Honeybee Festival, Suwanee Day and JapanFest this weekend


Now that fall is a little more than a week away, Gwinnett County is in full-fall-festival fervor. This weekend, there are three unique ways to celebrate in Buford, Suwanee and Duluth.

Saturday will be sweet as honey over at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. The venue hosts its third annual Honeybee Festival to celebrate nature's natural pollinators from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year's festivities include bee games, crafts, honey samples, Publix cooking demonstrations and story time. If you're interested in beekeeping, several beekeepers will be on site ready to talk, and sell honey and other beeswax products.

One highlight of the festival is the children's honeybee costume contest. At 2 p.m. a honeybee parade will be held with the judging following immediately.

Admittance to the festival is included in the price of admission to the center and GEHC members are free. For more information, visit www.gwinnettehc.org.

Over in Suwanee, the annual Suwanee Day festival will be in full swing Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in Town Center Park.

As always, the event kicks off with a parade themed "Catch a Dream" which will travel up Buford Highway and down Main Street. Afterward, attendees have several hours to shop at more than 225 booths, watch live entertainment on two stages and a fireworks display to end the evening.

There are changes to the event which include a new space for the men to hang out called "Man Land." Also, all of Town Center Avenue is closed this year and the food court has been expanded to feature a variety of food, like Cuban, Greek, Polish and more.

Admission is free. For more information about the entertainment schedule or parking around the festival, visit www.suwaneeday.com.

Over at the Convention Center at Gwinnett Center, JapanFest is open to the public on both Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the Japanese culture through food, music, clothes and more. The festival is organized by The Japan-America Society of Georgia and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia to promote and educate others about Japanese traditions and lifestyle.

With the anticipation of more than 17,000 people attending the event, organizers have lined up a plethora of performers, workshops, artists and martial arts for the public to watch.

Attendees can learn how to pack their lunches in bento boxes, watch traditional sumo wrestling, attend a class called Sake 101 and enjoy the sights at the Atlanta Koi Club's Annual Koi and Goldfish Show.

Admission is $8 and children 6 years old or younger are free. For more information on times, visit www.japanfest.com.