What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, September 2-8, 2021

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Make it the perfect three-day weekend with What’s Good.
Feel the roar of the Swamp and the excitement of the first Gator Football game of the season. Pre-game festivities kick off at Celebration Pointe’s Chomp the Block and rock into the night with downtown Gainesville’s Free Fridays Concert Series, music under the stars at Heartwood Soundstage, and the nine-piece soul and funk stylings of The Savants of Soul at High Dive. Plus find brews, barbecue and bands at Marz Park in Archer.

Browse the outdoor market at the High Springs Brewery’s Hops and Shop, then stay and watch the game on the big screen while enjoying craft beer and delicious food. Take a walk on the wild side with Labor Day safari tours at top-rated TripAdvisor attraction Carson Springs Wildlife. And be sure to enter Hotel Eleo’s Gator Game Day Giveaway.

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 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. 

fau vs gators

Cheer on the Orange and Blue as the Florida Gators Host FAU
Saturday, September 4, 7:30 p.m. | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
157 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611 

The 2021 football season kicks off as Gators Football takes on Florida Atlantic University at The Swamp. Arrive early and enjoy Gators Fan Fest at Gate 2 of the O’Connell Center and cheer on players at Gator Walk. Click for game day details including parking, mobile ticketing, clear bag policy, road closures and more.

chomp the block

Celebrate Game Day Weekend at Chomp the Block
Friday, September 3, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608 

Before the Gators take to the Swamp on Saturday, Celebration Pointe hosts Chomp the Block, a pre-game event featuring fun, food, drinks, live music by Little Jake and the Soul Searchers, UF celebrity appearances and good times presented by GameDay Vodka. Click here for access to the VIP GameDay Lounge. 

From 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., the family-friendly Entertainment Zone features bounce houses, balloon animals, face painting and more.

hops and shop

Grab a Craft Beer While Browsing One-of-a-Kind Gifts at Hops & Shop
Saturday, September 4, 11 a.m. | High Springs Brewing Company
18562 NW 237th St., High Springs, FL 32643 

Find unique arts and crafts from more than 20 vendors at High Springs Brewing Company. Grab a bite from Nacho Sweets and 29:11 BBQ. Hang out and watch the Gators on the big screen starting at 7:30 p.m.

mini golf course

Swing for the Bottom of the Cup at the Pink Flamingo Diner’s Mini Golf Course
Open Daily | Pink Flamingo Diner
19726 Hwy 441, High Springs, FL 32643 

The professionally designed 18-hole course features water features and tropical landscaping. Challenge your skills and learn about natural resources like fresh water springs with educational displays along the way. Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy Midnight Mini Golf under the lights until 12 a.m. After your round, grab a treat at the coffee and ice cream kiosk located next to the course. Head into the Pink Flamingo Diner for craft beer and craft cocktails, a made-from-scratch menu with vegan and gluten-free options and live music on the weekends.

win this yeti cooler

Gator Game Day Giveaway by Hotel ELEO Celebrates Return of College Football with Prizes

Enter Hotel ELEO’s Gator Game Day Giveaway for a chance to win one of four prizes: YETI Hopper Flip 8 soft cooler with a $20 certificate from the internationally award-winning First Magnitude Brewing; Visit Gainesville Stadium Bag complete with two tickets to select Gainesville attractions; Breakfast and beverages for two at Covey Kitchen + Cocktails, ranked as Gainesville’s #1 restaurant for fine dining on Yelp; $30 gift card redeemable for food or beverages at the celebrated Covey Kitchen + Cocktails.

To enter the contest, and for more information visit Winners will be randomly selected each home-game weekend before kick-off, notified by email and will claim their prize at the hotel’s front desk. 

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.

two tigers

Take a Walk on the Wild Side and Book a Labor Day Weekend Tour at Carson Springs
Saturday, September 4 and Monday, September 6 | Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
8528 E County Rd. 225, Gainesville, FL 32609 

Voted Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2021, reviews from travelers placed Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation in the top 10 percent of attractions worldwide. Carson Springs is located on 275 acres of lush Florida woods and farmland. It is home to approximately 30 rare and endangered species and over 100 animals. Meet the animals and book your tour online here.

