Tips for navigating a Gator-less Saturday

With the Gators football team off this weekend, organizations around Gainesville are stepping up to fill your Saturday, meaning residents may need to make some tough choices about how to spend their weekend.

We’re highlighting seven events from southwest to northeast Gainesville, downtown and several miles north of the city. You can click the highlighted events to read separate stories about what the events will involve.

  1. 17th Annual Bat Fest
  2. Friends of the Library Book Sale
  3. European Car Show
  4. Unity Park Ribbon Cutting
  5. Fall Plant Sale and Orchid Show at Kanapaha
  6. Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally
  7. Alachua County Historical Marker Event

The two civic-oriented events—Gainesville’s ribbon cutting for Unity Park and Alachua County’s new historical marker—both start at 10 a.m., so residents will need to toss a coin about which to attend.

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If you attend one or the other, you’ll probably want to make that your first trip of the day. After all, only an hour at the other events, not including the drive, will leave you hard pressed to get the full experience.

If neither the park nor the marker are of interest, you can start at any of the 9 a.m. events.

All three 9 a.m. events are free, though you’ll need cash or card for the book and flower sale.

Both the European Car Show and the flower sale at Kanapaha Botanical Garden are fairly close to each other. While the book sale is miles away from the other two, it will be open from Saturday through Wednesday, giving book worms plenty of time to prowl.

All other events will only happen on Saturday.

Also, the bookstore may take a little longer to navigate this year due to new protocol. The sale will be split into two sections–one with fiction and non-fiction books as well CDs, vinyl records and collector’s items and the other with art books, artwork, comics, manga, games and puzzles.

The two different sections will have separate lines and each section has a capped number of patrons who are allowed in the store at one time.

The Lubee Bat Conservancy also starts in the morning at 10 a.m., but attendees who want to visit other events should remember that the conservancy is located 15 miles north of Gainesville’s City Hall.

Anyone living in the southeast or southwest sections of the city could be in for a 30 or more minute trip in one direction.

Bat Fest also costs for entry.

The easiest event to squeeze into your Saturday would be the Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally downtown because it starts at 5 p.m. and only crosses over with the last hour of the book sale.

On top of the already-mentioned events, there are a handful of other things going on that can be found on our Local Events page that include the Depot Park 5K Parkrun at 7:30 a.m. and The Hippodrome’s “The Mountaintop” play at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. And The High Springs Playhouse has a performance of “The Turn of the Screw” at 8 p.m.

Ultimately, you own the day, so seize it because Monday always comes.

How to spend your Saturday

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