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May In The News

May In The News

A collection of recent news and happenings this month in Greater Gainesville

Tom Petty and the Park-breakers 


The playing fields at Tom Petty Park are undergoing renovations. Everything from the softball fields drainage systems, turf, shade options and even access from the adjacent parking lot are being improved and revamped.  

The improvements bid went up in February, planning for a quick turnaround. While undergoing the renovations, the park itself will be without water for the “foreseeable future.” But this is not a heartbreaker –– Tom Petty Park is still open.  



It’s Fun to Swim at the YMCA 

The University of Florida’s non-profit Florida Achievement Support Trust (F.A.S.T.) collaborated with a North Central Florida YMCA to get their athletes involved in the community. At the YMCA, eight Gator football players helped lead swim lessons, complete with activities and games.  

Austin Barber, one of the players that participated, talked about how fun swim lessons were for him as a kid, and how fun it was to pass that on. F.A.S.T. collaborated with the YMCA again for a reading at the Episcopal Children’s Services Head Start program.  



Sweet Sixteen 


Agapanthus celebrated their 16th anniversary with a week of savings and giveaways. The boutique opened in Butler Town Center in 2007 and offers unique gift, fashion and home shopping. With beauty always in mind –– even their name comes from the “flower of love” –– Agapanthus established an in-house spa in 2018. Their anniversary prizes ranged from discounts to the store and spa to up to $100 in gift cards.  



Stay in the Game! 

The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce launched their new attendance initiative at the Amazing Give on April 20. Coinciding with the Amazing Give, a fundraising program that has given more than seven million dollars to GG non-profits, plans to decrease the 11.6% chronic absenteeism rate.  

The Stay in the Game! Attendance Initiative will begin in the 2023-2024 school year. Collaborating with a local elementary school, it will host a school-wide, monthly Pep Rally. Bringing together local business owners, local celebrities and college athletes, the rally will have activities, swag and a special lunch. 


Play Time Is Not Over 

On Gainesville’s 154th birthday, the city celebrated by re-opening one of its oldest playgrounds: Massey Park Playground. The playground has been around since the late 1960s and recently underwent renovations to make it safer and more accessible for all children.   

The nearby solar walk on Northwest 8th Avenue inspired the new space theme of the playground. Brightly colored, full of new equipment and more fun than ever, Massey Park also added new bathrooms and better lighting at the playground.  



See Also

UC Sells Seashells by the Seaside 


The new Seaside Bank and Trust, a division of United Community Bank, opened its new banking office in the Millhopper Shopping Center. Seaside is a Florida based, full-service financial institution, handling private and commercial wealth. Including wealth management and insurance needs, Seaside’s newest branch officially opened mid-April.  



21 and Fun! 


The Fest is coming back to GG for the 21st time. The annual music festival just dropped the first glimpse at their lineup. With over 350 bands, comedians and wrestlers (yes, wrestlers), The Fest is coming back with a bang. 

Along with the lineup, the Fest also announced this year’s event dates. Starting on October 26, the Fest will open at Bo Diddley Plaza with a kick-off party that will rival even the best 21st birthday bashes. The event has also partnered with five hotels to ensure guests get the best rates for the best stays.  



By Harper Warner.

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