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The Peachtree Corners Festival 2022

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Returns Triumphantly for Its 11th Year, the Second year at Town Center

July 1-3 is gearing up to be an exciting weekend for Peachtree Corners. Not only is it the lead up to Independence Day, but it’s also the 10th anniversary of Peachtree Corner’s founding. Why not celebrate it all at the 11th annual Peachtree Corners Festival? Enjoy food, entertainment, music and art with your family and friends — not to mention, the festival (and parking) is free and open to the public.

The Peachtree Corners Festival has been a staple of Peachtree Corners since before the city was even officially, well, a city. The festival is a nonprofit “dedicated to bringing a safe, wholesome and family-friendly festival to the City of Peachtree Corners,” according to peachtreecornersfestival.com. It’s volunteer-run, so its success is due to the passionate citizens who are driven by pride for their homes as well as its sponsors. Funds earned by the festival are directed towards beautification and education projects in Peachtree Corners.

Dave Huffman has been involved with the festival for 10 years and served as its president for nine. He said that it can be stressful at times to handle the hundreds of details that go into planning a festival, but the volunteers make it manageable, and the sponsors’ funding makes it all come to fruition.

“As our city has grown, the festival has kept pace with that growth,” Huffman said. “That makes the work a bit more every year, but when we see the smiles of our attendees and hear good things from our vendors and sponsors, it makes it all worthwhile and we start to think about how we can make the next year even better!”

As the saying goes, it truly takes a village. Huffman cited several members of the Peachtree Corners Festival team who make the dream come true, including Arts Director Ayanna Graham, Music Director Becky Lyon and the First Lady of Peachtree Corners, Debbie Mason, as vice president.

“Debbie was one of the founders of the festival and spearheads our work with the many sponsors we depend on,” Huffman said. “She is wonderful!”

This year, the festival will return to the Town Green located in the Town Center development, which has become the entertainment hub of the city. Due to the tight fit and muddiness that the festival experienced last year, though, it will also be returning to its roots in a sense: while the Town Green will still host music and kids’ activities, a section of Peachtree Corners Circle will be blocked off to make room for the booths, food court and classic car show.

Saturday’s Classic Car Show and Sunday’s Georgia Concours d’Elegance will be located in the Hexagon building parking lot next to the food court.

The weekend-long event will kick off with a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1, followed by a festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Read on for more information about what to expect from this year’s Peachtree Corners Festival.

Festival Map

Music

The Saturday and Sunday entertainment lineup will be one of the highlights of the festival, according to Huffman. Lyon has carefully evaluated and selected entertainers from a myriad of submissions. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and coolers full of food and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy during the perfor­mances.

The Drifters

The Friday night headliner has been announced as the iconic R&B group of the 50s and 60s, The Drifters. Best known for their classics “Under the Boardwalk,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “This Magic Moment,” among numerous other hits, The Drifters will have you swaying and celebrating on the Town Green.

Saturday’s musical lineup starts with Leah Bell Fraser, 12-1 p.m., a singer who delivers compelling original songs as well as those from some of her favorite artists, including Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Janis Joplin. A rock band from Virginia, Bulletproof, takes the stage 1:15-2:15 p.m.

They’re followed by Sonic Alley, a rock and roll cover band that features classic tracks and deep cuts performed by veteran musicians from the Atlanta area, 2:30-3:30 p.m. From 3:45-4:45 p.m., the New Bridge Band will rock the house with their unique mix of familiar and eclectic songs from across the musical spectrum.

On Sunday, 12-1 p.m., Catherine Wynder performs performing Lind­sey Stirling covers, pop songs and movie soundtracks. The Hearsay will continue the celebration, 1:15-2:15 p.m., with their combination of rock and pop that has hints of 90s alternative, pop-pun, and modern indie music.

More musical acts will be finalized soon, so please check peachtreecornersfestival.com for the latest updates.

