Festivals, Faires and Music


Downtown Festival & Art Show

North Florida’s art scene swings into high gear on Saturday and Sunday, November 2022, 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 www.gainesvilledowntownartfest.net.

Holiday Tree Lighting

On the 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

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 www.hoggetownefaire.com.

Free Fridays Concert Series

From May to October each year Downtown Gainesville comes alive every Friday night  from 7-9 pm 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 takes place at Bo Diddley Plaza! 

For more information on all of our Plaza events, please visit Bo Diddley Plaza..

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.