Berkeley Lake’s Hometown Heroes Celebration & Fun Run offers citizens the chance to come by City Hall to celebrate public servants in the local community. In addition to police officers and fire fighters, the presidents of homeowner associations, city marshals and community volunteers are on hand for a meet & greet. The community gathering is followed by a fun run.
On a sliding scale between a tall and venti pumpkin spice latte (commonly referred to as PSL), how excited are you about fall?
Us DiGgers are more on the venti side of things to say the least. Armed and ready with a PSL in our hands and scarf-draped necks, we have curated the perfect fall bucket list so that you, our devoted DiG readers, can enjoy every last drop and leaf fall of the season. To top it off, we awarded each item with its very own PSL factor designating what makes each bucket list item unequivocally fall.
1. BUFORD CORN MAZE
A trip to the Buford Corn Maze could quite possibly knock off every fall bucket list item on your list in one visit, if it weren’t for all the other amazing autumnal offerings in Gwinnett. From all things corn including a corn maze, combine slide, corn box, popcorn jumping pillow and hayride, the Buford Corn Maze is the perfect place to kick off the fall season.
PSL Factor: In addition to all things corn, the Buford Corn Maze also has pony rides, a haunted forest, animal viewing….and lots and lots of pumpkins!
Spooky doesn’t even begin to describe one of the most highly acclaimed haunted houses in the world that is located right here in Gwinnett. Netherworld, known for its over-the-top special effects, unique make-up, elaborate costuming, skilled stunt actors and unusual themes, has established itself as an Atlanta Halloween tradition. Because one haunted house just isn’t scary enough, there are two ‘haunts’ to chose from—The Awakened and Subject: Unknown.
PSL Factor: Not only is Netherworld one of the scariest haunted houses in Georgia and the Southeast, but it has also been recognized as one of the top haunted houses in the nation.
3. LAWRENCEVILLE GHOST TOURS
In the mood for a scare? Not being startled, but a chill-downyour-spine, to-the-core scare? Take the Lawrenceville Ghost Tour, where you will hear stories about the spookiest place in Gwinnett. While Lawrenceville is the oldest city in metro Atlanta, for many years it was a sleepy suburban Southern town. With the growth and development of the metro area, much of historic downtown Lawrenceville was renovated at the turn of the century. These renovations awakened the sleeping ghosts, and sparked increased reports of paranormal activity, thus setting the stage for Lawrenceville Ghost Tours.
PSL Factor: Lawrenceville’s historic square perfectly lends itself to a scary stroll, featuring the chance to step inside the old jail and perhaps experience paranormal activity for yourself.
4. TREK OR TREAT IN SUWANEE
The City of Suwanee’s annual Trek or Treat on October 27 offers families an afternoon filled with spook-tacular events and festivities for children, who are strongly encouraged to dress up in their favorite costume. This free admission, kid-friendly event is geared toward youngsters ages 10 and under. Featuring fall-themed games, contests, music and inflatables, you’re in for a ghoulishly good time!
PSL Factor: Set amongst trees draped with colorful fall leaves, Suwanee’s Sims Lake Park offers the perfect setting for little ghosts and ghouls to trick or treat.
5. STONE MOUNTAIN PARK PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
Take in all the splendor of autumn as you experience all your favorite park attractions and special fall entertainment. Soar to the summit on Skyride and journey around the mountain on Scenic Railroad. Enjoy special character meet & greets with Spookly the Square Pumpkin, storytelling with Mother Goose, pie eating contests with Peter Peter, tea party games with the Mad Hatter, a dance party and so much more!
PSL Factor: This year’s event is a little BRIGHTER with the addition of a family-friendly nighttime experience featuring massive glowing pumpkin displays, fairy tale meet & greets, a glow-along party parade, costume contests, glow-in-the-dark mini golf and lots of other twilight fun!
6. FALL LEAF VIEWING
While you are at Stone Mountain, we suggest taking a hike up the mountain for some of the best views of the changing leaves of the season. But, with the county stretching from views of the scenic foothills of the North Georgia Mountains to beautiful views of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee, there are plenty of places to view nature’s ode to fall in Gwinnett.
PSL Factor: Each year, the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources posts “Leaf Watch” updates to keep visitors informed on the fall color season.
7. DULUTH FALL FESTIVAL
Held each year on the last weekend of September, the Duluth Fall Festival includes a parade, a concert, 5k road race, plenty of food, entertainment and over 400 arts and crafts booths.
PSL Factor: In addition to enjoying a weekend full of fall family activities, you can attend knowing you are supporting a good cause
as all proceeds from the festival are used towards improving and beautifying historic downtown Duluth.
