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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.
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.
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.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., is pleased to announce the next Jewel Box Concert at the Thomas Center Tuesday, Dec. 20 featuring The Currys. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door day of the show (cash or check only) or presale tickets can be purchased online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2713514. This holiday performance showcases the release of The Currys new album, “West of Here.”

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is pleased to announce the December lineup of Events on the Promenade at Depot Park, which is located at 200 SE Depot Ave., in Gainesville. Saturday evenings feature live music from 7-9 p.m. and Sundays feature family-friendly, hands-on activities from 2-4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and maybe a picnic to sit and relax. 

December's schedule
Saturday, Dec. 3,
7-9 p.m.
Join us for a performance of the Gainesville Big Band. It promises to be an excellent evening of swing and jazz favorites for all ages.
Sunday, Dec. 4,
2-4 p.m.
 Joy Graham Miller, the much-loved art teacher, instructs children in making holiday-themed arts and crafts with recycled and other materials, which will all be provided.
Saturday, Dec. 10,
7-9 p.m.
Tis the Season for Dance celebrates the holidays with dance. Sun Country Dance Theater and friends bring music and dance to Depot Park.
Sunday, Dec. 11,
3-4 p.m.
 The J. J. Finley Chorus takes the stage to present a musical performance for all to enjoy.
Saturday, Dec. 17,
7-9 p.m.
Dance and celebrate on the promenade with the Klezmer Kats. This fun band will be on the stage by the promenade. It is your opportunity to dance, dance, dance.
Sunday, Dec. 18,
2-4 p.m.
Joy Graham Miller, the much-loved art teacher, instructs children in making holiday-themed arts and crafts with recycled and other materials, which will all be provided.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura
11/21/2016

On Saturday, Dec. 3, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is hosting its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at the Historic Thomas Center. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe will be on hand to welcome citizens, and call for the giant tree to be lit. The free program runs from 6-8 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
11/10/2016

Plan to round out your holiday weekend with a relaxing and enjoyable day at Cane Boil & FiddleFest! The Annual Cane Boil & FiddleFest is presented by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and the Friends of Nature Parks. This year's event is Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Morningside Nature Center.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
11/1/2016

Santa knows good character is the best gift, and he wants to hear what that means to our community’s children! The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is collecting letters through Operation Letters to Santa this year for all children in kindergarten through third grade (or any child who still “believes”). This is a free program and is open to all Gainesville residents. Letters must be postmarked or received by Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. The PRCA “elves” will help Santa read and respond to each letter.

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 City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, together with the Friends of Nature Parks, are commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Living History Farm at Morningside Nature Center with a historical celebration Saturday, July 2 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. While this morning of family fun is free, we hope attendees will consider a donation to support the future of the farm. Ice cream and old-fashioned wagon rides will also be available for attendees to purchase.
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