Snellville Spirit Winter 2021

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Snellville, Where Everybody’s Proud to Be Somebody WINTER 2021

see pages 8 & 9

Fun Local Christmas Activities

Shop, Dine & Experience Snellville

2021 Snellville Christmas Ornament

see pages 2 & 3

see page 12

see page 20

GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT Enjoy Fun, Family Friendly Activities Snellville Christmas Tree Lighting Towne Green

November 27th from 5 - 8 p.m. 5:30 p.m. - Lighted Christmas Parade 7:00 p.m. - Lighting of the Tree

Snellville United Methodist Church A Frozen Christmas: Park & Pictures In partnership with Experience Snellville November 27th from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Snellville UMC parking lot Take pictures with live characters from Frozen and the Grinch That Stole Christmas


Who wants to go ice skating? Check out the IceForum and try freestyle skating with family and friends. Like to skate on a regular basis, join the skating club. Ice skating lessons are also available. For more information visit:

Southeastern Railway Museum Georgia’s Official Transportation Museum

The Southeastern Railroad Museum – Georgia’s Official Transportation Museum featuring the largest collection of “rolling stock” in Georgia. You will enjoy our real, life-size trains, cars, and buses that have been part of history; as well as an enormous collection of railroad memorabilia. Train rides typically start 1 hour after opening and stop 1 hour prior to closing. For more information visit:

Stone Mountain Christmas Nov. 13, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

Atlanta’s Most Heartwarming Holiday Celebration Immerse yourself in holiday magic with evenings full of festive music, millions of dazzling lights, spectacular shows and visits from some of your favorite holiday characters. • Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade • NEW World’s Largest Christmas Light Show • Santa’s Big Flight • Journey Through Musical Frosted Forest

For more information visit:

Gwinnett County Fairgrounds Nov. 19 -21 | Vintage Market Days

Featuring vendors from Ga. as well as artisans and makers from ten other states. Each vendor will feature their choice of vintage goods, antiques, jewelry, clothing, original art, handmade treasures and much more. Nov. 27 - Gun Show Dec. 4 - Southeast Exotic Bird Fair Dec. 10 - Bellpoint Gem Show


Winter 2021 - Volume 48 Publisher/Editor: Kelly McAloon Editor: Brian Arrington

Fall is here and there is a lot to be thankful for Fall brings with it, cool crisp air, the changing of the leaves and fall activities. It also brought the 12th annual Fall Festival which was recently held on the Towne Green. It was a huge success and enjoyed by all. Thank you to our sponsors and the many volunteers who work hard to make events such as these a success. November is a time to “Give Thanks” as we celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends and remember our many blessings throughout the year. I want to congratulate Councilman Tod Warner on winning reelection Nov. 2 and to councilwomen Gretchen Schulz and Cristy Lenski who ran unopposed. Mayor and Council works hard to bring the citizens of Snellville a city they can be proud of. How ‘bout them Braves? Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves who won their first World Series title since 1995. What an exciting time for our Atlanta Braves, the City of Atlanta, family, friends and all the fans. Atlanta Braves World Series Champs! The Snellville Christmas Tree Lighting will be in person on the Snellville Towne Green this year. Please stop by and join us for some good old fashion family fun on Nov. 27 from 5 - 8 p.m. You won’t want to miss the ever-so-popular lighted Christmas Parade which starts at 5:30 p.m. and don’t forget to visit with Santa. On behalf of all of us from Experience Snellville, we want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and look forward to great things in 2022. Don Britt,


President, Experience Snellville

Connecting our Community to Celebrate Snellville 4

Snellville Spirit Magazine is produced by: Snellville Tourism & Trade Association

P.O. Box 669 • Snellville, GA 30078 Website: Snellville Tourism and Trade Association’s mission is to promote business, tourism and events in the City of Snellville. President Don Britt Vice President Billy Franklin Treasurer Kurt Schulz Secretary Kathy Emanuel Board Member Lucy DeForest Board Member Jared Eakins Board Member Melvin Everson Board Member Alice Snipes Board Member Andrew Yee Executive Director Kelly McAloon Administrative Assistant Jessica Manis City Council Mayor Barbara Bender, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel, Cristy Lenski, Gretchen Schulz, Tod Warner and Solange Destang City Website: Magazine Design by Brian Arrington, Kelly McAloon and pcoxcreative Magazine Cover Design by pcoxcreative Contributing Writers and Photographers: Kelly McAloon, Don Britt, Brian Arrington, Gretchen Schulz, Barbara Bender, pcoxcreative, Franchesca Thompson, Lisa Sperling, Greg Perry, Cher Brister and Meghan Meegan



MAYOR’S MESSAGE 6 Mayor Bender offers thoughts of fall and more.





Public Works releases the holiday trash collection dates.


A listing of church events for the holiday season.


The latest Snellville Tourism and Trade ornament is here.

POLICE NOTES 20 7 There’s plenty happening at the Snellville Police Department.

Natilee Brown-Van is a new Youth Commission leader.

TREE LIGHTING 22 8 The annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting is coming.

What’s taking place at area parks and the Senior Center.

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HALLOWEEN FUN 30 Costumes, scarecrows, police and candy make fall fun.


AT THE CAMERA 32 ASMILE look at recent events that had Snellville hopping.


WINTER GRUB 34 Two tasty plates to enjoy as temperatures drop.


SAYING THANKS 35 STAT thanks the businesses and volunteers of 2021.

The Senior Center has its own Red Hat Society group. Snellville has a plethora of shopping and dining options.


