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Latest News from the City of Gainesville
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is pleased to announce the May lineup of Events on the Promenade at Depot Park, which is located at 200 SE Depot Ave., in Gainesville. Each Friday evening features a family-friendly DJ from 7-8:30 p.m. Saturday evenings feature live music from 7-9 p.m. and Sundays feature hands-on arts activities from 2-4 p.m. in the kid’s area. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, shade and blankets to sit and relax.
 May's Schedule
Friday, May 5
7-8:30 p.m.
DJ E-LO returns, bringing a skillful mix of your favorite songs. If audience members don’t hear something they like, they are encouraged to make requests.
Saturday, May 6
7-9 p.m.

Masune plays hip-hop with a Brazilian percussion influence, and brings the beats to the hill. We can’t promise you will be able to sit still.
Sunday, May 7
2-4 p.m.

Are you looking for a fun craft for your kids? These crafts are easy, and your kids will love creating and decorating using their imagination. Materials and supplies are provided by the Music & Arts Program for Youth, Inc.
Friday, May 12
7-8:30 p.m.
Join DJ DAD and his family-friendly roller skating party. Come out and dance - bring your wheels, skates, roller blades, or what have you - to roll around the promenade accompanied by skater dater music. Don’t forget your protective gear!
Saturday, May 13
7-9 p.m.
Paradise in Hand is an alternative rock trio playing originals and cover songs. Rock out on the hill with friends.
Sunday, May 14
2-4 p.m.
Tiger Monkey Puppets by George O’Brien will run a workshop teaching puppet making for all who are interested. All materials will be provided.
Friday, May 19
7-8:30 p.m.
DJ South Beats spins dance mixes and gets the party started. Everyone enjoys the group dances and contests!
Saturday, May 20
7-9 p.m.
Dance on the promenade with Jazz Bandits. This great band will be on the stage by the promenade. It is your opportunity to dance, dance, dance.
Sunday, May 21
2-4 p.m.
Music and Arts Program for Youth, an arts foundation with workshops that emphasizes the fun of art and community, presents “Karaoke for Kids,” which encourages creativity, promotes literacy, builds self-confidence and is the place where kids steal the show!
Friday, May 26
7-8:30 p.m.
This Friday marks the return of DJ E-LO! Regular attendees know that he plays a mix of everyone’s favorite songs, along with lights, games and line dances, new friends are made and fun is had!
Saturday, May 27
7-9 p.m.
Phillip Thomas’ Forever Miles Band brings the sundresses, sandals and shorts Memorial weekend picnic in the park. Classy, colorful dresses and shorts encouraged. Phillip always brings a rousing show!
Sunday, May 28
2-4 p.m.
The Repurpose Project Trash Princess treats kids to repurposed crafts with an educational environmental story included. All materials will be provided.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
4/19/2017

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department presents The Detours Friday, April 28 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.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
4/12/2017

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department presents Gypsy jazz band Hot Club de Ville Friday, April 21 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.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
4/5/2017

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department announces the highly anticipated 2017 “Free Fridays” season concert schedule. The public is invited to join us for our annual series of free, family-friendly concerts at the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville.

