Latest News from the City of Gainesville

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with the University of Florida (UF) Center for Arts in Medicine and We the People Theatre, and with the support from UF’s Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere's Rothman Endowment, is pleased to announce Pop-Up Theatre Summer Camp’s Romeo and Juliet. This new program began Monday, July 25 and culminates with a final 30-minute performance, an edited version of William Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet, featuring the talent of 24 middle school students. The performance is Friday, Aug. 5, starting at 5 p.m. at the Historic Thomas Center’s outdoor theatre, and is free and open to the public.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The Hard Luck Society plays at the “Free Fridays” Friday, Aug. 5 from 8-10 p.m. The Hard Luck Society features Dan Stepp on guitar and vocals, Matt Shaffer on upright bass, Andrew Cook on violin and David Cook on pedal steel, dobro, piano and accordion. In 2014, they released their first album, titled “Please Break My Heart One More Time,” that features all original material and draws inspiration from classic country, early jazz, western swing, rockabilly, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Batter up - it’s time for adult softball! Registration for the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department’s Adult Softball League is open until Thursday, Sept. 1. Teams can play on a Monday Men’s League or Tuesday and Friday Coed Leagues. Joining a softball league is a great opportunity for office workers, church groups and other organizations to network, have fun and meet new friends!

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The Code Enforcement Division has released the dates which will be exempt from the yard parking ordinance (Section 30-56). These exemptions coincide with the following University of Florida events:


Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Roots reggae band The Irie Ones (formerly Iration) plays at “Free Fridays” Friday, July 29 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The Office of Equal Opportunity is hosting the viewing and discussion of the documentary entitled, “I Am Jazz," at the Hippodrome Theatre (25 SE Second Pl.) Monday, July 25. This free event is co-sponsored by the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida, and is open to the public.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., is pleased to announce the final Jewel Box Summer Concert at the Historic Thomas Center. The summer series concludes Friday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Lonesome River Band. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door the day of the show (cash or check only).

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
The “Free Fridays” concert series features the jazz band R&E’s Army Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. R&E’s Army is a local jazz quartet that includes Richy Stano (electric guitar), Elio Piedra (drums/percussion), Delorean Fullington (bass guitar) and Zach Chester (keyboards).

Richy Stano is a noted musician, teacher, composer, performer and producer. He has his own contemporary jazz band, Mindwalk, which released two critically acclaimed CDs of which he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. He is currently a guitar professor at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. Stano has performed or toured internationally with Bo Diddley, Curb Records recording artist Amy Dalley, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Trisha Yearwood, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX and opened for acts such as Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Clint Black, Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Randy Travis and several others.

Elio Piedra began his musical career when he was 10 at the Raúl Sánchez Vocational School of Art in Cuba, specializing in percussion studies. When he was 12, he began participating in music festivals across Cuba, and at 15 years old, he began his music studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Cuba, where he toured with the symphonic orchestra around the country. When he was 20 years old, Piedra arrived in Gainesville, Florida, where he was asked to play with the local Latin band, Tropix. Piedra is also a drums instructor at Ancient Rhythms Drum Shop in Gainesville, and gives private lessons on piano, percussion and drums.

Delorean Fullington is a multi-talented bassist from Miami, Florida. He has been playing music since the age of 10, and has been playing professionally for about 15 years. Fullington graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies. He plays many different styles and genres of music including jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, gospel, reggae and Latin.

Zac Chester has performed and/or worked with many great jazz luminaries such as Longineu Parson, Wycliffe Gordon, Barry Green, Calvin Newborn, Scott Wilson, John Lumpkin Jr., Randal Haywood, Bill Prince, Von Barlow, Phil Morrison, Al Waters, Mark McKnight, Billy Thornton and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Florida. Based out of north Florida, Chester has worked with many of the top venues throughout Florida and southeast Georgia, including a 12-year band leader position at the Casa Monica in St. Augustine, Florida, a five-year solo piano position at the Ritz Carlton of Amelia Island, Florida and served for 10 years as a solo pianist and sideman at The Cloister hotel and other sea island resorts of St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The 2016 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and funded in part by grants from Alachua County’s Visit Gainesville and the State of Florida’s Culture Builds Florida. The concerts play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 6 through Friday, Oct. 21 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza, at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2016 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at

Want to test your personal best? Stride your way to new athletic goals with the 2016 Gainesville Biathlon Challenge. The fourth race of the 2016 Gainesville Biathlon Challenge is Saturday, July 16 at the Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool, located at 1100 NE 14th St.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The City of Gainesville State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Program Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) is holding a public meeting to receive public comments about the City of Gainesville’s regulations, policies, procedures and incentives that affect the provision of affordable housing.  In order to receive SHIP Program funds, the SHIP Program periodically requires the city to compile this information into an Incentives and Recommendations Report.

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