Downtown Festival & Art Show

North Florida’s art scene swings into high gear on Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the arrival of the highly acclaimed Downtown Festival & Art Show. The streets of historic downtown Gainesville will be transformed into a celebration of art and creativity, complete with live music, performing arts and a spectacular array of food. The festival features 240 local and national artists displaying original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. For music lovers enjoy continuous, live entertainment on three stages by local bands, solo musicians and dance companies. The festival weekend will kick off with a free Downtown Blues Concert on Friday, from 7-10 p.m. featuring three incredible blues performances.
For more information, please visit

Holiday Tree Lighting

On first Saturday of December each year, the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony is held at the Historic Thomas Center.

The free program runs from 6-8 p.m., and features a visit from Santa, caroling and holiday music from local groups, and light refreshments served. Outside the Thomas Center, the Duck Pond Neighborhood Association sparkles with luminaries lit for the occasion. 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. 

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace for the Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Step back in time and cheer on jousting knights, wander through the medieval marketplace where hundreds of artisans sell their wares, witness a battle on the living chess board, partake in olde world games and rides and feast on food fit for a king. Enjoy nine stages of entertainment where the forgotten skills of full-flight falconry, gripping aerial acrobatics and old-world magic come to life. Jugglers, knife throwers and gypsy dancers add to the excitement as they fill the streets of Hoggetowne. 

For more info, please visit

Jest Fest!

Surely you jest? No, it’s true! Jest Fest!, a free, fun, family-friendly event takes place at the Historic Thomas Center on March 31, 2019. Jest Fest! features a stellar lineup of international stars, performing some of the world’s greatest comedy/variety and circus acts. The festival features five different stages, both indoors and outdoors, and combines all of the wonderful entertainers into one fun-filled festival day. In addition to the entertainment, Jest Fest!

For the latest info visit


"Free Fridays" Concert Series

From April to October, Downtown Gainesville comes alive every Friday night from 8-10 p.m. as our local and regional bands and performing arts are showcased under the stars. Each year thousands come out to enjoy the FREE live concerts and shows in a family friendly environment. “Free Fridays” rocks the stage at Bo Diddley Plaza!

Full 2019 Concert Schedule.

For more information on plaza events, please visit

For more info please call 352-393-8746.

Jewel Box Concert Series at the Thomas Center

A series of multi-genre musical events staged in the historic Thomas Center’s Spanish Court. They feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass, with special holiday shows and surprise guests.

Check out the Jewel Box Concerts Facebook page for the latest concert info.

For more information and inquiries:

Eddy Evans (Shakerag Culture Center, Inc.)
Email or call 904-886-8378
Russell Etling (Cultural Affairs Manager)
Call 352-393-8532

Downtown Countdown New Year's Eve Celebration

Rock out the old and ring in the new with your crowd of friends in Downtown Gainesville!  Celebrate the New Year with music at this annual favorite at Bo Diddley Plaza. The free concert will begin at 9:30 p.m. and run until 12:30 a.m. At the stroke of midnight the sounds of noisemakers passed out to the audience earlier in the evening will chorus in the New Year.

Check back for 2019 concert info.