Menu

What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County on Tom Petty’s Birthday Weekend, October 17 – 20, 2019

Print the PDF

Happy Birthday Tom Petty! Gainesville celebrates Tom Petty with 65 musical acts, hundreds of local, national and international musicians, 5 themed craft beer launches, bus tours, storytellers, first-ever seen rock & roll memorabilia, food trucks, fireworks, murals, a happy birthday sing-a-long and thousands of Tom Petty fans from across the nation and around the world for 4 days honoring the life and legacy of this Hall of Fame hometown hero.

Alachua County is jamming on all fronts this weekend with the Savants of Soul headlining the Free Fridays downtown, the opening night of Pippin, the Alachua County Friends of the Library Sale, Auktoberfest, Ginnie Springs Brewfest, and more.

Read on for What’s Good this weekend, and get out there and have some fun!
Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County


Get Ready for a Rockin’ Good Time!
Tom Petty’s Birthday is Sunday, October 20.

Don’t miss these events and happenings celebrating the life and legacy the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.

Tom Petty Weekend logo with wildflowers in background

Tom Petty Weekend
Thursday, October 17 – Saturday, October 19 | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL, 32601

The three-day celebration of the music and life of Tom Petty includes performances by over 30 bands on indoor and outdoor stages. B-Side Vintage will have memorabilia on display including Tom’s first good amp – a ’66 Fender Bassman, a ’52 Les Paul and amp used by Danny Roberts on the original Mudcrutch demo and childhood items from Keith Harben. Food trucks will be on site with beer and wine available for purchase. Find festival details and get tickets online at TomPettyWeekend.com.

Tom Petty Birthday Bash logo with alligator and heart. Free music festival October 18-20, 2019. Gainesville, FL Depot Park

Tom Petty Birthday Bash
Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20 | Depot Park
874 SE 4th St., Gainesville, Florida 32601

The free music festival celebrates the life and legacy of Tom Petty over 3 days. A happy birthday sing-a-long will take place Sunday at 8 p.m. Tom Petty memorabilia will be on display before they head to the Matheson History Museum. Food trucks will be on site with beer and wine available for purchase throughout Depot Park. Get the lineup, festival details and upgrade your experience online at TomPettyBirthdayBash.com.

1960s Gainesville High School Yearbook Photo of high school band members including Tom Petty. Tom Petty Symposium, Thursday, October 17.

Tom Petty Symposium
Thursday, October 17, 11 a.m. | Matheson History Museum
513 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601


The Matheson History Museum kicks off Tom Petty’s Birthday Weekend by hosting five authors and musicians sharing a connection with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. The panel will share stories and discuss the importance and impact of Tom Petty’s music. Free registration is required on Eventbrite.com.

Four Themed Beer Releases and Live Music at Tom Petty: A Celebration at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Saturday, October 19, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.


Folk Music with Tom Petty Songs from Good Morning Bedlam at Blackadder Brewing Company
Friday, October 18, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.


“Mary Jane” Drink Special and Music at Live @Aloft with Thomas Anthony at Aloft Hotel
Friday, October 18, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Crowd enjoying themselves on Main Street Alachua

Stroll, Shop and Enjoy Live Music at Third Thursday on Main Street Alachua
Thursday, October 17, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Main Street Alachua

Ease into a weekend state of mind. Each month Main Street Alachua comes alive with the sound of music, unique dining at local restaurants, specialty shopping, an art sale, the Alachua Farmer’s Market. This week enjoy live music by TJ Brown Band.


City of Waldo Fall Festival

Enjoy Fall Festival Fun for All Ages at City of Waldo Fall Festival
Friday, October 18, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Waldo City Square
14450 NE 148th Ave., Waldo, FL 32694

The Fall Festival returns to Waldo with games and prizes, face painting, bounce house, food and live music. Admission is free.


Photo of pumpkins in the background. Pop Up Fall Pumpkin Tasting. Forage Hall at Working Food. Saturday, october 19, 11 am - 1 pm

Sample Ice Cream, Pastries and More at Pop-up Fall Pumpkin Tasting
Saturday, October 19, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Forage Hall at Working Food
219 NW 10th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

Enjoy tastings of pumpkin infused coffee drinks, pumpkin filled pastries and baked goods, savory pumpkin items, and more! Local varieties making an appearance may include Seminole, Chinese Tropical and Cuban Calabaza. Pumpkin chefs include Eddie Cromer from Daily Green, Michelle McClure Reeves from The Fat Tuscan Cafe, Justin Langer from Hoggetowne Creamery, Jasmine Angelini-Knolls from Farm Kitchen Collective, Cypress & Grove Brewing Co. and Working Food’s Chef Ashley Rella.


