What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, September 24-30, 2020

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We welcome the start of fall with cooler temperatures and the latest edition of What’s Good. Enjoy a blues and soul review by the Shakedown at Celebration Pointe, the art exhibition and grand opening of Good News Arts in High Springs, and the return of live music to Heartwood Soundstage, as The Currys, serenade the crowd on the outdoor stage. Celebrate Oktoberfest with Swamp Head Brewery; meet the dancers of Dance Alive National Ballet and much more.

This weekend, we also welcome Gatornationals fans! With limited attendance and a heightened focus on following the public health standards by the county and the CDC, fans in the Sunshine State will still be in for a treat at as the world’s best drag racers power their 10,000 horsepower, fire-breathing machines down the Gainesville Raceway in pursuit of championship points.

We are proud to live in this mindful, resourceful and resilient community, and to share with you all that we have to offer – What’s Good.

Wear your mask and stay at safe physical distances while you enjoy the most of each day. Please adhere to public safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Be safe and be well,– Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County 

The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

Safety First. Be Informed About COVID19

In Alachua County, certain types of businesses require masks. Masks or face coverings are also required when social distancing is not possible. For additional details on the requirement as well as any exemption information please read the latest Alachua County Emergency Order.

For additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County COVID19 Community Resource Portal, the Alachua County Facebook page, call the Coronavirus Information Line at 866-779-6121, visit the Florida Department of Health website, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Currys performing with mandolin and guitar

The Currys Will Captivate You with an Outdoor Serenade as Live Music Returns to Heartwood
Sunday, September 27, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Incorporating elements of country, bluegrass, blues, and rock, The Currys’ music showcases tight vocal harmonies, thoughtful songwriting, and a strong emphasis on rollicking live performance. They’ve been featured on PBS, toured Ireland, guest starred during the headlining set of the 60th Florida Folk Fest.

Celebrate quality live music, together-apart, with this physically-distanced performance. Spread a blanket or chair on marked spaces throughout the field. Find restrooms and a hand-washing station nearby. Masks are required.

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

Gainesville Raceway starting line

Feel the Roar of 10,000 Horsepower at the 51st NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals
Friday, September 25 – Sunday, September 27 | Gainesville Raceway
11211 N CR 225, Gainesville, FL 32609

One of the sport’s most prestigious events, the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals has been host to record- and barrier-breaking passes in its five-decade run, including the first 300-mph Top Fuel pass in 1992 and the first 200-mph Pro Stock Motorcycle pass. An all-concrete racing surface debuted in 2019, further cementing the facility as one of the best in the country. This year’s race promises to deliver all the excitement and drama that fans have come to expect. Learn more about schedule and activities here.

Please call 800-884-NHRA (6472) in advance to confirm ticket availability. All participants are expected to uphold health safety guidelines. 

Know before you go. Stay up-to-date with NHRA safety modifications to the fan experience. View the rules, requirements, and guidelines for spectators attending the Gatornationals 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.

Hotel Eleo what's good promotion

Elevate Your Visit to Gainesville at the Upscale Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida. Book Now and Save $40 a Day.

Indulge in contemporary luxury at its finest, in the heart of Gator Nation, with a weekend stay at Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida – featuring high-end amenities and cutting-edge culinary concepts at Covey Kitchen + Cocktail Bar.

Push pause on the pressures of the week and treat yourself to the Experience ELEO Package, which includes a $25 breakfast credit at Covey Kitchen and valet parking daily. BOOK NOW with code ELEO and Save $40 a Day.

Discover why Forbes Magazine says Hotel ELEO may be one of the safest places to stay in Florida during the pandemic.
For the list of all the Alachua County places to stay, including information about the safety measures being taken at hotels and inns, click here.

Museum exhibits

Look Back, Look Up, or Look Inside with Exciting and Insightful Discoveries at 3 New Museum Exhibits

Get consumed by Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived at the Florida Museum of Natural History. The object-rich exhibit features real fossil specimens, full-scale models of ancient and modern sharks and tooth-shaped display units with actual Megalodon fossils.

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Harn Museum of Art with an exhibition schedule is bursting with a wide range of artwork sure to provide inspiration, escape, solace and introspection. Claude Monet’s “Champ d’avoine (Oat Field)” returns to display at the Harn.

Look inside your mind BRAIN: the world inside your head at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. Explore the mysterious inner workings of the mind at this family-friendly, traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. 

