Duluth’s Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards, Awarded Director of the Year by SFEA

The Southeast Festivals and Events Association (SFEA) recognized Duluth’s Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards, as Director of the Year for her efforts in providing Duluth with a fun, creative outlet, even during these challenging times.

Kristin Edwards has been coordinating events for the City since March of 2019. As you all know, most events in 2020 were cancelled with community health and safety coming forward as a top priority. By April of each year, the events coordinator typically has most of the events planned for the remainder of the season; so you can imagine how much work Kristin put into the events that never got to come to fruition. By late spring, discussions between the Events & Marketing Department, City Manager’s Office and the City Council led to the cancelling of all remaining scheduled events through the end of July.

Although she was disappointed, this tough but necessary decision did not stop Kristin from continuing to plan virtual and socially distanced events to bring entertainment to the community. During lockdown, a few virtual events were hosted. This included a TikTok Challenge and a Duluth Shines talent competition. Once lockdown was lifted, she really sprang into action. Her top priority was to stay on top of the current executive order given by Governor Kemp to ensure that we were following all restrictions and taking the proper precautions.

The first step back into normalcy was weekly Duluth Live “events”. These events consisted of music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Town Green main stage and in Parsons Alley. These live musical performances were not meant to draw a crowd but rather enhance the ambiance for those that were utilizing the outdoor dining space. Other socially distanced activities were creatively themed photo-ops, Seek Duluth scavenger hunts, and a drive-in theater. The season ended with the annual Deck the Hall event which featured unique social distancing activities including photos with Santa inside a snow globe, free caricatures and tree lighting.

The award was accepted virtually at the annual SFEA Conference on February 24, 2021. The SFEA Kaleidoscope Awards, which recognizes the marketing, programming and overall event, acknowledges the highest level of achievement in the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States.

The mission of SFEA is to strengthen, educate and unify the festivals and events industry throughout the Southeast. Comprised of festival and event planners, venues, and industry service providers, SFEA was founded to strengthen the festival and event industry throughout the southeast United States by hosting educational sessions, networking opportunities, award recognition, and additional events throughout the year; thus allowing for continued professional growth within the festivals and events industry.

For more information about upcoming events visit www.duluthga.net/events, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofduluth or contact our Events Coordinator, Kristin Edwards at events@duluthga.net.

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Southeastern Railway Museum Launches Fast Track to the Future Campaign

The Southeastern Railway Museum (SRM) announced the Fast Track to the Future campaign to underwrite a new five-year initiative to expand and enhance the Museum.

Over the next five years, through the Fast Track to the Future program, SRM will:

  • Enhance the Educational Experience – SRM will develop a classroom at the Museum to host elementary, middle school, and high school classes visiting SRM to study transportation.
  • Improve and Expand Museum Exhibits – SRM will redevelop and revitalize the Museum’s collection of historic railway locomotives and cars to enhance the visitors’ experience.
  • Modernize the Museum for Growth – SRM will develop a new Master Site Plan to better portray the impact of transportation on our country; make the Museum grounds more visitor-friendly while improving safety and security.
  • Expand Professional Staff – SRM will recruit a full-time professional Executive Director to implement the dynamic Fast Track to the Future program.

The Southeastern Railway Museum Board of Trustees launched the Fast Track to the Future campaign in October following months of strategic planning as well as a comprehensive feasibility analysis. John Pollock, an SRM board member, is excited with the area’s early response to the project:

 

Pollock says: “This is an exciting time for the Southeastern Railway Museum. Fast Track to the Future is a dynamic program that will meet the current and future needs of the Museum and the thousands of visitors they serve.” Pollock added, “SRM and all of our volunteers have done an outstanding job over the last 35 years. Now, this new five-year program will take this Museum to the next level. The Fast Track initiative will enable us to do so much more in a better way.”

Joining John Pollock and the SRM Board in supporting the initiative is Lisa Anders, Executive Director of Explore Gwinnett, the county’s tourism agency. Anders says: “Now is the right time for us to focus our attention on this important education treasure. The Southeastern Railway Museum has been a “well-kept secret” in our community for years. I’m impressed with how much SRM has accomplished over the last twenty years at this location through hard work and determination. This new initiative will help us strengthen and enhance SRM’s current programs and enable the Museum to implement new programs that will make it a stronger more vibrant tourist destination. Ultimately, the Fast Track to the Future program will significantly impact not only the lives of all who visit the Museum…but it will impact the lives of all who live and work in our area.”

Pollock added, “The Fast Track to the Future campaign is off to a great start. We focused our early efforts on organizing the campaign, enlisting leadership, and soliciting pledges from our SRM staff, Board of Trustees, and volunteers. We have already raised 20% of our goal in the process! Excitement is building for this important initiative as we enter 2021!”

The Fast Track to the Future campaign has established a five-year goal of $1 Million to be raised from corporate and community leaders in the Gwinnett County / North Metro Atlanta region. The Southeastern Railway Museum is located at 3595 Buford Highway, one mile south of the Duluth city center. For further information or to get involved in the campaign, please contact Steve Dorough in the Fast Track to the Future campaign office (678-906-4081) or at sdorough@fcdusda.com.

NYE in Duluth

New Year’s Eve will look a bit different this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a great experience while also supporting our local businesses! Check out the Duluth restaurants and entertainment venues that are offering a socially distanced NYE experience this year.

Reserve your seat for Brotherhood at the EOP Presents at the Red Clay Music Foundry here or tune into the live stream here.

Reserve your table at Good Word Brewing by sending an email to events@goodwordbrewing.com.

Reserve your table or curbside to-go order at Kurt’s Euro Bistro here.

Reserve your table at Noona Meat & Seafood here.

 

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year’s Eve!