Illustration of prince with crown and edgy glasses. PIPPIN. Book by Roger Hirson. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Directed by Andrew Cao. Musical Direction by Anthony Offerle. Choreographed by Andrew Cao and Cast. October 18-27, 2019 at Constans Theatre, Mcguire Pavilion.

Experience Opening Weekend of the Musical Pippin
on Stage Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 27 | Constans Theatre
1800 McCarty Dr., Gainesville, FL 32603

Prince Pippin, the young son of the medieval French ruler Charlemange, is encouraged by a flashy troupe of dancers to try his hand at war, love, and other joys before settling down. The story explores the struggles of Pippin against his father, a tyrannical king. 


Free Fridays Concert Series

Dance to the Music of Savants of Soul in Downtown Gainesville
Friday, October 18, 8 p.m – 10 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

Band members of Savants of Soul

The Savants of Soul are a nine-piece Motown soul band built on a foundation of blues, soul, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, punk and ska. In 2015, the band released the EP “Sunday Best,” which followed the release of 2014’s full-length LP “Downtown Sound.” They have taken southern deep soul and seasoned it with Motown, added some punk energy, jazz and modern R&B to end up with a sound that reveres its traditions. This show is part of the Free Fridays Concert Series, the region’s longest-running and largest free outdoor concert series under the stars.


Historic photo of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Norton S Baskin

Cross Creek comes to life at a production of “Cross Roads: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Norton S. Baskin in Unguarded Moments
Friday, October 18, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
4225 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605

This play provides a window into the private life of the acclaimed author of The Yearling and Cross Creek. Letters written between Marjorie and her second husband Norton S. Baskin provide the foundation of the performance. 


Books in the background. Friends of the Library Fall 2019 Sale

Stop by Florida’s Largest Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale
Friday, October 19, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, October 20 – Wednesday, October 23, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Friends of the Library Alachua County
430-B N Main St, Gainesville, Florida 32601


The largest Friends of the Library Sale in the state! In addition to books, you’ll find comic books, manga, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records and much more! All proceeds support the Alachua County Library District and area literacy projects! Most items are priced between 25¢ and $4.


Auktoberfest! Illustration of beer stein with Auk. Auk Market One Year Anniversary Party. October 18-20 5pm-8pm

Celebrate Auk Market’s One Year Anniversary Party with Bavarian-Inspired Vegan Menu and German Beers at Auktoberfest at Curia on the Drag
Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Curia on the Drag and The Auk Market
2031 NW 6th St., Gainesville, FL 32609

Enjoy a selection of German beers at the bar and German-inspired vegan dishes available in the food truck and coffee shop. The new solar pergola will be set up as a beer garden. Get your Auktoberfest stein and celebrate.


Illustration of beer mug in a floating raft on the water. Ginnie Brew Fest 2019, High Springs, FL, Saturday, October 19, 2019

(sold out) Sample Brews from 20 Craft Beer Vendors at the Ginnie Springs Brew Fest
Saturday, October 19, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Ginnie Springs
7300 Ginnie Springs Rd., High Springs, FL 32643

Enjoy samples of craft beer, cider and mead at the inaugural Ginnie Brew Fest. Live music and food trucks provide a festival atmosphere in the incredibly picturesque location of Ginnie Springs.


MUSIC & PERFORMANCE

Rockin’ Americana with The Wild Shiners at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, October 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rocky Horror Picture Show! LIVE on Stage! at High Dive
Thursday, October 17, 9 p.m.

Mountain Music with Mr. Aullie at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, October 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

An Evening of Art & Music Featuring Jazz and more at High Dive
Friday, October 18, 7 p.m.

Charismatic Pianist Maxim Lando Performs at the Squitieri Studio Theatre
Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19, 7:30 p.m.