NEA Big Read Alachua County Fieldwork Fails

Hear Stories about Fieldwork Fails from Real Scientists at Guts and Glory GNV, Presented by the Florida Museum of Natural History
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Online Event with Florida Museum of Natural History

Science is never perfect. It can be unpredictable and hilarious. Join Guts and Glory GNV, the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Alachua County Library District via Zoom for a night of storytelling, science and fun. This night of stories is part of National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a series of events building community while lifting the voices of women in science. Register online here.

The Shakedown

Put Some Soul into Your Weekend with The Shakedown at Playlist at the Pointe
Friday, September 25, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

Featuring blistering vocals from Michelle Banfield, The Shakedown is a contemporary blues, soul and rock ‘n roll band. Pull up a chair or throw down a blanket and enjoy the music as the sun sets. Make a night of it with dinner and drinks from Celebration Pointe restaurants including Decadent A Coffee and Dessert Bar, Hana Sushi and Asian Cuisine, Kilwins, MiciCi The Neopolitan Pizza Company, Miller’s Ale House, Texas Roadhouse and The Keys Grill & Piano Bar.

Oktoberfest at Swamp Head Brewery

Celebrate the World’s Largest Beer Festival with Swamp Head Brewery’s Oktoberfest Drive-Thru
Friday, September 25, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Swamp Head Brewery
3650 SW 42nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

swamp head brewery oktoberfest bundle

It’s not fall until you breakout the lederhosen! Swamp Head’s beloved Oktoberfest Lager returns in 16 oz. cans. Take home one of the ultra-limited 2020 Oktoberfest glasses with bundles including one glass plus 4 cans of Oktoberfest Lager. 4-packs and bundles go on sale starting at 12 p.m. on Friday.

Pair your golden craft beer with delicious soft pretzels from Uppercrust artisan bakery, available at the drive-thru. Order online here.

Good News Arts

Three Live Music Acts Set the Stage at the Art Exhibition and Grand Opening of Good News Arts
Saturday, September 26, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Good News Arts
23352 W HWY 27, Suite 80, High Springs, FL 32643

Good News Arts is a new arts exhibition space opening in High Springs. With a focus on issue-based artistic practices, via curated exhibition and publication opportunities, Good News Arts provides space for local, regional, and national artists to show challenging and engaging work tied to relevant contemporary issues. Grand opening festivities include live performances by Danny Hughes, Kyle Keller and Jason Hedges.

painting of two people by aineki traverso

Find the inaugural exhibition I’m looking forward to tomorrow on display inside at the gallery to a limited number of visitors at a time. Pictured, “nmjc u” by Aineki Traverso.

Ballet dancer in water

Dancers on Deck! Meet Dance Alive National Ballet Dancers at a Rooftop Performance
Friday, September 25, 6:30 p.m. | Holiday Inn University Center Rooftop
1250 W University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The upcoming season of extraordinary performances from Dance Alive National Ballet starts with an exclusive opportunity to meet the talented dancers. Enjoy an evening breeze and sunset views from the rooftop deck at Holiday Inn University Center while enjoying a live auction, music from Elio Piedra and dance performance. Reserve your tickets at

The annual Halloween Costume Sale from Dance Alive and Next Generation also kicks off this weekend with great dance costumes for kids and adults. Find more information here.

cactus plants lined up for the pop up sale at auk market

Find Your Perfect Prickly Companion at the Outdoor Plant Pop-Up Sale
Saturday, September 26, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | The Auk Market
2031 NW 6th St, Gainesville, FL 32609

Stop in and find yourself some new plant friends. Saturday’s plant sale takes place in the outdoor courtyard next to The Auk Market and Curia on the Drag. All social distancing precautions will be in place and masks are required. Featured plants include cactus cuttings by the foot, handmade kokedama (decorative moss-covered balls of soil) and an array of tropical & desert plants.

Pianist Dr. Michael Kogan

Make Connections Between Music and the Mind with Two Evenings with Pianist Dr. Richard Kogan
Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m. and Wednesday, September 30, 7 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Dr. Richard Kogan excels at two of the world’s most complicated and nuanced professions. He’s not only a concert pianist, but he’s also a clinical psychiatrist earning degrees from both Juilliard and Harvard Medical School.

Over two nights, Dr. Kogan will perform two lecture-recitals, each diving deep into the minds and music of two great composers: Chopin and Schumann. On Tuesday, “The Mind and Music of Chopin” examines how psychological forces influenced the creative output of Frederic Chopin. On Wednesday, “Schumann: Music, Mood Swings, and Madness” focuses on the German composer’s lifelong struggle with mental illness. Reserve your tickets, or register for a livestream online.

