2017 News Releases

April 11, 2017

Get Lit in Suwanee!
Glow in the Park Community Lantern Parade Debuts

On Saturday, April 15 at 5:30 pm, the City of Suwanee invites everyone to get lit in Town Center at the community lantern parade! Inspired by the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, Suwanee's Glow in the Park will feature a strolling jazz band leading an illuminated pageant of light, music, and color through Old Town and down the Brushy Creek Trail, ending at Town Center Park with a concert starring 80s cover band Electric Avenue.

"This event is a community celebration of creativity; everyone is strongly encouraged to create illuminated costumes and carry their pre-made lanterns to parade together," said Amy Doherty, Events & Outreach Manager for the City of Suwanee. "This electrical spectacle is family and pet friendly, so everyone can join in."

Food and fun begins at 5:00 p.m.; the lantern parade begins at Town Center Park at 7:30 p.m., winding down the Brushy Creek Trail and ending back at the Town Center stage for an Electric Avenue concert at 8:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best glow looks and costumes.

We'll see you (because you'll be all lit up) on April 15 at Glow in the Park!

Glow in the Park FAQs – Shedding a little light on your burning questions.

Do I need a lantern to walk in the parade?
Yes, you do. That's kinda what we mean by "lantern parade"….

What exactly do you mean by "lantern"?
A simple, decorated, orb-on-a-stick lit with battery-operated LEDs (no live flames permitted!). The lanterns are carried, not released.

Can I set off flying lanterns, like from Tangled?!
No. They are not permitted and they set fires as they fall back to earth as flaming litter.

My dog would like to attend, even though he doesn't light up.
Dogs, kids, strollers, and wagons are all welcome in the parade (lit or otherwise) (lit would be way cooler though).

What is the cost of the event? Do I need a ticket?
Completely free, concert included! No registration or sign up necessary – just show and glow!

What if I just want to watch the parade?
Every parade needs spectators! Visit glowinthepark.Suwanee.com for a parade map.

Can I fly my drone?

What if I trick my drone out with lights?
Still no.

March 21, 2017

Don't Miss the Deadline to be Part of Suwanee Fest 2017!

The deadline to apply to be part of this year's award-winning Suwanee Fest is quickly approaching. Exhibitor and entertainment applications for the September 16 & 17 festival are due March 31. Artists, crafters, entertainers, and food vendors may apply online at suwaneefest.com.

"Business has been amazing," said Marissa Hudson Loose, a pottery exhibitor, of the festival. "Amazing traffic and consistent buyers. I love the number of attendees and the percentage who are buyers."

Suwanee Fest, which brings approximately 50,000 people to Suwanee's Town Center Park each year, is a past Southeast Festivals & Events Association 'Best Festival' winner. The annual "celebration of community" includes arts and crafts exhibitors, a variety of delicious foods, eclectic on-stage entertainment, a parade, and children's rides and activities.

March 20, 2017

Have You HERD?

The votes are in, and the 2015-17 Suwanee SculpTour People's Choice winner is…The Herd by Phil Proctor! The Suwanee Public Arts Commission, using donated funds, will purchase the eight charming goats that reside in the cemetery at the corner of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, making them the newest additions to Suwanee's permanent art collection.

Fabricated out of steel and weighing about 100 pounds each, Atlanta artist Proctor says that The Herd symbolizes the concept of awareness. All of the goats – save one – have their faces to the ground, seeing only what is in front of their noses. One goat raises his head to experience the beauty of his surroundings.

"All too often we find ourselves immersed in work, worry, or just the everyday tasks of life and our awareness of self and our place becomes clouded," said Proctor. "The Herd is a reminder to look up and remember what's really important."

The 2015-17 Suwanee SculpTour exhibit will coming down at the end of March, with the new pieces being installed in early May. The 2017-19 exhibit, which will feature 20 pieces of art in and around Town Center, will officially kick off at the SculpTour Sip & See event on May 20. This new event will include guided wine tours of the art and an opportunity to meet some of the featured artists and discuss their work, as well as a performance of Memphis by the Aurora Theatre on the Town Center stage.

The Herd isn't the only sculpture being given an extended stay – fan favorites Dancer XX and Friends have been retained for a second round of SculpTour. The artists of these two pieces – Jack Howard-Potter and Nnamdi Okonkwo, respectively – were selected as prize winners by the Public Art Commission, along with:

Jonanthan Bowling - Corey
Andrew T. Crawford – Sunflower Gate
Benson Sculpture – Love Hurts
Hanna Jubran – The Three Muses

The public art encounter has brought a total of 79 sculptures to a walkable one-mile area of downtown Suwanee during its past four installations, as well as 14 permanent pieces owned by the City and artworks that have been purchased privately through the City's voluntary one-percent-of-construction-costs-for-developers program.

