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On Thursday, June 21 at 10 a.m., thousands of children and adults are invited to unite at aquatics facilities around the world to set a new global record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). The City of Gainesville is proud to be one of the nation’s top water safety and training organizations that joins forces with worldwide participants in order to foster education on the vital importance of swimming lessons that aid drowning prevention. The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is joining Team WLSL to once again break a world record and send the message that swimming lessons save lives. The global record attempt takes place at three Gainesville locations: Andrew R. Mickle Pool, Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool and H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool.

Team WLSL and the City of Gainesville aim to surpass last year’s participant numbers and set an eighth Guinness World Record in this category. The current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson stands at approximately 41,000  participants representing 27 different countries. Last year, Gainesville’s pools had 438 participants.

“Our participation is meant to draw attention to a very important message - by teaching children to swim, we are having a real impact on reducing the drowning rate among children,” explains Interim Recreation Manager John Weber. “Our goal is to get the message out to the community that swimming lessons help save lives, while having fun at the same time!”

Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children age one-five years old, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged one to four, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.

To participate in this event and be part of history, please arrive at 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the swimming lesson, at one of the three Gainesville host location facilities: Mickle Pool, 1717 SE 15th St.; Northeast Pool, 1100 NE 14th St.; or Westside Pool, 1001 NW 31st Dr. Registering for the WLSL allows you to enjoy the pool for the day!

If you are unable to attend the event, PRCA offers swimming lessons at all three pools during the summer. For more information please visit http://www.cityofgainesville.org/ParksRecreationCulturalAffairs/Sports,AquaticsFitness/Aquatics/SwimLessons.aspx.

To learn more about this event, visit www.WLSL.org or call 352-334-5067.

The band Fast Lane features funk, soul and R&B at its “Free Fridays” concert, held Friday, June 22 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza.

The “Free Fridays” Concert Series, as part of its celebration of June as African-American Music Appreciation Month,  presents The Shakedown Friday, June  15 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza.
 
The Shakedown is a five-piece, Gainesville-based band specializing in contemporary blues with a rock and classic soul edge. The band is comprised of stage veterans well-seasoned in a variety of musical genres, but who have a special affinity for the unique expression of heart and grit that blues music offers. The band has some of its greatest influences from blues greats such as Albert King and Koko Taylor to the newer stylings of artists like Walter Trout, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton and Danielle Nicole.

Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017.

A celebration of African-American Music Appreciation Month occurs every Friday night in June at the Bo Diddley Plaza as part of the “Free Fridays” concert series. Inspired by the dream of late local musicians Richard Baxter and Roland Burns, African-American Music Appreciation Month has been celebrated in Gainesville since 1998.

The City of Gainesville celebrates National Bike Month with a Bike Ride with the Mayor and Commissioners Saturday, May 26 beginning at 9 a.m. The public is invited to join Mayor Lauren Poe, City Commissioners and other local leaders to highlight the benefits of cycling and the coordinated efforts of the city, county, university and local developers to create a continuous urban trail system.

Young artists (age seven to 18) are invited to join a tradition of artistic excellence and showcase their talent as the 37th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show honors young and aspiring artists in the Young Artist section.  Recognized as one of the top fine art shows in the country, the festival is sponsored by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. On Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2, more than 240 local and national artists will display original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, captivating sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography in historic downtown Gainesville.  Young Artist applications for the Downtown Festival & Art Show are available upon request at 352-393-8536 or online at www.gainesvilledowntownartfest.org. The application deadline is Sept. 1, 2018.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department presents the Nancy Luca Band with Anna Marie as part of the “Free Fridays” Concert Series Friday, May 11 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. The public is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to our beautiful downtown amphitheater, and enjoy this free concert under the stars.

Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017.

Surely you jest? No, it’s true! Jest Fest!, a free, fun, family-friendly event produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, returns this spring Sunday, April 15 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Historic Thomas Center and Gardens. Now in its sixth season, Jest Fest! features a stellar lineup of international stars, performing some of the world’s greatest comedy/variety and circus acts on five stages. There are even more roving entertainers, food and merchandise vendors and kids’ activities located throughout the gardens.

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