Cars, Bikes, Hot Rides

1954 Cadillac Convertible

The Classic Car & Bike Show (“classic” for both the types of cars it represents and its traditional presence at the Peachtree Corners Festival) will take place on Saturday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s free for spectators; if you decide to register your car or bike on-site, you’ll only pay $15. The awesome vehicles will be lined up at the ready for you to photograph and admire. Meanwhile, trained judges will assess which rides are worthy of the coveted Top Car & Bike Awards and Top Class trophies. Enjoy food, a DJ and fantastic door prizes.

Georgia’s Concours d’Elegance will exhibit on Sunday, July 3, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., and admission is also free. Here, you’ll be witness to a lot of rare, collectible and vintage cars. The special “Sneak Peak” will show what’s coming in 2023 to Atlanta.

A classic car is more than merely a car. It’s an aesthetic, an artwork, a relic of history, a feat of technology. Concours d’Elegance brings that glorious showmanship and craftsmanship directly to you — and for free at the Peachtree Corners Festival. Support Peachtree Corners’ Concours with your attendance this year so that even more beautiful motor vehicles can be brought in next year and continue to unite our community in the pursuit of beauty.

Arts, Crafts and More

Local artisans and business owners will represent their wares at the festival. They’ll be selling everything from home goods to jewelry to crafts, so be a good neighbor and shop ‘til you drop!

Built by Bees: Tim Haratine started his honey business in 2015 with two goals: to make customers and employees happy, and to do so by promising good products and great value. All of Built by Bees’ many delicious products use raw honey and earn repeat customers. Visit builtbybees.com.

Chili P. Designs: Owner Julia channels her artistic skill and love for her family into creating beautiful wood signs perfect for home decor. Gift a design to a family member or display it in your own home for guests to admire. More at chilipdesigns.com.

Goddess Luxe: Necklace chains of delicate gold or silver, rings embedded with dazzling crystals, elegantly shaped earrings: this shop lives up to its name and makes jewelry fit for a goddess. See the collection at goddessluxejewelry.com.

Discover Atlanta Chinese Art: Godwin Kou and Kuansoi
(Christine) Kou are both accomplished painters and calligraphers dedicated to sharing authentic Chinese art with the world. Their work is delicate and striking while staying pure and unconfined. Go to discoveratlantachineseart.com for info.

Kettlerock Brewing: You can support this new, up-and-coming, family-run brewery boasting good stories and great beer with a purchase of their shirts or mugs. Go to kettlerockbrewing.com.

Knox Carter Kandles: The 100% soy candles melt into a gorgeous marbling so, with their pretty packaging and wide variety of scents, they look just as incredible as they smell. More info at knoxcarterkandles.com.

Puppy Present Designs: Specializing in matching collars and leashes for all sizes of dogs, your puppy is sure to be the prettiest at the park. Find their shop on Etsy.

Reminis Soaps: Stacey, the maker of Reminis Soaps, began her soap-making journey in 2016 because she was looking for a solution to her oily skin and post-shower itchiness. Now she handmakes beautiful, delicious-smelling soaps using only all-natural ingredients. Check out reminissoaps.com.

Whatnot Bear Mobile: This business is family-owned and operated. It began with the purpose of bringing children support and joy. Make your own child happy at the festival by coming home with a fuzzy friend! Find more at whatnotbearmobile.com.

XOC Designs: Specializing in a variety of materials to handmake stunning furniture and other homewares, you’re sure to wow your guests with these pieces. Browse xocdesigns.com for details.

Ziparoos: Committed to a sustainable home, Ziparoos makes and sells multi-purpose, reusable storage bags — but they also sell other eco-friendly products that are perfect for the kitchen or cleaning around the house. And they come in cute prints, so they’re fun for the whole family!

Find the full vendor list on the Exhibitor page at peachtreecornersfestival.com.

Food and Beverage Vendors

Whatever you’re craving, Peachtree Corners Festival is serving it up. From sweet treats to cool down in the heat or a little spice to intensify your day, the food court has you covered.