Jazzy Mondays at The Keys

Start the Week on an Upbeat with Live Music and Great Food at Jazzy Mondays
Monday, September 27, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
4860 Celebration Pointe Ave. #30, Gainesville, FL 32608

Each week, The Keys Grill and Piano Bar sets the stage for an ensemble of Gainesville’s best talent and a fresh play list to start your week off right with an evening of jazzy grooves, delicious bites, and tasty cocktails, with half price wine and Florida craft draughts for $4.

latino film festival

Celebrate Latin Culture Through Film with the Gainesville Latino Film Festival
Now Through September 29 | Online Event with Latina Women’s League

This year’s virtual film festival features a lineup of films and special events taking place online. See upcoming events and film screenings on Facebook.View the 2020 film lineup here.

Songs from the Heart with EJ Hervey and Ricky Kendall

Enjoy an Evening of Quality Music and Songwriting at Songs from the Heart featuring Ricky Kendall and EJ Hervey
Friday, September 25, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Heartwood Soundstage

Songs from the Heart is a live-streaming series brought to you by Heartwood Soundstage. Ricky Kendall is a multi-talented artist, songwriter and musician in residence at UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. EJ Hervey is an indie R&B singer songwriter and arranger from Jacksonville.

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

egret flying at paynes prairie

Be in the Know About Local Species with the Audubon Society’s Live “Bird Cast.” And Then Get Ready to go Birding… Virtually Anywhere.
Thursday, September 24, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Online Event with Alachua Audubon Society

Before adding bird-watching to your next adventure, take a little time to open your world to the species in our area. Did you know that thanks to the introduction of the Apple Snail, numbers of the Snail Kite have soared? During the 2019 Christmas Bird Count, 99 were spotted versus just 29 the previous year.

The weekly broadcast from the Alachua Audubon Society highlights local news and notes, observations and occurrences from birding experts. Fall migration is already off a start, find out about the latest developments and tune in on Facebook or Zoom.

Find out how to start birding here!

Find information about the top birding sites in Alachua County.

Musicians from Uncle Mosie performing on stage

Harmonize with Folk Pop from Uncle Mosie Trio Presented by Gainesville LIVE!
Friday, September 25, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Brought together by a love of singing and all kinds of folk music, Uncle Mosie blurs genres as they meander through a variety of alt-country and alt-folk landscapes creating a unique sound: strange folk pop – touched by gospel and layered in harmonies.

Gainesville LIVE! is brought to you by the City of Gainesville as a temporary way to share with the public the joy of the Free Fridays Concert Series. The series typically takes place from May to October when hundreds of visitors and locals head to the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to listen and dance to a superb assembly of bands and talented musicians. It is the region’s longest running free outdoor live music series.

Person paddling in kayak on santa fe river

Relax on the Water with a Paddle Trip on the Santa Fe River and Discover Springs, Scenery, and Wildlife
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643

Cruise down the Santa Fe River in your stress-free time capsule… err, we mean in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.

Explore Additional Parks and Trails Bike, Hike or Just Change Your View – Explore Gainesville and Alachua County’s Bountiful Outdoor Open Spaces

Find the park that suits you best! Most of the parks and trails in Alachua County have reopened including – Alachua County Parks, Playgrounds and Preserves, city parks, Alachua Conservation Trust preserves and all Florida State Parks.

Find the list of Alachua County Parks and Preserves here.
Find our What’s Good Now list of additional open spaces to explore here.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others, avoid large groups of people and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change and some facilities may not be available.

Arts & Theatre

actors at Black C Art Gallery

Private Performance of The Stronger at Black C Art Gallery
Now Through Friday, October 30Witness a 30-minute performance of The Stronger, loosely based on August Strindberg’s play of the same name.

Old-Time Radio Series Streaming Online from Actor’s Warehouse
Now Through Sunday, October 4

Writing for Sketch Comedy Virtual Class with the Hippodrome Theatre
Thursday, September 24, 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Music & Performance

Flaco's Comedy Night

Laugh Out Loud with Live Stand-Up Comedy Night at Flaco’s
Thursday, September 24, 7:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
See some of the best comics in the area live in person from the outdoor patio at Flaco’s. The early-bird show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the late show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Acoustic Funky Soul and Pop Hits with Jon Catino at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Party at Home with A-F Records with Fest at Home
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Crooked Counsel at One Love Café
Friday, September 25, 6 p.m.

