Happy Friday everyone! It's a busy weekend across our area....
Sports at UF are always a big deal this time of year, especially Gator football. The 2014 version of the Gators starts off the season in the Swamp this weekend, taking on the Vandals of Idaho. Kickoff is just after 7 pm Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The soccer team is on the road, while the UF volleyball team is in action in the four-team Active Ankle Challenge. They take on Idaho tonight at 7:30 pm, and then face off against the Oklahoma Sooners at 2:30 pm Saturday at the Odome. Website
It's Labor Day weekend, and that means the rodeo returns to Ocala. The Ocala Shrine Rodeo is where the Shriners say "the cowboys ride to help children walk". The event, in its 32nd year, is a fundraiser that has brought in over a million dollars over the years to support the Shrine Hospitals for Children. The rodeo starts tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 pm (gates open at 5:30). Weather will not be an issue at the covered Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala. Website
In downtown Gainesville, you can celebrate Labor Day on Sunday. The annual Labor Daze Fest is a fun event that organizers say is "for locals, by locals and about locals". There'll be lots of live music at the event, now in its fourth year. You can try your hand at climbing the free rock wall, cool off in the misting tent, or enjoy a free massage. There will also be food vendors there to take care of your appetite. Labor Daze runs from 4 to 10 pm Sunday at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Website
If you're looking to feast on some seafood, you might want to head to Putnam County this weekend. The City of Palatka is host to the Gem City Shrimp Blast Saturday. Expect shrimp served a variety of ways, along with lots of other food choices. The event, along the St. Johns riverfront, will also feature a kids area and live entertainment. It goes from 5:30 to 10:30 pm Saturday, with fireworks beginning around 8:45. Website
Finally, over on the Gulf coast, you might want to check out the Florida Cracker Seafood Festival. It's Saturday in Horseshoe Beach. Website
Enjoy your weekend!