How the Snellville Farmers’ Market helps local economy.


Three new businesses opened in Snellville.


Gwinnett Tech can be a guiding light on the career path.


Local high schools are in full swing.



Mayor’s Message - Mayor Barbara Bender Fall is upon us as we experience lower temperatures and falling leaves everywhere. I hope you can spend some time outside and enjoy some of this great weather and beautiful scenery while it is here. Our Snellville Police Department continues to make us proud! The SPD placed first for the Governor’s Challenge in its agency size division (46-75 officers) and won the statewide overall award for Child Passenger Safety. This is a department that is engaged and involved in our community and we are blessed to have such an outstanding police department. The Grove at Snellville Towne Center is now in full swing, and construction will continue throughout 2022. The apartments and the parking deck are moving along well. We signed the top beam of the elevator tower on the parking deck before it was placed in the last week of October. The construction on the library has also begun so we have construction ongoing on three large projects all at once. Just a reminder that North Road between Oak Road and Wisteria Drive will remain closed for the next few weeks.

Be sure to check the city website or Facebook page for updated announcements for travel through the area. You may want to alter your routes for the next few months as construction progresses. Snellville held its municipal election for three city council seats on Nov. 2. I congratulate Tod Warner for winning his seat to serve another four-year term. Tod has served Snellville well over the past 20 years either on the Planning Commission or as a Council member. He has proven to be an accessible and vocal advocate for our citizens. I congratulate Catherine Hardrick for stepping up to run for city council. I hope that she will continue the community engagement she started with her campaign to stay involved and engaged with the city and our events in the coming years. Incumbents Gretchen Schulz and Cristy Lenski were unopposed and will continue to serve the city for another four years. With the summer events and the Fall Festival over, we look to our Christmas parade and Tree Lighting event on Nov. 27. It is a great way to rev up that Christmas spirit and I look forward to our regular, in person event this year. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for the parade and festivities.

Snellville Public Works Public Works releases holiday garbage and recycling schedule, facility hours Just as quick as fall rolls around so does the holiday season. Make sure you have a box of the Snellville “Blue” bags keeping in mind that any festivities usually means extra garbage. These bags are available at Kroger, Publix (both on Scenic Highway at customer service desks) and the Public Works Department next to the Recycling Center in Briscoe Park. The blue bags not only are for garbage outside your cart but also can be utilized for bulk items to be picked up curbside. Call Public Works at 770-985-3257 for details and scheduling of bulk items. City of Snellville Yard Waste Bags may be purchased at the same location as blue bags. Garbage and Recycling Collection Holiday Schedule The curbside garbage and recycling service will be delayed by one day starting Thursday, Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day. If your service day is Thursday, you will be picked up on Friday, Nov. 26 and Friday customers will be picked up on Saturday Nov. 27. Please make sure your garbage is out by 7 a.m. as there may be additional trucks running to assure timely pick up. Purchase the city blue bags for any extra garbage you may have. This year the Christmas Holiday and 2022 New Year’s Day will not affect the routes for residential garbage and recycling pick up. 6

Public Works Office Thanksgiving Closed - Nov. 24-28, 2021 Christmas Closed- Dec. 22-26, 2021

New Year’s Closed - Dec. 30 - Jan. 2, 2022

Snellville Recycling Center Thanksgiving Closed - Nov. 25 - Nov. 28, 2021 Christmas Closed - Dec. 24-26,2021 New Year’s Closed - Jan. 1, 2022 Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Snellville Police Department officers. The RECON 180 simulator by Ti Training was installed in October. This is a state-of-the-art judgmental shooting simulator so officers can work through shoot/don’t shoot situations in a training environment. It also allows officers to train in de-escalation techniques while handling these simulated events. The department has plans to display their simulator to community groups in the first quarter of 2022. The police department has also purchased enough less-lethal shotguns for every patrol officer. The purpose of these tools is to have an additional less lethal option for officers to deploy during critical / high-risk calls for service.

Officers meet with community during Coffee with a Cop SPD takes part in Faith and Blue event at Church on Main In October, the Snellville Police Department participated in the national Faith and Blue event. This year the event was held at Church on Main, and was a huge success. The Faith and Blue initiative is one that facilitates safer, stronger, more just and unified communities by directly enabling local partnerships among law enforcement professionals, residents, businesses, and community groups through the connections of local faith-based organizations.

Police officers save lives during two overdose calls Snellville police officers were recognized by city officials for life-saving actions. On Oct. 5 and Oct. 10 officers A. Devries and A. Thorpe responded to overdose medical calls at different locations in the city. When they arrived they located men that were not breathing and had no pulse. During each incident, Devries performed CPR on the patient while Thorpe administered his department issued Narcan. Both men regained consciousness and were able to be transported to the hospital for medical treatment. Proclamations were given to both officers at the Nov. 8 City Council meeting.

On Nov. 3 from 12-2 p.m., the Snellville Police Department was at the Starbucks, 1920 Scenic Highway, for Coffee with a Cop. The community was invited to come have a conversation with a cop. This is the third year the department has participated in Coffee with a Cop, which is a national outreach program.

Police return to streets during Halloween, hand out candy The Snellville Police Department was back in city neighborhoods on Halloween night greeting children and giving out treats. Their ultimate goal was to slow down speeding vehicles and increase the safety of our kids trick-or-treating in Snellville. Officers handed out more than 100 pounds of candy to the kids. Sorry parents! (See pictures on Page 30.)