Favorite Alternative Rock Songs with The Remedy at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, September 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Surf Rock with the Driptones, Shane Malone, Ashton Chase Live Stream + Beer Garden Open with High Dive
Friday, September 25, 8 p.m.

Country with Singer Songwriter Cliff Dorsey at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, September 26, 6 p.m.

Rock with Whiskey Jones at One Love Cafe
Saturday, September 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Americana and Blues with Soulful Singer Cassie Evans at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, September 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Hip Hop and R&B with Dorion James, Lyrical King Kong, Azazus, One Arm Bandit, & Mellow Blendz at SwampCity Gallery Lounge
Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.

Heavy Metal with Pupal, Petrichor, Red Hallway Live Stream Benefit + Beer Garden with High Dive
Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m.

Acoustic Guitarist Extraordinaire Richy Stano at One Love Café
Sunday, September 27, 11 a.m.

Music Monday at Ballyhoo Grill Gainesville
Monday, September 28, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Folksy Rock by Austin Brockner & Mike Dorsey with Virtual Concert Series Presented by MusicGNV
Monday, September 28, 7 p.m.

Country Music with Jamie Davis at Woodyard Grill
Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Country Music with Chuck Partin at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Keg of Laughs Comedy Hour at World of Beer
Wednesday, September 30, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Glass of craft beer at high springs brewing company

Sample Craft Beer at Local Breweries, Now Open
Breweries have once again opened their doors to welcome fans of craft beer. Enjoy award-winning local brews safely and responsibly from First Magnitude Brewing Company, pictured above, Blackadder Brewing Company, Big Top Brewing Company, Cypress & Grove Brewing Company and High Springs Brewing Company. To-go beers are still available, including online ordering from Swamp Head Brewery.

Cruise the Area’s Craft Beer Crawl and Sample Award-Winning Local Brews

Open Mic Hosted By Exotic Breed Band at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, September 26, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, September 29, 6:30 p.m. – 7: 30 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

$6 Burger Wednesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, September 30, 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, September 30, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m.

Wine Pops, Sangria and More at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

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

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 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

Pre-Order Fresh Flavors with Café Baskets from The Fat Tuscan
Order Friday for Wednesday Pickup

Dine at Local Restaurants and Enjoy New Outside Seating Options
Some restaurants are welcoming diners back into their dining rooms. You may also notice additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks, into parking lots or into the street.
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.


archer aiming at targets

Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, September 18, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Ave., Newberry, FL 32669
Join the most fun you can have with a bow for open shooting and archery games including tic-tac-toe, battleship, bowling with bows and more. A free orientation is required and is offered at 5 p.m.

If you worked up an appetite after all that fun, you may wish to visit nearby restaurants like Arepas Milko, Villaggio Pizzeria, Woodyard Grill or nearby Tioga Town Center.

Mountain Bike Rides with Goodbike
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m., Medium Pace for the Intermediate/Advanced Rider
Monday, September 28, 7 p.m., Brisk Pace for the Advanced Rider

Parks & Trails

Record breaking Victoria Cruziana waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Don’t Miss Record-Breaking Giant Waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Open Fridays – Wednesdays
Giant Victoria Water Lilies grow over 6 feet in diameter and are only a summer phenomenon at the gardens. Plan your visit at

River & Springs

Tubing at the springs

Splash Into the Springs Near Gainesville

North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude freshwater springs in the United States. The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the natural side of the state. Did you know the crystal clear water flows from underground at a refreshing 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celsius, all year round? Make sure to add a visit to the springs to your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.

Museums & Galleries

In, Of, From: Experiments in Sound at University Gallery
Now Through Friday, December 4

Matheson Museum Online Exhibit: Trailblazers 150 Years of Women in Alachua County

“The Human Race” Online Exhibit with Gainesville Fine Arts Association

Explore Florida’s History and Walk With Flying Butterflies at the Florida Museum
Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Browse Galleries Featuring Over 600 Works at the Harn Museum of Art
Open Thursday- 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
Fridays – Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

GNV Farmer’s Market at Heartwood Soundstage, October 1

Dracula at High Springs Playhouse, October 2

The Gainesville Orchestra Presents ADVENTURE! October 9

Max Major Remote Control with Hippodrome Theatre, October 1-11

Archer Vintage Market, October 17

Adult Trick or Treating at Swamp Head Brewery, October 23

Dance Alive National Ballet Presents Ballet and Beyond, October 31

Sangria 5K with Island Grove Wine Company, November 14

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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