The Florida Gators held off the No. 7 Utah Utes 29-26 in the first game of the season Saturday. The team was backed by 90,799 fans in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — the most ever for a UF season opener, 10th most in program history and 2,251 more than the listed capacity.
As the lights dimmed in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the ground shook with students rising from their seats and introductory music reverberating through mega speakers attached to the ceiling. From the stage, a white fluorescent streak of light emerged through the smoke, crossing to point into the crowd. Then, from the wings, the long-awaited star of the night emerged. “Oh man, University of Florida, what’s poppin’?” Joey Bada$$ yelled into his microphone, kicking off his set for the night as well as the start of the Fall semester. Joey Bada$$ and Jean Deaux took to the stage to play a UF student-only concert at the O’Connell Center Wednesday night.
On St. Patrick's Day, about 100 people attended "Dia Day," a celebration of the late artist Bo Diddley, at Bo Diddley Plaza. The event featured a musical and fashion show that revolved around art including sculpting, hair braiding, live painting and clothing design all on one stage. Kristen McDaniel, the granddaughter of Bo Diddley, embraced the community outreach and artistry of the event that her late grandfather stood for.
Members of the UF and Gainesville community gathered for a rally in support of Ukraine during its ongoing invasion by Russia. The peaceful demonstration began at Turlington Plaza and ended at Plaza of the Americas on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Students, faculty and other community members gathered for a protest outside of Tigert Hall to bring awareness to low wages of teaching assistants throughout the college. They shouted "GAs Deserve Living Wage" and marched around on SW 13th Street on March 1 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cindy Lasseter Smock, better known to her more than 500,000 TikTok followers as “Sister Cindy,” came to Plaza of the Americas on Monday, Feb. 7. A former UF student from the ‘70s, Smock came with her husband George Edward “Jed” Smock Jr., who she said converted her when she was a student. A viral sensation, Smock was met with a crowd of over 500 students that dwindled throughout the day. She said on her TikTok that she will be at UF until Wednesday, Feb. 9.
Following 10 weeks of campaigning, Cynthia Moore Chestnut won the Gainesville special runoff election Tuesday by 244 votes. Chestnut led with nearly 51% of the 12,280 ballots cast while Howland had about 49%. The city’s voter turnout for the special run-off election was about 13.6%, a 0.55% increase compared to the November special election.
The How Bazar officially opened its doors at the downtown Gainesville location with a celebration that included a fashion show, car show and local vendors, effectively shutting down Second Ave. with its festivities. The vintage clothing store, formerly run out of the Seagle Building on West University Ave., is a growing hub of Gen Z fashion and culture for students and young people in the area.
Election Day for Gainesville City Commission was on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Polls were open across Gainesville from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Two candidates held watch parties later in the evening. The special election was held to fill the seat vacated by Gail Johnson when she resigned. Matt Howland, Cynthia Chestnut, Scherwin Henry, Patrick Ingle and Gabe Kaimowitz faced off for the open seat, but none prevailed yet. Howland and Chestnut will face off in January during the runoff election.
The Veterans Day Concert and Monument Dedication Ceremony at the Historic Evergreen Cemetery featured the Buchholz High School Chorus and Golden Regiment, as well as a new monument designed by James Dinh. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and George E. Cressman Jr., historian and keynote speaker, gave a few words during the ceremony. The Milton Lewis Young Marines also held a flag ceremony.
The 40th Downtown Festival & Art Show was shortened to one day due to rainy weather. Various artists showcased their work in downtown Gainesville this weekend, from paintings, sculptures and jewelry to dance, and more. There was also a children's activities area that allowed little artists to create their own masterpieces.
FEST 19, an annual punk rock festival, came back from Oct. 29-31 after being rescheduled due to COVID-19 last year. Bands played all over Downtown Gainesville, from Loosey's Downtown to Bo Diddley Plaza to Depot Park. Lights flashed, fans cheered and merch flew off the shelves. On Saturday, FEST Wrestling entertained attendees at Knockin' Boots Saloon with outlandish characters and tricks.
UF Homecoming kicked off with the parade, which returned for the first time since 2019. Dance performances, public figures, marching bands, fire trucks and more entertained the crowd. Some people arrived at 9 a.m. to secure their spot on the sidewalk for the parade.