza, Thornebrook Village, the 4th Avenue Food Park and more.

In June, the Hippodrome presents By the Light of the Silvery Screen, a cabaret celebration of movie musicals starring Laura Hodos and Bryan Mercer, featuring Academy Award-winning songs by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, and Dolly Parton and more on the Hippodrome Mainstage.

MAM Concert Series

Take in a Three-Day Blues and Funk Music Festival Weekend at the MAM Concert Series
Friday, May 21 – Sunday, May 23 | Monteocha Park803 NW 192 Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609 

The MAM finale features adult and kids games, movie night, music, crypto groups, vendors and more. Friday movie night starts at 7 p.m., live funk and blues music starts Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday is Women’s Empowerment Day starts at 3 p.m.

Illustration of Reverend Billy C Wirtz

Attend a Sermon of the Blues with Musician and Entertainer Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
Sunday, May 23, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Reverend Billy C. Wirtz is a comic genius, gifted pianist and American musicologist who defies easy classification. Likely the only person on earth to be mentored by Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim and also to work with Root Boy Slim, Wirtz has also worked with the famed DC blues band the Nighthawks. He has also written for such notable publications as Blueswax, Musician, Keyboard, and All Music Guide. However, his stock in trade is provoking laughter, and ever since his emergence during the early 1980s, his sanctified routines have elicited belly laughs from club crowds worldwide.

Guitarist Richard Smith

Be Captivated by Award-Winning Fingerstyle Guitar with Richard Smith
Friday, May 21, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

B Side Vintage presents an evening with Richard Smith, Allen Shad and the Divebombers. Richard Smith won the prestigious National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship (2001) and Thumbpicker of the Year (2008) awards, and in 2009 was inducted into the Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame.

Pop Punk and Emo Night

Dance Into the Evening at Pop Punk & Emo Night of Gainesville
Saturday, May 22, 10 p.m. – 1:45 a.m. | The Wooly
20 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

The dance party features songs by Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Thursday, The Used, Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World, Panic! At the Disco, Motion City Soundtrack, The All-American Rejects, Green Day, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, Dashboard Confessional & more.

city of archer splash park opening

Get Soaked at the Splash Park Grand Opening in Archer
Saturday, May 22, 9 a.m. | Wilson Robinson Park

13975 SW 174th St., Archer, FL 32618 

Join the City of Archer for a fun way to beat the heat. Enjoy hot dogs, chips and drinks. 

Full Moon Paddle Tour on the Santa Fe River

Let the Light of the Full Moon Guide Your Way on a Paddle Tour of the Santa Fe River
Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW Hwy 441, High Springs, FL 32643 

Paddle under the light of May’s full “Flower Moon,” named after the abundance of spring flowers. The guided tour includes a two-person canoe or double kayak, safety equipment and transportation. Reservations are required.

next to normal

See a Powerful Stage Performance of the Tony Award-Winning Rock Musical Next to Normal
Now Through Sunday, 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.

Kulaqua River Ranch

Float Down the Lazy River at Kulaqua River Ranch
Sunday, May 23, 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.

gfaa UMOJA exhibit

View Powerful Works of Art at the UMOJA A Celebration of Black Artists in Alachua County
Tuesday, May 25 – Saturday, June 19 | GFAA Gallery
1314 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

The Alachua County Community Remembrance Project (ACCRP) and Gainesville Fine Arts Association (GFAA) presents UMOJA A Celebration of Black Artists in Alachua County, Florida. The goal of the exhibition is to make and strengthen communal connections and to give recognition and exposure to more Black artists. GFAA Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment. 

free fridays concert series

Rock out with Barry and Kevin Marshall from The Marshalls Live on Facebook
Friday, May 21, 8 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Friday’s performance streams live from Boston’s Q Division Studios. Barry and Kevin Marshall perform hits from their iconic new wave band The Marshalls plus new material. 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.

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

Candle Holder Blacksmithing Workshop at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Friday, May 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Embroidery Workshop at the AUK Market
Sunday, May 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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


VESAK Celebration and the Consecration of the Birth of Buddha Statue at A Nan Temple
Sunday, May 23, at 10:30 a.m.

Pop-Up Markets

Pop-Up Vintage and Farmer’s Market in Newberry
Saturday, May 22, 8 a.m. 

Art’s Market 3.0 at SoMa Art Media Hub
Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Florida Vintage Market at Cypress and Grove
Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Music & Performance

Acoustic Soft Rock duo Richy & Chelsea at One Love Café
Thursday, May 20, 6 p.m.

Favorite Alternative Rock Songs with The Remedy at One Love Cafe
Friday, May 21, 6 p.m.

World Music with Gosia and Ali at the Pink Flamingo Diner
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Country Music with the Sondra Hunt Band at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

80’s Rock with Headrush at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Friday, May 21, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. 

Acoustic Covers with Sheri Pass at One Love Cafe
Saturday, May 22, 12 p.m. 

Classic Rock and Pop with The Real Deelz at One Love Cafe
Saturday, May 22, 6 p.m.

Classic Rock with Center Lane at the Pink Flamingo Diner
Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Classic Rock with Crooked Counsel at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Classic Rock and Country Covers with Doc Adams doc at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Saturday, May 22, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. 

Variety of Acoustic Favorites with Shawn Manly at One Love Cafe
Sunday, May 23, 11 a.m. 

Easy Listening with Lupe Frausto at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Sunday, May 23, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Classic Rock and Blues with Captain & The Hogtown Slayers at One Love Cafe
Sunday, May 23, 5 p.m. 

Live Music on the Patio at the Pink Flamingo Diner
Sunday, May 23, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Country Music with Justin Lee Partin at Great Outdoors Restaurant
Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Country Music with Jamie Davis at Woodyard Grill
Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Country Music with Jamie Davis at High Springs Brewing Company
Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m. 

BINGO Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 

Humble Wood Fire Food Truck with Classic Rock from Crooked Counsel at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m.

Jazz Bandits at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Monsta Lobsta Food Truck with Classic Rock from Wally Germany at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m.

Cinema on Tap Movie Night with Roman Holiday at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Bloody Mary Sunday at Blackadder Brewing Company
Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m. 

Drag Brunch at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m. 

Beer Yoga with Kori Brooks at High Springs Brewing Company
Monday, May 24, 6 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesdays at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, May 25, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Team Trivia at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. 

Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, May 26, 6:30 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

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 20, 6:15 p.m. 

Vine Sourdough Bakery 10th Anniversary Happy Hour Celebration
Friday, May 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Drag Brunch at Curia on the Drag
Saturday, May 22, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Grand Opening Celebration at Chicken Salad Chick
Tuesday, May 25, 10:30 a.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.


NCAA Softball Regional – Gators Softball vs. USF at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium
Friday, May 21, 2 p.m. 

Friday Street Legal Madness at Gainesville Raceway
Friday, May 21, 6 p.m. 

Premier Girls Fastpitch Mojo Southeastern Invitational Softball Tournament at Champions Park
Saturday, May 22 – Sunday, May 23

Parks & Trails

Free Weekly Timed 5k at Depot Park
Saturday, May 22, 7:30 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.

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

desire exhibit

“Desire” Exhibition at GFAA Gallery
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

Someday Honey at Heartwood Soundstage, May 28

Free Admission for Veterans at the Florida Museum, May 31

By the Light of the Silvery Screen at The Hippodrome, June 4-6

Gilligan’s Island at High Springs Playhouse, June 4 -27

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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