depot park

Joe Dorsey, owner of Hoggtowne Music strums away at a previous Make Music Day.

Music drives people, and tonight, it just might be driving people to downtown Gainesville’s Depot Park for its weekly music-centered events leading up to Make Music Day.

Singers, musicians and music lovers of all walks of life can find a place at Depot Park’s Thursday night event. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Depot Park Team hosts its weekly Make Music in the Park Live Music Pop-up. Then, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Casual Karaoke at The Boxcar takes over Depot Park’s very own Boxcar Wine & Beer Garden.

Make Music in the Park is an opportunity for the community to both experience and create music. Various surprise musicians will perform live and unplugged throughout the park every Thursday.

There will also be instruments available to visitors, so that you can contribute to the music of the evening as well.

The presence of live music serves to enhance the interactive aspect of the park, said Depot Park Manager Cindi Harvey.

If you are interested in becoming a performer at a future Make Music in the Park instillation, email [email protected].

When Make Music in the Park ends, karaoke begins. Casual Karaoke at The Boxcar is open to all ages, and there is no charge to participate. Guests can grab a beer from The Boxcar Wine & Beer Garden and something to eat from the park’s ever-present food truck, then sit back and relax or jump in line for the microphone.

As with all Depot Park events, Harvey said, Make Music in the Park and Casual Karaoke at The Boxcar aim to serve the whole community by providing a place of comfort and fun.

These events do serve one more purpose, Harvey explains. Both Make Music in the Park and Casual Karaoke at The Boxcar also serve as a grassroots advertisement for the park’s upcoming celebration of International Make Music Day.

“Make Music Day on June 21st is a free celebration of music,” Harvey said. “It happens around the world, and Depot Park in Gainesville, Florida, will be the second location in Florida hosting this event. The other event occurs on June 21 in Miami.”

Depot Park is joining forces with Hoggtowne Music to host the Make Music Day festivities. The musical extravaganza will bring a wide variety of music to Depot Park, live and free for all to enjoy.

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Depot Park

Depot Park is home to the interactive community event, Make Music Day.

“You may have a band playing in the overlook and a drum circle happening on the hill,” Harvey said. “You may have a violinist playing in the northeast gateway and a six-string orchestra playing in the northwest gateway. The whole idea is to activate the park with different groups of musicians all at the same time and literally make music that day, everyone together — the entire community.”

Depot Park, located at 200 SE Depot Ave., is just under two years old. Despite the park’s young age, it has already become a hub of activity and variety. It is this diversity that makes Harvey the proudest.

 “I really believe our swan song at this point is the variety of guests that we have,” Harvey said. “I mean, Depot Park is truly our park, and I mean that in every sense of the term. Regardless of your socioeconomic background, or your race or your age, truly anyone and everyone can come out to Depot Park and enjoy it.”

 

Emma Witmer is a third year journalism student and Avenue Editor for The Independent Florida Alligator. She covers a variety of entertainment including music, theatre, art and local events.