February 28, 2017

City of Suwanee Names its 2017 Suwanee Youth Leaders Class

The City of Suwanee has named the members of its fourth Suwanee Youth Leaders (SYL) Class for the year 2017. These students were chosen based on a combination of the strength of application, feedback from a student-led selection committee made up of recent SYL graduates, recommendations from teachers and school administrators, academic performance, and extracurricular resume. 

SYL is an eight-month leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors who attend public, private, or home-based schools and live within the North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, or Collins Hills cluster districts. The program centers on civic involvement, leadership skills, and volunteer opportunities. SYL develops young leaders through structured monthly educational programs and teambuilding activities. Participants gain genuine exposure to local initiatives and community and civic leaders, while also allowing the City to engage with youth providing a strong voice and active role in planning the City's success. Meetings, led by local leaders, include subjects such as leadership principles and practices, ethics in society, law and justice, and community involvement. The program culminates with hands-on service opportunities at Suwanee Fest, serving alongside adult volunteers from the community.

The SYL Class of 2016 recently won a Southeast Festivals and Events Association Bronze Kaleidoscope Award for Most Creative Idea for collaboration between the Suwanee Youth Leaders and Suwanee Fest transportation. SYL also won an Atlanta Regional Commission 2016 CREATE Community Award in the category of Educational Excellence.

"The Suwanee Youth Leaders program allows the City to make a genuine commitment to the youth in our community," said Suwanee Downtown Business & Development Manager Adam Edge, a co-leader of the program. "While it's an honor to win a CREATE Community Award, it's an even greater reward to see kids becoming invested in their community through this initiative."

Thanks to SYL, said Assistant City Manager Denise Brinson, "We now have a group of young people who have more knowledge of their community and how local government works and the work that goes into building community. The City wanted to develop a real connection with our schools and find a way to meaningfully encourage youth involvement as prescribed in our strategic plan – not just checking a box, but building sincere, authentic relationships."

Congratulations to the Suwanee Youth Leaders Class of 2017:

Collins Hill High School
Eyoel Binyam
Lea Dulcio
Ayden Endberg
Kwame Gaba
Michael Hall
Nicholas Ives
Tierra Lindley
Sadie Maxwell
Hanna-Karina Mueller
Debora Munoz
Katherine Rhodes
Donovan Richart
Juan Rivas
Elliott Veal, Jr.
Andrew Winton
North Gwinnett High School
Jack Beasley
Prashasti Borikar
Grey Brinson
Judith Chang
Ram Chatoth
Harrison Craft
Ami Dave
Cathryn Davis
Eric Delgado
Beckley Froebel
Aryan Gupta
Grant Kersey
Malcolm Hutchinson
Riana Kim
Kipling Len
Anna Masino
Wesley Miller
Olivia Packer
Rohan Patel
Adrian Tate
Jannie Yang
Lillian Zhang
Peachtree Ridge High School
Mia Bouchelle
Megan Brown
Sean Shen
Alyssa Dula
Kyran Hainje
Abby Le
Edwin Jang
Jin Jeon
Sunmin Kim
Daniel Ko
Holly Langenderfer
Jessie Lowe
Leonardo Maduro-Salvarrey
Mclane Murphy
Anjali Natvar
Cameron Palmer
Zarah Punjwani
Grant Seroyer
Kathy Shen
Amber Shillow
Hassan Siddiqui
Eunji Yoo
Gwinnett School of Math, Science, & Technology
Lama Zaabab
Home School
Ella Austin

February 22, 2017

City of Suwanee Public Art Fundraiser Event Brings Home the Hardware

The City of Suwanee's public art fund- and awareness-raising event, Guess Who's Coming to Cocktails, was honored with multiple Kaleidoscope Awards at the Southeast Festivals and Events Association's (SFEA) Annual Conference in Lexington, KY on February 21, 2017.

The giant cocktail party at Suwanee City Hall won the silver prize for Best New Event, a silver for Best Event Video, and a bronze award for Best Print Ad. The city also won a bronze award for Most Creative Idea for its collaboration with the Suwanee Youth Leaders and Suwanee Fest transportation.

Designed to recognize the marketing, programming, and overall event, the SFEA Kaleidoscope Awards acknowledge the highest level of achievement in the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States. This year, 22 organizations submitted 119 entries for the top prizes.