Chief Greg Perry said he was proud of the life-saving actions performed by the officers. He also indicated that it is another example of the outstanding and professional public safety response that SPD officers provide to our community.

Department steps up push to improve equipment and training Snellville Police Department is making a push to provide significant improvements in their equipment and training for their

^^^ DRUG TAKE BACK: More than 280 pounds of unwanted

presciption drugs were collected by Snellville police during the National Drug Take Back event Sept. 23. 7

By Kelly McAloon, Executive Director

Saturday, November 27th 5-8 PM | Towne Green Lighted Christmas Parade begins at 5:30 PM, Wisteria Plaza and ends at the Towne Green. Christmas Tree Lightning at 7:00 PM. It’s the most wonderful time of the year sharing the holiday experience with family and friends. We are so excited to be back to celebrate the joy and laughter as Snellville celebrates the 40th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and 8th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. We invite you to join us at the lighted Christmas parade which will kick off the festivities for the event. The parade will start at Wisteria Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and end by the Towne Green. Thousands of people will line the streets to watch the many lighted floats, tractors, and trucks that will pass by, so plan to get there early for good viewing. And of course, Santa will be found at the end of the parade getting ready to greet all the children with well wishes.

In partnership with Experience Snellville, Snellville United Methodist Church presents: A Frozen Christmas: Park and Pictures Nov. 27 from 5 – 6:30 pm Snellville UMC parking lot Take pictures with live characters from Frozen and The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Have fun on inflatables. Plan to celebrate the holiday tradition with an evening full of family fun activities for the entire family on the Snellville Towne Green. Please plan on attending and enjoying these FUN activities: • Cookie Decorating sponsored by Bill Rhodes Bakery

• Roasted S’mores sponsored by Tom Wages Funeral Services • Build-It Activity sponsored by The Home Depot • Ornament Decorating sponsored by Snellville Tourism and Trade • Music featuring Metro Jazz Club and local entertainment All activities will charge a nominal fee. As always, you may bring non-perishable foods to trade in for your tickets. All food donations will be donated to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to “Give Hunger the Boot”. One Item = One Ticket = One Dollar = 2 Cans of Food

Thank you to our Sponsors Keystone Sponsors: Walton Gas and E.R. Snell Contractors, Inc. Hotels: The Hampton Inn & Suites, LaQuinta Inn & Suites and InTown Suites Friends Sponsors: Tom Wages Funeral Services, Bill Rhodes Bakery and The Home Depot

Snellville Parks and Recreation - Senior Center Snellville Senior Center forms Red Hat Society

The Snellville Senior Center recently launched its own chapter of the Red Hat Society called the Royal Hatters of Snellville. Under the direction of Tracey Mason Glass, The Royal Hatters of Snellville decided to start the club because most area Red Hatter’s Clubs meet in the evening and they wanted the ladies in the area to have a place to meet during the day. Earnestine Jones, Queen of the club, said, “The most enjoyable part of the club is getting out of the house, having fun and expanding the bonds of sisterhood. It is so much fun for us to don our purple outfits and red hats and go to lunch, the movies, theater events, picnic on the beach, the zoo, traveling on excursions or just wherever our hearts decide to go and watch people watch us.” Glass and Jones hope the group will encourage senior ladies to “grow older playfully and on their terms and to help older women celebrate aging and living life to the fullest. And, not to fade away into the background as you get older – but to be loud and proud.” The club meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at the Senior Center next to City Hall. The club plans on having a Queen Coronation in early 2022, a “Hattitude” Fashion Show in the springtime, a “Summer Island Fling Trip” and a “Winter Wonderland Formal Affair. The Red Hat Society is an international social organization that was founded in 1998 in the United States for women age 50 and beyond, but now open to women of all ages. For more information on the club, email Jones at and put “Red Hat Society” in the subject line. 10

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Snellville • Atlanta NE ›› 100 Spacious Guestrooms ›› Complimentary Hot Breakfast ›› Boardroom – 500 sqft ›› Conference Room – 800 sqft ›› Onsite Fitness Center ›› Outdoor Pool with Patio

1905 Pharrs Road Snellville, GA 30078

P: (678)344-9090 | F: (678)344-9092

DINE, SHOP AND EXPERIENCE SNELLLVILLE At the heart of Gwinnett County beats the pulse of a vibrant city. In Snellville, diverse cultures and dynamic traditions have helped shape our story. No matter your interests, the city has countless opportunities for you to experience. The Grove at Towne Center’s first phase will include over 50,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and entertainment space, and 262 multi-family luxury apartments. The Greenway Trail will provide residents and visitors alike with a safe and fun path into the heart of downtown with future connections to Gwinnett’s vast trail system and beyond. Sample traditional Southern cuisine and the many flavors Snellville has to offer. Shop at the second largest shopping area in Gwinnett County, which offers something for everyone. Business is booming in Snellville and many new retail stores have opened just in time for the holiday season. Market by Macy’s is one of the newest retail stores that has opened in the Snellville Presidential Market shopping center. Stop by the award winning Snellville Farmers’ Market the first and third Saturday of each month behind City Hall where you are sure to find all the fresh produce, baked goods, seafood and fresh meat you will need for the week.

STAY WITH US! Hampton Inn & Suites • LaQuinta Inn & Suites • InTown Suites Make reservations to stay with us whether you have guests in town, want to get away for the weekend or would like to book a party in one of our hotels’ meeting rooms.

