“Free Fridays” Concert Series
The 2014 "Free Fridays" Concert Series returns in May.
The Bo Diddley Community Plaza will come alive every Friday night  from 8-10 pm as our local and regional bands and performing arts are showcased under the stars. Hundreds come out to enjoy the free live concerts and shows in a family friendly environment. The Plaza is located on the corner of SE 1st St.and E. University Ave. in historic downtown. So grab your blanket and lawn chair and plan to be downtown on Friday nights!

2014 Concert Schedule


Downtown Festival and Art Show
The nationally recognized Downtown Festival & Art Show transforms downtown Gainesville into a venue for award-winning artists and draws a crowd of more than 100,000. Presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, the festival celebrates its 33rd anniversary in 2014. For two days, visitors can leisurely stroll through historic downtown and marvel at works from more than 250 of the nation's most talented artists, who display their original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, captivating sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. With such a diverse array of unique art displayed for sale and competition, the Downtown Festival & Art Show is a great way to purchase one-of-a-kind art for you or a friend. This year the festival will be held on Saturday, November 8, and Sunday, November 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since its creation, Downtown Festival & Art Show has risen dramatically in national rankings. For the past three years, Sunshine Artist magazine has recognized the festival as one of the top 30 fairs and festivals in the country, naming it No. 12 in 2014. More information...

Downtown Festival & Art Show was great fun! Find your favorite picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/croland/sets/72157627997936919/show.
Downtown Countdown
New Year's Eve Celebration

The City of Gainesville’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs will host Downtown Countdown, a New Year’s Eve celebration concert at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. More information. . .

The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
Have you ever wondered what it was like in Medieval days when knights rode to defend the honor of their King and Queen and villagers filled the streets of bustling medieval marketplaces as they went about their day? The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is your chance to find out! Whether you’re a returning visitor or discovering the magic of Hoggetowne for the first time, you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself at this celebration of Medieval times. The entertainment never ceases as jugglers, magicians and a colorful cast of characters fill visitors with laughter and amazement. Watch as royal knights joust on horseback and human chess pieces battle for a win on the Living Chessboard. Indulge your appetite with delicacies fit for a King at the Food Court, and enjoy your day wandering through the marketplace filled with the wares of 150 skilled artisans selling and demonstrating their time-honored arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. Continually recognized as one of North Central Florida’s most anticipated festivals, the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire has attracted thousands of fairgoers for nearly 30 years. This year, experience the Middle Ages, and find out what all the excitement is about. More information...

Photos by Nancy Bogen

Jest Fest!
A stellar lineup of thrilling daredevils and laughable buffoons "strut and fret their time upon the stage" at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza each Saturday night in April at 6 p.m., highlighting the virtues of hilarity and derring-do. Each JestFest! Saturday features entirely different entertainers starting promptly at 6 pm. JestFest! is an experience not to be missed! Find out more...

Holiday Tree Lighting!

Tree Lighting On Saturday, December 6, 2014 the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs hosts its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at the Historic Thomas Center.

The free program will run from 6-8 p.m. and will feature caroling by the Singers of the Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus, as well as holiday music on the hammered dulcimer and autoharp by Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band.

The heart of the celebration is the holiday decorations on the giant tree and around the building, which are annually provided by the Thomas Center Associates.

Santa will be on hand to visit with children. Light refreshments will be served.




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