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Season's events include arts, crafts and entertainment

Admit it - you've been waiting all year for fall. Is there a better time to shop for the perfect arts and crafts for your home, while listening to the sounds of local bands and enjoying treats like cotton candy and caramel apples?

In addition to offering shopping, food and entertainment, local festivals bring together communities and give neighbors a chance to get to know each other. Fall festivals are also extremely family friendly, especially if your kids like getting their faces painted and sliding down huge inflatable slides.

On Thursday, the Yellow Daisy Festival, a nationally known arts and crafts show, opens at Stone Mountain Park. This event gets the festival season off to a great start.

If you can't make it to Yellow Daisy, though, don't worry. Stone Mountain Park will host several other festivals this season, including the annual Highland Games and JapanFest.

For those who prefer to stay closer to home, towns like Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn and Suwanee will be hosting fall festivals in their downtown areas this season.

Of course, if you're an overachiever, you may want to try to hit every festival in the area. This year, it is possible that your family could spend every weekend between now and November at a festival or fair.

Whether you decide to hit all the festivals or just one or two, we've put together a quick guide to the events in and around Gwinnett to help you make plans.

Upcoming Festivals and Events

Community celebrations

•Yellow Daisy Festival

Named the country's No. 1 arts and crafts show by Sunshine Artist magazine, this festival hosts more than 500 artists and crafters from across the country and offers entertainment as well as activities for kids.

•When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sept. 10

•Where: Stone Mountain Park

•Info: Call 770-498-5690 or visit www.stonemountainpark.com.

•Gwinnett County Fair

This 10-day event offers carnival rides, livestock shows and entertainment ranging from local musicians to The Miss Gwinnett Pageant. A parade will be held on Sept. 16.

•When: Sept. 14-24

•Where: Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville

•Info: Call 770-963-6522 or visit www.gwinnettcountyfair.com.

•Suwanee Day

This festival begins with a parade and continues with arts and crafts exhibits, children's activities and an evening concert by the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

•When: Sept. 16

•Where: Town Center Park in Suwanee

•Info: Call 770-945-8996 or visit www.suwaneeday.com.

•Duluth Fall Festival

A parade through downtown Duluth kicks off this two-day festival, which includes arts and crafts, an evening concert, a worship service and a 5K road race.

•When: Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

•Where: Town Green in Duluth

•Info: Call 770-476-0240 or visit www.duluthfallfestival.org.

•Flowery Branch Fall Festival

This event offers an arts and crafts show, entertainment and games.

•When: Oct. 7

•Where: Main Street in Flowery Branch

•Info: Call 770-967-6371 or visit www.flowerybranchga.org.

•Lilburn Daze

Local artists, authors and performers are the stars of this festival, which includes more than 200 booths and a health fair.

•When: Oct. 14

•Where: Lilburn City Park

•Info: Call 770-921-2210 or visit www.cityoflilburn.com.

•Loganfest

Arts and crafts will be available at this festival, which also features family activities.

•When: Oct. 21

•Where: Main Street in Loganville

•Info: Call 770-466-1601 or visit loganvillechamber.com.

•Sugar Hill Festival

A parade and 5K run will be held as part of this festival, which offers arts and crafts, carnival games, concerts by local churches, a car show and a chili cook-off.

•When: Oct. 21

•Where: E.E. Robinson Park in Sugar Hill

•Info: Call 770-831-7413 or visit www.cityofsugarhill.com.

•Lawrenceville Fall Festival

This event features live music and old-fashioned games.

•When: Oct. 28

•Where: Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville

•Info: Call 770-963-2414 or visit www.visitlawrenceville.com.

•Snellville Fall Festival

A costume contest and hayrides are the highlights of this festival.

•When: Oct. 28

•Where: T.W. Briscoe Park in Snellville

•Info: Call 770-985-3535 or visit www.snellville.org.

Cultural events

•JapanFest

The festival offers a taste of Japanese culture with exhibitions and hands-on workshops.

•When: Sept. 23-24

•Where: Stone Mountain Park

•Info: Call 404-842-1400 or visit www.japanfest.org.

•American Indian Festival

This event features Native American dancing and singing.

•When: Oct. 7-8

•Where: County Gwinnett Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville

•Info: Call 770-791-0066 or visit www.vitwind.com.

•Rice Festival

Organized by the Asian American Resource Center, this event will include music, dancing and martial arts demonstrations.

•When: Oct. 21

•Where: Korean Church of Atlanta in Duluth

•Info: Call 770-270-0663 or visit www.aarc-atlanta.org

•34th Annual Stone Mountain Highland Games

Athletes compete in traditional Scottish games at this event, which also includes entertainment and arts and crafts.

•When: Oct. 21-22

•Where: Stone Mountain Park

•Info: Call 770-498-5690 or visit www.smhg.org

•7th Annual Pow Wow and Indian Festival

Dancing and drum competitions will be held at this festival, which also spotlights Native American crafts and tribes from across the country.

•When: Nov. 2-5

•Where: Stone Mountain Park

•Info: Call 770-735-6275 or visit www.rthunder.com