Photo by Rafael Hernandez

the currys

Treat Your Senses to Stirring Vocal Harmonies from The Currys
Friday, September 3, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Heartwood favorites The Currys return for an outdoor show. Brothers Jimmy and Tommy and cousin Galen have been playing music together for most of their lives. Their voices blend like only family can into harmony-based folk-rock and a unique take on country nostalgia. 

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. 

birds and brews

Go Birding at the Brewery at Birds and Brews Guided Bird Walks
Sunday, September 5, 6:15 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company
1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601  

Start at First Magnitude Brewing Company and meet volunteers from the Alachua Audubon Society. After an hour-long guided tour along the nature trail at Depot Park, return to the brewery for a refreshing craft beer. Need your own binoculars? Borrow a pair from Alachua Audubon Society.

wild blue yonder band

Southern Rock with Wild Blue Yonder at the Free Fridays Concert Series
Friday, September 3, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville 

Wild Blue Yonder was formed in 2015 with Allan Lowe and Jeff Sims, band members of Dixie Desperados. Their brand of Southern country rock features classic hits and their own original tracks.  

The Free Fridays Concert Series is the region’s longest-running free outdoor concert series featuring local and regional talent. Grab dinner at a downtown Gainesville restaurant, and find a cozy spot on the Bo Diddley Plaza lawn to enjoy a live music concert every Friday night through October.

ride south until the sawgrass

Join a Discussion Between Literature and History a Fiction from the Florida Frontier
Saturday, September 4, 4 p.m. | Matheson History Museum
513 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

James Chapin shares his debut novel “Ride South Until the Sawgrass.” Set during the tumultuous years of the Florida Territory’s Second Seminole War and early statehood “Ride South Until the Sawgrass” follows the intertwined lives of the Primrose and Quinto families told through four tales. Admission is free but registration is required here. The discussion is also available virtually, join on Zoom here.

root beer bottles

Savor Great Food, Music and Good Times at the Country Music, Beer & BBQ Festival
Saturday, September 4, 1 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Marz Park

8710 SW 170th St., Archer, FL 32618 

Enjoy food prepared by barbeque teams from across the southeast. The music lineup includes the R Lynn Road band, country-rap artist Kendall Tucker and two-time Grammy nominee and CMA award-winner James Otto.

savants of soul band members

Get Funky with Retro Soul Vibes from The Savants of Soul
Friday, September 3, 8 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 

The Savants of Soul are a 9-piece retro-soul group performing original soul music inspired by the sounds of the 1960s, contemporary retro-soul groups and the group’s diverse collection of influences ranging from punk to hip-hop to Chicago blues to 1950s cool jazz. 

Located in the former home of Common Grounds and Covered Dish, the venue has a long and storied history of hosting decades of live music. High Dive was named #74 of “100 Greatest American Music Venues” by Consequence of Sound.

electric kif

Bust a Move with High-Energy Fusion from Electric Kif
Saturday, September 4, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Electric Kif are a Miami-based power quartet exploring the boundaries between rock, jazz fusion and drum & bass. The dynamic mashup of hard-hitting grooves, high-octane riffs and cosmic melody rock the outdoor stage at Heartwood.

wild together art

Explore the Dynamic Pairing of Painting and Photography at the Opening Reception of Wild Together Art
Friday, September 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Hotel Indigo Gainesville – Celebration Pointe
5020 SW 30th Ln., Gainesville, FL 32608 

Before you head out to dinner Friday night, pop into Hotel Indigo, grab a cocktail at the Gather Social Lounge and enjoy the opening reception of Wild Together, a collection of paintings from Peter Senesac and photography from Michelle Nagri, along with collaborative works. The exhibit runs through the month of September.