Speaking of sweet and spicy, Chocolate & Spice Eatery will be dishing it out both ways. Their Caribbean-French-Brazilian fusion-inspired offerings include islander’s sorbet served in pineapple, a Creole low country boil served with your choice of protein and vegetables, savory Brazilian barbecue and, of course, the classic festival food — turkey legs. Find them at facebook.com/chocoandspice.

Or chew on this: Chew-on Chuan stands out at festivals with their Latino-Asian fusion street food, and the Peachtree Corners Festival is no different. Smack on Asian street skewers (your choice of protein) with a side of mango salsa and tortilla, Dominican empanadas that sound so good they’ll make your mouth water just looking at the ingredients list, yucca fries, Thai Tom yum soup, scallion pancakes and grilled corn in a 13-spice barbecue sauce. Yum! Check them out at facebook.com/chewonchuan.

For more can’t-miss-it, gotta-have-it festival food, check out Tasty Yum Yum. Not only do they have the classics — fried Oreos, funnel cake, sweet tea and ice-cold lemonade — but they’ll also be selling hearty stuff like rice and peas, steamed cabbage, loaded fries, sausage, Philly cheesesteak and chicken any way you want it: popcorn chicken, chicken on a stick, jerk chicken, curry chicken–yum! Visit them on Instagram.

Thirsty? Phoenix Roasters will be roasting up a full espresso and cold brew bar. If you haven’t tried a nitro-based craft drink yet, this festival will be your chance! Get details at phoenixroasters.coffee.

What’s lunch without a snack, or dinner without dessert? After your meal, top it off with national award-winning homemade ice cream from Daddy O’Brien’s Irish Ice Cream Pub. Find out more at daddyosicecream.com.

If ice cream’s not your taste, Sweetacular Treats will have every other treat available to choose from, including popcorn, cotton candy, candied pickles and apples, Rice Krispies, cake, soda and lemonade.

Sponsors

It cannot be said enough times how important sponsors are to making the Peachtree Corners Festival great. This year’s sponsors can be found by clicking on the Sponsors page at peachtreecornersfestival.com; from there, you can click on each of their logos and be directed to more information. Notably, the Title Sponsor is the City of Peachtree Corners, and Peachtree Corners Magazine has been recognized as a Silver Sponsor. Come visit our table when you attend the festival.

Call for Volunteers

Need to complete volunteer hours this summer? Part of a service group and looking for a direction to channel your goodwill? Or just need to kill some time this season?
The Peachtree Corners Festival is volunteer-run, and volunteers are still being sought. With so many fun things to do all weekend, there are multiple avenues to get involved, no matter what your interests are — whether that’s assisting with the car show, distributing water to thirsty festivalgoers, setting up vendor booths or managing the hospitality suite.
Volunteers need to be above the age of 18 or have parental permission if younger. Volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt and pride in having supported their home city. Sign and return the 2022 volunteer waiver form via the Volunteer page on the festival’s website, peachtreecornersfestival.com.

Ivy Clarke is a nationally award-winning writer, editor, artist and aspiring literary activist currently studying English literature, creative writing and art at Mercer University. In addition to her work with Peachtree Corners Press, she writes and edits for The Mercer Cluster, The Dulcimer, Macon Magazine and Mercer University Press. She has also published poetry in Atlanta Review, Glass Mountain and The Allegheny Review.

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Twin Authors Chronicle Antics of ‘Four-Legged Brother’

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On Feb. 1, the young authors Megan and Mackenzie Grant released the children’s book, “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother.”
Megan and Mackenzie Grant

Berkeley Lake second graders make fans across the globe with sweet children’s story.

When rescue dog Apollo found his forever home with Megan and Mackenzie Grant, the Berkeley Lake twins knew they had added a special member to the family. He’s so beloved that he’s considered their “four-legged brother.”

Apollo is a Boston terrier. The breed is known for its friendliness and love of people and children. According to the Purina Company, makers of all kinds of pet food, Boston terriers  make affectionate pets and are outgoing and social. 

