Celebrate Suwanee Days!

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Suwanee”s annual “celebration of community”# kicks off with a parade and is punctuated by a fireworks display. In between, are 12 hours of FUN! Come revel in the 2011 Suwanee Day festival on Saturday, September 17, at Town Center Park. The festival begins with the 10 a.m. parade, for which Miss Georgia Kaylin Reque will be the grand marshal, and doesn”t stop until 10 p.m.

This annual festival has a little bit of something for everyone. Love arts and crafts? Suwanee Day”s 125+ artists and craftspeople have got you covered. If music is your thing, entertainers on the Town Center stage will hook you up all day long – and at 8:15 p.m. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Lovin” Spoonful will perform a free concert. Like tasty food (and aren”t too concerned about calories, at least on Saturdays)? Suwanee Day vendors will serve up an eclectic menu of festival favorites. And, more than a dozen bouncin” rides will be set up to entertain the youngsters.

Arts & crafts sampler

The real “stars”# of the Suwanee Day festival are the eclectic array of items crafted from mettle and metals (precious and otherwise), passion and paint, and hard work and creative hands. More than 125 artisans and craftspeople will exhibit at the festival. Also among the nearly 200 Suwanee Day exhibitors are about 30 food vendors and about three dozen generous festival sponsors.

Said Lawrenceville resident Teresa Osborn of last year”s Suwanee Day festival: “It has a great mix of food options and of arts and crafts at different price points. There”s just a great energy. I”ve gone to a lot of festivals in the Atlanta area and the Southeast. I”d never been to this one. It”s really wonderful.”#

A celebration of talent

The 2011 festival boasts a performance line-up that is heavy on local talent and entertainment value. Performances range from hum-inducing family fun at a kazoo concert to toe-tapping numbers from dance troupes to rockin” vocals from local bands. The festival also will host a children”s stage this year. Performers will entertain throughout the day, from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

This year”s festival headline performer is The Lovin” Spoonful, which will offer a retrospective of its greatest hits, including Do You Believe in Magic?, Daydream, You Didn”t Have to Be So Nice, Nashville Cats, and the anthem for a hot July evening, Summer in the City.

Don”t get in a jam: Use off-site parking

To ensure that the Suwanee Day experience is about art, music, food, and fun – and not slow traffic and stalking parking spaces around Town Center – off-site parking locations and a free shuttle service are available from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Off-site festival parking locations include:

Shadowbrook Baptist Church

4187 Suwanee Dam Road

(Parking and transportation for individuals with disabilities available here)

Shawnee North Business Center

305 Shawnee North Drive (at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road)

Southeastern Freight

3655 Windsor Park Drive, near the intersection of Buford Highway and McGinnis Ferry Road

(IMPORTANT: Enter from Buford Highway only.)

Come to Suwanee Day with “can do” attitude

Food donations for the North Gwinnett Food Co-op will be accepted at the City of Suwanee/Festival Information booth until 8 p.m. Donations are being collected as part of the Gwinnett Municipal Association”s Can Do initiative. Those who donate at least five canned goods or nonperishable items will receive a free reusable City of Suwanee bag. (A $5 cash donation to the co-op also earns the contributor a bag.)

More information about Suwanee Day is available at www.suwaneeday.com.