Autumn Heritage Festival reflects back while looking forward

LOGANVILLE -- On Saturday the streets of downtown Loganville will be bursting with 135 vendors selling various crafts and delicious treats. The third annual Autumn Heritage Festival will celebrate Loganville's community, much like city members did in the 1800s.

If you go

• What: Autumn Heritage Festival

• When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Loganville City Hall, 2581 Leone Ave., Loganville

• For more information: Visit autumnheritagefestival.com

"Back to days when things were simpler in Loganville, folks had the opportunity to meet at the well and catch up with each other's families," said Michelle Lynch, Loganville resident and city council member. "By coming full circle, the city of Loganville offers an opportunity to go back to our roots. The festival is a venue where folks can visit one another, shop and eat good food."

Loganville residents and visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the free festivities, which include The Kid's Zone on the City Hall lawn. It will have two bounce houses and three carnival games. There will also be food for sale from Berens Frozen Custard, The Fried Pie Ladies, Bruster's and more. From vegetarian wraps to gator nuggets, there will be a diverse array of food.

One special focus for this year's festival is youth activities and involvement. The Walton County Youth Orchestra is performing, along with other dance, cheer and martial arts groups. Plus, for the first time the festival will host a fundraiser for Walton County Special Olympics called "Touch A Truck." Presenting several vehicles, the children can explore them for only a $1 donation. Police cars, motorcycles, a tractor and a fire truck will be presented.

Lynch is very passionate about youth participating in community events. She credits it to keeping the community fresh and modern. Lynch said, "We are so multi-faceted, which is something I love about our stage area."

Volunteering or campaigning with the festival since its inception, Lynch believes the festival is a great opportunity for Loganville residents to "bring out their crafts from their homes" and feature their work. It also goes along with the new Loganville slogan, "Where People Matter."

"I love our community here in Loganville. I like to involve our local businesses and organizations in the festival, and to feature a venue for all of our local crafters. I thoroughly enjoy every year," Lynch said.

The city of Loganville has used the Gwinnett County special purpose local option sales tax money) to fund a streetscape beautification project at the festival site.The first completion will be seen by festival attendees on Saturday.