0

Local sports and music team up for festival

Special Photo: Rick Olivier. Better Than Ezra -- from left, Tom Drummond, Kevin Griffin and Michael Jerome -- headlines Suwanee's Rock & Jock Festival on Saturday.

Special Photo: Rick Olivier. Better Than Ezra -- from left, Tom Drummond, Kevin Griffin and Michael Jerome -- headlines Suwanee's Rock & Jock Festival on Saturday.

SUWANEE — The annual free Rock & Jock Festival will be in full swing Saturday in Town Center Park of Suwanee. This year’s headlining act is the New Orleans rock trio Better Than Ezra.

Athletes from all over the county will be present at tables to promote their teams, season tickets and school spirit, plus provide extra information.

“Sports are very big in the South,” organizer Amy Doherty said. “We want to give the athletes a chance to mingle with the public about their upcoming seasons.”

• What: Rock & Jock Festival

• When: 5 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Suwanee’s Town Center Park at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Buford Highway

• For more information: visit www.suwanee.com

Local area high schools and colleges will be at the festival as well as the Gwinnett Gladiators Director of Community Relations Jim Hall, who will talk to fans about schedules and ticket plans for the 2011-12 season.

This event isn’t all about sports and free music: It is also a “Can Do” event. Bring five can goods to the concert and receive a city of Suwanee reusable shopping bag. The cans will be donated to the North Gwinnett Co-op through the Gwinnett Municipal Association.

“We don’t really know what to expect,” said Tom Drummond, bassist of Better Than Ezra. “I know they will shut down the streets and make it free to the public.”

That is exactly what the town will do. The admission is free and there will be alcohol and food to purchase. Outside alcohol is prohibited and all coolers are subject to inspection.

Once parking is full near the event, the city will provide free shuttle buses to drive back and forth from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. from the festival to additional parking located at Shawnee North Business Center, 305 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

“We are estimating about 5,000 to 7,000 people to show up,” Doherty said. “We wanted to make sure they could get here.”

There won’t be many places to sit. Blankets and lawn chairs are recommended for the concert.

Atlanta’s own country group, Gasoline Brothers, performs at 6 p.m. and Memphis’ Ingram Hill hits the spotlight at 7 p.m. Better Than Ezra will take stage around 8 p.m.

“We make the set list about five minutes before we go on stage,” Drummond said. “We definitely put some thought into it. The crowd will most likely hear our greatest hits.”