Suwanee Town Center Avenue 1

Suwanee, Georgia – Town Center Avenue

Main Streets 2017: Georgia

Suwanee Town Center Avenue 1
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Suwanee Town Center Avenue 3
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Suwanee Town Center Avenue 1 Suwanee Town Center Avenue 2 Suwanee Town Center Avenue 3 Suwanee Town Center Avenue 5 Suwanee Town Center Avenue 4

When Money magazine named this Atlanta suburb one of the nation’s “Best Places to Live” in 2013, its online post showed one of Suwanee’s most appealing scenes: a diversity of children splashing in the fountain at the center of Town Center Park, with a gleaming City Hall rising behind.

Suwanee opened this 10-acre park in 2003, instantly providing the community with a gathering place designed for a multitude of uses, from cooling off in the fountain’s tall column of water to rock concerts in the park’s 1,000-seat amphitheater. This place is the centerpiece of a public-private partnership that, surrounding the park, has also developed restaurants, specialty stores, office space, condo and townhouse units, and single-family homes.

“Town Center Park is the heat of Suwanee,” Money declared. And since the park opened, Suwanee has been growing fast. Its population “roughly doubled from 2000 to 2010,” reports public radio station WABE.

Town Center Park sits right where two of Suwanee’s busiest roadways meet. The city keeps attracting fresh energy and new visitors with a robust slate of annual festivals in the park. Some highlights:

Taste of Suwanee draws more than 8,000 people in early October, as more than 30 local restaurants and food vendors offer favorites from their menus and community organizations invite festival-goers to discover and support their work. An Artist Market features the work of local artists and crafters.

The Suwanee Jazz Fest, also in October, is sponsored by the North Gwinnett Arts Association (NGAA), together with jazz radio station WCLK and the city. The festival features food trucks and vendors, cocktails and, of course, jazz, from both solo artists and combos.

The Suwanee Classic Car Show in November spotlights about 150 classic and race cars, plus the interactive option “Paint a Wreck.”

The Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest in March bills itself as “the biggest and best craft beer festival in the Southeast.” More than 350 craft beers are available to taste, and all compete for the coveted title of attendees’ favorite beer of the day.

Red, White, Bluegrass & Back is a unique Memorial Day concert that, in 2017, combined bluegrass and classical music with a float-in by the Silver Wings parachute team from nearby Fort Benning.

Those are only some of the events that decorate the year at Town Center Park. Visit here for a full listing — or come discover Suwanee for yourself.

All photos courtesy of the City of Suwanee, GA

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Georgia2 min

Cedartown, Georgia – Main Street

Main Streets 2016: Georgia

Near the end of the Civil War, Cedartown, Georgia was burned to the ground, with just one mill left standing. It was repopulated after the war, and fabric mills and iron works developed in addition to the local cotton industry. Around the turn of the 20th century, Main Street emerged and in 1913,  it became illuminated, lined with state-of-the-art electric lampposts that cost 50 cents per night to operate. Still today, late 19th and early 20th century displays of fine masonry and architectural details remain strikingly well-preserved in downtown Cedartown, whose Main Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Main Street anchors a downtown area where you can find great places to eat and unique shops, as well as two parks with wooden swings and benches. The Cedartown Welcome Center on South Main is located near the Silver Comet Trail, a 61-mile recreation path frequented by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, horses, and dog walkers that can take you all the way from here to Atlanta.

Just off South Main on College Street, you can find a historic marker that pays tribute to the birth site of Sterling Holloway, the actor who was the voice of Winnie the Pooh. A left turn off North Main at Thornton Avenue will take you to Peek Forest Park, which features tennis courts, picnic areas, and a state-of-the-art playground, all funded and constructed by private individuals and volunteers. In the summer, a dancing fountain provides a cool place for local children and families. In spring, Peek Park is home to the annual Cedar Valley Arts Festival, and it’s a main gathering point for the widely known Cedartown 5K Wheelchair Race.

In the summer, the Fourth Friday Concert Series brings live music, great food and classic cars downtown. For the Fall Festival, local vendors representing churches, businesses, individuals, and civic clubs line Main Street to sell baked goods and handmade crafts.

Close by Main Street on Wissahickon Avenue is the Big Spring, the South’s second largest limestone spring, which produces some four million gallons of fresh water every day for people in this region of northwest Georgia. A ceremonial dance ground of the Cherokee until the early 1800s, the Big Spring today is a park, and has been designated an American Water Landmark.

Photo courtesy of WGAA

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