Snellville Farmers’ Market

<<< MARKET VOLUNTEERS: The Snellville Farmers’ Market

volunteers, from left to right are Peter DeChadenedes, Jeff Lasher, Dale Stanley, Ann McGill, Kurt Schulz, Gretchen Schulz, Jessica Manis, Kathy Emanuel and Maggie VanBuren.

Snellville Farmers’ Market boosts local economy By Gretchen Schulz Snellville Farmers’ Market organizer Councilwoman To some, it may seem like a weekly farmers’ market could not possibly have much of an impact on the local economy. Think again. The Snellville Farmers’ Market, which has been operating for 12 years, has a significant impact. This past summer season featured almost 60 vendors, more than any previous year, and attracted hundreds of customers each week. The summer season market operates from the first Saturday in June through the last Saturday in September. In October the market shifted to its “extended season,” with markets on the first and third Saturdays every month through May. Extended season markets are held 9 a.m. to noon in the City Hall parking lot. This past summer, market administrators surveyed the vendors and asked them to report their average weekly sales. Responses from 44 percent of the vendors were received. Based on their responses we were able to estimate that the market generates approximately $40,000 in sales per market for all vendors, or more than $700,000 for the entire summer season.

Add in the 16 extended season markets and the impact can be estimated to be in the range of $1 million annually. Also consider that the market encourages local residents to get out and about on a Saturday morning. They may stop for breakfast before the market or lunch after. Once they are out in the community they may make stops at local businesses. In addition, market vendors reinvest a portion of their income back into the local economy to purchase items such as tents, tables, ingredients needed to create their products and packaging materials. “The Snellville Farmers’ Market has become an institution in our community in a very short period of time,” said City Manager Butch Sanders. “It draws people from well beyond the city and they stay in town to do other shopping and visiting which economically benefits other sectors of our economy. The great thing is that the high quality of the market and its vendors keeps those people coming back many times a season and so the economic benefit is longer term.” For additional information about the market, visit www. Also follow our social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram. A list of vendors expected at each market is posted on Facebook prior to each market. We also send out a newsletter before each market. To subscribe, email

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RIBBON CUTTINGS ... In Snellville >>> More on Ribbon Cuttings ... If you are are opening a new business in Snellville, give us a call, we’d like to meet you and welcome you to Snellville! Call 770-985-3517 for more information. <<< BUTTON UP: City and Snellville Tourism and Trade

officials welcomed Burlington to Snellville Sept. 24. The clothing store is located at 1670 Scenic Suite 23 in the Presidential Commons shopping center. The business boasts more than 70 employees. Burlington officials also presented Britt Elementary School Principal Melissa Madsen with a $5,000 check for use at the school.

>>> FOR THE DOGS (AND CATS) - City and

Snellville Tourism and Trade officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at Pet Paradise, located at 2230 Scenic Highway. Pet Paradise offers veterinary, grooming and boarding for more than 100 pets at a facility which features a pool and spacious play areas.

<<< NEW MARKET CONCEPT - City and Snellville

Tourism and Trade officials welcomed the newest business to the city Oct. 29 - Market by Macy’s, located at 1905 Scenic Highway Suite 9000. The store is a one-of-a-kind venture by Macy’s and will offer pop-up boutiques inside the store featuring vendors from Snellville.


Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Local Families Need Your Help

If you’re like most people living in the Snellville area, you or your children have probably never been forced to miss a meal because you had no food and no money. You may not even know of anyone who faces hunger on a regular basis.

Yet, many local families are in that unfortunate situation.

The Southeast Gwinnett Food Co-Op’s mission is to help people by serving as a bridge over a financial gap, not to build a dependency lifestyle. According to Laura Drake, director of the Co-Op, the need for donations is critical. Unfortunately, many people have to deal with hunger on a 24/7/365 basis.

Local Children are Hungry

Come help us Give Hunger the Boot!

Preferred Printing and Mailing Vendor of

There are many opportunities to donate. To donate online:

Some of the locations accepting food donations include: Snellville City Hall Snellville Public Works United Community Bank Snellville and Gwinnett Animal Hospital (McGee Road) Financial donations may be made at: Snellville City Hall Legacy Beverage Center (Hwy 78, Loganville) Mellow Mushroom Snellville Ask for your special 10% Summer discount by mentioning our ad in Snellville Spirit Magazine!

“Best of Gwinnett since 2017!”

Economic Development

Gwinnett Technical College’s Building Operator Certification Program: Improving your toolbox By Cher Brister Gwinnett Technical College The complex job of the building engineer is not easily put into words. Some choose to describe this man or woman as a “Supercharged Handyman” or “Modern MacGyver.” While those descriptions are meant to be flattering, they don’t truly portray the plethora of responsibilities associated with running a commercial building. The Building Engineer is a jack of all trades and master of some. They are expected to know the ins and outs of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, control systems, and sustainability, not to mention a myriad of other things. They are constant professionals in the midst of chaos. They are always current on municipal codes, energy efficiency techniques and tenant needs, and are truly the front line of any property management company or institution. The profession is complex and stressful to the most experienced chief engineer/director and can be overwhelming (while exciting) to a rookie. So that leads us to ask, how does a company ensure that their staff of engineers not only stay up-to-date on the industry, but continue to be the complex problem solvers they are required to be?

By investing in their employees, companies raise awareness and respect throughout the industry all while saving increasing their bottom line. Trainings like Gwinnett Technical College’s Building Operator Certification lift up your workforce and decrease your utility costs.

