Whatever your interests may be, chances are you’ll encounter something that appeals to you at one of the many festivals in Gainesville, Fl. Plan your vacation around a myriad of events! Attend unique medieval affairs and fun beer festivals. Go to environmentally conscious fundraisers and unique art shows. Try your hand at jousting and jesting. You can even partake in a watermelon eating contest. History buffs, art aficionados, and nature lovers all flock to Florida for these events
Browse the thoughtful suggestions compiled by our local experts in our insider’s guide! Within, you’ll discover great ideas on what to do and see in the area.
10 of the Best Festivals in Gainesville, Florida
1. Hoggtowne Medieval Faire
The Hoggtowne Medieval Faire comes to town every January for two weekends of Renaissance fun. The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace. Step back in time when you see knights jousting, jugglers, and knife throwers. Make sure to wear your medieval finery!
2. Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival
The Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that was created to raise awareness of environmental issues. Additionally, this event promotes sustainability. Listen to speakers, watch films and documentaries, and learn about the environment!
3. Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival
The Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival is the longest-running of all the festivals in Gainesville, Florida. This 2-day festival occurs every April. Experience paintings, sculptures, jewelry, live jazz, and more at this outdoor festival.
4. Hogtown Craft Beer Festival
The Hogtown Craft Beer Festival comes every April, bringing with it incredible beer tastings and terrific food. At this event, sample beers from various local, regional, and national breweries, then pair it with some local cuisine!
5. Jest Fest
Entertainers from around the globe travel to Gainesville to take part in the Jest Fest every April. This festival celebrates performers like clowns, acrobats, jesters, stilt walkers, and ventriloquists. This circus-like event is fun for the whole family and free of charge!
6. Newberry Watermelon Festival
If you love watermelon, then you have to come to the Newberry Watermelon Festival in May! This event celebrates everything that has to do with the tasty fruit. Enjoy a watermelon parade, a watermelon eating contest, a seed-spitting contest, and the largest watermelon competition.
7. Butterfly Fest
The Butterfly Fest is an annual event held at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Every September or October visitors come together to celebrate these incredible backyard pollinators. Experience hundreds of live butterflies as well as lectures and workshops to learn about these creatures. You can even learn how to attract them to your own garden back home!
8. Lubee Bat Conservancy’s Florida Bat Festival
The Florida Bat Festival comes to Gainesville every year around Halloween. Learn about these unique flying mammals at the Lubee Bat Conservancy. They will get the bats to come out and play with fruits and toys. Here, you can see species of bats that are rarely seen by the public!
9. Alachua County Fair
The Alachua County Fair is always fun for the whole family. Eat your way around the grounds and try cuisine from the many vendors. After, shop around for some souvenirs to bring home. See live entertainment, and seek some thrills on some carnival rides!
10. Downtown Festival and Art Show
The Downtown Festival and Art Show is the largest outdoor art show in the country! This November event draws more than 100,000 people to the area. Hundreds of artists from around the world gather here to display paintings, sculptures, and photography. Enjoy food and live music while you browse!
Stay at Sweetwater Branch Inn
If you’re planning on being in town for some festivals in Gainesville, Florida, stay with us at Sweetwater Branch Inn. We offer 20 gorgeous guest rooms, suites, and cottages. Our accommodations are perfect for any occasion! We combine the best of Southern hospitality and Victorian comfort. Enjoy the best of today’s modern amenities and conveniences. Just minutes from Downtown Gainesville, we are in an ideal location for your visit!
Plan your dream vacation and book your stay with us!