Weekend Planner

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Happy Friday everyone! No shortage of fun things to do, weather permitting, this weekend.

The City of Gainesville is having one of its biggest events of the year this weekend. The Downtown Festival and Art Show returns for the 37th year. In years past, crowds in the tens of thousands have taken in the event which features a mix of art, music and other entertainment. As for the art, there'll be around 240 artists from around the country showing off (and selling) their work. There will be a wide variety of food to choose from, too. The fun starts with a free blues concert at Bo Diddley Plaza starting tonight at 7. The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday.

Christmas on the Square returns to downtown Live Oak this weekend. Starting tonight, there'll be a big arts & crafts show, food, and fun for the kids (including Santa Land). There'll also be a 100 percent chance of snow and fireworks tonight. Saturday, the vendors (and the fun!) are back. Expect live entertainment throughout the day...with the highlight being the Christmas Parade of Lights at 6 pm. The Christmas spirit is spreading to Williston, too. The city has its Toys of Christmas Parade Saturday at 6 pm. That will be followed by Light Up Williston, which includes a lighting ceremony and a children's choir. It's at Heritage Park.

We have some holiday shows at area theatres for you to check out. The Hippodrome Theatre features "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!). There's six performances per week including Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 8:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. The classic, "A Christmas Carol", returns to The Hipp this year with shows Saturdays at 2 and 4 pm, and Sundays at 5. Both shows run through Sunday, December 23rd. Meanwhile, the Gainesville Community Playhouse features its latest production, "Peter and the Starcatcher". Shows are Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. It continues at GCP until December 16.

Also in Gainesville, North Florida Regional Medical Center is having its popular Pond Lighting Saturday from 5 to 8 pm this year. In addition to the lights, there'll be hot cocoa and cookies, carriage rides, photos with Santa, and more. Across town, the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall is host to "Holiday at Santa Fe" in two performances, at 2 and 6 pm Saturday. It's a mix of music, dance and theatre with activities for kids after the show.

Finally....it's Pirate Invasion Weekend at Cedar Key!

Enjoy your weekend!