When asked how they got into the business, many building engineers say they fell into it. Maybe they have a family member working in the industry that lead them to their job or maybe they 16

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Economic Development

learned a trade in the military and a job as a BE required little to no prep to start. While many of us were introduced to our professions this way (My mom worked in education and now I do), the changing pace of facility management today dictates that all employees need training to be competitive. More and more employers are hiring people with specialized training. Facilities professionals have always had to deal with being called “overhead” and are looked at as an expense, but what if I told you there was a way to become part of the revenue generating arm of your company through… wait for it…. training? By investing in their employees, companies raise awareness and respect throughout the industry all while saving increasing their bottom line. Trainings like Gwinnett Technical College’s Building Operator Certification lift up your workforce and decrease your utility costs. Gwinnett Tech’s Building Operator Certification program is uniquely designed for facility personnel and the only one of its kind evaluated over ten times by third party experts for its impact on the quantity of baseline energy services demanded by non-residential customers. Impact reports concluded that BOC training and professional certification reduces the baseline energy demanded in the range of 28,600–181,000 Kwh and 36–3,104. That’s an average annual savings of 100,500 kwh and 1,400 therms per certified operator. BOC certified operators have the proven ability to save their companies over $20,000 annually through energy conservation

and efficiency measures. The validated, deemed savings are instant and continuous and do not require a maturation phase. Programs like BOC allow Facilities Personnel to help harvest the cash flow created through utility savings and make valuable suggestions on how to use that revenue making them a valuable part of the overall organization.

Gwinnett Technical College is a public technical school in the U.S. state of Georgia with campuses in Lawrenceville and Alpharetta. It is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Since opening its doors as the Gwinnett Area Technical School in 1984, the college has added numerous programs of study, made two name changes, expanded its facilities and experienced enrollment growth. Currently, the Lawrenceville campus is 88 acres and the Alpharetta-North Fulton Campus is 25 acres. Address: 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville Phone: 770-962-7580 Website:






A Frozen Christmas Saturday, November 27 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Behold Him Christmas Concert December 4 & 5, 6 p.m.

Christmas Eve Services Thursday, Dec 23 - 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Family Candlelight Service December 24, 5 p.m.

Friday, Dec 24 - 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.



Park your car in our parking lot for the City of Snellville Christmas Tree Lighting! Before you head over to the Towne Green, stop and take pictures with live characters and inflatables from the movies Frozen and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Christmas Eve Candlelight Services Friday, December 24 4 p.m., Contemporary Worship in Christian Life Center 5:30 p.m., Traditional Worship in Sanctuary 11 p.m., Traditional Worship in Sanctuary with Holy Communion Sunday, December 26 10 a.m., Combined Worship in Sanctuary 770.972.9360

SNELLVILLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH Candlelight Christmas Eve Service December 24 - 5 p.m. 770.972.0767




Christmas Eve and Christmas Masses 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. Life Teen Liturgy, 8 p.m.

Hanging of the Greens Decorating for Christmas and Boxed Dinners November 21, 4 - 6:30 p.m.

Mass in Spanish, 10 p.m. (prelude music begins at 9:30 p.m.)

Christmas Musical Cantata and Worship December 12, 10:30 a.m.

All masses will be held in church

Christmas Eve Worship Family Service with Live Nativity, Lessons and Carols, Communion, and Candlelight December 24, 5:00 p.m.


GRACE SNELLVILLE Please check the Grace Snellville website - for upcoming service information and updates. 770.979.9676

Christmas PJ Sunday and Worship December 26, 10:30 a.m. 770.979.9676

MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH Candlelight Service Friday, December 24, 5 p.m. Sunday Worship 10 a.m. each week 770.972.5020

SNELLVILLE CHURCH OF CHRIST Worship December 26th, 10 a.m. Song Devotional and Prayer Service December 29th, 7 p.m. 770.972.6988

Snellville Tourism and Trade

Christmas ornament recalls historic oak The “Snellville Oak” is being memorialized as this year’s Snellville Tourism and Trade Association Christmas tree ornament.

Snellville residents will remember the handsome oak tree that stood proudly along Hwy 78 East in front of what is now the Snellville Oaks shopping center. And those who have lived in Snellville many years will recall that before the shopping center was developed the land belonged to Troy and Blanche Thomason. Black angus cattle roamed on the acreage that Mr. Thomason, who was the principal of Snellville Consolidated School, mowed himself on a riding lawnmower. The tree, which is said to have been older than the U.S. Constitution, was removed last December by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The tree had been examined by an arborist and found to be diseased and in danger of falling on passing vehicles. The wooden keepsake ornaments feature a laser-engraved image on a wooden disk with a live edge. The image was created from an actual photograph of the tree. STAT has been asked to provide these ornaments for display on this year’s Christmas trees at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion and the Gwinnett County Historic Courthouse. The ornaments are available for sale at the reception

desk in City Hall and will also be available at the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 27th. They are priced at $10 each and come packaged in a box with a clear lid. Thanks to former Mayor Emmett Clower for providing historical information for this article. - Gretchen Schulz, Councilwoman

