This year marks the Gainesville Hoggetowne Medieval Faire’s 34th anniversary. The multi-day event draws in tens of thousands of people, and was so popular that organizers added an extra weekend this year to help with overcrowding. Visitors can eat fried fair food, buy from over 160 merchants, watch people fight with swords and more.
The Annual Commemorative March was one of nine events put on by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida Inc. to honor its namesake. The march started at Bo Diddley Plaza at 1 pm on Monday, January 20 and ended in front of the King Center, the location of the last event.
Sometimes, pictures paint an image words simply cannot. 2019 told hundreds of stories, and our photojournalists were able to capture those moments through the lens. From moving shots to action-filled stills, there was plenty to see in the Gainesville area. Photographers Chris Day, Emily Felts, Margaret Dotson and Sam Thomas chose their five favorite photos from 2019 and explained what their photos mean to them.
Children and parents alike dressed up Tuesday night to trick-or-treat at Shoppes at Thornebrook. About 200 people came to the event, which was hosted by Shoppes At Thornebrook and Thornebrook Chocolates. During the evening there was a costume contest that awarded gift cards for creative costumes. The shopping center was decorated with inflatable Halloween decor so families could take festive pictures.
About 200 people got into the Halloween spirit Thursday evening during Ghouls, Goblins and Greeks, hosted by UF’s Junior Panhellenic Council. The event, held on Sorority Row, brought families from around Gainesville to trick-or-treat at the various sorority houses. In addition to different games and treats, each house featured its own unique theme, ranging from pirates to aliens.
Halloween came early for kids who attended the second annual First Responders Trunk or Treat event Friday night. The event, presented by the Youth and Community Resource Unit of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, was held in the grassy lot near the station. People received free food and candy, played games and won prizes. This year, about 300 people attended.
Members of Gainesville Fire Rescue Station 3 spend their day answering emergency calls. When the firefighters aren’t helping people in need, they are preparing for potential emergencies. On Tuesday morning, 13 volunteers from GFR participated in an active shooter drill alongside members of Gainesville Police Department at the Santa Fe College Kirkpatrick Center. They spent the rest of the day responding to various calls about injuries, medical issues and a small house fire. “We come to work every day and are presented with something new,” Lieutenant Andrew Marsh, a member of GFR said. “We’re called every day to what could be the worst day of someone’s life and we have the skill and ability to change the situation into something far better.”
Todd and Michelle Yoder have been coming to UF home games for about 20 years. Of those two decades, about 15 or 16 were spent visiting in an RV. “When we first started coming, we slept in our van,” Michelle said. “After six or seven years of that, we were like ‘We’re going to get a motor home and tailgate.’”Ever since they moved to High Springs five years ago, their trips to Gainesville have become significantly easier and shorter.“People would ask us, ‘So are you still going to take the RV?’ because we only live like fifteen minutes away, and I’m like ‘Yeah, we’re going to bring the RV.”’ Todd said.This is the Yoder family’s first year in their new RV spot, which is located at the Norman Hall parking lot near Sorority Row. Todd said they had been in their old spot for about 13 years. Though they liked their old spot and the people around them, he said many of their friends have moved over to the new parking area.“We like it here better,” Michelle said.To keep these spots each year, they have to renew their spot a few months in advance during the summer.