The holiday season is already upon us; Christmas is just around the corner, and, shortly thereafter, an exciting, new year begins. Then the holidays are once again slowly doled out one by one about once a month or so. Don't you wish there were more special days throughout the year? We can't create new holidays (at least not major ones), but you can celebrate all year long in Gainesville at these fun festivals in 2018.

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2018

If you’re a history buff or just like to have a good time, you definitely won't want to miss the 32nd-annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. For two weekends in a row at the Alachua County Fairgrounds in Gainesville, peruse the wares of over 160 merchants and enjoy live entertainment that brings the Medieval Era to life. The festival kicks off on January 27th and 29th then picks up again for a final weekend February 2nd through the 4th.

Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival

The 9th Annual Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival brings artists together to raise environmental awareness and promote a healthy, loving vision for the world in which we share. With moving films that encourage us to appreciate our beautiful planet, both your eyes and mind will be opened during  this festival taking place on February 8th through the 11th.

2018 Spring Garden Festival

Speaking of the environment, Gainesville's Spring Garden Festival in March is also perfect for nature lovers and plant enthusiasts. On March 24th and 25th, come see mother nature in all of her blossoming glory at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, which is home to over 24 collection of plants including flowers, herbs, and produce as well as the state's largest public display of bamboo. Not only will you be able to stroll around the beautiful park and admire the diverse plant life, but you’ll also have the chance to buy eye-catching specimens to take home at over 150 booths. There will also be arts and crafts activities as well as refreshments, so be prepared your itinerary to grow as fast as the flora.

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5th Avenue Arts Festival

One of Gainesville's older festivals, the 5th Ave Arts Festival was started by University of Florida students in 1979. This festival is dedicated to 5th Avenue and Seminary Lane community history and hosts many dancers, jazz musicians, and other artists who will dazzle you with their talent. You can experience this lively college festival in 2018 April 20th through the 22nd.

Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival

Every year, Santa Fe College offers a unique opportunity to see the work of many artists in Gainesville's Northeast Historic District. On April 7th and 8th, take part in this wonderful expression of the arts as people from all over the state come together to share their talent and passion. Young, budding artists also have the chance to sell their artwork here, and there’s even opportunities for the little ones to participate! From dancers to painters, everyone is welcome to take part in the Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival.

Jest Fest 2018

A fond childhood memory for many is going to the circus, and you can experience this popular pastime again at Jest Fest, a part of Gainesville's Downtown Cultural Series. Get a load of laughs and spectacular sights at Thomas Center Galleries where you can watch classic entertainment like tightrope walkers, stilt walkers, acrobatic shows, and more. Come experience showmanship at its finest under a big top of sorts on April 15.

2018 Hogtown Craft Beer Festival

If you’re looking to quench your thirst for fun, come to Gainesville’s Alachua County Fairgrounds on April 21st to enjoy sampling new beers and flavors at numerous booths. There will be local brew masters like 3 Daughters Brewing, Green Bench Brewing Company, Swamp Head Brewery and many more!

73rd Annual Newberry Watermelon Festival

A Gainesville classic, the Newberry Watermelon Festival has been the place to go for summer fun and enjoy refreshing watermelon since 1946. There will be pageants, watermelon-themed foods, and much more to celebrate the greatest fruit in the South on May 20th.

Florida Bat Festival

Looking for something spooky to do around Halloween? Go to the Florida Bat Festival to these flying mammals up close at Lubee Bat Conservancy as you learn all about bats (spoiler: they do not turn into vampires!). Head to the conservancy on October 20th for a high-flying, good time!

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2018 Downtown Festival & Art Show (Gainesville, FL)

Visit Downtown Gainesville to meet artists of all kinds come as well as see and buy their original work. You can also listen to musicians and see performing artists. Drawing over 100,000 people in previous years, this Festival in November is sure to impress all ages! (The date of the 2018 Downtown Festival and Art Show will be announced at a later time.)

Be prepared for a full year of fun festivals coming to Gainesville in 2018! For more events in Gainesville as well as other fun things to do in Gainesville, register on 352area to connect to everything Gainseville and North Central Florida.


Cover photo courtesy of Adobe Stock Images