From Nashville, Honky-Tonk and Country with JP Harris and The Crunky Tonk Non Stars at Loosey’s Downtown
Friday, October 18, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Thriller Night Halloween Costume Party at High Dive
Friday, October 18, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Marching Bands Compete at The 24th Annual Southern Showcase of Champions at Santa Fe High School
Saturday, October 19, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Pipe Organ Demonstration by UF Organ Studio at University Auditorium
Saturday, October 19, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

GPops! Free Concert: A Festive Celebration of the Fall Season at First United Methodist Church
Saturday, October 19, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Juan Wauters, Las Nubes, No PDA, Velma, The Happy Campers at The Atlantic
Saturday, October 19, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Gettin Jiggy 90’s vs 2000’s Video Dance Party at High Dive
Saturday, October 19, 9:30 p.m.

1st Annual Gainesville Blues Showcase at Mother’s Pub & Grill North
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Jazz musicians and their insturments. Hippodrome Jazz Series Monday Nights

Hippodrome Jazz Series with Giselle San Filippo and Kayton Lane
Monday, October 21, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at Heartwood Soundstage
Wednesday, October 23, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.


CRAFT BREWERIES

Brewery sign at Big Top Brewing Company

Science on Tap: Sharks at Cypress & Grove Brewing Co.
Thursday, October 17, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

World Music with The Dozenaires Live at Big Top Brewing Company
Thursday, October 17, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Spooktacular Films – Army of Darkness at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Thursday, October 17, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Oktoberfest at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, October 18, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Design Your Own Door Mats during Art Night at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House
Friday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Americana/indie-folk with Likely Lovely at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Friday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Miguel at The High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, October 18, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

High Energy Folk with Good Morning Bedlam at Blackadder Brewing
Friday, October 18, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Oktoberfest Under The Big Top at Big Top Brewing Company
Saturday, October 19, 11 a.m. – midnight

Rock and Roll with The Harvesters at High Springs Brewing Co.
Saturday, October 19, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Acoustic Duo The PairODocs at Blackadder Brewing Company
Sunday, October 20, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Meet National Geographic Live’s Filipe DeAndrade at UFPA Unplugged at Swamp Head Brewery
Wednesday, October 23, 5:30 p.m.


ARTS & THEATRE

Fast-paced Comedy Un-Necessary Farce at Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall
Thursday, October 17, Friday, October 18, Saturday, October 19, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The Blameless at The Hippodrome
Seven shows per week through Sunday, November 3

Sordid Lives at Actors’ Warehouse
Four shows per week through Sunday, October 27

Keg of Laughs Comedy Showcase at World of Beer in Tioga Town Center
Thursday, October 17, 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Illustration of Eric Carl's Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Phillips Center
Saturday, October 19, 2 p.m.

Children will delight in following Eric Carle’s famous caterpillar on his transformative journey into becoming a butterfly, complete with bright scenery and vibrant foods. This whimsical, colorful feast for the imagination will satisfy children of all ages!

Spend your day at the Cultural Plaza before, during and after the show enjoy family friendly activities: The Florida Museum (Free): Open 10am to 5pm | floridamuseum.ufl.edu,The Harn (Free): Open 10am to 5pm | harn.ufl.edu and the PDQ’s food truck will be parked in front of the Phillips Center and open for business from Noon to 2 p.m.

National Geographic Live: Untamed at the Phillips Center Tuesday, October 22, 7:30 p.m.


BITES & BRUNCH

Dinosaurs and Wine Education at Jurassic Park Wine Tasting at Downtown Wine and Cheese
Thursday, October 17, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Taste Week 2019 Includes a Pho Eating Contest, Discounts on Pho and Sushi, Elegant Catering at Rosé Gala and Vietnamese Charity Concert
Thursday, October 17 – Saturday, October 19

Traditional Italian Dinner Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Friday, October 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Whole Food, Plant-Based Fall Flavors Workshop at A Taste of Fall at Saporito Oil, Vinegar, Spice
Saturday, October 19, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally at High Dive
Saturday, October 19, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

(sold out) Cheesecake Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.


FOOTBALL, SPORTS & FANS

Gator Talk with Dan Mullen

Go Beyond the Sidelines with Gators Football Head Coach Dan Mullen at Celebration Pointe
Thursday, October 17, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Drag Racing at Midnight Madness at Gainesville Raceway
Friday, October 18, 7 p.m.