Snellville Youth Commission Brown-Van brings teaching experience to SYC The Snellville Youth Commission has a new youth outreach coordinator. Natilee Brown-Van, a South Gwinnett High School teacher, will help lead the group designed to educate students about local government. “Natilee has played a critical role in developing the vision and mission of the Snellville Youth Commission since its inception,” said Councilwoman Cristy Lenski, who founded the SYC and is also a SGHS teacher. “While working with Natilee as a teacher as South Gwinnett, I recognized her energy, experience, and talent. The City of Snellville is so incredibly fortunate to have Natilee’s expertise as Youth Outreach Coordinator. She has already consistently organized and delivered engaging lessons and programming, doubling the size of student membership participation since last year.” Brown-Van has more than 20 years of service in education, working with community and student leaders in Miami-Dade County, Atlanta and Snellville, She also has spent 15 years as a healthcare advocate, She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice from Benedict College, a Juris Doctorate from the University 20

of Florida, and she completed her Educational Leadership Program at Kennesaw State University. She is South Gwinnett High School’s coordinator for GCPS’s Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies Program, and she is currently working on her English as a Second Language certification. Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

•Free Hot Breakfast •Suites and Jacuzzi Rooms •100% Non-Smoking

•Heated Indoor Pool •Fitness Center •Meeting Room

Snellville Parks and Recreation Briscoe Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 770-985-3535 Oak Road Park 1925 Oak Road (Passive neighborhood park) Park office is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on registration and classes, check out the Parks and Recreation Department on Snellville’s website at Please “like” our Facebook page for more information on our upcoming events and happenings: GGLeagues is offering the ultimate Recreational Esports gaming experience for all ages. Registration for the winter season will open October 25th. Multiple games are offered including “Madden21,” “Rocket League,” “Fortnite” and “Super Smash Bros.” Information: Non-profit organization the Generals Athletic Club, offers sport programs and mentorship to the Snellville and Shiloh community. Information: All-In FC offers recreational and academy/select youth soccer programs at Briscoe Park. Information: National Youth Flag Football offers youth flag football at Briscoe Park. Practices and games will take place on Sundays. For more information visit For information about adult sports including softball and kickball visit For information on tennis instruction, clinics, camps, & leagues by certified tennis instructors at Briscoe Park visit or call 470-417-4547. Outdoor tennis courts are available on a first-comefirst-served basis without lights daily from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Not all of the courts may be available at all times if tennis Instructor or USTA team are utilizing the courts.


Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Snellville Parks and Recreation The Snellville Senior Center, is for active adults that are 55 and older and is located next to Snellville City Hall. Membership is $25 for Gwinnett County Residents, $15 for City Limit Residents and $30 for those outside of Gwinnett County. The Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For class times, dates and fees, call 770-985-3580. Aerobics Free with membership Mondays and Thursdays Pilates $3 per class Tuesdays Painting classes Pack of four classes - $28 Will resume in 2022. Call for dates. Crochet and knitting. Free with membership 12 p.m., Tuesdays Spanish classes Offered for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers All week Also: Card-making classes Piano Sewing Beginning computer, smartphone and tablet classes coming soon. Billiards Bingo (First Fridays) Aerobic Exercise and weight room


1785 Oak Road Snellville, GA 30078 770-985-0600

Family owned company with over 95 years experience Our shops and asphalt plants are spread across Georgia, including: Metro-Atlanta, Augusta, and Macon 24

By Brian Arrington, Public Information Officer

SHOP HILL TOP PAWN NEW BUSINESSfor all of your Christmas gift needs!

MERRY CHRISTMAS A five-story, 102-room Hampton Inn & Suites will be built in the fromvoteall ofMayor usandatCouncil earlier city following a unanimous by the this year.

Hill Top Pawn and Gun

The 64,400-square-foot building will be located in Park Place, a development located at the corner of Pharrs Road and Scenic Highway which recently saw the grand opening of Cracker Barrel, Hill Top Pawn and Gun Freddie’s, Zaxby’s andAt Aspen Dental.

we want everyone to know we are There had been concerns the hotel wouldyour causeNeeds traffic issues at the “Large Enough to Handle busy intersection, but,and according to the developers, Small Enough to Care.” daily trips would

be reduced by nearly two thirds of what was previously approved for Hill Top Pawn Inc. a 12,000-square-foot restaurant.


With over 50 years of combined experience in the Gold buying industry, we are confident that we can offer top dollar for your Gold and Silver.

Firearm Sales

Inn & Suites Hilton within the city. Hampton In ourbyFirearm department we Finally, have a wide varietyInn of & new and Suites, under Hiltonwith (Hotels) has a reputation for being usedthe firearms a staffumbrella, that is friendly knowledgeable and a high-quality brand and productwilling that would be an asset to the city to help. for many years to come.”

$Cash Loans$

just this At Hill Top Pawn we specialize And in loaning outmonth, cash! paperwork was filed We loan money on just about anything with amounts up to to bring an Outback Steakhouse to Park Place. Sporting Goods, Gold, Guns, Electronics, Tools, Instruments, Cars, Trailers, Boats, Motorcycles and more. (All loans are collateral based)

1882 Athens Highway GA 30078 “There is a need in Snellville, the city for a quality limited-service hotel


in the Scenic Highway Commercial Corridor as there are very 770-978-7079 few options for travelers to utilize while staying in the area,” said Planning and Development Director Jason Thompson. “Eastside Medical Center, adjacent restaurants, retail businesses and neighboring residents could all benefit from having a nice Hampton

■ Affordable nightly, weekly and monthly rates ■ Average suite features over 300 square feet of comfortable living area ■ Each room includes a separate living area, ample work space with desk, remote control cable tv with HBO or Showtime, iron and ironing board, and in-room hi-speed Internet access ■ Apartment size kitchen with refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, full size microwave, in-room coffee maker, in-room toaster, dishes, cookware & utensils, and a well-lit kitchen table/work area ■ Interior corridors with key card access for added security and always clean & friendly service

Crestwood Suites

■ Clean, well-lit property with beautiful grounds and plenty of free parking

■ Exclusivebehind in-lobby coffee bar across from of Snellville Located off Scenic Highway Target

Eastside Medical Center




1784 Presidential Circle 30078 n ■ Snellville, own Georgia uITeS

770-982-5250 770.982.5250 1785 Circle • Snellville, Georgia 30078 www.Presidential CrestwoodSuites .com


South Gwinnett High School Department Chair Mrs. Erma Davis and select SGHS fine arts students presented more than 1,300 goodie bags to the students for being such attentive listeners. Our cluster motto, “Working Together, Winning Together PreK -12!” in action!

