For those seeking fun other than fireworks this Fourth of July, you can check out The High Dive: The local music venue will host a celebration with food and musical performances.
The High Dive will host its second annual Ska BBQ event this Friday. With a spin on traditional festivities to celebrate the nation’s independence, Wholly BBQ will cater the event while four regional Florida bands perform.
The bands include Control This, from Orlando; UNRB, from St. Petersburg; Chilled Monkey Brains, from Tallahassee; and The Duppies, from Gainesville.
Each group offers a different take on ska, a musical genre that combines Caribbean elements with American jazz and rhythm and blues.
The event is open to all ages and begins at 8 p.m. There is a $7 cover and additional charges for the catering.
High Dive hosted the first Ska BBQ last year because it wanted to offer the community a unique, local event to celebrate during the Fourth of July, said Pat Lavery, event organizer for High Dive.
“It’s a great opportunity to have good, authentic barbecue and enjoy local music,” Lavery said.
If you are not interested in staying to listen to the music, everybody is welcome to enjoy the barbecue on the porch.
For Martin Poirier, a 20-year-old UF history sophomore, the event sounds like a modern twist on the traditions of the holiday.
Even if the musical option isn’t mainstream, people in Gainesville seem to enjoy any excuse to party, he said.
Lee Yefet, a 19-year-old UF advertising sophomore, thinks that the Ska BBQ is a good opportunity to have a good time during the holiday and a chance for the community to celebrate together.
“If you can’t find anything to do, it’s a great alternative that still has barbecue and music.”
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 7/3/2014 under the headline "High Dive celebrates the Fourth of July with live music and BBQ"]