"The quality of submissions continues to increase each year, making it more difficult for the judges to select the winners," noted Brenda Pierce, executive director of the Southeast Festivals and Events Association. 

The Southeast Festivals & Events Association is a membership based organization comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers. A panel of experts in event planning, marketing, and tourism review entries from states across the southeast. Judging is based on originality, creativity, media impact, volunteer programs, and the overall impact to the community.

"I'm so proud of our staff and volunteers for continuing to make our events award- winning memory makers for those that attend," said Suwanee Events & Outreach Manager Amy Doherty.

February 16, 2017

Cool Running
County's First Marathon to Be Run in Suwanee on February 26

The City of Suwanee is teaming up with Georgia Fitness to host the inaugural Suwanee Marathon – Gwinnett County's first ever full marathon – in tandem with the 3rd annual Suwanee Half Marathon on Sunday, February 26.

Both races will begin at 7:00 a.m. at Town Center Park. From there, the Peachtree Road Race-certified, 13.1-mile course will meander through Old Town, along Eva Kennedy to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, to Tench Road and eventually George Pierce Park and the Suwanee Creek Greenway to McGinnis Ferry Road, up and back along Northolt, and back along the Greenway to the finish at City Hall. Marathon runners will complete the half marathon route twice.

"It takes some creative logistics to plan a 26.2-mile route in a nine-square-mile city," said Suwanee Events & Outreach Manager Amy Doherty. "We think it's a route so nice, you'll want to do it twice!"

This course has a great mix of flat and hills which will be fun for every type of runner. Finishers from each race will receive a medal and long-sleeved technical shirt, and a cash prize will be split between the top three male and female finishers from each race.

Those who want to participate in the inaugural Suwanee Marathon, but aren't into that whole running thing, are encouraged to join us as volunteers and course cheerleaders. The event will feature a sign-making and cowbell station, and event coordinators are looking for scout leaders/cheer mom/small group leaders/etc. to "own" their own cheer spot along the race course.

For more information, including route and registration details, visit georgiafitness.com/marathon. Interested volunteers can contact Amy Doherty at 770-904-3387 or adoherty@suwanee.com.

February 13, 2017

Suwanee is More EVENT-ful in 2017

The City of Suwanee has recently released its 2017 events calendar, featuring over 40 events, including 18 runs/walks and 11 brand new events!

On Saturday, April 15 at 5:30 pm, the City invites everyone to get lit in Town Center at the Glow in the Park community lantern parade! Inspired by the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade, Glow in the Park will feature a strolling jazz band leading an illuminated pageant of light, music, and color through Old Town and down the Brushy Creek Trail, ending at a concert starring 80s cover band Electric Avenue at Town Center Park.

"This event is a community celebration of creativity; everyone is strongly encouraged to create and carry their pre-made lanterns to parade together," said Amy Doherty, Events & Outreach Manager for the City of Suwanee. "This electrical spectacle is family and pet friendly, so everyone can join in."

Suwanee will kick off the new events with the first full marathon ever held in Gwinnett County – the Suwanee Marathon on February 26. Furry favorite Woofstock will return in an expanded form on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7. The very popular Food Truck Fridays are back the first Friday of the month April-September, with the exception of July. Other returning favorites include:

Suwanee Beer Fest - March 18
Arts in the Park - May 13
August Concert & Wing Fest, featuring the Spin Doctors - August 12
Suwanee Fest - September 16-17
Food Truck Fridays – April 7, May 5, June 2, August 4, September 1
Movies Under the Stars (double features) – June 3, July 22, August 19
Farmers Market - Saturdays from May 13-September 20

The full calendar of new and returning events is available on the What's New/Events page at Suwanee.com. For more information on events at the City of Suwanee, contact Events & Outreach Manager Amy Doherty at 770-904-3387 or adoherty@suwanee.com.

February 8, 2017

Suwanee Fest: Under Construction

The City of Suwanee is looking for designers, artists, and creative people in general to submit logo designs for Suwanee Fest 2017. The designer of the winning logo will see his or her design on official festival t-shirts and marketing posters, as well as receive a $500 prize.

The theme for the 2017 festival, to be celebrated September 16 and 17, is…well…we're not entirely sure. We know we want it to center around construction: community at work, building the future, paving the way – you get the idea. But our creative team has hit a roadblock (get it?). So this year, the tagline is open to interpretation as well.

The competition is open to professional and amateur designers of all ages. Designs may be hand-drawn or computer-generated. Entries should be submitted in printed and electronic format. The deadline for submissions is April 1 (no fooling). See suwaneefest.com for additional guidelines and an entry form.