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LARSON: There is plenty of free fun to be had in Gwinnett

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

I really love writing about all the free things there are to do in Gwinnett County. Not only do I get a warm fuzzy feeling by getting word out for the people sponsoring the events, but also for the people participating in them.

It's especially gratifying when I get an email from someone in a distant state telling me they were inspired to do initiate a similar event in their community. Events ranging from a charity fashion show for dogs at Carl House to the Greater Lilburn Business Expo put on by Berkmar High School business students every year have planted seeds in other communities across the country.

However you don't really need me to pull together all this information anymore. The Gwinnett Daily Post website has almost everything you need to know for finding fun and free entertainment all summer long.

Just go to the community tab, scroll down and click Community Links. A multitude of links pops up before your eyes.

I especially like the city links. For example, Duluth showcases its free Brown Bag Lunch series with lots of entertainment, including an Upbeat Party Rock Concert with Dave Craver of Open Mic fame. Sugar Hill offers Reels at Robinson (E.E. Robinson Park) on Friday nights and Lawrenceville hosts its Moonlight and Music concerts. All fun, family friendly, and free.

Now you may have noticed that two paragraphs above, I used the word "almost." That's because there are a few hidden gems in the county that not everyone knows about. Here's where you need me.

For example, Cate Kitchen, Norcross Welcome Center coordinator, would like everyone to know about their free art gallery and Fire Museum. Also in Norcross, at Blue Moon Cycle Shop, visitors can view vintage bikes up close in its free museum.

For air-conditioned comfort, you can always go to the mall. The Global Mall in Norcross is almost like a theme park of India. Even though my friend Vera, who is Indian, says you'd see nothing like that in India, it's still quite a trip, and she admits it's one of her favorite hangouts. An attraction that is very Indian, and also free, is the BAPS Mandir in Lilburn. Their guided tour is well worth your time.

And then, there is the Mall of Georgia. Did you know it is decorated as a microcosm of the state of Georgia? You can stroll the state, north to south, or south to north, getting a real feel for the geography as the carpet color changes to reflect the vegetation of each area. Learn what ethnic group made wine in the mountains and what creep-crawlies provided a living for people along the coast.

And speaking of geography, Vulcan Materials' magnificent entryway on Beaver Ruin Road conceals the deepest hole in Gwinnett County. Even if you don't book a free tour of this 700-foot deep granite quarry, it's worth it just to stop by and look over the cliff.

Have fun this summer, exploring everything that's fun and free. And if you do need me for anything, my e-mail address is just a click away.

Susan Larson is a writer who lives in Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.