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.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is pleased to announce the April lineup of Events on the Promenade at Depot Park, which is located at 200 SE Depot Ave., in Gainesville. Each Friday evening features a family-friendly DJ from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sundays feature hands-on arts activities from 2-4 p.m. in the kid’s area and live music on the stage from 3-5 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to relax and enjoy music on the hill.  
 April's Schedule
Sunday, April 2
2-4 p.m.
Tiger Monkey Puppets by George O’Brien will run a workshop teaching puppet making for all who are interested. All materials will be provided.
Sunday, April 2
3-5 p.m.
Q the Sound sings neo-soul jazz and encourages all to chill on the hill.
Friday, April 7
6:30-8:30 p.m.
DJ E-LO returns, bringing a skillful mix of your favorite songs. If audience members don’t hear something they like, they are encouraged to make requests.
Sunday, April 9
2-4 p.m.
Music and Arts Program for Youth, an arts foundation with workshops that emphasizes the fun of art and community, returns with hands-on activities for the kids. All materials will be provided.
Sunday, April 9
3-5 p.m.
Wax Wings weaves various threads of influence including folk-punk, jazz, honky-tonk and classical for a sassy Sunday in the park. Join us for a picnic on the hill.
Friday, April 14
6:30-8:30 p.m.
DJ South Beats spins dance mixes and gets the party started. Everyone enjoys the group dances and contests!
Sunday, April 16
2-4 p.m.
The Repurpose Project Trash Princess treats kids to repurposed crafts with an educational environmental story included. All materials will be provided.
Sunday, April 16
3-5 p.m.
Jazzology presents authentic interpretations of jazz standards, and stays creative and spontaneous at every show.
Friday, April 21
6:30-8:30 p.m.
DJ E-LO fans will know that he plays a mix of everyone’s favorite songs. He’s a great guy and encourages requests.
Sunday, April 23
2-4 p.m.
Music and Arts Program for Youth, an arts foundation with workshops that emphasizes the fun of art and community, returns with hands-on activities for the kids. Today, kids paint with washable paint. All materials will be provided.
Sunday, April 23
3-5 p.m.
Masune plays hip-hop with a Brazilian percussion influence, and brings the beats to the hill. We can’t promise you will be able to sit still.
Friday, April 28
6:30-8:30 p.m.
DJ Jonathan not only spins all your dance hits, he has the moves to back them up. Join him on the dance floor!
Sunday, April 30
2-4 p.m.
Joy Miller returns with crafts for the kids. Make springtime butterflies from repurposed and recycled materials with her. All materials will be provided.
Sunday, April 30
3-5 p.m.
Gypsy Star uniquely blends the musical styles of folk, rock, pop and a bit of classical and jazz with sounds and rhythms from around the world. (pending as of 3/24/17)
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.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department announces its schedule of events honoring this year’s Black History month. The programming celebrates the remarkable contributions African-Americans have made both to the history of the nation and to Gainesville itself. Ranging from performances by nationally-recognized artists to the opening of an important new cultural facility and community center, all events are free and open to the public. The event schedule may also be viewed at www.BlackHistoryGNV.org.
The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department is gearing up for its third annual Great Invader Raider Rally held Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.  Formerly known as the Great Air Potato Round-Up, the rally continues a tradition that began more than 15 years ago as a community-wide day of service where volunteers of all ages work to remove non-native invasive plants from Gainesville’s natural areas.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
12/19/2016
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department hosts Downtown Countdown, a free outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration concert, in downtown Gainesville Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. at Bo Diddley Plaza. Headlining the concert are The Couch Messiahs, who will play tribute to the music of numerous rock ‘n’ roll all-star bands including The Allman Brothers, The Band, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young and The Rolling Stones.

Over the years, Mick Marino, a local musician who leads The Couch Messiahs, has organized tribute concerts for each of these bands especially for the “Free Fridays” Concert Series. According to David Ballard, coordinator for “Free Fridays” and the Downtown Countdown, “These tribute shows have been some of the most popular concerts at “Free Fridays” each drawing some of the largest audiences each season. The musical quality of these shows has been extraordinary and it seemed a natural fit to highlight them all at our Downtown Countdown.”

The Couch Messiahs were formed in 2007 in Gainesville by Mick Marino (lead vocals, lead guitar). Marino, has played music with various bands in the Gainesville community for more than 40 years. He also has been the organizer and promoter of the annual GramFest, which celebrates the music of country rock inventor Gram Parsons, since 1999. Bill Kellogg (drums) was a member of The Berkley Five, who had a Florida regional single “You’re Gonna Cry" in 1965. He was also a member of the Gonzo Gator Band for many years. Kenny Shore (bass guitar and vocal harmonies) previously played with many local bands, including The Archer Road Band and Skatterbrainz, and has opened for the legendary B.B. King. Paul Goble (lead guitar) also plays with the R. Mutt Blues Band.

Popular local band Wild Blue Yonder opens the tribute concert at 9 p.m. Wild Blue Yonder was formed in 2015 by Allan Lowe and Jeff Sims. Recent additions include Jim Millsaps (drums) and Frank Velosi (bass). Lowe, Sims and Millsaps are all formerly of the popular band Dixie Desperados. Formed in 1976 in Gainesville, Florida, Dixie Desperados toured the southeastern U.S. roadhouse circuit and as openers/co-headliners for The Allman Brothers, Axe, Molly Hatchet, The Charlie Daniels Band, Henry Paul Band, Johnny Winter, Three Dog Night, Grinderswitch, Louisiana Leroux, Doc Holliday, Winters Brothers, Johnny Van Zant Band, Pat Travers and more as they played their brand of southern country rock. Combining classic rock ‘n’ roll hits from other artists, along with their own special blend of original songs, Wild Blue Yonder enjoys a multi-generational audience at their shows.

Downtown Countdown begins at 9 p.m., and continues until midnight when there will be a countdown to the New Year, along with the sounds of noisemakers, which are passed out to the audience earlier in the evening.

The 2016/17 Downtown Countdown is sponsored by classic rock radio station WIND-FM (92.5, 95.5, 107.9).

The Downtown Countdown is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and is funded in part by a grant from Culture Builds Florida. Downtown Countdown is located at the Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.
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