Directly after the Fun 5K and 1 Mile walk Roper Park Festival Starts!
About the Festival
Sarah's Sweetwater Greenway Loop Festival is a local celebration of Gainesville's unique artistic, environmental, and civic heritage and an acknowledgement of the need for greater collaboration throughout our historic neighborhoods. This collaborative project provides residents who live and work along the proposed route of a greenway already approved by the City of Gainesville's Strategic Plan the opportunity to come together as neighbors and strengthen their bonds of community, and to contribute their voices and their ideas to the visioning process.
This event highlights local experts and speakers who will offer lectures and guided tours of their neighborhood landmarks with food, music, and family-friendly games sprinkled all over downtown Gainesville. Festival attendees can participate in a 5k Fun Run, a cycling tour, and a scavenger hunt that will enter them into a raffle for checking in at each neighborhood- all for free! Also spotlighted will be a team of 15 local leaders in the arts who share their skill and insight as the excellent researchers, problem solvers, and creative conduits responsible for effective community organizing. During this festival they will display five different rendering proposals that consider local needs and aspirations for the greenway loop, as well as exhibit their own work through engaging performance, sculpture, and light displays.
The festival includes a series of mini-festivals open to the public over five days in February:
Thursday, February 16th, 2023 -- South Main Station & Springhill
Friday, February 17th, 2023 -- Artist Exhibition in the Power District
Saturday, February 18th, 2023 -- Pleasant St. / 5th Ave.
Sunday, February 19th, 2023 -- S.E. Historic District & Duckpond
Monday, February 20th, 2023 -- Grove Street
Stay updated with each neighborhood’s lineup of festivities at our website: www.sarahsgreenwayfestival.com
Loop Story and Purpose
We believe Ms. Sarah McKnight exemplifies what this proposed loop should represent. The locally produced documentary "Sarah's Place" will be screened each night of the festival, highlighting the talent, resolve, and vision of one of Gainesville's historic Black business women and creatives. Can we secure your support by reserving 5-10 seats for you and your network for at least one neighborhood screening? By doing this, we ensure each neighborhood feels seen and celebrated.
Sarah's Sweetwater Greenway Loop Festival is sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida and organized by the Thriving Cities Lab of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and local arts organization Spatially-Fed. Supporting organizations include: Sweetwater Branch Inn, Cypress & Grove Brewing Co., The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, Alachua County Library District, Matheson History Museum, Santa Fe College, South Main Station, Old Mount Carmel, Cade Museum, University of Florida, Grove Street Farmer's Market, Mo's Garage Salon Experience, O2B Kids!
Our hope is that this festival would be an opportunity for businesses, nonprofits, government officials, and citizens in our community across diverse sectors to unite around celebrating Gainesville’s narratives both historical and contemporary.