Public Service Law and Media Academy In September, South Gwinnett High School had more than 30 professionals from the field of law and public safety to participate in a mock interview for students in Dr. Streetman’s criminal justice and law classes and Mrs. Bevan’s forensics classes. Police officers from Snellville Police, Gwinnett County Special Victim’s Unit, and Gwinnett County School Police, along with lawyers from private practice, Gwinnett Tech’s Vice President of Economic Development Melvin Everson, Gwinnett Magistrate Judge Kim Gallant were just a few of the participants. This year, students also experienced virtual interviews with numerous lawyers from Morris, Manning and Martin. Over 100 students participated.

Fine Arts Program Highlight South Gwinnett Fine Arts Cluster Showcase 2021 The South Gwinnett High fine arts students visited Rosebud Elementary School, Magill ES, Grace Snell Middle School, Britt ES and Snellville MS on Oct. 13 and 14. The orchestra, band, chorus and drama students presented music selections and monologues. There were also piano students who spoke about the piano classes offered at South Gwinnett HS. Mrs. Kelly Valdez and some of her visual arts students presented several art pieces that were designed by the South Gwinnett visual arts students. At the end of the presentation, the fine arts teachers, 26 26

South Gwinnett High School Parent Teacher Student Association SGHS PTSA Student Ambassadors are part of a new initiative instituted by the SGHS PTSA, to expand and create collaborative partnerships between our high school and the local community and businesses. Ultimately, the PTSA’s goal is to increase awareness, interactions, and opportunities for SGHS with key community stakeholders that will result in internships, and scholarship opportunities for SGHS students.

South Gwinnett Homecoming South Gwinnett High School celebrated its Homecoming 2021 with the goal of elevating school spirit and Comet Pride. Comet Nation had a week of themed days, after-school events, a pep rally, a parade, and a dance. The Comet Football Team won the football game versus Peachtree Ridge High School. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the South Gwinnett community celebrated the history and traditions of the school community. Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Brookwood High School

BHS Receives $20K 3M Education STEM Grant Over the past few years, Brookwood High School’s science and CTE departments have collaboratively been expanding the agricultural course offerings and outreach within the student body.

During this past summer, Brookwood revamped and expanded its aquaponics classroom to encompass an adjacent classroom that allows for separate lab and lecture spaces.

With the help of grants from 3M Corporation, most recently a $20,000 Education STEM Equity Competitive Grant, the program has been providing students with a perspective on sustainable agriculture. 3M’s goal of the new grant is to increase access to high-quality STEM programs that inspire curiosity and interest among girls and ethnic minorities in STEM fields of study (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math).

“We can’t wait to install robotic farm bots outside of the building where we’re currently growing herbs and tomatoes,” said Settles Livers.

Brookwood will apply the new grant money toward precision robot farming equipment, a drone for aerial photography of the school’s garden plots, biodiversity study resources (including installation of a “food forest”), and Agricultural STEM (AgSTEM) field trips. Brookwood currently offers three courses within the AgSTEM Pathway taught by Carrie Settles Livers and Cole Hembree: basic agriculture science, forestry science, and natural resource management, also widely known as Brookwood Aquaponics. Aquaponics involves the sustainable process of growing fish and plants together within the same environment. Students design gardens, cultivate produce, and market, sell, and donate the goods and profits.

Students will learn how to program and use farm bot software and equipment to design, plant, and water a garden efficiently and precisely, much like a farmer manages crops. The experience will go well beyond an academic exercise. “Students will put into practice theories they’ve been learning, making it a more authentic learning experience. They’ll also be able to increase the food output Brookwood can share with the community,” she said. The 3M Corporation partners with schools, universities and other community organizations around the globe to ensure students and teachers have the tools, resources and knowledge they need to succeed in STEM. The company also encourages 3Mers to share their love of science with the next generation of science leaders. It is through these interventions that we work to support a diverse pipeline of STEM talent. 27 27

6th Annual Snellville Festival of Trees Snellville Tourism and Trade presents a returning holiday tradition! Snellville City Hall will host the 6th Annual Snellville Festival of Trees from November 22nd through December 17th. This is a great way for local businesses, churches, schools or residents to showcase their creative side by decorating a tree to be displayed at Snellville City Hall while helping their community during the holidays. Stop by City Hall, enjoy the trees and vote for your favorite by donating money, canned or dried food or toys. Each item placed under the tree of your choice will register as a vote for your favorite tree. To make a monetary vote, go to the website and vote. The tree with the most donated items and monetary donations will be awarded BEST CHRISTMAS TREE. Help us embrace the true meaning of the Christmas season and make a difference in the lives of others by decorating a tree and/or voting for your favorite. Trees may be viewed at Snellville City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All money, canned goods and dried food will be donated to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op through “Give Hunger the Boot” and all toys will be donated to the “Toys for Tots” program. 28

For additional information contact Kelly McAloon at kelmca

Snellville, Walton Gas is proud to be your hometown gas company. We strive to provide excellent rates and customer service. Which means you can enjoy warm moments without worry.