8. GWINNETT COUNTY FAIR
The Gwinnett County Fair offers fun, food and music for the whole family. Located in Lawrenceville at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, kids of all ages can enjoy carnival rides, games, free concerts, live stock shows, arts and crafts, delicious fair eats and more.
PSL Factor: Cotton candy, candied apples, ferris wheels and tilt-awhirls…need we say more?! Nothing says fall like a good ‘olefashioned fair!
9. DRINK A PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE, OF COURSE!
Whether you prefer your PSL from acclaimed places such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, or local joints such as Boulder Creek Coffee and the Grayson Coffee House, don’t let fall pass you by without grabbing a cup of the much-coveted fall treat!
PSL Factor: It wouldn’t be fall without sipping on a pumpkin spice latte!
Nourishment for the Mind, Body and Soul
Deep in the heart of historic Suwanee, tucked away down a side road followed by a turn onto an even more secreted one lane, sits the hidden jewel of Suwanee. Hidden just past the community garden sits the Orchard at White Street Park: a fully functional, open-to-the-public orchard—the first of its kind in the Southeast.
The City of Suwanee and Harvest Farm collaborated to develop the orchard in order to provide families with a fun and engaging space that changes through the seasons, encourages creative and outdoor play, and grows fresh fruit. In addition to fruit-yielding trees, the Orchard at White Street Park also includes lawn areas for relaxation and play, a pavilion, winding pathways and natural children’s play features throughout the one-acre site.
“The orchard was designed to incorporate fruiting plants, winding paths, lawns and natural play features. It is a unique and exceptional space for discovery and exploration and offers hands-on learning opportunities,” said orchard landscape architect Roger Grant. “People of all ages are encouraged to observe and enjoy the fruits of our labor. It is maintained using organic pest control methods, meaning the fruit may not look like what we see at the grocery store, but patrons get an authentic and safe experience.”
The orchard serves as the perfect complement to Harvest Farm, Suwanee’s award-winning community garden, which is also located at White Street Park. Opened in 2010, Harvest Farm was the first community garden in Gwinnett County and remains one of the largest organic community gardens in the southeastern United States. Space for an orchard was programmed on the original 2009 master plan for White Street Park; the city completed construction on the second phase of the park (which includes the orchard) in 2017, and the orchard’s grand opening was celebrated on October 22, 2017. The Georgia Urban Forest Council recognized the Orchard at White Street Park as its 2017 Outstanding New Initiative, and Keep Georgia Beautiful chose the project for its 2017 Community Beautification award.
“We’re so grateful to live in a community that has embraced this project and helped us to fulfill this dream,” said the Grants. “These awards are a reflection of the hard work from volunteers and city staff that made this park a reality.”
Tuesday, Sept. 24 7:30 pm
1001 Lawrenceville Highway,
Expert, Dr. Alexander Wisnoski, will discuss the current political relationship between the US and Mexico and will address the reasons for increased friction.
For more information:
Hosted by the North Gwinnett Arts Association, the Suwanee Fine Arts Festival is a two-day outdoor fall festival with a focus on high quality fine art in Town Center Park. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by artists of diverse fine art and original disciplines, including painting, drawing, clay, photography, fine jewelry, sculpture, metal, leather and more. The festival will also offer local food and concessions, as well as Atlanta area food trucks, artist demonstrations, community art competitions and a “new Emerging Artist Display,” all in a family-friendly environment. Visitors can also enjoy the Suwanee SculpTour, and visit the NGAA Center for the Arts, both located in Suwanee Town Center.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5
10 am – 6 pm
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6
12 pm – 5 pm
It’s an evening pulled straight from a 1940s-era Cuban nightclub. This year’s Hudgens pARTy: Club Tropicana (an annual fundraiser) will be on October 5th from 7-11:30 p.m., and will evoke the glamour of days gone by coupled with the excitement of the 2019 Hudgens Prize winner reveal.
Partygoers will be treated to a Cuban Night Club experience throughout the Hudgens, with live music by Orquesta MaCuba, Cuban cuisine, signature cocktails, casino games and salsa dancing. Attendees will also be able to celebrate and support The Hudgen’s various programs through live and silent auctions. Original artwork and signature experiences will be available for purchase as well.
The highlight of the evening will be the 2019 Hudgens Prize winner reveal. Throughout the night, pARTy guests will have the opportunity to view The Hudgens Prize Exhibition, featuring works from the four finalists: Darien Arikoski-Johnson, Benae Beamon, Paul S. Benjamin and Michi Meko.