While they are called ‘terriers,’ they are not in the terrier group, nor do they behave like them. They are far happier at home with their owner than getting into the usual mischief. 

But Megan and Mackenzie see him as a silly addition to the family.

“He’s super cool because he’s always up for fun and loves us a whole bunch. And guess what? We love him back even more! He’s like the best friend ever, wagging his tail and making everything awesome!” they said in a press release.

Apollo’s birthday inspiration

As his first birthday approached, the girls, six years old at the time, wanted his day to be special.

“I said, ‘Well if you want to come up with something to do, let’s write it out,’” said mom Tameka Womack.  “So they started writing out all these different adventures, and it was so cute.”

Megan recalled that their teacher had told them about someone who had published a book, and she asked if they could, too.

“When I read through it, they had all the different things, like playing dress up because we had bought some clothes for him. And we take them out for long walks around the lake and stuff,”  Womack added.

Although their favorite subjects in school are PE and art, they did such a good job with the tale that Tameka worked with them to get it published. On Feb. 1, the young authors released the children’s book, “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother.”

Publishing success

The 30-page book took off almost immediately. Available for print and digital through Amazon and print editions through Barnes & Noble, the book has reached customers in the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy,  Poland and throughout the U.S.

The girls and their mom were so pleased and surprised to find out the book was No. 1 in its category on Amazon.

“They were just so excited that people actually bought the book,” said Womack. “They were just like, ‘Wow, who is buying this?’”

Feedback from fellow twins, animal lovers and teachers showed that the story resonated on many levels.

“As an educator, I am always on the lookout for diverse and inclusive literature for my students. ‘How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother’ not only captivated the imaginations of the children in my class but also served as a wonderful conversation starter about friendship, empathy and the beauty of diversity,” wrote Ashleigh Darby.

The royalties from book sales are tucked away, with a percentage going to Apollo’s wardrobe.

“He won’t go out in the rain without his raincoat … or out in the winter without his sweater,” said Womack. “We have a little budget for his clothes because every time the girls see something, they’re like, ‘Oh, I think Apollo will like it.’  I’m like, I think he would too, but let’s let it stay in the store.”

Nurturing creativity

Although both mom and dad are engineers and kind of hoped that the twins would follow in their footsteps, Womack said she’s okay with them being artistic and creative.

“Writing is teaching them some responsibility and teaching them a little bit about money,” she said. “Now they want to write a book every day.”

Between raising three daughters (the twins have an older teenage sister), running a household with her husband and keeping up with her career at Georgia Tech, Womack said she’ll look for time to continue helping the girls with their dreams.

“With summer coming up, I would definitely encourage parents to help their children explore their creativity in any kind of way, from digging holes in the ground to … seeing the world … to creating books instead of being on the internet,” said Womack. I try to limit my kids’ screen time … and build real memories.”

Find “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother” on Amazon.

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Local State Reps Give Roundup of Legislative Session

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(left to right) Dale Russell, Rep. Ruwa Romman and Rep. Scott Hilton // Photos by George Hunter

Hilton, Romman trade friendly banter that reflects diverse views in Georgia government

Georgia State House District 97 Representative Ruwa Romman and District 48 Representative Scott Hilton, whose constituents include parts of Southwest Gwinnett County, including Peachtree Corners, sat down for a second time to share information about legislative action at the State Capital

Their discussion was part of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce First Friday Breakfast series at Atlanta Hilton Northeast.

Although they sit on opposite sides of the aisle, Hilton and Romman both seek to sponsor and pass legislation that improves and maintains a high quality of life in the Peach State and provides its residents with what they need. 

Elected in 2022, this was Romman’s sophomore year in the State House. She serves on the Georgia House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, Georgia House Information and Audits Committee and Georgia House Interstate Cooperation Committee. 