Visit or call 770-427-4328.


Fall Festval Costume Contest Results

The winners of the Snellville Fall Festival’s annual Costume Contest were crowned at the event in October. Thanks to all who participated!

Ages 0-2 years 1st-Arianna Jones/Lady Bug 2nd-Davina Carter/Little Red Riding Hood 3rd-Aiden Sanchez/Pumpkin

Ages 3-4 years 1st-Matias Valdivia/Prince 2nd-Isabella Cole/Fairy Princess 3rd-Christine Hunter/Butterfly

Ages 5-6 years 1st-Demetrio Pettaway/Jack the Crowns 2nd-Dee Jones/101 Dalmatian Pup 3rd-Theo Leggett/Doctor Leggett

Ages 7-10 1st-Kalette Phpps/Beekeeper 2nd-Jordan Pettaway/Cousin It 3rd-Kellan Staden/Nightmare Bunny

Ages 11-16 1st-Chloe Crowley/Peacock 2nd-Pilar Jones/Cruella Deville

17 and Up 1st - Tesha/Ring Master 2nd - Cherian Ramsay/ Reaper Nurse 3rd- Andrew Hutton / Dancing Bear

Snellville Police hand out candy on Halloween The Snellville Police Department was back on city streets handing out candy to area kids! Thanks SPD!


Ninth Annual Scarecrow Contest Results

1st Place Snellville Performing Arts “Alexander HAYmilton and SCAREron Burr

2nd Place Snellville United Methodist Church “Spooky Seuss”

3rd Place InTouch Pediatrics “Hannibal”

Pet Paradise “Pepper the Pet Paradise Scarecrow”

Miriam Arnold-Johnson PC “Justice U. Winn Attorney at Law”

The Perry Family “Pumpkin Prima Ballerina”

Cannon United Methodist Church “Pete”

Snellville Historical Society “Ms. Grace”

Atlanta Rehabilitation & Performance “Eileen Dover”

Texas Roadhouse “Roadie”

Gray Orthodontics “Sensei Gray”

Fingerz Restaurant “Friendly Fingerz”

Tommy’s Express Carwash “Tommy”

Title Max/Scenic Hwy “Paw Patrol”

Crunch Fitness “Buffy”

Church on Main “Arnie”

Snellville Church of Christ “The Great Deliverer”

Milner Vein & Vascular “Dracula”

Thank you to the following businesses for their donations - Krispy Kreme, Maestro Images LLC, Charles Minter Karate and Eastside Orthocare.


Experience Snellville ... Purple Madness and Timeless Tina concert

Snellville Food Truck Friday


Many thanks to Team Snellville Volunteers,

... You’ve been Caught on Camera! Snellville Fall Festival

Senior Center Expo

Snellville Police Department and Public Works


Winter Recipes

Eggnog Sweet Potato Bake

Oreo Truffles



3-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 large) 2/3 cup eggnog 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional) 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt

1 (14 oz.) package Oreos 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 c. white chocolate chips, melted 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted



1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Use a food processor to crush cookies into fine crumbs. Add all but 2 tablespoons crushed cookies to a medium bowl. Add cream cheese and vanilla and stir until evenly combined.


Dip the frozen balls in melted white chocolate until coated and return to baking sheet. Drizzle with semisweet chocolate. Freeze until chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into small balls. Place on prepared baking sheet and freeze until slightly hardened, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°. Scrub sweet potatoes; pierce several times with a fork. Place on a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan; bake until tender, 1 hour or you can boil until tender. Remove from oven. Reduce oven setting to 350°. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard peel. Mash potatoes in a large bowl (you should have about 6 cups mashed). Stir in eggnog, raisins, sugar and salt. Transfer to a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. For topping, in a small bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans and spices; stir in butter. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and topping is lightly browned, 30-35 minutes.

Want to drizzle your truffles with chocolate instead? Melt 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave and use a spoon to drizzle over hardened truffles. Place back in the freezer to harden, 10 to 15 minutes, before serving. Use the 2 left over tablespoons of fine cookie crumbs to decorate truffles. Get creative, try different toppings. -Delish

-Taste of Home

34 34

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Thanks to our 2021 Sponsors and to our Snellville Spirit Advertisers E.R.Snell Contractors Inc Walton Gas Hampton Inn & Suites LaQuinta Inn & Suites InTown Suites Kona Ice Tommy’s Express Carwash Piedmont Eastside Niko’s Wine Corner Church on Main Snellville United Methodist Church ABC Direct Marketing Hill Top Pawn Summit Chase Country Club Mount Zion Baptist Church City of Snellville Thank you to all of those who devoted their time and energy to volunteer and help put on another great year of Snellville Tourism and Trade events and festivals. Without your help, these events would not be the success they are for our visitors. Thank you!




Snellville Tourism & Trade P.O. Box 669 Snellville, GA 30078


Snellville, Where Everybody is Proud to be Somebody.

“As Georgia’s largest and safest non-profit healthcare system, we take great pride in serving our local community and look forward to building on the strong foundation Eastside Medical Center has established. The community can now experience a top-quality integrated care network with a stronger collaboration, deeper services, modern hassle-free interactions, and ultimately better patient outcomes.” - Kevin Brown, CEO, Piedmont Healthcare

is now 36


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