For more information: https://thehudgens.org/event/club-tropicana-party/
The City of Lawrenceville will welcome Joe Diffie to the stage as the headliner for the inaugural Rock’n the Ville Car-B-Ques & Brews BBQ Festival on Saturday, September 14 at the Lawrenceville Lawn. In the tradition of Rock’n Ribville, Car-B-Ques
& Brews (a revamped event name and concept) will bring together incredible live entertainment, classic cars, fun and games for the kids, coldbeverages and mouth-watering BBQ of all kinds.
Diffie has earned 20 Top 10 singles and twelve #1 country hits, including “Home,” “Pickup Man,” “Third Rock from the Sun” and “John Deere Green.” He has released 13 albums and has garnered sales exceeding $6M.
Known for its brisket and pulled pork that is “so good, sauce only messes it up,” Big Daddy Que recently reopened in Grayson’s The Railyard. The new location in the city’s new town center development has proved to be the perfect spot for this family-friendly restaurant that already had a following from its catering services and previous location.
The rustic, downhome atmosphere and outdoor patio makes their food taste that much better—if that is even possible. In addition to their brisket and pulled pork, Big Daddy Que offers baby back ribs, Brunswick stew and other specialties such as ‘Kait’s pig and cheese.’ Bring your appetite and more than a few napkins, you will need both!
Visit bigdaddyque.com for more info!
One of Gwinnett’s newest breweries opened right after our last issue came out—Anderby Brewing and Taproom located on Technology Parkway in Peachtree Corners! Spend the end of your week with them as they are open ThursdayFriday 4 p.m. – 10.p.m. Saturday: noon – 10 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. They have a variety of fun flavors and unique brews, all brewed with regional sourced grains.
For more brews, Indigo Brewing in Suwanee opened up a few weeks ago and StillFire Brewery is slated to open in mid-September!
With its award-winning Whistlestop Shops, which connect to the city’s downtown amenities, the City of Auburn is the ideal destination for businesses as well as families. The City of Auburn is proactively seizing on growth opportunities and is bustling with new activity as it is embarks on a revitalized downtown.
The mayor, city council and stakeholders are closer to the realization of a sustainable, mixed-use, multi-generational environment. Housing affordability is being addressed through thoughtful design and current trends. Programs through DCA for the Georgia Dream Home will be offered to teachers, first responders and city employees to ensure the best quality of life and home ownership possible.
All activities under the current administration’s leadership have been focused on meeting the community’s needs. Auburn seeks to offer employment opportunities and housing for all its citizens in a green, walkable environment, allowing residents better social interaction with their neighbors.
Building on the development of the city’s Whistlestop Shops, which met the pent-up demand of small retailers looking to move their businesses outside their home, Auburn is quickly realizing its new downtown. Through a recent market study and redevelopment charrette, the city is taking major steps forward to a new, walkable downtown.
While the groundwork was laid well before the city’s recent downtown studies and presentations, Auburn became one step closer to making its new downtown a reality after a market study was revealed at a joint meeting in 2018 between the city council and Downtown Development Authority. During the meeting, leaders heard details about local marketplace options for economic development. The Downtown Auburn Real Estate Market Overview & Analysis shared local and regional data related to population, housing, employment and other market trends.
Following along the timeline, the next major step to realizing a new downtown was a three-day charrette held in August of 2018. During the charrette, Auburn’s vision for its downtown district began to take shape. Gathering at TSW headquarters in Atlanta, a room filled with engineers, architects, city officials, partners and citizens talked through options. Sketches were then created to help illustrate the plan.
At the big reveal public meeting in Auburn on day three, Mayor Linda Blechinger reminded the crowd that this presentation didn’t come to fruition just in the last two days. “This is something we’ve been talking about and planning for. We’ve had time to choose how our city will grow and how it will look.”
City Administrator Alex Mitchem added, “This is us, taking control of our destiny. We could let development happen, unabated, and likely not be happy with the results. Now, thanks to the leadership of visionaries in our city, past and present, who have guided us to this point, we’ve spent the time to plan. We’ve worked with [professionals], who have brought the expertise we need to work through this.”
The discussions that followed were about connecting the existing downtown area on the north side of the railroad tracks with property on the south side that is earmarked for a new City Hall complex and potential residences. Details regarding topography, parking, green spaces, traffic flow, housing types and streetscapes were vetted. Road connections were proposed in several areas to allow for more access and reduced traffic as the area develops.
Next steps include detailed discussion of the draft plan by the mayor and city council, and working through the logistics of City Hall Complex design and construction.