Hilton previously served in the State House from 2017 to 2019 but took a “sabbatical,” as he calls it, to serve as executive director for the Georgians First Commission under the Office of Governor Brian Kemp

He was re-elected to his current position in 2022. He is the vice chair of the Georgia House Creative Arts and Entertainment Committee and the Georgia House Education Committee, as well as a member of the Georgia House Public Health Committee and the Committee on Georgia House Urban Affairs.

Senate Bill 63

The moderator, Norcross resident and former WAGA political reporter Dale Russell started off with a topic making headlines: Senate Bill 63. This law, signed by Gov. Kemp shortly after the session ended, prohibits charities, individuals or groups from providing bail funds for more than three people per year unless they register as bonding agencies. It also expands mandatory cash bail to 30 new offenses.

“I think it’s going to bring home safety to the community,” said Hilton. “I ran on that issue because as I was knocking on doors, I’ve heard from folks who [want to] keep our community safe. And unfortunately, no community has been immune from the uptick in crime that we had seen post-COVID, so this was one of those bills in response to that.”

Hilton gave examples of crimes where individuals out on bail committed acts such as murder.

“That was our commitment back to our constituents to say, ‘Listen, we’re not going to let bad guys back out onto the streets again to do more crime.’ This bill was in response to this; it’s going to keep our community safe, hold those accountable and bring justice to those who break the law,” Hilton remarked. 

“Unfortunately, right now, we’ve got district attorneys and sheriffs across Georgia who are blatantly disregarding the law and letting folks back out on the streets who pose, you know, safety risks to law-abiding citizens like you and I and your businesses,” he continued.

Russel pointed out that there’s been a lot of criticism of this law. 

“The ACLU was totally against it. Some felt like it was imprisoning poor people in the sense, for minor crimes,” he said.

“I do agree with the criticism for a few reasons,” said Romman. 

“The problem with this bill is that of the 30 crimes that are listed as now requiring a cash bail, the majority of them don’t actually require jail time, even if you’re found guilty of them. So now, somebody who would not even have ever served time for those crimes that are listed could now serve jail time because they cannot afford their bail,” she explained.

She added that the law doesn’t address the crimes it’s supposed to protect citizens from.

“We see these headlines, but this bill doesn’t address those because what we see happening is that a lot of churches now will no longer be able to bail people out that cannot afford their bail because of this bill,” she said.

“And churches that have been trying to, for example, reunite a parent with their children for Christmas, or whatever the case may be, can no longer do that. There is actually an exception written into this bill for bail bondsmen. So, it’s not like being able to pay cash bail is completely out of the question. It just means that somebody can make money off of it now,” Romman continued.

Hilton said the state isn’t done with addressing public safety issues as they come up.

“I know that’s been a priority of the governor, and I think rightfully so; you know, there’s a reason we’ve got citizens flocking to Georgia over the last ten years; we’ve added a million Georgians to our state, and they are leaving states with policies that don’t have this. They’re coming to Georgia for economic prosperity, for safety and for good schools,” said Hilton.

House Bill 1105

Another controversial bill, HB 1105, is framed as a public safety bill that requires local enforcement to coordinate with federal immigration officials when someone in custody is suspected of being in the country illegally. 

Some say it’s an immigration bill.

“I know that the federal administration is trying to tell us there’s not a crisis. But there is a humanitarian crisis going on right now on our southern border.  … But they’re not handling it the right way, and it’s starting to impact our communities,” said Hilton.

“We’ve got sheriffs who have folks in their custody, who [need] to be reported up to ICE. And essentially, they’re sort of ignoring what’s in the law right now that says you got to report these folks,” he explained.

Romman doesn’t see it that way.

“Again, when you read the contents of the bill, that is, unfortunately, not what it does,” she said. “I’m one of the few, if not the only, member of the legislature that’s done any border project work,” she remarked.

She talked about her work keeping unaccompanied immigrant minors safe.

“I want to remind people that when we talk about immigration, there’s an entire spectrum of people that we are talking about. And it’s not just at the border, it’s also people that fly into our country legally, that gets narrowed into a terrible immigration system,” Romman said.