Gators Soccer vs. Auburn
Friday, October 18, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Gainesville Area Rowing Hosts the 2019 Gator Head Regatta at Newnans Lake
Saturday, October 19, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2019 Bow Hunters Challenge at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Saturday, October 19, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


FESTIVALS & EVENTS

AMF (Arts Market Family) at High Dive
Friday, October 18, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Archer Historical Society Vintage Market at Archer Community Center
Saturday, October 19, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Authentic German Oktoberfest at Audi Gainesville
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Forge Your Own Medieval Feast Set Two-Day Blacksmithing Class with [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Saturday, October 19 – Sunday, October 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Howl-A-Palooza at Sun Country Sports
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Hay Rides, Bounce Houses, Face Painting and Games at Fall Festival at Alachua’s Pumpkin Patch
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Fall Festival and Haunted Corn Maze at Roger’s Farm
Now through October 27

Peanut Patch and Corn Maze in Archer
Now through October 27

Hollow Oaks Corn Maze in Alachua
Now through October 27


U-PICKS & FARMER’S MARKETS

Eco Teaching Farm’s 4th Annual Farm Festival
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Newberry Farmers Market
Tuesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Union Street Farmers Market at Bo Diddley Community Plaza
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Main Street Alachua Farmers Market at Main Street Alachua
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

One Love Café Farmer’s Market
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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

Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


PARKS & TRAILS

Tales from the Road: 61 National Parks in 7 Months at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitor Center
Thursday, October 17, 7 p.m.

1836 Battle Reenactment at Alligator Warrior Festival at O’Leno State Park
Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Old Bellamy Road
Saturday, October 19, 8 a.m.

eBird October Big Day Guided Bird Walk with Alachua Audubon Society at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, October 19, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Guided Hike on Camp’s Canal at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Saturday, October 19, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at Mill Creek Preserve
Sunday, October 20, 8 a.m.

Competitive Mountain Biking at Florida State Championship series #4 at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Sunday, October 20, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.


RIVER & SPRINGS

Junior Ranger Day at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Saturday, October 19, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.


MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Rainbow background. LGBTQ+ in STEM

LGBTQ+ in STEM at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Saturday, October 19, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

A Display of Mixed Media at Mix It Up at GFAA Gallery
Now through October 19, 2019

Vitruvian Women, Paintings by Allison Zuckerman at University Gallery
Now through Friday, October 25, 2019

Tile Exchange Exhibition: Wuhan Textile University and University of Florida at Gary R. Libby Gallery
Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Gainesville Fine Arts Association’s Members Best Exhibit at the Cofrin Gallery at Oak Hall School
Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
View the work of many of this area’s most accomplished fine artists in a wide array of media, subject matter and style.

School of Art + Art History 53rd Studio Faculty Art Exhibition at Harn Museum of Art
Now through Sunday, January 5, 2020
This exhibition recognizes and applauds UF’s art faculty as individual artists and as a collective of exemplary art educators.

Synchronica :: Framing Time at the Galleries at the Historic Thomas Center
Now through Saturday, January 4, 2020.
This exhibition of 150 photo portraits featuring and created by young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 captures a moment in time and place — Gainesville in 2019.

Cuban Ingenuity: The Artistry of the Everyday Inventor at the Cade Museum
Now through Sunday, December 31
Through videos, photographs, and objects collected for the Cade throughout Cuba, Cuban Ingenuity highlights the ingenious vision behind dozens of innovations and inventions of necessity.

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Now through Sunday, January 5, 2020
See the result of 200 million years of predatory evolution and learn about one of nature’s oldest and stealthiest hunters: crocodilians. This unique exhibition educates guests on the history and significance of these creatures using live reptiles, realistic models and interactive elements.

Gainesville’s Modern Landmarks at the Matheson History Museum
Tuesdays – Saturdays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Every city has a period of time that defines its built environment and architectural character. For Gainesville, that moment was the mid-20th century.

SAVE THE DATES, while you are making plans, take a look at these upcoming Fall crowd pleasers:
Dance Alive National Ballet Presents Anna Karenina, October 25-26
Swallowtail Farm Dinner, October 26
15th Annual Florida Bat Festival, October 26
Gainesville Pride Parade, October 26
Florida Bat Festival, October 26
THE FEST, November 1 – 3
45th Micanopy Fall Festival, November 2 – 3
Swallowtail Farm Festival, November 9
Downtown Festival & Art Show, November 16 – 17
Spirit of the Horse Holiday Show, December 6


For a complete list of events please visit www.visitgainesville.com/events

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 info@visitgainesville.com.

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.

  • Share this story!