Happy Friday everyone! Homecoming activities on the UF campus are at the top of our weekend events.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be rockin' tonight as Gator Growl returns for the 90th year at UF. The event, which grew from a pre-homecoming game bonfire in the early 1900's, is often referred to as "the largest student-run pep rally in the nation". Performing this year are the rock band The Fray, Gainesville's own Sister Hazel, and the New Directions Veterans Choir (which will also perform at the University Auditorium Sunday). In addition there'll be the UF sports teams, skits and cheerleaders... ending with the light show and fireworks. Time is 7 pm at The Swamp. Website
As for sports on the UF campus, the big event is the annual homecoming football game. This year the Gators take on Vanderbilt in the Swamp. Kickoff is just after noon on Saturday. The Lady Gator Basketball team will be in action on Sunday. They'll face North Florida at 2 pm in the Odome. Meanwhile, across campus, the Gator Softball team takes on Chipola College Sunday afternoon as well. Website
In Ocala, the Ocali Country Days Festival is this weekend. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Silver River Museum, will give you a chance to step back in time to 1800's Florida. A Civil War encampment, storytellers, old time music and sugar cane syrup making are just a few of the activities there. You can also tour the museum and ride on a tram through the state park. The event runs from 9 to 4 Saturday and Sunday at the Silver River Museum off Baseline Road, about a mile south of State Road 40. Website
If you love chili, Ocala is a great place to be Saturday. Marion County's 32nd Annual Chili Cook-Off will feature chili teams competing for cash prizes. There'll be kids activities, plenty of chili, and other food at the event. It's from 9 to 5 Saturday at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala. Website
Finally, the City of Alachua is having it's Main Street Festival Sunday. Live music, lots of food, and things for the kids make it a good family outing. It runs from 11 am to 5 pm Sunday in downtown Alachua. Website
Enjoy your weekend!