Sweetwater Wetlands Park water and land

View Wildlife and Go Birding on a Ranger-Led Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, September 4, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Sweetwater Wetlands Park
325 SE Williston Rd., Gainesville, FL 32601

Learn about the importance of clean water and see birds, alligators and more wildlife on the trails at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. The ranger-led tour includes a half-mile walk and last about an hour. Bring water, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes.

The picturesque Sweetwater Wetlands Park consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds. The park’s design attracts hundreds of species of birds throughout the year and was created to improve the water quality of wetlands in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. 

giant victoria water lilies

See Giant Victoria Water Lilies on a Guided Tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, September 4, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608 

The warm summer months are the growing season for the record-setting lilies and now is the best time to see them in person before the weather cools. Stroll through the collections spanning 68-acres including the state’s largest display of bamboo and the largest herb garden in the southeast.

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Arts & Theatre

Sip N’ Spin at Studio TM Ceramics
Friday, September 3, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Back in the Spotlight: The Hippodrome Theatre’s 2021-2022 Season
The Hippodrome Theatre welcomes back audiences back to the Mainstage for their 49th season.

Twirl into the 2021-2022 Season of Dance Alive National Ballet
Phantom, Nutcracker, Don Juan and Carmina Burana are just a few of the special performances in store this year from the incredible dancers of Dance Alive National Ballet.

Elements of Entertainment: Gainesville Orchestra Earth Matters 2021-2022 Season
Maestro Evans Haile creates an astounding new season of orchestral music themed to the 5 elements of life: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether. 

Music & Performance

MK (Marc Kinchen) and Will Clarke at Vivid Sky Warehouse
Thursday, September 2, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Acoustic Country with Chris McNeil at Crafty Bastards Restaurant and Pub
Thursday, September 2, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

red letter day band members

Progressive Hard Rock with Red Letter Day, Discord Theory, The Housing Crisis at High Dive (In-Person + Live Stream)
Thursday, September 2, 8 p.m. 

Classic Rock and Blues with Johnson/Burns at Wahoo Seafood Grill
Friday, September 3, 6 p.m.

Rock, Americana, Blues and R&B with Couch Messiahs at One Love Cafe
Friday, September 3, 6 p.m.  

Classic Rock with The Good Voodoo at Pink Flamingo Diner
Friday, September 3, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Southern Burn at The Great Outdoors
Friday, September 3, 7 p.m. 

Social Swing Dance with Vintage Dance Company at Salsa Mundial
Friday, September 3, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. 

Metal with Wharflurch, Corrupted Saint and Counter Attack at Loosey’s
Friday, September 3, 8 p.m.

Pop Punk with Reckless Giant and Northy at Hardback Cafe
Friday, September 3, 9 p.m. 

Goth Night Featuring Destryur at The Wooly
Friday, September 3, 10 p.m.

Country Music with Noah Hunton at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Saturday, September 4, 7 p.m. 

Upbeat Brass Band Music with Sooza, and Pop Punk with The Dreaded Laramie, Mr. Cool, and Madwoman at Loosey’s
Saturday, September 4, 8 p.m. 

Punk and Country with Mama Trish at The Bull
Saturday, September 4, 8 p.m. 

Rock Favorites with Faster Than Flash at Mother’s Pub & Grill North
Saturday, September 4, 9 p.m.

jazz musician kyra

Jazz and Pop with Kyra at The Keys Grill & Piano Bar
Sunday, September 5, 6 p.m. 

Kizomba, Salsa and Bachata Dance Lessons and Music at The Bull
Sunday, September 5, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Comedy Night Wednesdays at Mother’s Pub & Grill North
Wednesday, September 8, 8:30 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Open Mic Night at Big Top Brewing Company
Thursday, September 2, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Country Pop with Hannah Love and Fat G’s Food Truck at High Springs Brewing Company
Thursday, September 2, 7 p.m. 

