The hit NBC show “Parks and Recreation” gave us a lot of memorable gems like “treat yo self,” DJ Rumba and every single one of Ann Perkin’s nicknames but, most importantly, it gave us the most significant holiday of the year, Galentine’s Day.
The show follows Leslie Knope, the feminist, trailblazing lead who is in charge of Pawnee Indiana’s Parks and Recreation department, who quickly makes it clear that she adores her girlfriends possibly even more than she loves her waffles drenched in maple syrup. Even though Leslie made herstory by coining Galentine’s Day on Feb. 13, why stop the festivities then? Here are a few fun events that you can do in Gainesville to celebrate the greatest love of all — sisterhood.
Valentine’s Black Hearts Ball/Retro Video Dance Party
Tease your friend’s hair, find your best neon spandex and scavenge for the most oversized pair of parachute pants you own, because this is your night to get wild. Tonight the Atlantic will be hosting a retro video dance party featuring music from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. There’s nothing more empowering than getting down to TLC’s “No Scrubs” or Destiny Child’s “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” with some of your closest friends. The five-hour dance party starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m., so stay safe, dance your heart out and try not to drink too much of Tom Haverford’s signature Snakejuice.
A Valentine’s Night at the Museum
There’s no better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with a group of your closest, competitive friends, fighting over trivia questions like your life depends on it. However, I have to warn readers that depending on your competitive nature, you could potentially lose friends from this.
The Florida Museum of Natural History will be hosting this event, which includes trivia as well as a scavenger hunt that makes its way through the exhibits. The night runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a dessert bar provided by Celebrations Catering, so hunger won’t get in the way of your winning glory.
Make Leslie Knope proud by supporting Gainesville’s very own Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department who devotedly organize the Union Street Farmers Market every Wednesday on Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Eat your way through downtown by enjoying more than 40 local vendors selling an assortment of fresh and local produce, bakery items, jams and more. Enjoy organic coffee and snack on some freshly baked German pretzels while taking in the lively, diverse Gainesville community. While the market only runs from 4 to 7 p.m., you don’t have to wait another year to take your friends, as it returns every Wednesday.
Netflix and Chill
While going out on the town is always fun, there’s nothing better than just spending a comfy night inside with some good snacks, and best of all — you don’t need to wear pants. Invite a few friends over and watch a good TV show or movie that reflects the same girl power that you’re celebrating. Netflix contains a large selection of movies and TV shows that would be perfect to commemorate female friendship. You could watch “Jessica Jones,” “New Girl,” “The Incredible Jessica James,” “Garfunkel and Oats” or, heck, you could go ahead and binge-watch all seven seasons of “Parks and Recreation” to really commit to Galentine’s Day. Make your friends a fresh batch of waffles, douse those bad boys in maple syrup and spend the night quoting our holiday’s founder, Leslie Knope herself.