I really enjoyed reading Todd Cline's July 7 column about the Newcomer's Guide, which lists 101 things every Gwinnettian should see or do. I went over the list, approved of everything on it, then decided to follow up on suggestion number 101, which invites readers to visit the Daily Post's website and submit ideas of their own. Only I'm going to list them in my own column space.
The original list included visiting our Gwinnett County Parks, which have won numerous awards over the years, including Best Park System in the Nation. And since this happens to be National Park and Recreation Month, you might want to get in on the monthlong photo contest and art show with the theme "Explore Your Parks." Show how you explore and enjoy any of our 44 parks by submitting 2-D art projects or photos. Contest rules can be found at www.gwinnettparks.com. You can also sign up at that site for a Gwinnett Parks L.I.F.E. schedule of events to arrive in you inbox all year round.
There's one well-kept secret in Gwinnett that could very well could as a park of its own. Vulcan Materials on Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross, the biggest granite quarry in America, conducts free tours of their 600-acre spread with woods, wildlife and a 700-foot deep canyon carved out by way of daily blasts. Even if you don't get the tour, it's still an awesome experience to just take in the view from the overlook inside the main gate. For information call 770-923-2532.
As long as I'm focusing on what's free, I highly recommend the Thursday night wine tastings at Niko's Wine Corner in Snellville. For a mere $10, Three Blind Mice on Killian Hill Road in Lilburn serves six generous wine samples plus all-you-can-eat appetizers on Wednesday nights.
The original list included several festivals that are well worth checking out, but I'd like to add a few. Aug. 28 will mark Gwinnett's -- who knows, maybe even the whole South's -- second annual Pirogi Festival, complete with Polish beer at St. Marguerite d'Youville Church in Lawrenceville. On Oct. 2, Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn will celebrate its eighth annual Oktoberfest, with brats, kraut and German beer. And for a taste of Americana, the Slotin Folk Fest, the world's largest self-taught art show and sale, will celebrate its 17th year at the North Atlantic Trade Center in Norcross from Aug. 20-22.
Now back to that visit to the Daily Post's website that I mentioned at the beginning. I'd like to take you one step farther. When you pull up the site, click the community bar and scroll down to community links. There you will find the links to every city, county agency and civic organization in Gwinnett. All you need to know at your fingertips.
And before I end this list, let me add one more place every Gwinnettian should be this Tuesday: At the polls!
Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.