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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Cade After Dark” event series inspires to be a first round pick for Gainesville nightlife

Friday night’s “Cade After Dark” 21+ event served as the museum’s afterparty to Super Bowl LVI

The Cade Museum for Creativity & Innovation opened to the public Saturday, May 19.  The museum encourages learners of all ages to think like an inventor, meet an inventor, and be an inventor.  The grand opening event featured interactive activities in the museum’s Creativity and Fab Labs, as well as the unveiling of two completed exhibits.

Filled with wonder, imagination and the prospect of having fun, adults rushed to the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention Friday night.

The Cade Museum hosted its “Cade After Dark” event Feb. 18. The event featured a football party theme centered around the tailgate atmosphere of a Super Bowl celebration. 

For $15 per person, at least 50 attendees indulged in finger food, drinks, enthralling sports-themed activities and chances to win prizes upon entering in a free raffle during the three-hour event. The 21-and-up event catered to adults who wished to take a timeout from adulthood and tap into their inner child.

The main attraction point for “Cade After Dark” is being able to add the event to the roster of nightlife options in Gainesville and keep people coming back for more, said Amanda Bernavil, the museum’s 27-year-old event manager.

Thirty-two-year-old UF Dietician Krista Mantay and 29-year-old UF music composition Ph.D student Dalton Ringey ran across a local Facebook ad that featured the event. 

The friends went to “Cade After Dark '' to kick off the celebration for Mantay’s 33rd birthday.

The pair were excited to experience the offerings at the museum since it opened in 2018, but never got around to it until now.

“It’s something different than what we would be doing chilling at home,” Ringey said.

The freedom to explore the exhibits at their own pace coupled with the thrill of the hands-on activities were the X factors that made their night special.

“It’s definitely something that we will keep coming back to,” Ringey said.

As each attendee entered the main lobby, they were greeted by a full roster of “Cade Educators,” museum staff members who bolstered the event’s party-like atmosphere.

The museum welcomed guests to explore all exhibits and areas of the museum, including the “Sweat Solution” exhibit, which detailed the story of Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade.

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The museum was interwoven with the current theme “Tech Tapestry'' coupled with its supplementary exhibit “Fabric Frontiers,” which tell the tales of how innovations in clothing led to major breakthroughs throughout society. Attendees could learn how a strong desire for fancy silks in 18th century France eventually led to the conception of the first computers.

The Creativity Lab featured hands-on experiments like creating slime and spinning yarn from scratch. The Fab Lab housed a virtual reality gaming headset station and a centuries-old printing press, which served as education stations attendees could partake in throughout the night.

The museum harbors a creative atmosphere for staff members to let their imaginations run wild and present fun, campy new ideas. These ideas aim to spark feelings of nostalgia in adult visitors.

Kathryn Rohlwing, the 31-year-old senior marketing manager at the Cade Museum, expressed the central idea of the “Cade After Dark” event series.

“You’re never too old to be an inventor or to try something new,” Rohlwing said. “You get stuck in these rote tasks, and sometimes you forget that sense of child-like wonder.”

Each theme, such as Friday night’s Super Bowl theme, aims to change participants' perspectives on subjects that are familiar in order to feed their child-like curiosities. 

Bernavil, the museum’s event manager, posited the event series as a party-starter to other events happening throughout downtown Gainesville. 

“You know you can come here and have a great time and be a kid again,” Bernavil said.

“Cade After Dark” typically hosts around 75 to 100 people, depending on the time of year on college calendars, she said.

Friday night’s event was a community effort sponsored by First Magnitude Brewing Company and Goldie’s Burgers, with the partnership being influenced by both businesses being close neighbors to the museum.

First Magnitude provided the museum with the raffle prizes that included drinking accessories such as a koozie, a drinking glass and a coaster, as well as a gift card. In tandem with First Magnitude’s contributions, Goldie’s Burgers, located at 201 SE. Depot Ave., included a discount on food to promote the event further.

The “Cade After Dark” series’ next event will feature a bathroom-themed, permanent exhibit focused on teaching fun facts about bathrooms. This exhibit will include a scavenger hunt specific to bathrooms, Rohlwing said.

The Cade Museum will host “Cade After Dark” with fresh, new themes for visitors to enjoy such as electricity, glow-in-the-dark activities and the “Cade After Dark” Birthday Bazar, celebrating the museum’s fourth birthday in May, Bernavil said.

Correction: The Alligator previously reported that "Cade After Dark" is hosted the third Friday of every month. This is untrue and the article has been updated to remove the fact error.

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