City officials busy preparing for annual Suwanee Day festival

SUWANEE - While Suwanee Day Festival may be more than two months away, the Suwanee Day events team is working diligently to bring another fun filled event to community.

The Suwanee Day parade kicks off Sept. 15 as it goes from Buford Highway, through Main Street, ending at Pierce's corner.

The festival began 24 years ago to emphasize the importance of community as the population boomed. The first Suwanee Day Festival was attended by only 75 people, but as it became a September tradition for the town the number increased greatly. The festival now attracts more than 30,000 people every year.

"The location at the Town Center Park allows us to offer more vendors and booths," said event coordinator for the festival Amy Doherty. "We try to keep our quality vendors by giving them hand-crafted items they can't find just anywhere else."

The festival features children's activities and games, vendors, food and live entertainment. The parade and festival begin at 10 a.m. and end that night at 10 p.m.

This year's parade theme, "A Day in the Park," was chosen by the city's volunteers to encourage participants to become more creative with their floats and rides.

"There has been lots of new parks in recent years," said Lynne DeWilde, public information coordinator for Suwanee Day Festival. "(The citizens) wanted to celebrate the parks."

Awards will be given to three winners in the categories of best of show, most creative, and best reflection of theme. Both parade and volunteer applications are available for interested patrons on the Suwanee Day Web site at www.Suwaneeday.org.

Six years ago, the annual Suwanee Day 5K Classic hosted by Body Plex Fitness Adventure began the Friday before the festival and parade in another effort to bring the community together in a positive note.

"It is a celebration of our community," Doherty said.