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Dixieland Band to play in Suwanee

Staff Intern

A lot of toe-tapping and hand-clapping will be going on when the Old Flint River Dixieland Band takes the stage Friday at Suwanee's Memorial Day Weekend concert. The free concert, sponsored by the Gwinnett Daily Post, will be held at Town Center Park in Suwanee.

As full-time soldiers for the Army, members of the Dixieland Band, part of the Army Ground Forces Band at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, have been performing for audiences in and around Atlanta for more than 25 years. The musicians have been looking forward to playing at the Suwanee event, said Army Maj. Daniel Steiger, director of the band since July.

"We have been practicing every day," he said.

The Dixieland Band will play upbeat selections, with a jazzy New Orleans sound, starting at 8:30 p.m. at the park. Army Sgt. 1st Class Davis Winterhalter, a clarinet player, said the band likes to be as exciting as possible during performances to energize the crowd.

"We are really looking forward to going out there and performing for everybody, and we hope they enjoy what we have to offer," Winterhalter said.

Also performing at the concert will be the Silver Wings, a military parachute demonstration team from Fort Benning, which will kick off the event at 7:30 p.m. Next up will be an 8 p.m. performance from the Sugar Hill LDS Choir of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lynne DeWilde, spokeswoman for the city of Suwanee, said more than 25,000 people were in attendance last year for the city's Memorial Day event, and she expects another large crowd this year.

"It is a great, relaxing way to kick off the weekend," she said. "The mixture of music and military parachuting makes for a fun event."

Families can bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnics and nonalcoholic beverages to the concert. Food will also be available for purchase.

If you go

• What: Suwanee's Memorial Weekend concert

•When: Friday

•Schedule:

• 7:30 p.m. - Silver Wings parachute team

• 8 p.m. - Sugar Hill Choir

• 8:30 p.m. - Old Flint River Dixieland Band

•Where: Town Center Park, located at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Buford Highway in Suwanee

•Cost: Free

•Info: For more information on the event, call 770-945-8996 or visit www.suwanee.com. For more on the Old Flint River Dixieland Band, go to www.forscom.army.mil/band.