“It forces our state and county and city police to do federal-level work without more funding. What we’re doing is we’re actually adding an increased burden, essentially onto their workload that we are not paying for. And in addition, within this bill, if they do not do this, they could lose more funding.”

She added that this will take the police away from focusing on local issues and trying to work with people who live in their communities.

“If a community member feels like if they reach out to police for help, and the police are going to deport them, they are less likely to report crimes and less likely to work with our local police department,” Romman said. “If we’re serious about immigration and its relationship to crime, immigrants are 30% less likely to commit crimes, and I don’t want to vilify an entire group of people.”

Romman said she supports a holistic, three-pronged approach that includes improving conditions on the border and pathways to citizenship.

Business-related legislation

When the smoke cleared, both Hilton and Romman joked that they had different opinions about many issues but agreed that’s a healthy part of how the government works. 

“The fact that we do disagree and the fact that you, the community, have varying choices and options out there. I think it’s a healthy part of the process,” said Hilton. “And we do have fun. I was telling somebody we play kickball about halfway through the session, and we do get along.”

The discussion moved on to topics such as the FTC ruling on non-compete clauses and tort reform, which just about everyone in the room agreed upon. Although employees could see the beauty of disallowing non-compete clauses, as business owners, they’d hate to see trade secrets put in jeopardy or valuable time and money put into training to benefit another company. 

And everyone wanted to see caps on personal injury claims for things like slip-and-falls and fleet vehicle accidents.

“One of the few regrets I have coming out of session is that we didn’t do more on tort reform,” said Hilton. “Right now, Georgia is the number one judicial hellhole in the nation, meaning that we have more lawsuits on businesses and payouts than anywhere else in the country.”

This was one area where both representatives had similar views.

“I don’t think this is a left or right issue,” said Romman. “I want to make sure that whatever tort reform we pursue does not let, for example, a bad-acting company off the hook. But on the flip side, if somebody is just going around and suing everybody all the time to try and make some money off of it, how do you protect corporations and businesses from those kinds of bad incidents litigation?”

“What I will continue to look for when it comes to tort reform is, how are we going about balancing that?” she added.

Looking ahead

As the session wrapped, Romman and Hilton pointed out legislation they’d like to see move forward next year.

“House Bill 971 creates a $300 tax credit for taxpayers who sign up for firearm safety training or purchase a safe storage device. It’s a bipartisan measure, viewed by some as a small but perhaps significant move for gun safety advocates, which was tabled in the Senate room,” said Romman. 

She said the bill wouldn’t even require someone to disclose that they owned a firearm, but it was meant to incentivize people to store their firearms properly.

“There wasn’t a lot of appetite if somebody didn’t properly store their gun to have consequences for that, so we thought it would just incentivize better behavior,” she said.

Hilton mentioned school safety. 

“Over the last three years, every single school in Georgia has gotten a one-time $100,000 grant for School Safety. That’s every school in Georgia; in this most recent budget, we included $45,000 in recurring money for every school in the state to do whatever they want to ensure their campuses are safe,” he said. This includes private schools as well.

At the end of the event, Hilton and Romman reminded the audience that they weren’t running against each other, and even though their views were different, their goals for a better Georgia were equally as passionate.

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City of Peachtree Corners Unveils Space-Inspired Tot Lot Playground

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Last November, the city began constructing a new tot lot playground for children under six years old that is themed around space exploration. 
Photos by Dorie Liu

On Friday, May 10, 2024, the City of Peachtree Corners held a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of its new space-themed Tot Lot Playground on Town Green.

Last November, the city began constructing a new tot lot playground for children under six years old that is themed around space exploration.  This new play area includes a rocket ship, a moon rover, a crashed UFO and other fun designs. It was also created to be fully accessible, ensuring all children can enjoy it.

During the ribbon-cutting, children and their guardians enjoyed fun activities, including an ice cream truck, bubble lady, balloon animals, face painting and even a visit from Buzz Lightyear.

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