 

Holiday Lights in Downtown Duluth

Are you always on the lookout for the next best instagrammable backdrop? Well, we’ve got news for you! Downtown Duluth is THE metro Atlanta destination for all your festive selfies and holiday portraits this December!

Duluth City Hall & Town Green; Dustin Grau Photography

This year’s installation lineup includes:

  • Light tunnel in front of City Hall on Town Green
  • 22ft decorated tree on Town Green in front of the Festival Center
  • Giant blue light-up ornament on Town Green near Truck & Tap
  • Giant red light-up ornament at the top of Town Green near Sweet Octopus
  • Santa’s sleigh with moving reindeer in Parsons Alley
  • 14” decorated tree in Parsons Alley
  • Light tunnel between Good Word and Nacho Daddy in Parsons Alley
  • Red & green lights on City Hall
Parsons Alley; Dustin Grau Photography

Bonus! Most installations can be seen from the comfort of your vehicle if you don’t want to brave the chilly weather.

 

“We are always looking for new opportunities to create interactive enhancements to our Downtown. We love to see our community utilizing these installations, so don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts!” said Senior Marketing Coordinator Talore Ruedt.

 

Facebook: @CityofDuluth

Instagram: @City_of_Duluth

Twitter: @CityofDuluthGA

Hashtags: #DiscoverDowntownDuluth #DuluthGA #DecktheHall #RockinAroundDuluth

Giant Red Ornament on Town Green

Most of these displays will be up through the New Year, weather dependent.

Another new enhancement that will be around all year is outdoor public seating on the Town Green, Parsons Alley, and Main Street. Surface and hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Downtown.

The City encourages all visitors to practice social distancing and wear a mask when in a public space.

Deck the Hall

Help us Deck the Hall as we kick off the holiday season on Saturday, December 5! Enjoy free professional photos outside of Santa’s snow globe from 1-5pm and live entertainment, festive decorations, and free holiday caricatures from 1-6pm. All on Duluth Town Green!

A few snack/food vendors will be available throughout the event.

Photos with Santa taken by our photographer will be available for free download on the City’s Facebook page the week after the event. To keep Santa & the elves safe, he will be social distancing inside of his snow globe at the event. Letters can be dropped in our North Pole mailbox before posing for a picture outside of Santa’s snow globe!

Please plan to wear a mask and social distance as you wait in line for your professional picture with Santa. Masks may be removed while posing for your photo. Images will be available for free download the week after the event.

Due to COVID-19, this event will look different than it has in previous years. We look forward to providing you with festive activities that allow guests of all ages to practice social distancing and remain safe during the pandemic.

For additional event information, please visit: www.duluthga.net/events

Thank you to our event sponsors: Sugarloaf Grove, Highlands at Sweetwater Creek, and Mercedes Benz of Atlanta Northeast!

Let’s Play Eat Local Bingo!

You already love to support your local bars, restaurants, cafes, and bakeries, so why not make a game out of it?! Maybe you’ll even discover something new. Every bingo you get gives you another entry to win the grand prize valued at over $250!
Here’s how you play:
1. Download a bingo card below or at dulutga.net/eatlocal. The first round kicks off on November 16, 2020, and runs through January 31, 2021.
2. Dine-in, carry out, order delivery, or purchase a gift card at any restaurant on your bingo card. Each purchase must be $20 or more, and you must save your receipts. All purchases must be made between November 16, 2020, and January 31, 2021.
3. When you get a valid bingo in a row (5 in a row), submit your information through the online submission form found at www.duluthga.net/eatlocal. You can submit one separate entry for every valid bingo. If you cross off every square on your card, you will receive 10 entries into the grand prize drawing.
4. The grand prize winner will be contacted by email on February 1, 2021, and they will have 48 hours to provide proof of purchase by showing receipts. If the winner is unable to provide proof of purchase, a new winner will be selected.
Don’t forget to show us those drool-worthy dishes on social media by using the hashtag #EatLocalDuluthGA!

Public Space Community Preference Survey

Calling all Duluth residents!
Please help us by filling out this 2020 Public Space Community Preference Survey. This is the second in a series of surveys designed to help City leaders plan for Duluth’s future.
If you live within Duluth City Limits, your participation is critical in helping guide our decision-makers. The survey will remain open through November 23, and the results are anonymous. The first survey focused on residential preferences was completed last month, and one more survey centered around commercial properties will be released in the coming weeks.
Complete the short survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/visualpreference

Sever Weather Alert

Severe weather may be headed our way. Below are a few reminders to help you stay safe and up-to-date on weather conditions.

• Stay updated on conditions through TV and/or radio.
• When possible, do not park on the streets so trucks can pass through.
• If you have a specific concern or need to report a hazardous area, please call the

Duluth Police Department’s non-emergency line at 770.476.4151.
• For customers who have Georgia Power, outages can be reported at www.georgiapower.com/storm or by phone at 888.891.0938.
• Jackson EMC customers should call their local office and use the Automated Outage Reporting System, or use the outage-reporting form on the cooperative’s website, www.jacksonemc.com in the event of an outage.
Stay safe!

Fall Events Update

Due to the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty on event restrictions, Howl on the Green has been canceled for the 2020 season.
Don’t fret! We have a few spooky, safe events to fill the Halloween void.
Fall Event Lineup:
  • September 12 – Duluth Drive-In Theatre featuring Jurassic Park
  • September 26 – Duluth Drive-In Theatre featuring Space Jam
  • October 10 – Kids Night at the Duluth Drive-In Theatre featuring Addams Family (2019)
  • October 24 – Duluth Drive-In Theatre featuring Beetlejuice
  • October 28 – Seek Duluth Halloween Edition
More details on the new events will be posted in the coming weeks to the City of Duluth Events page.