Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happenings in Norcross

Whistle Stop Farmer’s Market - 5/17 through 10/11/11, 4-8pm
Two words:  FRESH, LOCAL.  Stroll through this open air market every Tuesday evening at Thrasher Park.  As a farm stand / locally-grown junky, I have to say this is pretty impressive.  The wares go above and beyond produce too.  Stock up on healthy homemade baked goods, meats, cheeses, dairy products, jams and jellies.  Yum!

Strawberry Stroll - Saturday 5/28/11, 11-3pm
Word on the street is this will be a berry good time.  Visit downtown Norcross for all things strawberry.  Main attractions:  live music (yay!!!), bake sales, strawberry ice cream, upscale shopping, delicious strawberry-inspired chef's specials at the various restaurants and of course STRAWBERRIES!  Locally-grown, fresh and pesticide-free strawberries no less.

And, after all that eating, why not walk/jog/sprint it off for a good cause?  It’s not too late to sign up for the Strawberry Stroll 5K.  All 5K proceeds go to Kingdom Kids, an organization that grants wishes for children facing challenging times and health issues.

Summer Concert Series - 5/30/11 through 9/2/11, 7:30-9:30pm
Pack a cooler, bring some chairs and come relax under the stars with neighbors and friends at Thrasher Park.  You’ll hear everything from cover bands (Eagles, Journey, Elton John, Sinatra, Jimmy Buffet) to country, R&B, to pop.  I can’t think of a more perfect way to unwind Friday night after a busy week.  Admission is free!  For table reservations and info, please contact Rip Robertson via  See you there!

Independence Day Celebration - 7/3/11, 4-9:30pm
Come celebrate our Independence with fellow patriots.  Fireworks at dusk.  Food, fun, the whole nine yards!

Bluesberry Festival - 7/9/11, 5-1am 
No, that’s not a typo.  I mean the music not the fruit.  Actually, I meant BOTH. You won’t want to miss this.  Two great things collide equaling one really great night on the town.  Come early and purchase locally-grown blueberries but be sure to stick around.  With three spots to listen to some blues (Iron Horse, 45 South Café and Mojitos), you’ll want to stay out until last call!  Get a baby sitter and put this on the calendar!   

British Car Fayre - 9/10/11, 10-3pm 
British motorists and enthusiasts unite at this most proper event!  There is no charge for the general public.  Car registration is optional.  Fees:  $15/car, $10/additional cars and $10/motorcycles. The fees collected help fund local charity Rainbow Village – a Duluth based organization assisting homeless families with children.  Great cause!  Learn more:

Come check out this year’s assortment of 130+ British rides and enjoy some oldies courtesy of 106.7 with Randy, Spiff, Greg Talmadge et al.

Food to get you in the mood: 45 South Café (a “JINNY’S FAVORITE”) will be serving afternoon tea complete with scones and Devon Cream (noon – 4pm) and The Iron Horse Tavern will be selling to-go “Ploughman’s lunch” (pork pie, cheese, pickled onion and a Branston pickle). Could there be a better incentive for a Thrasher Park picnic?!

Norcross Art Festival -11/1 & 11/2/11 
While smaller than Dogwood or Yellow Daisy, Norcross Art Festival is an intimate venue that attracted more than 50,000 visitors in 2010.  Almost 200 artisans exhibit their creations for two days right here in Historic Norcross.  Everything under the sun is on display/available for purchase; sculptures, jewelry, pottery, photography, paintings and more. I bet you can’t leave without buying something!  Enjoy!

Almost in your backyard!

Where:  Dunwoody Nature Center 
5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody 30338 
MARTA Accessibility:  YES!  Rte 150 will take you to DNC and Rte 129 comes pretty close.  Check MARTA website for schedules/maps. 
Dog Friendly:  YES!   (Two obvious rules apply: dog must  be leashed and owner must “clean up”.) 
Hours:  7 days a week, 7am to sundown
For more info:  (770) 394-3322 or 

Their website sums it up nicely:  Dunwoody Park is beautiful in every season. Turn into our lane, walk through the woods, and enjoy Dunwoody's hidden treasure. So much is happening at Dunwoody Nature Center.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

The truth is, there’s no easier way to get close to nature.  This is an amazing and FREE spot to visit for Dunwoodians and all locals who enjoy exploring outdoors.  The park first “opened its doors” in the mid 70’s as a part of America’s Bicentennial celebration.  Thanks to numerous Dunwoody volunteers, DeKalb Parks & Recreation and the US Forestry Service, the Nature Center hosts 25,000 visitors and 8,000 program participants each year.  The Nature Center was incorporated in 1992 and relies solely on private funding and programs generated revenue.  Something to think about:  Dunwoody Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Donations of $100 or more include membership. Any amount over $50 is tax deductible.

On any given day, the park is chock full of fellow nature lovers, helpful volunteers and other friends.  Expect, or at least hope, to meet a Barred Owl, a Red-Tailed Hawk, a Cooper’s Hawk, an Alligator Snapping Turtle, opossums, squirrels and other miscellaneous rabbits and birds.  Don’t forget to visit the gardens.  The Gateway Garden, The Rock Garden, The Native Plant Garden and Wet Meadow all offer something unique and beautiful.  *JINNY’S TIP* -  Bring the camera!  Take a couple minutes to learn more about composting and Vermicomposting (composting with worms & micro-organisms).  Don’t miss the Wetlands Boardwalk and the serene babbling of Wildcat Creek.
Summer programs currently being offered:
Summer Camp
A full day camp running June through August, M-F 9:30-3:30
Welcoming campers grades K-5th

Weekly Mini Camp
Daily camp running from 9:30-12:30
Welcoming little campers ages 3 and 4
Early AM and Late Afternoon Classes
Extending the outdoor fun for campers and non-campers alike.
The Nature Centers invites your little outdoor enthusiast to Breakfast with the Birds (8:15 – 9:15am) and Games of Strategy and Cooperative Team Building (3:45 – 5:00pm).  Check website for price and availability.

What other year-round programs does the park have to offer?  To name a few:  Nature classes, school field trips, scouting field trips (Many clinics meet badge requirements!), overnight and evening programs for scouts and other youth groups, adult classes, homeschooler classes, children’s birthday parties, nature hikes and much, much more. 

The Dunwoody Nature Center is a budget friendly, pet friendly, close to home, breath of fresh air outing no one should miss.  So log-off, grab some sunscreen and water and go see for yourself!