Weekend Planner

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Happy Friday everyone!

Staying cool may be your biggest challenge this weekend. One good way to cool off would be with a cool slice of watermelon. The Newberry Watermelon Festival returns for the 74th year Saturday. The fun includes a parade at 10:30 am. You can expect watermelon eating and seed spitting contests, other games, food and craft vendors. It's from 9 am to 4 pm at CountryWay Town Square in Newberry. Now if you're a pirate, you might want to get closer to the coast. Crystal River is host to King's Bay Fest Saturday and Sunday. Pirate demonstrations, a pirate dog show, a large Kid Zone, food and live music are part of the event. It's at King's Bay Park.

In Alachua County, the folks over at Lubee Bat Conservancy are going a bit batty this weekend. The facility on Northwest 192nd Avenue north of Gainesville is having an open house Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. You can check out the cool bats, learn from educational talks and talk to the experts there. Meanwhile, Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is celebrating Tree Kangaroo Awareness Day Sunday from 9 to 3. The college is home to the Matschie's tree kangaroo, an endangered species from Papua New Guinea. The event features kangaroo themed crafts and games while adults can sample some coffee from Papua New Guinea, as well.

Indoors, a couple of local theatres are rolling out their latest productions. The Ocala Civic Theatre is featuring The Addams Family: A New Musical. The hit show, which opened on Broadway in 2010, features the characters you may remember from the original tv series. Shows are tonight at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm. It runs through June 9th. Back in Alachua County, The Gainesville Community Playhouse is premiering two one act plays, one revolving around the goings on in a cafe, the other is a sensitive exploration of the dynamics within a family. Shows are tonight at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 2 pm. It runs through June 2nd.

Also coming up: Sunday evening at 7:30, the Phillips Center in Gainesville is host to An Intimate Evening with Kristin Chenoweth. The award winning singer and actress will be singing songs and talking about her experiences from the stage and screen. Meanwhile, tonight, the "Free Fridays" Concert Series rolls on, featuring the Gypsy Jazz sounds of Hot Club de Ville. It starts at 8 at Bo Diddley Plaza.

Enjoy your weekend!