Classic Rock with Crooked Counsel and MexiCocina Food Truck at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, September 3, 7 p.m.  

Juke Jones Blues Band with Mayflower Cellars Food Truck at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, September 3, 7 p.m. 

The Big Game on Two Big Screens at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Saturday, September 4, 2 p.m. 

Favorite Alternative Rock Songs with The Remedy and Sister’s Swank Food Truck at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, September 4, 7 p.m. 

Brainaholics Trivia at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, September 7, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Trivia Night at Big Top Brewing Company
Tuesday, September 7, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Wednesday, September 8, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

fresh picked muscadine grapes

Muscadine Grape U-Pick at High Springs Orchard and Bakery
Thursday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Muscadine Grape U-Pick at Deep Spring Farm
Monday, September 6, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., check for availability

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

One Love Cafe Local Market
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

GNV Market at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 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

Charred Octopus, Salmon Crudo, Fried Chicken and more at The Leaning Pig’s “Neon Pig”
Thursday, September 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Pop-Up Wine Tasting with Downtown Wine and Cheese at The Dunbar Hotel
Thursday, September 2, 6:30 p.m.

reggae brunch

Reggae Brunch at World of Beer Bar and Kitchen
Sunday, September 5, 11 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.


flyer for gator football tickets for sale

Gators Football Single Game Tickets Now on Sale

Friday Night Street Legal Madness Drag Racing at Gainesville Raceway
Friday, September 3, 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. 

FAU Alumni Tailgate
Saturday, September 4, 4 p.m.

Gators Volleyball vs. Minnesota
Sunday, September 5, 2 p.m. 

Labor Day Holiday at Splitz Bowling
Monday, September 6, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Discover One of Florida’s Best Birding Hotspots at Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands
Wednesday, September 8, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park is located minutes from downtown Gainesville. Join the Alachua Audubon Society each week for a 2-3 hour guided walking tour. Birders of all experience levels are welcome. Meet at the entrance pavilion and bring a hat, sunscreen, water, binoculars and comfortable walking shoes.  

(Registration Full) Frogs and Friends Fridays at Morningside Nature Center
Friday, September 3, 2 p.m.  

Living History Farm Guided Tour at Morningside Nature Center
Saturday, September 4, 10 a.m.  

Timed 5K at Depot Park with parkrun
Saturday, September 4, 7:30 a.m. – 9 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

artwork from exhibit

Looking at, looking through Closing Reception at Good News Arts
Saturday, September 4, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Pictured above, “Red rooftop house” In Kyoung Chun and “Two Paths” Alice Stone Collins 

Plant Life: Art Marks the Unremarked Gallery Talk at the Harn Museum of Art
Saturday, September 4, 3 p.m.

Spark Wonder with Expanded Hours at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
New Hours: Thursday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.,
Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Learn about the invention of Gatorade in “The Sweat Solution” and find out how everyday items are manufactured at the traveling “How People Make Things” exhibit inspired by Mister Rogers’ Factory Tours. Plan your visit at

Catch a Train Ride to the Past at the Waldo Historical Society Museum
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Now Open at the Harn Museum of Art: Shadow to Substance
Shadow to Substance exhibition creates a chronological arc from the past to the present into the future using historical photographs through the lens of Black photographers working today. The exhibition expands ideas around healing, myth, intimacy, joy, resistance and rebirth to create a space for visitors to see and identify with uplifting narratives shaped by an invigorated portrait of Black life. Exhibition open through February 27, 2022. 

Between Heaven & Earth – The Paintings of Alyne Harris at Thomas Center Galleries
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

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

See Live Animals in the Survival of the Slowest Exhibit at the Florida Museum
Now through September 12Museum Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

MusicGNV Live & LocalPalimony and Noan Partly Trio, September 16

Florida Impressions: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers, September 21

Upstage at the Phillips Center: Davina and the Vagabonds, September 23

Artwalk Gainesville, September 24

Gainesville Reggae Festival, September 25

Opening Day of Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, September 25

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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