Best bets: 'Free Fridays,' Circuspalooza, Sunday Assembly, Back to School Bingo, exhibit

2022-08-20 03:46:04 By : Ms. Lisa Xia

“FREE FRIDAYS” CONCERT: Catch the next performance of the city’s popular “Free Fridays” concert series from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Bo Diddley Plaza downtown amphitheater, located at 111 E. University Ave. The free concert series highlights a different act each week, with The Savants of Soul performing soul music today. Attendees are encouraged to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to Bo Diddley Plaza to enjoy the concert under the stars. For more information, including a list of upcoming performances, visit Future dates include Matcha and the Sooza Brass Band performing funk-rock and brass band music on Aug. 26; the Fest 20-year anniversary showcase on Sept. 2; Pet Detectives performing ’90s rock and alternative covers on Sept. 9; Wax Wings with special guests performing original folk rock on Sept. 16; The Late Night Losers with special guests performing alt-rock on Sept. 23; RC and Showtime performing R&B and soul on Sept. 30; The Last Waltz, a The Band tribute band, performing Oct. 7; Morningbell performing psychedelic rock and soul on Oct. 14; and The Imposters, a The Beatles tribute band, closing this year’s series on Oct. 21.

CIRCUSPALOOZA: The inaugural Circuspalooza — an original live music circus show celebrating female icons of rock, pop, folk and country music — is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Gainesville Circus Center. The event will feature music by The Cheapshades backing up Gainesville Circus Center's own vocalists Rainy Barton, Corey Cheval, Jordan Weidenbaum and Robin Best. The artists will interpret music by Fleetwood Mac, Rihanna, Dolly Parton and Lady Gaga, among others. A variety of circus artists will accompany them on stage with contortion, contemporary dance and aerial acrobatics. The Circuspalooza show is directed by Rainy Barton, instructor and performer at GCC. Under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Corey Cheval and Assistant Director Lynn Polke, the Gainesville Circus Center has produced circus-based variety shows for nearly five years running. The Gainesville Circus Center is located at 1925 NW 2nd St, Suite B. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for seniors, military and first responders. They can be purchased online at

SUNDAY ASSEMBLY: Sunday Assembly Gainesville will meet at the Pride Center located in the Liberty Center at 3131 NW 13th St. at 11 a.m. Sunday. Vaccinations, boosters and face masks are recommended and encouraged. It also is possible to attend via zoom. Sunday Assembly, a secular community, will host guest speaker Vivian L. Filer, a retired professor of nursing from Santa Fe College where she worked for 26 years. She obtained a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in education from Nova University, and a master of nursing degree from the University of South Florida. She is now the CEO of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural center after her retirement. The topic of her talk is “Women Advancing the Civil Rights Movement in Gainesville.” Music will be provided by SA musicians with the opportunity to sing along. For more information, visit or email

BACK TO SCHOOL BINGO: Help support students in need with Peaceful Paths during their Back to School Bingo night to raise money for their back-to-school initiative program. Funds raised at the event will directly support Peaceful Paths’ child and youth program, which will help more than 150 children in need with backpacks and supplies to start the school year off. Entrance is free; money raised from the purchase of bingo cards, raffle tickets and food will go toward the fundraiser. This family friendly event also will feature prizes and fun. Back to School Bingo will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at High Dive, 210 SW Second Ave. For more information, visit

“UNAPOLOGETIC!”: The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center is featuring artistic works by Gainesville artist Yvonne Ferguson. The show is entitled “Unapologetic!” and features images of cultural and human rights icons as well as notable and groundbreaking musicians. Describing her subject matter, Ferguson said, “My creative passion is fueled by the people of the African Diaspora. I love the culture, creativity and fortitude of its people. I am inspired by our ceaseless adaptability and how the essence of our being always creates something out of anything.” Ferguson displays her work through her online gallery, Diasporic Pigments. Visit the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center at 837 SE Seventh Ave. This exhibit will run through August. Admission is free. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and by appointment for schools and other groups. Call 226-8321 or email for more information. All safety recommendations are being followed with masks required inside. Hand sanitizers and purified air will make the exhibit both safe and enjoyable.